Technical SEO for real estate websites is one of the most critical steps in any complete SEO strategy. Ensuring that your website is in top shape helps grow organic traffic, ranking keywords, and leads.
As we’ve talked about in many other places on our blog, SEO (or evergreen marketing) has the potential to become a powerhouse of lead-generation for real estate businesses.
Both for investors and agents.
We’ve even discussed how you can make that happen in articles like…
- A beginner’s guide to SEO for real estate investors
- Top SEO for Real Estate Strategies, Tips, and Examples [2022 Edition]
- What Is Real Estate SEO? Learn the Basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
But there’s a foundation for all of those tips that we haven’t spent much time talking about: namely, technical SEO for real estate websites.
We’re talking about the parts of SEO that depend on how well your website is built — how fast it loads, how clean the coding is, and whether it’s mobile friendly or not.
We haven’t spent much time talking about this because Carrot members don’t have to worry about it. All Carrot real estate sites have a search-engine-optimized tech stack baked right into their back-end.
But we thought it was time to pull back the curtain.
What are the factors involved in the technical SEO?
Here’s your checklist!
Technical SEO for Real Estate Websites Checklist
1. Page Experience
In 2021, Google updated their page experience signals. Core Web Vitals combined with existing search signals, including mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.
If you need a refresher, we covered Core Web Vitals extensively in these posts:
- Google Core Web Vitals Update Coming Summer 2021
- Core Web Vitals & Page Speed – What To Do (and Not Do) With Your Website
- [Data] Carrot Websites Now 69.8% Faster Thank Custom Websites on Mobile
CWVs is comprised of three factors:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – LCP measures the loading performance of the largest contentful element on screen. This should happen within 2.5 seconds to provide a good user experience.
First Input Delay (FID) – FID measures when someone can first interact with the page. To ensure a good user experience, the page should have an FID of less than 100 ms.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – This measures the visual stability of elements on screen. Sites should strive for their pages to maintain a CLS of less than .1 seconds.
These ranking factors can be measured in a report found in Google Search Console, which shows you which URLs have potential issues:
There are of tools to help you improve your site speed and Core Web Vitals, including Google PageSpeed Insights (more on this below), Lighthouse, and Webpagetest.org.
2. Improve Your Site’s Load Speed
This is SEO 101: if your site doesn’t load quickly, people won’t stay on it.
In fact, 40% of visitors will leave a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. And a 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions!
The moral of the story: if you want people to stick around (AND if you want to improve your SEO), you need a fast website. Test your website using Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
In fact, there’s a clear correlation between sites that load fast and sites that rank well…
If you’re a Carrot member, than out of the box your site will be faster than pretty much all your competitors.
If fact, our websites are 69.8% faster than custom websites.
*Faster load speed means better rankings 😎*
How do you make your site load fast if you’re not a Carrot member? Here are some tips…
Use a content delivery network (CDN). A CDN is a globally-distributed system of servers that delivers content to visitors based on their geographic location. That way, visitors from all over the world can load your content quickly, no matter where they are.
Compress your images. Images are often the heaviest elements on a page, which can slow down your site’s loading speed. To avoid this, compress your images before you upload them to your site. You can use a free tool like TinyPNG to do this.
3. Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly
It’s no secret that more and more people are using their phones to surf the web. In fact, over 60% of all internet traffic now comes from mobile devices!
As for real estate investors and agents, in particular, our own research found that the vast majority of leads came through mobile site visits…
What does that mean for you? It means that if your site isn’t mobile friendly, you’re missing out on a ton of traffic (and potential leads).
It also means that Google is starting to penalize sites that aren’t mobile friendly. In other words, if your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you could be pushed down in the search results…
To avoid this, you need to make sure your site is “responsive.” That means it should adjust to fit any screen size, whether it’s a phone, tablet, or desktop computer.
Test your site using Google’s mobile friendly test.
If you’re a Carrot member, then your site is automatically responsive. We build all Carrot sites using responsive design, so you don’t have to worry about this!
4. Ensure Your Site is Secure
Google has stated that they prefer sites that use HTTPS — the secure version of HTTP. In fact, they’ve even started giving a slight ranking boost to sites that use HTTPS.
If you’re not familiar with HTTPS, it’s simply a more secure way of transmitting data over the internet. When you visit an HTTPS site, all the data that’s exchanged between you and the site is encrypted. That means it’s much harder for hackers to intercept and steal that data.
For real estate investors and agents, this is especially important because you’re often dealing with sensitive information like addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.
To use HTTPS, you need to get something called your SSL certificate — this is a digital certificate that authenticates your website’s identity and enables encryption. You can request your SSL certificate through your website host or hire someone else to help you with this.
If you’re a Carrot member, then your site is automatically HTTPS encrypted. This will result in a safer experience for your website visitors as well as better rankings in Google.
5. Make Sure Your Site is Indexable
In order for your site to show up in the search results, Google needs to be able to “crawl” and “index” it. Crawling is simply the process that Google uses to discover new content on the web. Indexing is the process of adding that content to Google’s database.
If your site isn’t indexable, then it won’t show up in the search results… period.
To make sure your site is indexable, there are a few things you need to do:
First, check your robots.txt file. This is a file that tells Google which parts of your site they should and shouldn’t crawl. If your robots.txt file is configured incorrectly, it could be preventing Google from crawling and indexing your site.
Second, check your sitemap. A sitemap is a file that contains a list of all the pages on your site. This helps Google know which pages exist and how they’re all connected.
You can use a tool such SEO Site Checkup as to run your own sitemap test. Here’s an example of a Carrot members website:
If you’re a Carrot member, then we handle all of this for you. We make sure your site is properly configured and that Google can find and index all the pages on your site.
6. Integrate With Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool that allows you to see how Google crawls and indexes your site. It also lets you submit your sitemap directly to Google, which can help them find and index all the pages on your site more quickly.
If you’re not already using Google Search Console, we highly recommend that you set it up. It’s a valuable tool that can help you ensure your site is properly configured and that Google can find and index all your content.
This tip is both for Carrot and non-Carrot members.
Here’s our quick guide to integrating a Carrot site with Google Search Console.
7. Find & Fix Broken Links
Fixing broken links on your site is important for two reasons:
First, it creates a better experience for your visitors. Nobody likes clicking on a link and getting an error message.
Second, it helps Google crawl and index your site more effectively. If Google crawls a page on your site and finds a broken link, it’s going to hurt your search rankings and SEO authority. The more broken links your site has, the more damage it’ll do to your rankings.
Google considers broken links an indication that your site is outdated and poorly maintained.
If you want to find and fix broken links on your site. we recommend using a tool like Screaming Frog. It’s a crawler that will scan your site and identify all the broken links. Best of all, it’s free for sites with up to 500 pages!
When scanning for crawl errors, you’ll want to…
- Correctly implement all redirects with 301 redirects.
- Go through any 4xx and 5xx error pages to figure out where you want to redirect them to.
That’s it! Those are our seven technical SEO for real estate website tips. If you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to improving your local SEO and ranking higher in the search results.
Let us know if you have any additional questions in the comments!