5 Ways to Improve Your Real Estate Website’s Search Engine Rankings
Real estate markets can change dramatically. A celebrity moves into a downscale neighborhood and makes it trendy, a discount chain wins a zoning fight and its presence devalues home prices or interest rates soar and potential buyers decide to renew their apartment leases for another year. As an experienced Realtor, you’ve learned to anticipate most such changes and react quickly to the ones you couldn’t predict.
Internet marketing is also in a constant state of flux. SEO tactics that helped your website gain page-one rankings last year may not work today. And the article you read last fall about successful keyword strategy may have become irrelevant.
One thing that hasn’t changed is your need for website traffic. And search engine rankings remain key to generating visitors to your real estate website.
Here are 5 ways to improve your search engine position and attain — or keep — stellar rankings:
Host a quality video on your website and the page on which the video appears is 50 times more likely to be shown on the first page of Google results, reports Lisa Ostrikoff, creator of BizBOXTV, a social media marketing firm..
Because Google purchased YouTube, the company is predisposed to awarding higher rankings to sites that host You Tube videos, making it “possible to obtain a high ranking on Google practically overnight when web video is effectively used on a page,” Ostrikoff wrote in The Globe and Mail.
Boost your rankings by including keyword-rich descriptions of the video on your page, writing an article about the video and adding related meta-tags. And share your video across all social media platforms.
A quick note of caution: The videos aren’t just for currying favor with Google’s algorithms. The videos are an integral part of your real estate company’s branding. In other words, you want to impress your clients and potential clients with your video content.
Make your videos as polished, professional — and engaging — as possible. If you sell million-dollar homes, make certain that the quality of your videos matches your clients’ expectations.
2. Guest Posts
You can write anything you want about yourself or your company on your own website but, to get published on someone else’s website, you have to meet a higher standard of credibility and authority.
At least, that’s what search engine algorithms believe. So guest posting is a great way to improve your website’s rankings.
But it also matters where your posts are published. If you publish posts on a site that demands payment or a site that accepts anything that passes a Copyscape check, the posts will not help you in the long term. And they may hurt you.
Submit guest posts to websites and publications relevant to real estate. Make certain that the website is credible — check its Domain Authority and Page Authority rankings.
Just as in real estate itself, the location of your guest post is critical to your search engine rankings. Get published in a “bad neighborhood” and your rankings will go down. Get published in a high authority site and your rankings will improve.
A website blog is the basic price of admission to ranking well on Google, Yahoo and Bing. You probably already know this.
What you may not know is how closely search engines pay attention to what you write in your blog.
Blogs rank high when they contain well-written content that is useful to the reader. If you write about real estate topics important to home buyers and sellers — how to calculate home repair costs into your house ownership budget or when to lower your asking price for a home — your website will rank higher than if you stuff your blog with real estate listings and keywords that don’t belong in the content you’re writing.
Before writing a blog entry, ask yourself: Is the content of this blog serving the needs of the people reading it? If, yes, start writing. If no, rethink your topic and write with the needs of home buyers and sellers in mind.
Your choice and use of keywords help prospective real estate clients find you. If you’re a real estate agent in Phoenix, you’d want to use keywords that reflect your occupation and location as well as keywords that reflect what people type into a search engine box when looking to buy or sell homes in Phoenix.
But using too many keywords or using too many of the same type of keywords can harm rather than help your search engine rankings.
Use keywords artfully and sparingly. They should only occur as often as you might naturally use them in a conversation.
Your keywords should also include these five types: primary keywords, secondary keywords, brand keywords, long tail keywords and action keywords.
To use the Phoenix realtor as an example again, primary keywords might be “Phoenix real estate” and secondary keywords might be “buy house Phoenix.” Brand keywords include the name of your company, long tail keywords are a phrase that contains your primary or secondary keywords — “real estate prices in Phoenix” for example — and action keywords are those that tell users to do something — visit your website or contact you.
For more information about how to effectively use keywords in the post Panda/Penguin era, read this article in Site Pro News
As soon as videos, guest posts and blogs are published, share them. The more you share, the higher your content — and your website — ranks.
Spread your links across all social media platforms, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
But also spread some excitement about your links. A Facebook post that states, “Here’s what I wrote about real estate,” isn’t going to generate as many clicks as one that reads, “Can you believe somebody actually bought this house?”
Also, if you want people to share your links, be generous about sharing those of others. If you become known as the Realtor or broker who shares the best, funniest or weirdest real estate articles, you will gain lots of followers and tons of links — and your search engine rankings will rise.