As a realtor, I’m sure you hear people talking about SEO all the time. Why it’s important, why you need, and so on. Hopefully you’re already considering SEO and the benefits of implementing a long-term campaign. To get you started I created a checklist you can use to get the ball rolling with SEO.
Before we get started I want to cut through the noise and set your expectations. SEO is not a set and forget strategy and it takes a while to get going. SEO is like a snowball…you know the saying.
Optimize Your Google Business Listing
Google my business is a crucial part of any SEO campaign. If you don’t already have one setup you can make one here. If there’s already a listing for your business make sure that it is claimed. Sometimes there’s a listing for your business already, but if its not in your control then this can hurt your SEO. Now I’ll show you how to optimize your listing:
Include Keywords in Your Listing – When you create your business listing you want to include location and industry keywords to increase the relevance. Let’s say for example your a realtor in San Antonio, you’re title can look like this: Company Name San Antonio, or Company Name Real Estate.
Check for Consistency – When it comes to local SEO you need to have everything consistent. Your business Name, Address, and Phone (NAP) all need to be consistent on every web property they are on. A lack of consistency will decrease your relevance and cause Google to serve better optimized listings above yours.
Include Proper Tags – Google allows you to include tags in your listing, which allows you to tell Google what your business is. Are you a housing authority, a realtor, a broker. Include your tags in the business tags section as well as in your business info section.
Include Your Website and Photos – This is almost a no-brainer, yet I see people forget this step still. Be sure to include your web address (either home page or relevant location page) so that you can collect traffic from your listing and send them to your website. Also be sure to add high quality photos of your business so that viewers can see that you’re a real business and get a good first impression.
Tweak Your Citations
In case you don’t know, a citation is a listing of your business online, just like Yellow Pages. The photo above is of a citation for my business that wasn’t properly optimized, and as a result was harming my SEO. Having citations that are optimized properly will make or break your SEO campaign, but are relatively easy to fix. Here’s how to optimize them:
Create Citations on Quality Sites – Don’t create citations on every site you find. The best ones to create are ones that are relevant to your area, your industry, or are authorities (Yellow Pages, Yelp, Angies List).
Consistent NAP – Again you need to make sure that your NAP is consistent between your website, GMB listing and citations.
Use as Many Relevant Tags as Possible – Most citation sources allow you to use industry tags in your listing. Be sure to use as many relevant ones as you can in order to increase your visibility in Google and in the directory.
Add Photos – If you have photos use them! It not only helps your listing, but it also leaves a better impression on those who see it. It’s imperative that you look good online no matter where it is.
Claim your listings – Just like GMB, citations may need to be claimed on certain sources. Each directory will have a search ran for your business name to see if you need to claim a listing for your business. If so follow the process to do so and edit as needed.
Make Sure You Have NO Duplicate Listings – Duplicate listings have a negative effect on your SEO, so its important you fix them. If you search in the directory and have a listing already see if you can claim and edit it. If you already own that listing then just edit it if needed.
Create a Good Description – You want your description to be informative to those who see your listing and give good info to search engines. This is a time to talk about your business, but try to make it relevant to your target audience. They want to know how you can help them more than anything.
Link to EVERYTHING – Many citation sources allow you to link back to social media accounts, YouTube videos, and your website. Link out to as many properties as you can to increase authority over all of your platforms.
Fine Tune Your Website
This is an image of an optimized listing ranking #1 for “homes for sale san antonio”. I’m going to cover why they rank so well and the factors that contribute.
There’s literally hundreds of factors on a website that affect SEO. I’ll cover the more prominent of them and how you can optimize them. (For this step I recommend using YoastSEO Plugin as a guide)
Use Keywords and Geo-Modifiers in Your Title – In the photo above, Zillow used every variation of their keywords in their title. Here are the keywords they incorporated: san antonio real estate, real estate san antonio, homes for sale san antonio, homes for sale san antonio tx, san antonio homes for sale.
By doing so their page is relevant for multiple search terms and variations of keywords, which allows them to rank for multiple terms. Incorporate as many keywords and variations as you can so that your page is relevant across multiple search terms, but make sure that your title makes sense to users.
Use a Keyword or Geo-Modifier in Your URL – Zillow also includes a geo-modifier in their URL. You can include both a geo-modifier and a keyword in your URL, like so: homes.com/san-antonio-real-estate
Utilize Keywords in Your Meta Description – Your meta description is the little blurb of info that you see in search engines under the title. This is important both for the search engine and users. The better your meta description is, the better your click through rate will be, and the better you’ll rank. Look at descriptions of Adwords ads for your keywords to get a good idea of how to structure your meta description. Also be sure to include a keyword variation or geo-modifier.
Utilize Header Tags – Header tags are the tags in the body of your text. The ones you’ll need to use ar H1,H2, and H3. The best way to structure these is to use them consecutively. Only use the H1 tag once, then move to the H2 tag, and finally H3 if relevant. Header tags are useful for both visitors and search engines, so you want to structure them primarily based on readability, but also to optimize for the search engines.
You can reference this post as an example of proper header tag usage!
Decrease Load Time – Load time is a big factor on your bounce rate, which is the rate that people click your website and immediately click off. This is huge for your rankings, and can be the difference from loads of traffic and a minuscule amount.
To decrease load time you want to optimize your images by using jpeg only, using sizes that are proportionate to your website, and reducing color depth as much as possible. Another easy fix is to reduce the number of plugins you use. If there’s any plugins that you don’t need running be sure to activate them and free up some space on your site.
Link Out to Relevant Resources – If there’s any relevant resources within the body of your pages that will be useful for visitors be sure to link out to it. This shows search engines that your content is relevant and that your site is authoritative enough to reference other sites. If there’s any local sites or content related to real estate that users can benefit from be sure to link to it!
Here’s to Your SEO Succes!
By following this checklist you will put yourself leagues ahead of your competition, and set a good platform for an SEO campaign. There is a lot that goes into SEO, but with the right processes anyone can rank a site. If you would like more info on real estate seo or to hear of my special offers, be sure to join my email list.