online marketing guide for realtors and real estate agencts

Real Estate SEO & Online Marketing: Ultimate Guide To Generate Leads

Real estate is a business that continually changes. What brings multiple offers today may sit on the market for months tomorrow.

If your livelihood is dependent upon real estate, you need to find a way to work with this fluctuation.

Gone are the days when word of mouth was all it took to find buyers and sellers. Today, lead cultivation and finding new clients happens online.

This means that to succeed in real estate, you need to have a strong online presence. You need more than a generic website.

You need to understand online marketing best practices that help you stand out as the real estate agent clients want to work with.

This guide is designed to give you the tools you need to create a marketing plan that will help put you in a position to compete with others in your field.

The primary focus will be online marketing to generate leads.

Real Estate SEO & Marketing Online To Drive Leads

Your website is your most significant marketing tool.

That is if people can find your website among the millions of websites that make their homes on the web.

Search engines are your best friend when it comes to being found and the way they find you is by your SEO.

The first thing you need to do before you put up your website is to determine what search terms people are going to be looking for. These terms are called keywords. Keywords do not hold as much weight as they used to in determining search rankings but they are necessary. You do not want people looking to buy a home in your area to be directed to the local dog park. Keywords help the search engines narrow their results. They are also where many people make a mistake when setting up a website.

ealtor sign with a sold house behind

What is SEO and Online Marketing? Should it Matter to Realtors?

Marketing online is only one of the many factors that come together to place you at the top of the real estate industry. It is a step you cannot ignore.

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is what Google and other search engines use to find you and bring your name in front of potential customers who look for you online.

Search engines use a complicated set of algorithms to give ratings to each website they list. Different aspects earn trust and authority, and the final number of accumulated points determine whether you are on page one of a person’s search or hiding somewhere on page ten.

Real Estate Marketing Ideas

The content on your website serves two primary purposes. These are to convince visitors to do business with you and for search engines to rank you high in search results.

Each of these things will help increase your SEO ranking when done correctly.

1. Create a Review Generation Strategy

The best place you can get reviews in the eyes of search engines is on Google. Ask as many of your former clients as possible if they will post a review there. The ideal review will be at least 200 words so ask if they can go into detail. It may be difficult to ask if you are not in the habit of marketing, but each review will add to your ranking algorithm

2. Write Quality Content

Create multiple pieces about the same subject but use different keywords. For example, you can write about the best family-friendly areas in your town.

On one piece, focus your keywords on the quality of education and another piece around events that are family-oriented in the area. In this way, people searching for both will end up at your site. The content will read differently to them, but the search engines will see the content as related to real estate in those areas or real estate search engine ranking.

3. Ensure your content is localized

Include as much city-specific content as possible. The more local and more recent the information, the more likely the search engines will score you highly.

Talk about local construction projects, annual festivals, changes in city policies, and other matters related to these things. Make your website more about what life in your area is like rather than entirely about buying and selling a property.

4. Write an Ebook

Create a guide that will be helpful to potential clients.

You can write a report on the benefits of staging your home for sale or what things to look for in a retirement home. The more specific you make the guide, the more likely search engines will pick it up.

If possible, have the title answer a question that your ideal client would ask. Search engines are becoming more question-oriented on searching. Instead of “Staging Your Home,” consider “Why Staging Your Home Increases Value” or “How to Effectively Stage Your Home for Sale.”

5. Use SEO Best Practices

Create internal links to everything you write.

You want the search engines to find as many related pages as possible. Never write anything without including at least five links to other pages or blog posts on your website.

Pick the oldest material you can to link to and never make those links to your home or contact pages. These two pages are static pages that rarely change so they do not hold as much weight as a blog post that may get new comments or be shared on social media.

6. Develop an online tool or resource

Provide online tools like mortgage calculator on your site. This will allow search engines to include your site in searches for these tools to increase the value of your site in their eyes.

Example of an online tool for realtors

a screenshot of a mortgage calculator online tool sample

7. Make sure you correctly format all contact information

Google likes to know you are a real person and your business is a good one. By following the same format or NAP on your website and outside sites, you give them another form of verification.

a screenshot of the seoexpertbrad website number samplea screenshot of the seoexpertbrad google my business number sample

8. Start a blog.

Add a resourceful blog to your website.

Search engines like great content that is regularly updated. A blog is one of the best ways to provide this periodically adding content.

9. Find ways to keep visitors on your website longer.

Offer an interactive map that allows them to find restaurants or specialty shops in the area.

Include videos that take time to watch and point them to other areas of your site. Make your website a fun, informative place and your visitors will stick around longer and visit more pages. This is something search engines look for and like. You will rank higher in search results if you can retain the interest of visitors.

a white tablet with an interactive map on the screen and one finger point it.

10. Make your website mobile friendly.

Over eighty percent of today’s website access is done on some type of mobile device. Create a site that is easily viewed and navigated on as many mobile devices as possible. This increases the number of people who visit, and ultimately it moves you up the search engine ranks.

11. Build Citations in Local and Realtor Directories

Getting listed in as many directories as possible will help add backlinks to your website. backlinks are essential to search engines.

Directories of local businesses hold a great deal of weight. At the very least, make it a point to get listed in real estate related directories. The top four directories you need to be registered in are Trulia, Zillow, RedFin, and Homes.com.

social media in a hand of a person

Develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media is something that nobody who wants to succeed in their field can ignore.

You do not have to have accounts at all the social media sites. You would not have time for anything else if you did. Consider adding the following to your toolbox.

Facebook Marketing For Realtors

You need a Facebook business page, preferably one with many likes. This is one place you want to interact regularly. Have any blog posts automatically posted here. Make sure you include your website URL in the About section and add as much detail as possible in the Contact Info section. This will indicate to Google you are sincere and will give them more reason to rank you higher.

YouTube Video Marketing

Youtube is one of the best friends you can have outside your website. People often search for videos over written content, and you can take advantage of this by creating weekly videos.

The content can be walkthroughs of properties you have listed, tours of your area, how-to videos related to buying and selling a home. or anything related to your geographical area or real estate. YouTube has the advantage of being able to optimize your video to help SEO.

*Use geo-tagging

*Include contact information

*Enable automatic posting to Google+

*Link to your website

Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual based social media platform. Selling homes, you have a great opportunity to utilize the visual nature of Pinterest. The more boards your posts get re-pinned on, the more backlinks you receive.

Finding and Using Local Keyword Targets

Ask yourself what your clients may be searching. Think about what matters the most to them and the queries they may make.

The key to a useful set of real estate SEO and marketing keywords is to think regarding local and narrow. You want to be considered the top real estate agent in your whole city, but so do the numerous other real estate agencies and individual agents.

All your competitors in the area will be using keywords such as “Miami realtor” or “Homes in Pittsburgh.” The way to get more direct hits is to think along the lines of “Family homes in Pittsburgh” or “Retirement houses in Miami.” If your town is divided into various sections, narrow your terms even further. The idea is to get people to contact you. Once that happens, you can share your listings throughout the entire area.

Think about the features of your best properties. Is there some commonality they share that can help buyers or sellers focus on you? For example, do you tend to have listings of upscale properties, eco-friendly homes, or homes near schools? Now, look for ways to include these unique features in your keywords. This will enable people who have special requirements to find you easier.

Now you have a specialty that helps you stand out from all the other realtors in the area. Keyword research takes time to learn and can be confusing at first, but finding the perfect words will be worth that time and effort.

Now that you have your keywords, what do you do with them? Now it is time to build your website. As you create each page of your website, these keywords have several places that will make them noticeable to search engines. They should be placed:

*In your URL

Ex.

a screenshot of a keyword in the link URL sample

*As part of your page title

Ex.

a screenshot of a keyword in the page title sample

*In the content of your page

Ex.

a screenshot of a keyword in the content sample

*As the title of images

*In the image alt tags

Ex.

a screenshot of a keyword in the title of the image and image alt tags sample

Note: When placing your keywords in the text on your page, you need to think less rather than more. If you use the words too often, Google considers this “keyword stuffing” and will take points away. You should aim to include your keywords somewhere between one and two percent of the time.

As long as your words are in the URL, images, and titles, it is better to concentrate on writing the best content you can and then to go back and to see if the words fit anywhere naturally. If so, add them in. If not, don’t worry about this.

Use Community Forums To Increase Your Local Visibility

There are many community forums.

Pick one or two that have a large audience and spend time answering questions and making general comments.

Here is an excellent place to establish yourself as an authority in your field. It is also an excellent place to make contacts, and by including your website URL in your signature, you create more backlinks to your website.

diagram of property valuation for professionals

In Closing. Drive Real Estate Leads With Online Marketing

Real estate can be an exciting field. It can also be a difficult one.

Once you have set up your website, the marketing can begin. You cannot just leave your online site to collect dust.

The internet is as ever-changing as the field of real estate, and you will need to adapt consistently

Whole books have been written on the subject of online marketing. With the search engines changing their algorithms frequently, it can be challenging to stay on top of all the best practices of the subject.

Hopefully, this guide has given you enough information to generate new leads and land new clients.