If I “googled” you right now would I find you?
Your first reaction might be “Yes! Of course!” but how much time have you spent googling yourself, in the same way a prospect might search for your real estate services? And can you be sure that the way you THINK your customers search for your company IS the same as what they ACTUALLY type into a search bar?
Is it even important? Back in the old days, a few glossy magazine ads, teamed with newspaper listings and leaving a stack of business cards here and there was the best way to grow your real estate business... I’m afraid to say those days are long gone!
In fact more than 80% of real estate transactions begin online. Therefore if there’s one way of being found you need to worry about it’s the internet, because when someone decides it’s time to buy a house, the likelihood is it’s the first place they’ll go.
And of course, when it comes to finding something or someone via the internet the natural reaction for most of us is to ask Google. In fact “Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.”
Everything is just a click away now and if your real estate business doesn’t have the same exposure and presence on the Internet as other competing realtors you might as well wave goodbye to your share of that 80%!
Bottom line? Marketing your real estate business online is no longer an option, it’s a necessity to survive! With that said, here are some ways to boost your online exposure and increase your chances of being found in Google searches:
Keep it clean
Start with a visually pleasing and functional website ensuring everything makes sense and uses good clean code.
This includes clear titles, headings and text to enable the searcher (and search engines) to easily figure out what your site is about. Also think about making sure your website is easy to navigate taking into consideration mobile as well as desktop users.
Build value, not links
Search engines are also looking to establish your trustworthiness and authority and one way they do so is looking at what other websites link in to your site.
It’s important at this stage to note that Google is always changing, and therefore you need to keep up with the ways Google does this; for example it used to be about getting as many links to your site as possible, whereas now it’s far more focused on quality as opposed to quantity. Focus on only obtaining good quality, relevant links from authoritative sites and don’t rush this isn’t something that happens overnight it’s about building and nurturing relationships and therefore needs contribution over time.
Wording is key
When it comes to keywords, as I mentioned at the beginning of the article you need to work out what your market is typing into Google.
Having the right keywords on your website is often misconstrued for having as many of the same word plastered across an entire site. The fact is, search engines, like people don’t like or respond well to spammy text.
Therefore the best way to incorporate key words on your website is to have one page dedicated to what you do, with the right business focus that aims to answer the questions your prospects might have. It also helps to gather insights into what search terms your prospects are using so that you can make sure you incorporate those words into said page.
Sitemaps are essential
Sitemaps work as navigation tools; they list all of your key pages and tell search engines where they each are within the site. Having a detailed site-map (especially if your site carries a lot of content) can help towards improving your website’s ranking on search engines.
Analytics give you a baseline to measure performance and focus your business improvement efforts.
Google webmaster tools, as well as Google Analytics, can give you incredibly valuable insights into where the most valuable traffic is coming from, as well as informing you on how people and search engines move around your site, which is great for being able to analyse what is and what isn’t working.
Consider DIY SEO
Doing your own SEO is a great idea because the likelihood is that nobody will know your real estate business like you do! Depending on your level of expertise you may require a little training or assistance, but in-house SEO is certainly a bonus for businesses.
A Final Word
Internet marketing is here and it’s here to stay! And there is no better time to make a name for yourself and your business online than right now. Well, yesterday or last year was actually a better time. You get my point though.
Whether you learn everything about online marketing for Real Estate on blogs and forums and do it yourself or you hire a professional to manage things for you, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that people out there looking to buy or sell their home can find you on the Internet. And preferably on the first page of Google.
Got questions about what other SEO practices might help your real estate business? Let’s discuss in the comments below!