Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is essentially digital strategies in place to help your business stand out against competitors. With this in mind, real estate businesses will gain exponentially from an effective SEO strategic plan.
Think of yourself as a customer looking for a new house, rental, or investment property. Where’s the first place they go to? Google!
13 billion real estate search queries were made on Google last year, and this number is growing. All businesses want to appear at the top of the search rankings, and as the online marketplace continues to saturate, real estate agents need to act now!
These are our top tips to stay ahead of the real estate competition
Do an SEO audit to identify problem areas and opportunities for improvement
Many times business owners are not aware of the issues their website may have or available opportunities for digital marketing improvement. It’s important to first do an SEO audit to understand and identify how your real estate business can grow.
The results produced by the audit can then be used to optimise your website to rank highly in Google. Factors including keywords, URL and page headers should be taken into consideration when evaluating the site’s effectiveness. Furthermore, as a real estate agent and/or business it’s important to identify what market area you operate in. Whether this be servicing families, downsizers or first home buyers; understanding who your target market is will make it easier to identify keywords. Once keywords are determined and used effectively your business will gain valuable online market share!
Be proactive and integrate market trends
Announced yesterday, as of the 29th of November, the HomeBuilder Government scheme will be extended to the 31st of March 2021. Due to expire at the end of the year, Scott Morrison said, “It’s critical we keep the momentum up for Australia’s economic recovery… extending HomeBuilder will mean a steady pipeline of construction activity to keep tradies on the tools.”
The scheme provides eligible people choosing to build a new home or renovating an existing on with a $25,000 grant. During the extension period this rate will be lower at $15,000. Additionally, price caps in NSW and Victoria have been lifted to $950,000 and $850,000 respectively.
Real Estate agencies or home building companies should maximise on this market trend by integrating it as messaging in advertisements such as Google Ads. Right now is the perfect time to start Digital Marketing because of this trending opportunity and the potential to capture the search market instantly! Google Ads gains traction very quickly. A tailored campaign with engaging messaging and targeted keyword integration will generate incredible results for your business. A choice to be proactive and integrate Google Ads into your marketing strategy will enable you to react to new trends; adapting your messaging to suit.
Accessibility and user-friendly
The next step to optimise your website is to ensure it is both accessible and user-friendly. Google’s rankings are also affected by user experience. When creating your site ensure all buttons are labelled, navigation is easy, fast loading speed, and finally it is optimised to be viewed on smartphones or any other mobile device
Buttons and clickable features should all be labelled. For example if you have included a photo gallery of a new listing and want to guide website visitors to look through the album add an arrow or short directive phrase on the clickable feature. Your homepage and all other important pages must be directly linked to each other, whether this be via the header bar or interpage linking; Google favours this.
If your website is taking more than 3 seconds to load you are losing prospects! Individuals searching to buy a new house or rental property are inundated with ads and businesses vying to provide their services. If your website is slow, visitors will lose patience and leave to view a competitor’s listings. The real estate market is competitive and your website needs to have a competitive edge to stand out!
Lastly, the aesthetics and overall design of your web page is important too. Keep content clearly organised and laid out in a simple manner to not overwhelm prospects. Organise pages by their purpose eg. about, reviews, auctions, available listings etc. Your website layout should also be optimised so visitors can view it on their mobiles devices or smartphones. Over 40% of people consume content on mobile devices and Google ranks websites which suit consumer trends favourably.
Google My business
44% of home buyers head straight to Google as the first step in their house hunting process. It’s important for business owners to put themselves in the place of the customer and recognise what would make them a valuable resource. Google My Business (GMB) is a key addition to SEO strategies because it is the first impression and introduction to your company in search results.
GMB is a highline introduction that should provide all basic contact information of your real estate company. Other features include photographs and reviews, which are strong players in helping to convince prospects you are the company they should choose. Register and fill out your GMB profile with all relevant information to provide prospects with streamline accessibility to contact you. Too many ‘reputable’ real estate agencies and agents still have the wrong phone numbers or business addresses. This just causes confusion and doesn’t help Google to identify your servicing area.
Are you a real estate agent looking to grow your business through digital marketing? Contact us today to find out how we can tailor our services to suit your needs!