Real Estate Website SEO is hard and often times misunderstood. Combine that with real estate lead generation and you have a huge question worthy of a class that would take me at LEAST a week to teach properly. But don’t despair young Padawan! I have put together my 3 best tips to help you answer the question of how do you get leads on your new real estate website by optimizing it for the search engines.
So HOW do I get Leads on my new website?
Many Realtors think that just by us building them a new site they will instantly get leads. This could not be further from the truth. Just because you have a new site, that does not mean you will be inundated with leads. You have to get traffic to get leads and getting traffic on a new site is a complicated process.
Fortunately, with a real estate website and IDXBroker, there are some easy ways to accomplish this.
There are 2 Ways to do Real Estate Website SEO
1. Social Media & Your own Advertising: Paid advertising through Google Adwords, Social Media and your own marketing efforts by telling people to use the site and putting it into any print media you use currently. The more you tell people about your site, the more people will visit it. TRAFFIC = SEO. The more people that find your site useful and stay on it, book mark it, return to it – the more Google Juice you WILL get which will in turn raise your ranking over time.
This will obviously result in leads from people you already know or have met in person BUT all traffic to your site is beneficial to your organic ranking. So even if you can not afford Google Adwords, make sure you use your new website URL in ALL print advertising and that you include it in every Social Media post & YouTube Video. In fact, if you have a post or video that goes viral, you have a huge opportunity to really juice up your organic SEO on your real estate website. If you need some tips on how to go viral then check out my blog post on Unleashing the Power of Viral Marketing Campaigns: 7 Tips to Make Your Blog Posts Go Viral plus Strategies, Tools, and Examples.
2. Organic SEO; optimizing your website to show up in Googles’ organic search results. This takes longer to accomplish but ultimately has the biggest gains. Websites in the organic search results get 20% more clicks and even higher viable leads than sponsored links. IF you do the things I have detailed below, then you WILL get more traffic that will result in leads but it does take time. The more competitive your area, the more time it takes. You can do the things I mention below yourself (I am always available to train you how to do these things if you are our client) OR you can hire us to do your real estate website SEO work for you. We only take 2 SEO clients at a time so availability will depend on our current obligations.
Ok, so how do I organically optimize my real estate website?
When we designed your site, we set it up for success so it has all of the ingredients for Google to notice it and index it properly but it will not just be on page 1 of Google overnight and the keywords it shows up for will vary. Also, for any given keyword phrase you have to bump your competitors off of page 1 to be able to replace them with your site and that takes work.
Think of your site like a tool that you use, similar to a business card. When you buy business cards, IF you leave them in your desk drawer and never hand them out then they are worthless. But if you get them out into the world then they can bring you business.
Your website is similar in this way. You have to tell people about it and generate a BUZZ for Google to notice it.
Another analogy I like to use is that Google is like a Bookstore and your website is a brand new book and you are a brand new author. We are your editor but you have to either hire a publisher or do the work yourself to get your book noticed.
Because we included all of the right pieces into your book, GOOGLE can now see your website and will look at it and add it into their search results (or rather into their book shelves in the biggest bookstore you have ever seen) but if you want Google to REALLY notice you and rank you higher (or closer to the front of the store where more people will see you) then you have to get traffic and to do that you will need to do the work, the same as anyone else who is on page 1 of Google (kinda like a new author).
Adding Essential SEO to your site to increase the Google Juice
We do this by creating landing pages to target specific keywords, writing some good content and linking within them to the landing pages and then getting link backs from other relevant and high ranking sites. It’s a simple recipe for success really, it just takes time. It will NOT happen overnight. In fact, most sites take 6 months to a year to really start showing 1st page ranking. BUT once you are on the first page of google, your momentum will really crank up and you can start seeing some amazing results. Plus it is harder to knock you off of the first page once you are there. Kinda like when John Grisham writes a new book and Google instantly puts it on the front table right where you walk in so you see it and it sells out in hours. Yeah, man that guy keeps cranking them out! Go John Grisham!
My Recipe for Success: Real Estate Website SEO in 3 Simple Steps:
1. Landing Pages: Make landing pages that target long-tail keyword phrases. IDXBroker offers a unique and easy way to do this by making Saved Search Links. We probably talked about this when we first spoke about designing your real estate website. These types of landing pages can be made quickly and can target literally thousands of keyword phrases.
SO, How do I find Keyword Phrases for SEO?
Ok guys, you have to know a little bit about this to understand so I will make it quick. DO NOT just guess what keywords you THINK people are typing in. That is going to get you nowhere. Use Google’s Keyword Planner Tool and do your research FIRST.
For example take the below chart with 3 keyword phrases I researched before I began writing this post:
|Keyword||Avg. monthly searches||Three month change||Competition|
|real estate leads||5000||0%||Medium|
|real estate lead generation||5000||0%||Medium|
|best lead generation for realtors||5000||0%||Medium|
In this example you have 3 keywords that all get approximately 5000 searches a month. The first one has 3 words in the phrase, the second has 4 words and the third has 5 words. Which one would be easiest to optimize for? Well the third one of course! The reason for this is that when I write a blog post I have to use my keyword throughout the article enough times (in a natural way so it doesn’t look like I am keyword stuffing, that’s BAD M’kay) so that when someone types it into Google, then Google goes out and finds the best page that relates closest to what the person typed in. So if someone Google’s “Best Lead Generation for Realtors” and my article uses that EXACT phrase then I may get ranked highest over someone else who wrote their article with the keyword “Real Estate Lead Generation”. The reason for this is because the first phrase in the chart is only 60% relevant to their query. The second one is 80% relevant but the last one is 100% relevant so Google will serve the page that is most relevant first, hopefully mine!
NOW, Let’s say there are TWO websites optimizing for that same keyword (notice the COMPETITION column says MEDIUM for all 3 keyword phrases). Well in that case, Google will serve up the site that has a lot of traffic already because it has proven itself that many people already find it useful. Kind of like John Grisham. He gets priority over new authors. For many people this would be a problem, but for you – there is an easy way around this.
You just need to look for less competitive keywords.
For example let’s look at these two keywords:
|Keyword||Avg. monthly searches||Three month change||Competition|
|best real estate lead generation websites||500||900%||Low|
|best lead generation websites for realtors||500||900%||Low|
These phrases get less traffic; only 500 a month. BUT there is a +900% increase in searches in the last 3 months, the competition is LOW and they both have 6 words in the keyword phrase. SIX; which makes these two keywords easier to get to page 1 for a better bet. The smart thing to do would be to make landing pages for as many keywords with these types of characteristics FIRST to get the traffic flowing and once I have established some good traffic, then target the harder keywords.
Are ya still with me? Good, let’s move on!
So How do I make these Landing pages for SEO you may ask?
This is one of the reasons why we love IDXBroker and why we became a Developer partner for them. Their Real Estate Website SEO benefits are better than any of the other IDX solutions out there. Believe me, I know – I have looked into them all and none of them have the same SEO features. One of the coolest features they have is the ability to create a saved search link which is basically a new page on your site. To do this, you log into your Dashboard and go to Design > Website > Saved Links and you create a NEW search by choosing the filters (just like you do now in your MLS dashboard) and then you give it a name using a keyword phrase.
For example I made this one just the other day for the keyword phrase “Houses for Sale Murfreesboro TN”
The URL reads like this: homes-for-sale.murfreesborohomes4sale.com/i/houses-for-sale-murfreesboro-tn
I can literally make HUNDREDS of these in a couple of hours. And that means HUNDREDS of pages of new content, all targeting a different keyword phrase. All opportunities to rank in Google.
Don’t believe me that this works? I have made just under 2500 saved searches for this client and they rank for over 14,000+ keywords organically.
Uh huh, I am getting your attention NOW aren’t I?
So if you make a landing page, or an IDXBroker saved search, for each keyword then that page is targeting 1 keyword at 100% and Google can now find it and rank it for that keyword. If you make HUNDREDS of saved searches, then you have HUNDREDS of opportunities to rank. We have already made you approximately 45 saved searches in your IDXBroker account targeting specific keywords for your primary cities that you named in your Honey Do List to give you a head start!
If you are interested in a more in depth tutorial about HOW the above process works then watch this video tutorial. I made this video in collaboration with another client where I showed her how to research the keywords and how to make the saved searches. It is just under 30 minutes long and it shows you Step-by-Step how to do everything I have explained so far so I would probably scroll past it for now and read the rest of this article and then come back and watch it in full after so you understand all 3 tips first. The remaining info is a LOT shorter so go read it, then come on back!
Video Tutorial on How to do Real Estate Website SEO
Next up, Content is King in the SEO World
2. Content, content, content: Google says content is king so it is important to add new content to your site. Good blog posts get views and the more views your site has, the more Google pays attention and the more google juice you get and as a result the higher your landing pages will rank! When writing content you want to LINK inside the content to the landing pages so that you can give them extra Google Juice and also get Google to index them faster. I have a blog post I wrote on My Best Tips to Writing Blog Posts that Rank on Google that I recommend you read if you intend on writing content yourself so I don’t really have to go into more detail about this. Suffice to say – you need to add superfluous content that will attract readers. If you do NOT want to write blog posts on your own then you can hire a writer. I suggest UniqueWebCopy. BUT IF you decide to hire a different writer to blog for you then you will want to make sure they link to your landing pages within the blog posts. They do not have to link to EVERY landing page but linking to a few landing pages in each blog post is highly beneficial.
You Link to me, I Link to you, We all Get Penalized
3. Backlinks: Backlinks are very controversial in the SEO strategy world. Many people make the mistake of hiring someone to backlink for them and then that person goes out and gets all sorts of crappy links to sites that are low ranking or spammy sites or full of other links. Or they participate in a link scheme where we all link to each others websites to try to raise our own status and theirs. This is BAD SEO practice. The best way to get valuable links that give you Google Juice is to get links honestly from sites that already rank highly and that are related to your industry or topic. For example a great link back to your site could be one you get from contributing to a real estate news article you write for your local paper and that they publish on their news website. It would have YOUR author info at the bottom and a link back to your website. You can also guest post at other related websites. Additionally make sure you fill out all of your profiles completely in social media and especially in LinkedIn. Active Rain is another great way to help yourself. Writing articles on their site that link back to you is like gold! But don’t publish the same article on your website that you put somewhere else. That is considered duplicate content and is no bueno! You do not need THOUSANDS of backlinks, just a few really good links back to your site can be a huge amount of Google Juice. So work on the good ones and be consistent.
You Said Real Estate Website SEO wasn’t HARD!
Did I? Well, it is a lot of WORK and it does take time, but it is not really HARD. The secret recipe is not to try and cheat your way to the top; do it the right way and put in the work. And remember Rome wasn’t built in a day! Take it in steps, build your landing pages up so you have lots of them covering a wide range of keywords, blog consistently (or hire someone to do it for you) and get some backlinks out there from some GOOD sites. And if you still need help, then give us a shout! We are happy to help you with your Real Estate website SEO!