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What is SEO for Real Estate Agents?
SEO for real estate agents is the process of increasing website rankings by improving on and off-page factors such as content, keywords, page speed, URLs, and backlinks.
Choosing a good domain name
Does a domain name matter for SEO? Well, yes and no.
A better question might be how you want to brand your agent website?
You can either brand your website with a name or a location. The location will restrict your ability to market outside of your initial target market. For some investors that is not a problem.
We published more information about branding considerations here.
As for having a keyword rich domain name we also have some thoughts.
The short answer is, not all real estate agents will have the opportunity to grab a keyword-rich URL so don’t worry too much about it.
Pick the keywords that you want to use for organic rankings
Keywords are one of the most important aspects of SEO. A keyword is what word you are placing the most importance on for Google to know what the page is generally about.
If you have never done keyword research, not to worry, it’s really easy.
You can start by using Google’s Keyword Planner Tool.
If you want to know which keywords we have identified as the best keywords to target on your website, grab our SEO Bible.
Free SEO Keyword Bible Download
Write engaging content that connects with your visitors
Google’s algorithm analyzes how engaging your content is.
It tracks this a few ways,
- How long a visitor stays on your page
- How many pages they view
- How fast your website can load pages
In order to engage your readers, try to answer a question you know they will have. If you’re not sure where to start, you can by typing in phrases using Google. Then use the keywords that you find have good search volume and also answer important questions. Such as, how to buy my first house.
Also, mix your content up between written words, video, and visuals when it makes sense.
Keep your title tag under 60 characters
Years ago Google search results would limit title tag length based on the number of characters.
Now they do it a bit different. They use pixels (the current limit is 512 pixels).
No one should count pixels, we recommend you just count characters. And we’ve found that staying under 60 characters will keep you under the pixel limit most of the time.
We have a handy tool built into Carrot websites that help you create your page or blog post’s title tag
Place your keyword in the first 100 words
It’s still important and common practice to include your keyword within the first 100 words.
Having it near the top will allow visitors to connect with the topic that they have searched for. They’ll know that they are in the correct place.
For example, this Carrot member out-ranks Zillow for long-tail keyword “North Umpqua River Homes” and you can see it with the very top of the content.
Use shorter URLs
Short URLs can help a searcher understand what the page is about before clicking on it.
It can also make it easier for them to remember if they ever need to return.
A study performed by Backlinko.com analyzed 1 million Google search results and the study revealed that shorter URLs performed better in Google than long URLs.
Although long-tail keyword URL’s most likely won’t have a significant negative impact on your SEO, from a searcher’s point of view, easily remembered URLs are the way to go.
An image can do a lot for your real estate website. It can add amazing location images to look at, break up your text, and give the search engines a better idea of what’s on the page.
Keeping your readers engaged with your content helps Google know that the content is worthwhile and to keep it ranking high for search terms.
Google pays attention to user experience signals. So, anything you can do to keep visitors on your page is a big win.
Here is an example of using images to break up text within a blog post.
First, you have the opportunity to include your company name which helps, especially since it will be linked on every page of your website’s footer.
Another reason to have these pages is that it helps Google and Bing visitors see that you are a legitimate business. You have the opportunity to create content about what you do and who you are.
Carrot websites include these pages in the footer by default.
Don’t over-optimize anchor text
It’s recommended to put your keyword in your anchor tag, the text in your links, some of the time. But not all of the time.
It’s been a while but during Google’s Penguin update websites started being penalized for over optimizing anchor text with keywords.
Create link text that helps your visitors understand what they are clicking. You don’t need to worry about stuffing keywords to help rankings. Make your content flow with real terms.
New to link building? Try writing a simple resource page
A resources page can be a simple, quick, and easy way to get a bunch of links on a page that are really helpful to a website visitor.
Find a few resources that a website visitor might look for. Include them on the page and then email the person who you link to and ask them to check out the resource you included them on.
Or, learn how to use HARO to build consistent backlinks
Find keywords with “searches related to…”
Google will give you some suggestions on what other keywords are related to your search.
Just use Google search to find some keywords you think leads are typing in and at the bottom of the search results you will see what Google is relating that search to.
Spy on competitors’ keywords with SEMRush
SEMRush is a great keyword research tool that offers a lot of features to help your real estate website’s SEO.
Maybe, what it’s best at is helping you find what keywords your competition are ranking for.
Simply add a keyword or competitor domain and see what comes up. You’ll find the keywords in their title tag and meta description. Then you can try and optimize those for yourself.
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
Carrot members get a lot of traffic from mobile devices.
You should always make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Not sure how to do that? Use our free tool here.
Make sure your real estate agent website server is fast
Why do you want your website to load fast?
Google wants to send users to pages with quick load times because no one wants to wait to find answers.
Hosting is important and you get what you pay for. If you have some who built your website, ask them to look at your website’s speeds.
Carrot sites are built and hosted on highly secure and fast servers. And, we are constantly improving the website speed for our members.
Use video post transcriptions
Using a video post transcription for your videos is a great idea to make your website more accessible for all visitors, especially those who use screen readers, and, having text to create more SEO opportunities.
Google can’t crawl a video. Adding a transcript gives Google the information it needs to decide what the video is about.
You can see an example of a video post one of our members did…
Embed videos into blog posts
If the video is a YouTube video, these embeds will boost views (and therefore rankings).
Either way, embedded videos can significantly improve your bounce rate and dwell time numbers.
Here’s an example of an embedded video:
Include your keyword within your video’s filename, title and description
Google needs help in figuring out what your video is about.
Include your target keyword (at least once) in your video’s filename, title, and description. That way you’ll be helping Google and YouTube understand your video’s topic.
Use keywords within your YouTube playlist
Why put in the effort?
Well your playlist can actually help rank in YouTube’s search results.
Second, again, it’s helping Google and YouTube know which videos and playlists to suggest.
Google still pays attention to the keywords that appear in your URL. A URL provide a strong indicator of what your page is all about.
Use keywords in subheadings and make content easy to read
Visitors will spend more time on your site when content easy to read.
Avoid a lot of paragraphs bunched together. Space your walls of text into skimmable content with bullets and subheadings:
Use brackets in your title tags
Brackets have been shown to boost CTR. Why? Brackets call attention to your idea and allow your content to stand out from the clutter.
Use your keyword in your meta description
You want to optimize your meta description to attach clicks. Write a very clear and compelling for why someone should click on your content.
Also be sure to include you keywords within your meta description.
Use keywords in H1 and H2 tags
It’s recommended that you use your exact keyword in the page’s H1 and H2 tags. But you don’t want to over-optimize or over-use your keyword, so replace the exact keyword with a synonym instead as you create more H2 tags.
So if your target keyword was “Garden Valley Homes for Sale” you could use a term like “Homes For Sale In Garden Valley” in an H2 tag.
Make social sharing buttons easy to find
If a visitor wants to share your content, don’t make it hard for them to do it. Each one of your posts and pages should have a social sharing button easily visible.
And, don’t forget to see how it looks on mobile devices.
Social shares equals in-demand content.
Optimize your homepage for both your brand and conversions
Your homepage carries the most authority.
But they can also be hard to rank. Homepages that are light on content or in highly competitive areas may have more difficulty. That’s one reason Carrot homepages oave have more content. We believe in evergreen content.
As a real estate agent, you should focus on both branding and conversions because a lot of your internal pages link to the home page and there is a good chance if someone comes to your site from a blog post or location page they will also check out your homepage.
Publish long-form content
Content studies have found a correlation between long-form content and higher search rankings. But, that doesn’t mean that simply writing longer content will push you to the top of page one. But publishing 1000+ word content helps increase your odds.
Use internal linking
Internal linking is a good way to tell Google what other pages on your website are useful and related to the topic.
Here’s how it could work. Link from a ranked page to pages you want to rank.
It’s pretty simple and it works.
Here is an example from one of our Carrot members location pages linking to other content on their website.
Write content that completely covers a topic
Again, Backlinko’s research shows search engine ranking factors found that highly informative content significantly outperformed shallow, low-level content.
Write image alt text
Google can’t see what’s in an image so you need to tell them. Use image metadata, like the image filename and alt text to communicate what the image is.
It’s a good idea to use a keyword in with the image when it makes sense but avoid simply stuffing keywords.
Create a checklist or glossery of terms post
Creating a checklist or terms blog post can take some time, but it can be worth the effort to provide useful information to your visitors.
Basically, create a checklist of an important topic or simply a list of industry-related terms that visitors might not know. Think about all the questions a potential lead might have and start crafting your list.
For example, a checklist homeowners can use to sell their house.
Create an XML and HTML Sitemap
Sitemaps help Google find (and index) real estate website’s pages.
Make sure to create an XML and HTML sitemap of your site and submit them to Google via the Google Search Console.
If you are a Carrot member the sitemap is already created for you. Read our site map tutorial.