Some of the most common questions I get asked are about SEO. Often Real Estate offices are paying for SEO services in the hope that they will help, but they can be doing more harm then benefits. So whats it all about ?
What is SEO?
SEO is all of the activities and strategies that you can use to increase the visibility of a website and improve it’s search engine ranking (SERPS) in organic (free) search engine result pages. The methods of SEO comprise on page activities, like setting up the correct structure on your website, and off page activities like link building and social media marketing. Each of these activities are designed to improve your websites ranking in the Search results. In simple words SEO is the technique of optimising web pages so that they are more easily recognised by Google and as a consequence they appear higher in the search results (SERPS) for the keywords that are important to you and your business. SEO isn’t only about building websites that are search engine-friendly. It’s about making your website better for people as well.
Why is SEO needed for a Real Estate Website?
The majority of web traffic is driven by the major search engines Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. In Australia we love Google with 95% of Desktop searched performed on Google and over 98% of mobile searches using Google. So ensuring that Google are paying attention to your website can be very lucrative for you. We know that Social Media can drive free traffic and generate visits to your website, but the largest majority of internet users will use search engines as their primary source of finding information about a business.
Search engines provide targeted traffic based on what people want (what they are looking for) and provides the websites that they believe best answer the query that was searched for. They do this by following pathways based on the links related to your site. If the search engines can’t crawl and index your website then it will be impossible to drive free search traffic to your website. It is for this reason that you need to be able to show Google what your website is all about and the services that you provide to the public.
So why is it important to be seen higher in the search results. Advanced Web Rankings study found that the number 1 search result receives over 30% of all clicks. The top 5 results account for 67% of clicks with the remaining results being 6 to 10th spot only receive less than 4% of the clicks. So it is pretty important that you can appear in the top 5 search results.
When we are discussing search results it is important to recognise that it all started with a query. That is the word or the combination of words that a user might type into the search box. So understanding what your potential clients are typing in becomes important so that you can set your website up to be found for these terms. With modern phones you have the ability to ask a question which is then searched for. This verbal question can often be different to what might be entered into the search box. For example a spoken search request might look like “tell me where to find the best real estate agent in Redcliffe” where as what might be typed in could be “best real estate agent Redcliffe”. Understanding the key terms your clients are seeking answers to is vital.
Our experience has shown that search engine traffic can definitely build a real estate offices success. When you are receiving targeted traffic to your website, it can provide increased awareness, additional revenue, and exposure like virtually no other channel of promotion can. Investing in and getting your SEO right can deliver an exceptional return on investment compared to other types of marketing and publicity. SEO analysis of your website is essential for its optimisation.
Lets consider an example: If someone wants property management they may type “best property managers your town” as the search query. Notice this is a search term that indicates that someone is in the market to buy or take some action.
What if your website is ranking for that search query?
You might get lead or a sale!
Better Visibility = Increased Sales
Research has shown that 87% of consumers use search engines (most use google) for research before purchase, so it ,makes sense that you show up here as well.
That will show you how to quickly leverage these strategies, to improve your Website SEO.
How can I ensure the search engines evaluate my real estate website?
Search engines are ever changing and clever beyond imagination, but they still need our assistance if we want to achieve a better result. The major search engines are constantly improving their technical expertise to crawl the web more and more deeply and bring back better results to searchers. Proper SEO set up can bring you tons of visitors and increased attention, and at the same time, the wrong practices can prevent your site from being assessed and cause your site to be hidden deep in the search results where no one is looking and there is no visibility.
The first step to ensuring that your website is being seen by Google is to have it built correctly in the first place, (if your site is old, it can still be repaired). This is what we refer to as getting the on-page factors right. We always suggest that this be completed before you even consider undertaking a link building or off page campaign.