In the early days of the web (the “caveman days” when we were still rubbing two sticks together to make websites out of HTML), there was a land rush on high-level domain names of one or two words for really general phrases. Things like “realestate.com” and “homes.com” are examples.
At the time, targeting search terms like “real estate investing” were in high demand.
Today, people are a little more sensible (a little more), and they understand that owning a domain name with only one or two words might work if you’re trying to offer general information to a wide audience but not if you’re trying to market to a specific location-based audience.
Targeting a search term like “real estate investing” makes sense for a wider, more generic audience, while targeting a location-based search term makes far more sense for most investors buying, renting, and selling properties.
Here’s What I Mean By Local SEO for Real Estate Search Terms
If you live in Chicago and want to try a new restaurant, you wouldn’t likely sit down at your computer and just type “restaurant” into the search engine.
You know you may get a whole bunch of links… none of which will be relevant to you.
Instead, you type something like “Chicago restaurants” or perhaps even something more specific, such as “pizzeria” and the name of a neighborhood in Chicago.
And the restaurants that show up for that search result? They were smart enough to use local SEO to optimize their websites. They built their sites around the location-based keywords that you used to search.
… Google is getting better and better at creating location-based search results on the more generic topics where people are likely looking for something in the city they’re searching… like “restaurants,” “plumbers,” and “real estate agents.” But for what most real estate investors want to rank for, Google hasn’t quite figured out how to know the most relevant location to serve up results for terms like “investment properties,”… so they show national results.
Location Based Results On A General Term I Searched…
(I’m in Roseburg, Oregon)
The same idea applies to real estate investors. You have a location-based service, and your website should be optimized for your location.
You’re not targeting a general, national audience with your generic information; you’re targeting a location-specific audience with location-specific information. In other words, you’re offering to buy, rent, or sell a property in a specific place.
To illustrate that… here’s what pops up when I search a general term like “sell my house fast” in Google.
Notice These Results Are NOT Location Based
This means the results are very un-targeted and hard to rank for, but this is most real estate investors’ main SEO mistake. Not targeting their website and pages to your prospects may need your services in specific locations.
Or a phrase like “we buy houses in Eugene, Oregon.” Those are local SEO term searches.
To help you take advantage of “local SEO,” here are 6 simple tips for mastering local SEO for real estate investors:
1. Be As Specific In Your SEO As Your Audience Will Be In Their Search
One investor I worked with wanted to improve his local SEO.
I asked him what location he served, and he gave me the name of the county he worked in. I asked him if his prospective home sellers would search for the name of that county when looking to sell their homes.
It was an “aha!” moment for him when he realized that they would more likely use the name of their city – not the county – to find the information they were after.
NOTE: We base all of our lead generation decisions on data. So in some areas, people search by county… most they don’t. Just get to know how house sellers, buyers, tenants, etc. talk about their area. If they use “Berks County” to refer to their area all the time… it may be a good idea to set up a page optimized for the county.
2. Consider Multiple Pages – Or Even Multiple Websites – For Multiple Locations
Chances are, you serve more than one location – perhaps multiple neighborhoods, towns, or cities in your area.
Depending on the amount of business you expect from each one, you might consider creating multiple pages (each page optimized for a different town or city) or even multiple websites if the markets are completely different and it doesn’t make sense to keep them on the same website.
Of course, it probably doesn’t make sense to create a site for every single municipality in the area you serve, but you should probably focus on the major ones (at least at first).
3. Don’t Just Think Location… Think Action
A location is only part of it.
Of course, your SEO should not only be built around a location but also needs to be built around the appropriate verb.
What verb is your audience searching for?
Sellers are probably using the word “sell,” tenants are probably using the word “rent,” and buyers might be using words like “buy” or “invest” (depending on what kind of buyers they are). Creating a local SEO strategy needs to include the right location and verb for the people you’re reaching.
Our research has shown that for every category of lead the average real estate investor is looking for (motivated sellers, cash buyers, rent-to-own tenants, lenders, etc.)… there are just a handful of “verbs” that those prospects are going to Google to search.
4. Extend Your Local SEO Beyond Your Website
Although you should optimize your website with city local SEO, it shouldn’t stop there.
Use a service like Google My Business to help you place your business on a map, just as the real estate agents in the first picture above did.
And it shouldn’t stop there.
You can apply the same strategy to other sites and accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and more.
Each site is an opportunity to create local SEO for real estate investors. (For example, if you specialize in selling homes in Chicago, you may consider a Twitter handle like @BuyChicagoHomes.
Last, our 3 Lead Per Day Training inside the Carrot platform has an entire training program on using YouTube to generate leads. Optimizing your YouTube videos for those local SEO terms your prospects are typing in will help you get in front of the people that matter… the people you can do business with and help.
5. Extend Your Local SEO With Additional Differentiation
Notice in the picture above the suggestions Google is giving me.
Those suggestions are based on Google’s search data… and enough people type those phrases each month to matter.
So if you had a house for rent in the Highlands… I’d create a page on your website optimized for that very hyper-specific local SEO phrase… plus I’d also spin up a YouTube video for that phrase.
Take it further and turn that YouTube video into a blog post using our VideoPost feature.
In highly competitive real estate markets, you’ll need more than just a location to differentiate.
If you work in a highly competitive market, simply optimizing with local SEO alone might not be enough. You may need to become even more granular in your location (drilling down to the neighborhood instead of just the city) or add something else to your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) to help you stand out from the crowd.
You’d be surprised how specific some web searchers are getting in their searches.
Or, take it even further and create a custom Carrot website using our Concierge Service.
6. Make Sure You Have A Call To Action!
Location-based SEO is an indicator that someone is ready to do business.
They’re highly targeted.
And in the area, you can help them.
A home seller who wants general information about selling their home might search “how do I sell my home for cash?” but that same seller will be more likely ready to act when they search “how do I sell my Chicago home for cash?”.
So make sure your website is structured to convert a visitor into a lead… and a deal well. Download our 16-Point Website Conversion Checklist to make sure your website performs well when a visitor lands on your website.
Get Started Now To Master Local SEO On Your Real Estate Investing Website
As an investor working within today’s web environment, your best strategy to gain the attention of prospective clients in your market is to use local SEO.
The Carrot platform is built up to make it crazy easy to leverage local SEO and outrank your competition. So take a demo of Carrot and see if it’s a fit.