Google and Real Estate Part Two: Search Engine Optimization
In our new blog series, Google and Real Estate, I will shed some light on different aspects of doing business with Google and their implications for real estate professionals.
In the second part of Google and Real Estate, I will focus on SEO and how we can optimize our efforts online to improve organic lead generation.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it has been the buzzword in online marketing since the beginning of search engines. It is a broad term with various interpretations, but the best way to describe it is a set of strategies and action plans to improve rankings of a business in search engines, especially Google.
It is not only limited to Google. On Youtube, Facebook and other social media where visibility and ranking defines the fate of business, SEO is applicable. The strategies might include:
- Optimizing the content of a website or page
- Optimize key terms and phrases which are the subject of searches
- Optimize technical aspects of web development like tags and organic data
And there is a lot more. In simple terms, every action that Google or other search engines consider valuable for the user is SEO. This is why most experts believe that the best approach to SEO is meeting the demands of your target audience.
Google uses a mindset that is often referred to as Turing Machine Theory. It is based on the idea that a successful algorithm is the one that makes a machine as close to human beings as possible.
Imagine there is a computer and a person behind a wall. Now, a user approaches this wall and tries to interact with the computer and the human behind the wall. Turing theory succeeds when this person cannot understand whether she is interacting with a person or a machine. The aim of Google is to achieve this with its search engines.
SEO for Real Estate Business?
In this article, we will run down a list of activities that can help you improve your status on search results:
- Use Organic Feed
An organic MLS feed can help Google index your pages and display them for respective keywords. Using iFrames will deprive you of this chance since Google won’t recognize them as valid pages. Check out the following link for more insight:
- Optimize Tags
Using the right set of tags can help you rank better on Google. Make sure you use the
Organic and valuable tags and not generic ones. Overuse of tags, especially those that are not related to the content may get penalized by Google. Learn more here.
- Create Content
This is as we all know the most important element in Google recognition of your business. If you provide regular and on-demand content for users, you are most likely to to enjoy truly deserved ranking. Content can be blogs, pictures, images, infographics, etc. For more information, please click here.
- Keywords and phrases
The whole content of your website should be relevant to your niche, so it can get ranked more accurately. Research keywords and phrases that are closer to you and your area, and avoid generic and difficult keywords. Learn more about real estate top keywords here.
- Internal /External Linking
Proper linking inside and outside your website will help search engine crawlers understand your content and website better. This will also lead to more accurate results and eventually more qualified leads. Maintain a balance of internal links to different pages, and make sure you have some external links to reputable websites in the niche.
- Optimize your loading speed
Nobody likes a slow website. Google gives a lot of credit to this. Use Google Page speed tool to analyze this, and check out the following blog for more tips:
- Optimize for Mobile
Clients spend more time on their phones than their PCs, so you need to make sure your IDX website is optimized for mobile responsiveness.
- Referrals and traffic
Use social media and other outlets at your disposal to attract more people (traffic) to your website. However, be aware that it can sabotage your ranking as much it can improve it. In other words, if you draw traffic from spammy activities and generic sources, Google will penalize you, and your ranking will suffer.
- Use quality hosting services
Hosting services are of utmost value to real estate websites. An IDX website holds a lot of listings data that might be hosted locally or on the fly. This can not only affect your loading speed but also the organic nature of your content. Click here for more information.
- Use CDN
As we discussed in two other activities above, loading speed is very important. It not only affects your ranking but also increases your bounce rate. Using a CDN is a solution for this problem.To learn what a CDN is click here.
SEO Checklist (printable)
Here is a printable SEO checklist for your real estate website. Feel free to print it if needed and share it with your colleagues:
What is Next?
Having a SEO friendly platform such as Realtyna’s WPL and making further optimizations of SEO through organic techniques will definitely help maintain a solid performance by your website.
Nonetheless, the market is highly competitive and you need to try more than that to stand out from the crowd. Needless to say, advertising is your next viable option, and that is why we are going to discuss Google Ads and its implications for real estate websites in the next part of our Google series: