Aug 19, 2021 | Marketing Ideas

Optimizing your listings

How agents can use SEO to improve real estate marketing

Being proficient in search engine optimization is one of the most effective ways for real estate agents to bring attention to themselves and their listings. Agents who tick all the SEO boxes can expect to attract more clients and sell homes faster.

The National Association of Realtors in its 2019 Real Estate in a Digital Age report said at least 80 percent of home buyers in age ranges up to 63 used the internet frequently in their search process.

According to a breakdown by the New York TImes, at least 89 percent of people up to 53 years old hit the web often to look for their new home. The overwhelming majority of home buyers are all heading to the same virtual space, so agents need to make sure their listings are competing there.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. For real estate agents, it’s a marketing strategy that focuses on ways to improve how high your listings and other services are ranked on internet search engines like Google.

More often than not, real estate agents need to focus on local optimization. They want to rank high in search results when potential clients look for an agent or listings in their area.

What search engines look for is sometimes a moving target. Some of the constants, though, are relevant keywords that are used organically on your website, links that take users to other pages on your site and externally, and being linked to by other reputable websites.

Working on SEO performance can sometimes be a difficult undertaking. It may require hiring outside help, but the return on investment can more than make up for it by reaching home buyers where they’re looking early and often.

How to improve SEO

There’s a balance that needs to be found when it comes to keywords. Google and other search engines can tell when they’re being shoehorned in and can punish you.

The appropriate keywords need to be worked into the appropriate pages. You want prospective clients to land on a page that has the information they’re looking for, or else they’re going to leave. Blogs – especially with information specific to your market – are an effective way to have home buyers looking for specific information end up on your website. They go to Google with a question, find the answer in a post on your website, and are now more likely to turn to you if they need an agent.

But those keywords need to be in more than just the text visible on the page. You can build landing pages with URLs and information specific to certain areas of your market. Metadata descriptions aren’t seen on the front end of the site, but play a role in your search rankings, too.

Photography is especially important. According to that breakdown by the New York Times, all but the oldest age group said photos are the most useful information online.

For SEO purposes, be specific in your filenames. Instead of naming a photo “IMG_003.jpg,” make sure all the filenames, alt text, and descriptions for photos include information about the listing like the city and street name or address.

If you’re ready to take your real estate marketing to the next level, contact Lighthouse Visuals today to talk about how our photography services can help you reach your goals.

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