So, you want to create a real estate website or you already have a real estate website but it’s not performing. Or, maybe it is, but you just KNOW it could be better. We understand. We’ve been at it since 2005, and we are constantly looking for ways to make our sites better and improve our SEO, so we’ll rank higher in Google. Creating a better real estate website isn’t an exact science and gets more complicated as technology advances, but there are important pieces to it that we have learned in our 20+ years of designing them for REALTORS. Read on to learn my best tips to help you create a great site, and if you need help, then give us a call or check out our $399 WordPress Website Deal. Want to read the short version? Check out my article on Active Rain: “My BEST Tips on Building Better Real Estate Websites“.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links to companies we partner with. We ONLY partner with companies we BELIEVE will benefit you and that we stand behind. Many of our links contain a discount to benefit you too! PLUS, for most of them, if you sign up with our affiliate link then we’ll install everything for you for FREE.
8 Key Components to Create a Better Real Estate Website
First, check your design. If you haven’t started designing a website then use these building blocks to get started. The structure of your site, how it looks, what’s in it, and how the customer interacts with it are all important. Just creating a real estate website without considering the items in this list is a recipe for failure:
- DESIGN: The design should be clean and not cluttered with too many elements and it should represent YOUR Brand.
- USER FRIENDLY: It is easy to use, and clients can find what they need on their first visit and on future visits. Keep the important stuff ABOVE the fold.
- IDX SEARCH: You have your OWN built-in IDX Search – something that brands you and captures leads.
- CTAs: You use plenty of Call-to-Actions.
- CONTENT: You provide them with useful information they NEED! Remember, customers listen to the same radio station WIFM (What’s In It For Me). GIVE them what they want.
- BLOG & Community Pages: These GREATLY increase your chances of being found on Google.
- SEO: Meta Titles & Descriptions, Responsiveness, Mobile Friendly, Sitemaps, Alt Tags, Google Analytics & Google Search Console all factor into your success.
- LANDING PAGES: Build pages targeting specific keywords. IDX Searches are excellent for these.
- CONNECT: Your Contact Information & Social Media Links are easy to find.
A Few More Things…
Here are a few more things worth mentioning:
- ACCESSIBILITY: You’ve been hearing about this for a while now. If you want to know what it is just head on over to my other blog post “How to Make a Website ADA Compliant (Accessible)“. We recommend accessiBe (25% off) & Userway.
- Google Business Profile – GET ONE!
There is no definitive way to get to the top of Google. But there are things you can do that will help you get there. Don’t give up if you don’t see results right away. Organic SEO takes time, and as I tell my customers ALL the time: “You have to think of it as a tiny snowball at the very top of a mountain: as the snowball rolls down the mountain collecting more snow, it gets bigger, and as it gets bigger, it gets faster.” That is how SEO works. The more pages you make, the more opportunities that you have to rank and the faster it happens. Here are a few of my best tips:
- Build Landing Pages that focus on a Primary Keyword with related Keywords.
- Research your Keywords FIRST: https://ads.google.com/home/tools/keyword-planner/
- Choose Keywords that will bring you a CUSTOMER – i.e. Don’t build a landing page around “Las Vegas NV “. Build a Landing page around “houses for sale in Las Vegas Nevada” which gets 1K – 10K searches a month and has Medium Competition and 7 words in the phrase. Additionally, it SCREAMS “I WANT TO BUY A HOUSE!”
- Choose long tail Keywords or Keyword Phrases that have low or medium competition.
- Research your competition (who ranks 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.), then build a similar page around that Keyword.
- Add relevant and up to date written content using your keyword and headers.
- Don’t forget a good Title and a compelling Description.
- Interlink your pages with each other.
- Build LOTS of them – Rome wasn’t built in a day!
- Start Blogging and follow my blogging tips below.
How do Zillow & Trulia do It – Can I Beat Them?
They built landing pages – LOTS of them. Like, THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS. . . AND – they interlink them. . . And – they named them with Keywords. Seeing a pattern here?
The answer is YES – you CAN beat them! Their content is basically the same thing over and over on hundreds of pages and consumers are USED to seeing it. If you write unique content that is up to date and relevant, you have a chance because your content will not only stand out, but Google LOVES original content.
Blogging is one of the most important AND the most under-used ways to rank higher in the search engines. Writing good blog posts can take time, I know. But it is WORTH it to take the time to write them. Plus, they don’t all have to be 1000 words long! A short 300-400 word post can work just as well! OR, if you find you just don’t have time, then hire a good Real Estate Blogger.
You probably know the basics: use Keywords, write good Meta Titles and Descriptions, et cetera, st cetera, so I will focus on some other important tips to help you improve:
- Stick to these 3 Topics: Local, Date Related & Superficial posts get the highest clicks. In 90 days, one of my clients received 111 clicks from a blog post about Tampa Gardening Zones and 52 from one about the Best fishing spots around Indian Rocks Beach.
- Interlink every blog with other PAGES on your site and other BLOG posts. Don’t just use a plugin to show related blogs; link them in the blog content using Keywords, if possible.
- Include a closing statement that asks a question and include more links to important landing pages – change it up from time to time!
- Use CATEGORIES & TAGS – learn what they are and use them wisely, young Padawan!
- Write compelling Blog Titles & Descriptions – emotion sells! Titles with a Positive or Negative sentiment improved CTR by 7%
- Create a good Featured Image with the Blog Title on it – CANVA is our go-to tool! It’s free and easy to use.
Monitor Your Performance & Make Adjustments
- Stay on top of your website’s performance by monitoring it in Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
- Download the Google Analytics app and keep track from your phone.
- Look for pages that already rank and work on improving Click Through Rates. Test new things and make changes. Write better Meta Titles & Descriptions. Are you seeing the pattern here?
- Improve your on-page optimization by including related Keywords.
- Refresh old blog content; look for old posts that brought your site a lot of traffic and refresh it!
There are tons of reputable sites out there that can give you good reliable stats. It pays to stay on top of this data because it helps you to improve your own ranking. Here are a few I found important regarding Click Through Rates in 2021:
- The #1 result in Google gets 31.7% of all Clicks
- Moving up 1 spot increases your CTR by 30.8%
- Title Tags that contain a question have a 14.1% higher CTR
- URLs that contain a Keyword have a 45% higher CTR
- Only 0.78% of Google searchers clicked on something from the second page
About Charra Hammett, Real Estate Website Designer
- I have been in the Real Estate & Website industry since 1998
- I named my company YourSiteNeedsMe because it’s catchy and people REMEMBER it!
- I began building websites on my own in 2005
- YourSiteNeedsMe has steadily grown since then, and we now manage around 200 active clients
- I love what I do. No – Really, I LOVE WHAT I DO!
Examples of Landing Pages
Here are a few landing pages that we have built to give you some ideas:
- Landing Page for Nashville TN: https://benchmarkrealtytn.com/communities/nashville-tn-homes-for-sale/
- Landing Page for Aspen CO: https://aspenpremierproperties.com/communities/aspen-co-homes-for-sale/
- Landing Page – Video Tours: https://jonklein.com/3d/get-a-3d-tour/
- Landing Page Commercial Real Estate: https://www.floridakeyscommercial.com/how-to-find-a-commercial-property-for-lease-in-the-florida-keys/
- IDX Broker Landing page for Jasper IN: https://jasper-real-estate.sell-4free.net/i/jasper-in-real-estate
- IDX Broker Landing Page New Orleans: https://homes.alexpeetrealestate.com/i/zillow-new-orleans-garden-district
- IDX Broker Landing Page Aspen CO: https://aspenhomes.aspenpremierproperties.com/i/aspen-co-luxury-homes-for-sale
- Landing Page Smoky Mountain Cabins: https://smokymountainhomesforsale.com/smoky-mountain-cabins-for-sale/
- Landing Page Marco Island Condos: https://marcoareaexpert.com/marco-island-condominiums/
- Landing Page Downtown LA https://therandellegreengroup.com/downtown-los-angeles-districts/the-fashion-district-los-angeles/