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Top SEO for Real Estate Strategies, Tips, and Examples [2022 Edition]

seo-real-estate-cover

If you’re a real estate agent or investor looking to work with more clients, it’s time for you to start investing in SEO for real estate.

With this strategy, there is less need for cold calling and paid advertising. Instead of spending hours on the phone daily making calls or draining your marketing budget, why not invest that same amount of time into improving your site’s search engine ranking?

Spending a little time per week creating and optimizing content and using keywords wisely, agents can get themselves ranked highly enough without additional paid marketing efforts!

That means they’ll be able to do 2-3 deals MORE deals per month while, eventually, only doing half as much work.

How much additional revenue would that mean for your business?

If you make an average of $5,000 to $10,000 per deal then 2-3 extra deals means $10,000 and $30,000 each month!

SEO for real estate is perhaps the most powerful (and under-rated) marketing strategy to drive traffic to your real estate website. Thousands of Carrot members use Search Engine Optimization every single month to generate passive traffic to their websites (i.e., traffic that is free) — and not just any traffic. SEO traffic is almost always higher quality than paid traffic.

We believe every real estate website needs SEO to maximize success.

seo for real estate organic search results


Tyler Ford — a real estate investor and agent in Tucson, Arizona — made $200,000 in just four months after joining Carrot, focusing on SEO (before that, his business was $20,000 in the hole).

Talking about the quality of SEO leads, he told us:

Tyler Ford real estate

“For the most part, they’re all motivated. 80% of the leads that come in are motivated sellers. You send out direct mail, and you’re dealing with 90% of that are unmotivated. SEO is the exact opposite. They’re chasing you, you’re not chasing them.”


And that illustrates why SEO is so powerful for real estate. It doesn’t just drive traffic to your website consistently; it drives high-quality traffic to your website.

What is SEO in Real Estate?

SEO for real estate is just like fishing with a net. You will catch many leads when you put the net in the right spot.

To break it down simply, by giving Google and other search engines what they want, Google will reward you with higher rankings for your real estate website.

Each search engine — Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. — has an algorithm that crawls online web pages to determine which results to show people when they search for any given keyword phrase (i.e., the words they type into the search engine).

Optimizing your own real estate website page(s) for a search engine’s algorithm (usually Google since it’s the biggest) can rank for high-value phrases and drive passive traffic to your website.

Carrot members, for instance, often rank for market-specific phrases.

Carrot real estate website Organic Rankings

Why is SEO for Real Estate Critical for Agents and Investors?

Well, SEO is a type of inbound marketing, which means that your target market finds you rather than you finding them (paid ads are considered outbound marketing, which is the opposite).

How amazing would it be if YOUR TARGET MARKET was consistently visiting your website, giving you their contact information, and asking you to contact them to either sell or buy a home? All without you having to spend a single penny on paid ads?

Amazing, huh?

Both real estate investors and agents who focus on building their website’s SEO, that dream is a reality — they’re generating passive traffic, motivated leads, and closing more deals than their competitors.

SEO is a sure-fire way to beat the competition, grow your business, and create predictable income and lead generation.

Sound awesome?

Great!

In this guide, we’ll explain what SEO is and show you EXACTLY how to build your website’s SEO so that you can reap all of the benefits. Combine this information with practice, and you’ll be on your way to a search engine-optimized website.

Welcome to your SEO learning journey!


Free Download: The Most Effective SEO Keywords for Real Estate


Chapter 1:

What Is SEO In Real Estate
And Why It Is Important

SEO for real estate is the practice of driving targeted traffic to a website from a search engine’s organic rankings. Good SEO includes creating high-quality content, optimizing content around specific keywords, and building backlinks.

SEO is about improving your website’s rankings in the organic section of the search results.

Whether you’re buying multi-family units or you’re looking for traditional sellers, cash buyers, private lenders, or note sellers, you need to understand search engine optimization and how it can change your business for the better.

Where are seo for real estate results

Why Is SEO Important for Real Estate Lead Generation?

It’s a fact that the first 10 search engine results get the vast majority of clicks. 75% of searchers never scroll past the first page of search results.

The point is this: If you’re not on page one, you’re potentially losing out on tens of thousands of dollars.

Very few folks click “next page” when they’re searching… they never even see the results of Page 2, never mind pages 4-9, which are hardly ever seen.

How Search Engines Work

Search engines can be visualized as libraries. They store web pages instead of filling shelves with books.

When you type a query into a search engine, the engine looks through all the pages in its index and tries to return the most relevant results for you.

To do this, it uses an algorithm. Algorithms are sort of a guessing game, but Google does give clues.

Here’s what they say on their “How Search algorithms work” page:

“These ranking systems are made up of not one, but a whole series of algorithms. To give you the most useful information, Search algorithms look at many factors, including the words of your query, relevance and usability of pages, the expertise of sources, and your location and settings.

The weight applied to each factor varies depending on the nature of your query—for example, the freshness of the content plays a bigger role in answering queries about current news topics than it does about dictionary definitions.”

Google is the most used search engine, at least for web searches. But, there are many other search engines you can optimize for, such as Bing.

Learn more about the ranking factors in this chapter.

Search Engine Ranking Factors

You may know that Google uses 200 plus ranking factors in its algorithm.

Don’t let that intimidate you. You don’t need to master all 200 plus to be successful. You’re better off learning the small ranking factors that impact most significantly. With just a little knowledge of how SEO works, anyone can start building their rankings.

Below are the ranking factors that matter most for getting actual results.

Top 9 Search Engine Ranking Factors for Real Estate Websites

SEO for real estate boils down to getting your website ranked. Here are the most important ranking signals in Google’s algorithm for 2022.

1. Create Quality Content for Search Engines and People

The quality of your content is one of the highest value ranking factors. You can have a website optimized for SEO, but if your content isn’t worthy, it will not rank.

Now, we know what you’re thinking… “What does quality content look like?”

Google wants content that thoroughly answers search queries.

Studies have found that longer content ranks higher than short content.

Google Ranking Position Word Count

If you make sure that your content is thorough, you shouldn’t have a problem creating long-form content.

Next, make your content valuable. Answer the question the searcher typed in.

For example, let’s say you search for “how to sell my house fast in [market city].”

A piece of content that lists 10 fact-based ways you can sell your house fast is more valuable than a narrow content piece about why selling a house fast is excellent for you.

Google Ranking Factor - Create Useful Content

2. Build Backlinks to Your Real Estate Website

A backlink is when another site links to your site. It’s sort of like getting a vote of confidence from another website. At least, that’s how Google sees it.

backlinks to your real estate website

Search engines like Bing and Google measure these votes. And they use them to figure out which pages deserve to rank in the top 10.

For example, this Carrot website has 272 total backlinks:

Real estate website backlinks

Which has helped it climb the rankings to #1 for the target keyword: “we buy houses in Pittsburgh.”

Carrot Websites Ranking Number One

Which, of course, drives lots of traffic, leads, and even business revenue.

The bottom line?

The more “quality” backlinks a page gets, the better the opportunity it will rank well in search engines.

3. Write Unique Content that Stands Out

Surprisingly, one of the most significant ranking factors is time. The longer a page exists, the more likely Google will rank it. The average length of time that a page #1 result has existed is between 650 and 950 days (2-4 years!).

Image result for average age of page seo

But don’t let that discourage you. As a real estate agent or investor, you deal with significantly lower SEO competition than any worldwide keyword phrase.

Still, having a content strategy that creates unique content regularly and then updates that content every 6 months or year is a great way to build rapport with Google’s algorithm. Google loves unique content that gets regularly updated — it communicates that someone has put a lot of work into an article, and Google is more likely to rank it because of that.

4. Mobile Optimized Real Estate Website

If you want to rank in Google in today’s world, your website must be mobile optimized. Mobile optimization means that when someone visits your site on their smartphone or tablet, your website adapts to whatever screen they use.

For example,

Mobile SEO Optimized Real Estate Website

So why is mobile optimization important for SEO?

Google knows more than 50% of people search online using their phones, and because of that, Google prioritizes the mobile version of your website rather than the desktop version. If the mobile version of your site doesn’t adapt to the screen or it loads too slowly, you’re probably not going to rank.

Fortunately, all Carrot sites are built to adapt to whatever device the visitor is using automatically. If you’re not a Carrot member, you can test your site for free to see what it looks like on mobile.

5. Make Sure Your Pages Are Fully Crawlable

Google uses bots to read, test, and rank websites. But if a website’s pages are challenging to read or outright un-crawlable, Google won’t rank it.

How do you know if your website is fully crawlable?

The easiest way to know is to get a real estate website builder where the tech stack is pre-built to communicate correctly with search engines.

6. Page Load Speed

The faster your website loads, the better it will rank — plain and simple. Even milliseconds count.

There are lots of different ways to increase your page load speed. Compressing image files, cleaning up clunky code, and reducing redirects are all strategies you can use to increase the speed of your website.

But our recommendation is just to build a fast website from the get-go. And for that, you’ll want to use a pre-optimized website builder to load quickly and rank in search engines.

At Carrot, for instance, we’re constantly testing and iterating our member sites’ tech stack to ensure they’re the fastest in the industry. One of our recent tests on a Carrot site performed better than Google.com.

Here’s a Carrot site page speed using Google PageSpeed Insights

Carrot website page speed on desktop

Page speed is only one indicator of SEO rankings, but it’s essential with the latest Core Web Vitals update. If your website loads too slowly, Google will hesitate to rank you, not to mention that you’ll receive a high bounce rate (i.e., lots of people will leave before your site loads) if your website takes longer than 3 seconds.

Related reading: [Data] Carrot Websites Now 69.8% Faster Than Custom Websites on Mobile

7. Use Real Estate Keywords for SEO

If you don’t target a specific local keyword phrase with each page you want to rank in Google, you’re probably not going to rank.

The fact is, you have to tell Google what keyword phrase you’re trying to rank for. And the clearer you are about it, the better your chance of reaching page one.

Google-Keyword-Phrase

Remember, Google’s only way of telling what your page is about is by reading the words on the page. You’ll want to make sure and include the exact match of the keyword phrase you’re trying to rank for within the title of your page (the H1 header), a few subheadings, and even within the text of your page.

How do you know when you’ve optimized enough? Here are some keyword-quick tips:

  • Title Tags: Include your target keyword at the start of your posts’ SEO title tags.
  • Meta Description: Add your focus keyword to your meta descriptions, so users know what your page is about and click on it.
  • Image Alt Text: Google cannot read images, so add your keywords in the image alt text section to tell what it’s about.
  • Anchor Text: Google uses anchor text to find out what your page is about. You can use your keywords for anchor text when linking your pages.
  • Use LSI Keywords: Besides your main target keyword, there are other related terms that people search for, called LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords. Including these on your page can help Google figure out the content.
  • DO NOT Keyword Stuff: Keyword optimization does not mean adding your primary keyword repeatedly. Try including your main keyword a few times and complement by using variations.
  • Include Keywords in H2 and H3: Improve your SEO organization by using keywords or LSI keywords in H2 or H3 of your post.
  • Add the Keyword in URL: Include your keyword in the URL of your post.

8. Search Intent Match

Targeting specific keyword phrases is a fundamental part of any SEO strategy, but how do you know which keywords to target?

Once you’ve identified some keyword opportunities (phrases with some search volume), the next most important question is: “Why are people searching for this?”

In other words, what is the searcher’s intent? Are they just looking for free advice, or are they looking for a company that can buy their house quickly for cash, or for a real estate agent who can help them find the house of their dreams?

Once you know why someone is searching for a specific phrase, you can craft content to rank.

9. Domain Power

The more backlinks you get to your website, the more helpful content you create, and the more that Google learns to trust you, the higher your domain power will climb. Different tools call it different things. Ahrefs calls it Domain Rating, and Moz calls it Domain Authority. But it’s just a basic rating of your domain’s SEO authority on a scale from 1 to 100 — the higher, the better.

Learn the seven factors of a great real estate domain.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how search engines work and the factors they’re looking for when ranking content is critical when creating content that ranks for your real estate business.

Search engine algorithms change constantly, so there is no guarantee that what is important now will still be important in the future.

Factors like backlinks, keywords, and matching search intent have been critical for many years. Staying consistent with these factors is essential going forward.

Chapter 2:

SEO vs PPC for Real Estate – Why SEO Can Be Better

Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) are two sides of the same coin. Which one should you be using for your real estate marketing?

Both can drive high-quality traffic to your website, both can do so consistently, and both can help you build the business of your entrepreneurial dreams.

But what’s the difference between the two? And more importantly, which one is a better fit for the type of business you’re trying to build?

In this article, we’re going to discuss this and more.

We whipped up a handy infographic to walk you through some of the most important things to consider when looking at SEO or PPC to help attract real estate leads.

Choosing how to drive traffic to your real estate website and ramp things up is critical. Yes, both are ways to get you in front of your audience, but both are fundamentally different.

For instance, as you’ll see below, the amount of time and money you have to invest in your online marketing will dictate whether SEO or PPC is best for you right now.

PPC will get leads more quickly but requires a money budget to launch. In contrast, SEO takes longer to get results but can yield the single highest ROI (return on investment) of any online marketing strategy we use.

Learn more about the differences between SEO and PPC marketing as a real estate investor in the infographic below, and if you enjoy it, share it online!

Let’s Sum It Up For You

Here are a few things to consider when looking at SEO and PPC to attract real estate leads.

How SEO Can Help You as a Real Estate Agent or Investor

Any solid SEO strategy aims to get your real estate website to show up at the top of search engine results pages. And, even more importantly, in the top spots of Google, specifically. If you aren’t one of the sites on the first page of the search results, you won’t get the traffic you need.

SEO can also build trust in the eyes of the potential lead. Search trends have shown that 85% of clicks go to organic SEO.

Our members’ #1 lead generation source is “Organic Search.” This is a month-over-month, year-over-year occurrence. In this snapshot, Organic leads accounted for 36.4% of all leads. For reference, PPC accounted for 12.3%.

organic search google analytics
Organic Search Leads Accounted for 10,547 leads from the 28,947 Carrot Members obtained.
organic search leads for carrot members
Organic Search Leads Accounted for 36.4% of All Carrot Member Leads.

SEO is about building authority, demonstrating relevance, and matching your site to the right search keywords. It can be a long-term process, but one that is essential to your website’s performance. Once you have the building blocks to achieve high rankings in search engines, the sky’s the limit!

Benefits of SEO

1. It’s free if you do it yourself

A clear SEO benefit is that it’s free to do. Unlike PPC, you don’t have to pay for it. You just need to invest time in implementing the best practices across your site.

But with that comes a checklist of best practices, including making sure it is search engine accessible, responsive, has unique content, targeted keywords, and optimized meta-data, just to name a few.

2. It’s more likely to drive more consistent traffic in the long run (if you implement a solid SEO plan)

That’s because people tend to be more attracted to SEO (organic) results because they trust them much more than paid ads.

3. It will drive better ROI (Return-on-Investment) long-term

The great thing about SEO is that once you’ve implemented the best practices onto your site, the only way is up. Make your way to the top, your brand is automatically perceived as reputable, and your ROI will continue to rise.

Over the long term, your investment and work into building those rankings decreases as your traffic increases. That means your cost per lead will decrease.

4. Not just for blog posts… turn on YouTube videos for more results

YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world. Grab a little bit more of the search engine results page via video. Video is big, and YouTube is hugely important to search results. Optimize your YouTube videos and descriptions with keywords that search engines like.

Optimize your YouTube videos for SEO rankings:

Optimize your YouTube videos for SEO rankings

Leverage Both SEO and PPC Together For Even Greater Results

It can be a worthy strategy to start SEO and PPC in conjunction with each other. Start a PPC campaign to get leads in the short term and SEO to build up over the long term. It can amplify your overall results when you use SEO and PPC together.

Here are some benefits:

Generate more exposure – An obvious benefit of combining SEO and PPC efforts is added visibility on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Dominating the SEO search results will significantly increase traffic and give the impression that you’re an established presence in your real estate market.

Increase intent keywords – Simultaneously running SEO and PPC campaigns allows you to double the keyword data to analyze. Determine which SEO and PPC keywords have the highest conversion rates and use that information to optimize your strategy.

Use high-performing ad copy and SEO content – If it works for PPC, it also often works for SEO. By determining which PPC ads result in the most lead conversions, you can generate ideas for title tags, meta descriptions, and page content for the real estate blog posts you write. The benefit is allowing you to rank higher in organic search results potentially. Using PPC, you’ll also quickly learn what works and doesn’t. While completely testing titles and meta tags, strictly organic, can take a long time.

Test keywords utilizing PPC before committing to SEO content – PPC ads can be a great way to improve your SEO keyword strategy. 

As your long-term SEO keyword strategy develops, test the conversion rate of the keywords you want to rank for within your PPC ads.

You’ll get immediate feedback on the effectiveness of the SEO keywords you’re after and can optimize your strategy.

Final Thoughts

Now you know the difference between SEO and PPC. You understand that SEO drives higher quality traffic more consistently but often takes time to get going. In contrast, PPC drives high-quality traffic immediately, but you have to pay to play.

Your business needs both SEO and PPC to reach its full potential. Use PPC for quick-fire leads and use SEO as your long-term growth strategy.

Chapter 3:

Real Estate Keywords for Search Engine Optimization

When we talk about SEO, you’ll hear us mention “real estate keywords” a lot. Because the fact is, you can’t talk about SEO without talking about keywords.

Keywords are a fundamental part of your SEO strategy. If you don’t target a specific keyword phrase with each page you want to rank in Google, you’re probably not going to rank.

The fact is, you have to tell Google what keyword phrase you’re trying to rank for. And the clearer you are about it, the better your chance of reaching page one.

But what exactly is a keyword or a keyword phrase? And why are they so essential for optimizing your website for search engines, driving passive traffic, and generating high-quality leads?

Let’s talk.

What Are Keywords for Real Estate SEO?

Simply put, a keyword is a word that defines the content on your page or post best. It’s the search term that you want to rank for with that specific piece of content.

When people search for that keyword in Google (or other search engines), they should find that page on your website.

For example, for real estate agents, an excellent long-tail keyword could be: best time to buy a house

Then write an article with that keyword worked into the title and strategically placed spots within the content.

real-estate-agent-keyword-phrase

Here, we’ll help you figure out the best real estate keywords for your business.

Why is Keyword Research Important for Real Estate SEO?

Organic traffic! Keywords are important because they are the core connection between what people are searching for and the content you provide to fill that need.

Your goal in ranking search engines is to drive organic traffic (non-paid) to your website from the search engine result pages. The keywords you choose to target with your content will determine the type of traffic you get.

Keywords should be as much about your audience as your content. You might describe what you buy or sell slightly differently than a buyer or seller will ask for it. To create content that ranks high organically and drives visitors to your website, you need to understand the needs of your audience.

How do they talk? What phrases will they use, and what type of information will they seek? You can communicate with your customers, frequent Facebook forums, visit local community groups, and do keyword research.

How to Find Keyword Ideas for Your Real Estate Website

Step #1: Research primary, secondary, and long-tail real estate keywords

First, you need to perform targeted keyword research. You need to look for high-intent, local keywords. Focus on real estate SEO long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are phrases that contain at very least three words. Although we like to see four or five.

Long-tail keywords are a great way to target your niche location rather than trying to rank for a more generic term. In other words, long-tail keywords are more specific and often have less competition.

Long-tail Keywords for SEO

Long-tail keywords will allow you to rank higher in search results for popular niche topics fairly quickly while you might be trying to rank for harder terms, such as “we buy houses in [market city]. They tend to attract more qualified traffic that is more likely to convert into leads.

Use Google Suggest to Find Long-tail Keywords

Take advantage of Google Suggestions to find quality long-tail real estate terms.

To use Google suggest, start by typing your primary keyword into the Google search box and see what variations Google suggests:

using google suggest to find long tail keywords

If phrases turn up in a Google suggestion, you know that it is a phrase people are searching for. Some tips might not fit your goal, but they can inspire other search terms you can use in your content.

More Tools to Find Real Estate Keywords

You can use many tools to help you find the best real estate keywords for SEO. You can use these tools to gather search volume, ranking difficulty, keyword value (if you’re using the keyword for paid traffic), and competition, just to name a few.

Here are some of our favorite tools to get you started.

  • Ubersuggest is a very easy-to-follow keyword tool. You can see suggestions, volume, estimated paid competition, and estimated competition in organic traffic.
  • Ahrefs is a complete platform full of keyword research, content, and SEO+PPC tools.
  • Google Ads Keyword Planner (you’ll need a Google Ads account) lets you gather monthly local search volumes for keywords, competition levels, and the estimated cost per click.
  • SEMrush provides keyword data. You can use their free tool for a trial period, but beyond, this is a paid tool with much other SEO and PPC research features.

Get FREE Real Estate Keywords Lists for Investors and Agents

Or, we’ve done the leg work for you. Download our Real Estate Investor and Real Estate Agent keyword bibles…

Free SEO Keyword Bible Download

Action Item: Use the tools above to find a long list of keywords to target. At this point, you just want to see as many possible keyword phrases.

Step #2: Create multiple keyword groups, each with its distinct primary keyword as the main focus.

Now that you have a long list of possible keyword phrases to target, it’s time to group those phrases by intent and pick a primary keyword for each group.

Imagine, for example, that these are some keyword phrases that I want to rank my website for…

  • How to sell my house in Dallas, Texas
  • How to sell my house quicker in Dallas, Texas
  • How to sell my house for the most money in Dallas, Texas
  • How to list my house in Dallas, Texas

If I group that list of keyword phrases by intent — meaning, the searcher’s intent behind the grouped keyword phrases is the same or closely similar — then my groupings would look like this…

Group 1

  • How to sell my house fast for cash in Dallas, Texas
  • How to sell my house fast in Dallas, Texas
  • How to sell my house for cash in Dallas, Texas

Group 2

  • How to sell my house before foreclosure in Dallas, Texas
  • How to sell my house during foreclosure in Dallas, Texas

Group 3

  • How to sell my house during probate in Dallas, Texas
  • How to deal with probate in Dallas, Texas

Once you’ve grouped your keywords, choose the primary keyword phrase you want to target for each group and focus only on ranking for that search term (at least, to start).

Group 1 – How to sell my house fast for cash in Dallas, Texas

Group 2 – How to sell my house before foreclosure in Dallas, Texas

Group 3 – How to sell my house during probate in Dallas, Texas

Action Item: The idea is to simplify your SEO strategy and not cannibalize your rankings by writing too much content for each search term. Ideally, you only want one page on your website per keyword phrase that you’re trying to rank for. And even then, you don’t want too much overlap — just choose one keyword phrase from each group and then try to rank for those terms.

Step #3: Put Your Keywords Where They’ll Have The Most Impact

Not all keywords are created equal. Some keyword phrases will generate higher quality leads, and some will generate lower quality leads because of the PEOPLE who search for those things.

“Sell my house fast for cash in Dallas Texas” is probably a higher value phrase than “Deal with foreclosure in Dallas Texas” because of the intent behind the searcher, for example.

But it’s not just the keywords that have varying value, it’s also where you put those keywords within your content.

Lots of SEO experts have revealed the following about keyword placement…

  • The first words on your page hold more weight than the last words.
  • The headline, title tag, and meta description carry the most weight.

In other words, you must put your target keyword phrase in the title and meta description. And as far as the body of your content goes, your keyword phrase should be placed as close to the beginning as possible — first words matter more than last words.

Action Item: When optimizing your pages, put your target keyword phrase in the title, meta description, and near the top of the body of your content.

Step #4: Tools to Track Your Keyword Performance

Why is it so important to know how you rank on Google?

Where you rank in Google determines if buyers and sellers find you when they search. For example, if your real estate business is based in Roseburg, Oregon, and someone searches for “Sell my house fast in Roseburg, Oregon,” your only chance of being seen is if you show up on the first page of the results (unless you’re using paid traffic).

Here’s some proof: WordStream reports that:

“The first page of Google captures at least 71% of web traffic (some sources say up to 92%), and the second page is far from a close second: It drops to 6% of website clicks.”

That stat illustrates why we’ve built an internal tool with Carrot’s platform. We want to help you to know where you are.

Carrot SEO keyword ranking

Using a good keyword tracking tool allows you to spend more time analyzing ranking results and optimizing your site. Here are some other keyword tracking tools that work for you:

SEMrush

SEMRush keyword tracking tool

SEMrush is more robust but offers a very easy-to-use keyword tracking tool. You can use the search bar to find Google and Bing rankings by providing the URL. Once the results are in, you’ll also be able to compare them to how other sites and pages rank by selecting a keyword.

If you need more detailed data, you’ll need to go beyond and join one of their membership plans.

Ahrefs

ahrefs keyword tracking tool

As with SEMrush, Ahrefs is more than just a keyword ranking tool. And, it comes at a cost. Ahrefs “Rank Tracker” allows you to monitor your rankings and chart your performance against your competitors over time.

Again, they have a minimal free version, but their user-friendly system offers much more than the keyword ranking tool.

Action item: Dial in your needs. If you’re a Carrot Content Pro member, take advantage of what you already have at your fingertips. If your requirements fit more of a robust system, shop around and find the ranking tracker that suits you and your budget.

Final Thoughts

There are many other benefits to optimizing your website with the right keywords. Beyond long-term, passive traffic, and leads, it’s free if you do it yourself.

Getting the first position for a great local keyword without paying for it will impress prospective leads.

SEO also adds credibility to your site. People see ranked search listings as more reputable than advertised (like the articles with the green Google Ads “AD” boxes on the top of some Google pages).

This might sound difficult, but it’s entirely possible, and there are tons of resources you can use to make it easier.

Chapter 4:

Optimize On-Page SEO for Real Estate

What is On-Page SEO for Real Estate?

On-page SEO refers to the measure taken directly within your website to improve its search engine rankings.

On-page SEO for real estate is the best starting place for a new SEO strategy. It focuses on elements you can directly control, making it faster and more effective. Optimizing on-page SEO ranking factors on your website first makes other off-page strategies worthless.

You must start by focusing on your website.

Here are the factors you should pay attention to on each page of your website that you’d like to rank in Google. This is a high-level view of each factor with some action items to wrap up each step.

Why is On-Page SEO for Real Estate Important?

On-page SEO tells Google, and other prominent search engines, who you are and gives them the proper information to give them a reason why you should be at the top of the search results when your keywords are entered in.

Without on-page SEO, your website could be left out. Why leave it to chance?

Giving Google’s algorithm as much information as possible about your real estate website is critical.

However, you don’t want to focus too much on keywords, or you’ll lose some of your user experience. You must optimize your content for search engines, but it must also be readable and valuable for your audience.

One way Google knows about what is on your page is by the URL of that particular page.

10 Steps to an On-Page Optimized Website

Step 1: Leverage SEO-Friendly URLs

Leverage SEO Friendly URLs

The picture above illustrates a situation when a search highlights the keywords in the URL. This shows us that Google recognizes URLs and figures them into their ranking factors. That Carrot website is ranked #1 in Google for several competitive phrases in Denver.

Action Item: Make sure that when you create pages on your website that you want to rank… try to include a variation of the keyword phrase you’re looking to rank for in the URL. It’ll help Google recognize what your website is about that much easier.

Step 2: Start the Title with Your Main Keyword

Your title tag (also known as your <h1> tag) on your real estate website is one of the most important SEO factors. A Moz study showed that websites with the main keyword at the start of the title tag tended to rank better for that phrase than the pages where the keyword was in the middle of the title tag.

As you can see in the screenshot below from inside a Carrot members SEO tool (a built-in feature in our websites)… the keyword phrase he’s trying to rank for is “sell inherited house Detroit.” Then in the “SEO Title” (title tag) box, that same keyword phrase is the first thing in the title tag. 

Carrot SEO for real estate tool

They are ranking #3 for “we buy houses in Pittsburgh”

we buy houses in Pittsburgh

Action Item: Make sure you update your page title tags, so they have the keyword phrase you’re looking to rank for at the start. If you’re a Carrot member, you can use our built-in Carrot SEO tool to update your title tag easily and optimize your web pages.

Step 3: Optimize Your Meta Description

Meta descriptions are designed to describe the content of web pages. This information will be gathered when your website is indexed. Meta descriptions should describe the page both accurately and in an appealing way.

Most search engines rely on the content of this tag to provide informational snippets about the page that they can match with search queries. Therefore, it’s important to include keywords and phrases in the meta description.

Google maintains that meta descriptions don’t necessarily help with rankings, but anecdotal evidence shows that indirect attributes of better descriptions help.

It’s best to keep your meta descriptions long enough to be descriptive, so keeping them between 50–160 characters is optimal.

seo meta descriptions for real estate

Action Item: Work your keyword phrase into your meta description naturally. Don’t stuff your keyword into a sentence if it doesn’t make sense.

Step 4: Wrap Subheadings in <H2> Tags

H2 subheadings benefit content by dividing it into scannable blocks. Both search engines and your visitors will like it.

You can view H2 tags as a table of contents for that particular page or post. H2 tags also should be optimized with keyword phrases since they also play a role when the content is crawled for SEO ranking.

Here is an H2 tag example… <h2>Sell your house online in Pittsburgh</h2>

seo subheading tags for real estate

Action Item: Don’t overuse your H2s within your content. The more H2s your page has, the less valuable they are. Ensure that each H2 is descriptive and serves as a subheading to the following main section of your article.

Step 5: Get a Mobile Responsive Real Estate Website

Google recommends responsive websites for various reasons. One of which is…

Helps Google’s algorithms accurately assign indexing properties to the page rather than needing to signal the existence of corresponding desktop/mobile pages.

So, it’s likely that mobile responsive sites get an edge in searches from a mobile device. Google also started penalizing sites in mobile search that aren’t “mobile-friendly.”

mobile friendly real estate websites

Action Item: Test your website using the Google mobile-friendly testing tool.

Step 6: Use External (Outbound) Links

This tip is a total counter-intuitive SEO tip… but it’s one we’ve been using for years with a lot of success. It’s a part of our standard SEO optimization process for our blog posts, our Content Pro articles that our team writes for our members, and other content.

We usually do 1-3 solid outbound links per blog post.

An “outbound link” is a link on your page that points to another website.

Outbound links give search engines a clear idea about your content plus offer an opportunity to build relations.

The key is to link to relevant web pages. When you link to relevant websites within the real estate niche, you’re telling search engines more about your content, creating a connection between your website and others. Also, try to link to domains that have built trust and have good domain authority.

Action Item: In all your blog posts and main pages, you want to rank well… find a web page that discusses something you mentioned in the article and links to it. But remember, make sure your outbound link is useful!

Step 7: Internal Linking

An internal link is a hyperlink on a page to another page or resource on your website. Internal links connect your content and give Google an idea of the structure of your website. Internal links can construct a hierarchy on your site that allows you to allow the most important pages, posts, or resources more link value.

The right internal link strategy can boost your real estate SEO. But there are some additional on-page internal linking tricks, such as using the correct anchor text, the location of the link on the page, and the link target.

Here’s an example of an internal link. This Carrot member wrote a blog post with an internal link to their homepage, using “we buy houses” as the anchor text.

internal linking for SEO

Action Item: Number one, always create helpful content. You can then link those articles to others within your website using proper anchor text strategies.

Step 8: Sprinkle LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) Keywords

This is kind of a fancy term for a straightforward concept. LSI means “latent semantic indexing, “… which means that Google can tell when two words have the same intent, so Google similarly treats them.

For example, see the picture below of a search for a common motivated seller keyword phrase…

using LSI keywords for SEO

You’ll notice some LSI keywords with the searches related to “sell my house fast San Diego.”

In that search, “house” was used … but you’ll see in the suggestions how Google is serving me up phrases with the terms “property” or “home buyers” in them.

Google has looked at trillions of searches and has a pretty good idea of what words mean in a specific context. In this case, Google can tell that “house” and “home” essentially have the same intention.

So when you’re writing your content, make sure to use variations of your main keywords. Don’t always use the same keyword in your content.

If your primary keyword is “sell my house fast Jacksonville FL,”… mix it up. “sell your home fast Jacksonville FL.” “sell my home quickly, Jacksonville, FL.” “Buy my house fast, Jacksonville”

Action Item: Sprinkle some similar intention phrases into your content. You’ll thank me later.

Step 9: Image Optimization

One factor that is often overlooked is image alt tags. Alt tags are the alternative text that shows up if someone has images blocked in their web browser. And most real estate website builders (Carrot included) allow you to customize this text for each image, which you should take advantage of.

Image Alt Text for SEO

Since Google robots can’t read images, they look to alt text to determine what an image is. Then they rank your page and that image accordingly.

Action Item: Fix up the alt text on your images. It doesn’t take long and gives you a slightly better chance of ranking for your target keyword phrase.

Step 10: Write Real Estate SEO Content

Yes, bigger is better in this case (most of the time).

This argument has been going on for as long as marketing has been alive (which is a long time)… is a short copy or long copy better?

In search engine optimization, studies have shown that longer content on a web page directly correlates with higher rankings in most cases.

If you’re going after a crazy competitive search phrase… like any cash buyer or motivated seller search phrase in a bigger city like Phoenix… you’ll make it easier on yourself if you’re using a website with robust and engaging content on the website.

We suggest at a minimum that all of your pages that you want to rank well in Google should have a MINIMUM of 300-500 words.

But if you’re going after a competitive phrase… build out more content and see if you can get it over 1,000 words (of course, using these optimization tips along the way).

Google Ranking Position Word Count

In the long run, we here at Carrot feel that the future of ranking well on Google is robust, helpful, and fresh website content.

Action Item: Having a tough time ranking when you’re doing everything else, right? Look at the content length on your page and see if you can add some more content to it… then optimize that content for the keywords you’re going after.

Bonus: While not a true “ranking factor,” be sure to write for EAT.

Google EAT Principle For Content

You might wonder if there’s a clear-cut methodology for creating content that ranks well on Google. 

Well, we could give you a LOT of advice. 

But above everything else, remember EAT. 

Here’s what it stands for. 

  • Expertise 
  • Authoritativeness 
  • Trustworthiness

If you nail all of the components in your content, Google will be far more likely to rank you — because Google wants to rank expert content that authoritative and trustworthy. 

Here are some practical ways to improve those three qualities…

  • Build Backlinks & Citations
  • Keep Content Accurate & Up-To-Date
  • Collect Reviews
  • Hire Experts to Contribute to Content
  • Share Your Credentials
  • Share Your Contact Information

Remember these tips whenever you’re creating content. They’ll help you rank higher on Google and drive more traffic to your website. 

Final Thoughts

Now you have a basic understanding of on-page SEO for real estate and ten of the main factors that’ll apply to your real estate SEO strategy. If you have any follow-up questions, throw them in the comments, and we’ll answer as best we can.


Chapter 5:

What is Off-Page SEO for Real Estate

What is Off-Page SEO?

Off-page SEO tactics are actions you can take outside your website to help you rank better in search engine results.

Although we don’t know Google’s full algorithm, off-page SEO factors like backlinks and reviews are believed to carry up to 50% of the ranking factor weight. Algorithms and ranking factors constantly change, but currently, these are significant factors.

What Are Backlinks?

Backlinks, also known as “inbound links”, are links from one website to a page on another website. Major search engines, such as Google, consider backlinks “votes” for a specific page.

Pages with a high number of quality backlinks tend to rank higher in organic search engine results.

backlinks to your real estate website

Why is Backlink Building Important for Your Real Estate Website?

First, backlinks are a significant piece of the puzzle of SEO (search engine optimization).

They go together like peanut butter and jelly. You need one to make the other better.

High-level, here are four quick reasons why it’s important to have a good backlink-building strategy:

  • Backlinks are how Google (and other search engines) find your pages.
  • Backlinks are a way to show Google that you have a solid reputation. Search engines will push searchers to websites they can trust.
  • Relevant backlinks can boost your authority.
  • Backlinks drive more traffic to your website.

Here’s an example. When someone types “sell my house in [market city]” or “real estate agent in [market city]” into Google, you want your website to come up on the first page.

seo rankings for real estate

If it doesn’t, you’re missing out on a lot of website traffic, leads, and, more importantly, deals.

Some 93% of internet experiences start with a search engine… that includes the real estate industry. When people — your target market — are looking for help, they go to Google.

And if you show up on the first page, that’s good for business.

Two of the most potent factors for ranking in Google are website traffic and backlink portfolio.

real estate backlink stats

In other words, the more traffic and backlinks a page on your website receives, the better that page will rank for your target keyword phrases.

Here is another example of a Carrot website. This member has 272 backlinks:

Real estate website backlinks

Backlinks have helped it climb the rankings to #1 for the target keyword: “we buy houses in Pittsburgh.”

Carrot Websites Ranking Number One

Unfortunately, getting traffic and backlinks are a few of the most challenging things. This is why we’ll give you some practical tips for promoting your content and building links to your website.

Not sure if you have backlinks? Use a free backlink checker tool.

Backlink Profile

A backlink profile is the collection of links from other websites that direct visitors to your site. Backlink profiles consist of good and bad links based on the domain authority, relevance, type, and anchor text for the backlinks.

Today, backlinks are important, but they are just one of the many contributing signals when ranking a website.

According to a study performed by SEMRush, there were 6 main factors of a backlink profile:

  • Number of referring domains
  • Number of follow-backlinks
  • Number of backlinks
  • Number of anchors
  • Number of referring IPs
  • Low keyword presence in the anchor text

The number of referring domains, follow-backlinks, backlinks, anchors, and referring IPs directly impacted rankings. In other words, the greater the number of these factors, the higher the webpage ranked in the SERPs.

Also, spamming links to a web page is not an acceptable practice. Instead, create a natural link-building profile using only white-hat link-building techniques such as guest posting on relevant and high domain-authority blogs.

Keyword presence in the anchor text rarely occurs in web pages ranking in the top position. This is true in both high and low search volume keywords. Of all the backlink factors, this has the least effect on domain rankings. But, again, that doesn’t mean you should ignore it.

If you want the best chance of ranking in Google, pay special attention to all backlink factors.

Here are 6 Simple Backlink Building Strategies You Can Use on Your Real Estate Website Today

1. Consistent Content Creation

This is your first step on the way to building your SEO rankings. Without consistently creating content for your website, you might rank for a few keyword phrases with your homepage. Still, you won’t rank for longtail keyword phrases like “how to deal with foreclosure” or “how to sell my how during a divorce”.

Think of every piece of content as a door to your website. The more doors you have, the more people can visit your website, and the more opportunities you have to rank in Google. A good rule of thumb is to create one piece of content for each keyword phrase you’re targetting.

Consistency is vital when you’re writing, shooting videos, or using VideoPosts.

If you get stuck creating consistent content, look at Fiverr, have a VA write for you, or if you’re a Carrot Content Pro or Advanced Marketer member, you have an entire library of done-for-you blog content.

Many of our members, like Ryan Dossey, consistently get SEO leads from those done-for-you blog posts!

Action Item: Get writing! If you’re crunched for time, grab your phone and record a video. Once you have the video, send it to a transcription service, and voilà… you have a whole blog post.

2. Citations Are Important for Local Search Rankings

Citations refer to your business’s listings all over the web — on Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and so forth.

And the more citations you have, the better your website will rank for local keyword phrases.

We recommend having at least 40 citations on various websites to rank your business locally.

Now, this can be a little tedious.

So we offer a service where we build all your citations for you. Check it out.

If you’d instead do it yourself, then check out our guide to building citations for a real estate website.

But don’t skip this step.

It’s an easy step that’ll significantly impact your SEO efforts.

Action Item: Building citations can be a time-consuming venture. Find a service that fits your needs and budget, and get started!

3. Become a Source For Reporters and Bloggers (HARO)

real estate seo using haro

HARO (for Help A Reporter Out) is a great way to simultaneously build backlinks and market authority. Journalists sign up for HARO to get quotes and contributions from market experts.

And you can sign up for HARO (for free) to become a source of expertise for those journalists.

Often, if they choose to quote you, they’ll also give you a backlink.

Action Item: If you’re pressed on time, outsource this to a VA. Or, educate yourself and go for it! Learn more about using HARO to build backlinks.

4. Manual Outreach

Social media shares are like gold — highly desirable but in short supply. We like to call it “hamster wheel” marketing.

You get free publicity when someone shares one of your articles or posts on social media.

Unfortunately, getting shares can be a real pain — even if the content you created is share-worthy.

Still, by explicitly asking specific people to share a piece of content you created, you can get more social shares and increase the content’s organic reach. If you know people who love your business, why not reach out about a recent piece of content and ask if they’d share it?

You might be surprised at their willingness to help.

Try something like…

Hey [name]!

I just finished putting this together, and I thought you might find it valuable — [LINK].

If you do, would you mind sharing it with your audience? Either way, I hope you enjoy it! :)

Action Item: Craft a message to fit the person you’re messaging and your relationship with them.

5. Link Building with Testimonials & Reviews

Another way to build real estate backlinks in very little time (but with a significant impact) is to offer testimonials for online businesses where you’re a customer.

All online businesses are looking for testimonials from their customers. And most of them won’t bat an eyelid at your request for a backlink in return. High-quality testimonials also build your online authority.

Swipe Template

Subject: I LOVE your company…

Hey [name of business or person you’re pitching]!

My name is [name] and I’m a real estate [investor/agent] in [location]. I’ve been using your service for [length of time] and it’s completely changed how I do business. I love it so much that I wanted to send over a testimonial that you can use if you feel so inclined. :-)

“[Testimonial].”

I hope you can use that testimonial to encourage others to use your [service/tool/product]. It’s been amazing.

Thanks for building something so genuinely helpful.

And if you do decide to use the testimonial, it would be awesome if you’d include a link to [your website] when quoting me.

Either way, keep up the excellent work. :-)

Cheers,

[name]

Action Item: List all the online tools you use and love. Then send those businesses an email with your testimonial, asking for a backlink in return. Use the swipe template for that.

6. Guest Blogging for SEO

An oft-forgotten and easy way to build relevant backlinks is by being a guest on real estate podcasts or by guest posting on a real estate blog.

And the easiest way to find these podcasts is by Googling something like “real estate investing podcasts,” “small-business entrepreneurship podcasts,” or “real estate investing blogs.”

guest blogging for seo

Remember, the smaller the podcast or blog, the easier it will be to get accepted as a guest. The more prestigious it is, the more difficult it’ll be.

Swipe Template for Podcasts…

Subject: Quick idea…

Hey [name of person or business]!

My name is [name] and I’m a real estate [investor/agent] in [location]. My business has [build credibility with revenue numbers, media mentions, or a testimonial from a past customer]. And I’d LOVE to be a guest on your podcast to discuss [pitch a relevant topic you’d be comfortable discussing].

What do you think? Is that something we could set up?

Let me know! I’d be happy to get it on the calendar. :-)

Cheers,

[Name]

Swipe Template for Blog Posts…

Subject: Quick idea…

Hey [name of person or business]!

My name is [name] and I’m a real estate [investor/agent] in [location]. My business has [build credibility with revenue numbers, media mentions, or a testimonial from a past customer]. And I’d LOVE to write an article for your website. Here’s my idea: [pitch a relevant topic you’d be comfortable writing about].

What do you think?

Let me know! I’d be happy to get started on it right away. :-)

Cheers,

[Name]

Action Item: Find an email on your target website or a “Contact Us” form and use the templates to pitch your idea (or have a VA do it for you).

Warning – Avoid These Two Backlink Building & SEO Tactics

When it comes to SEO, it’s not just important that you use the right strategies but also that you don’t use the wrong strategy.

Shady link-building tactics, often referred to as “black-hat SEO,” can get your website penalized by Google and destroy your rankings.

For that reason, we recommend avoiding the following two link-building tactics…

1. Avoid PBNs (Private Blog Network)

Look, building backlinks are difficult. It’s time-consuming, expensive, and soul-crushing.

We all know it.

Which is why PBNs are so darn tempting…

These services promise to build backlinks to your website at a meager cost and get your website ranking quickly. They won’t say much about how they’re going to build those backlinks, but the promise of seeing your website on the first page of Google’s results is enough to persuade most of us to enter our credit card information.

Since they won’t tell you how they build backlinks to your website, I will…

In a nutshell, they purchase hundreds or thousands of expired/unused domains with a bit of SEO juice built from the previous owners. Then, they go to all these domains and plug a backlink to your website.

After a bit, your website starts to rank, and you’re thinking, “Wow! These guys are awesome!”

don't use pbns for seo

Here’s the problem: PBNs cheat the system. Google explicitly says that using a PBN won’t only get the PBN company in trouble, it’ll get your website penalized as well.

It’ll all be good and fine until Google finds out. And they almost always find out.

Once they do, your website will take a massive dive in the rankings (or get banned from indexing altogether) – and recovering from that loss will be more challenging than trying to get a new website ranking (because you’ve lost Google’s trust).

2. Paying for Backlinks

Google explicitly says that it doesn’t want people paying for backlinks… but still, this no-no comes with a bit of a caveat.

If you’re going to pay for backlinks, pay for good white-hat backlinks — ones that come from real sites with real domain authority in Google’s eyes. And be very careful about buying cheap links from sites that promise quick and fast results.

Would you like to know your spam score? You can check using this SEO spam score tool.

SEO spam score tool

Ideally, your backlinks should come from sites with low spam scores. Ask any SE firm you’re considering hiring how they build backlinks and where those links come from. That will tell you a lot about whether those links are high-quality.

Final Thoughts

There you have it!

You should now understand how to build your SEO rankings with your real estate website backlinks.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them in the comments, and we’ll help you out however we can!

Chapter 6:

Technical SEO for Real Estate Websites

What is Technical SEO for Real Estate?

Technical SEO is optimizing your website’s technical setup for the search engines so that they can easily crawl, index, and understand your site content. It’s a vital part of any SEO strategy and should be done before you start working on other aspects of SEO, such as keyword research and link building. 

7 Technical SEO Optimizations To Consider

Technical SEO is vital because your other SEO efforts will be pointless without the right tech stack. 

It’s the foundation. 

And here are seven essential optimizations your site needs if it’s going to rank above the competition. Check out our complete technical SEO checklist to learn more about each of these.

(1) Page Experience

Google periodically updates its page experience signals. Core Web Vitals combined with existing search signals, including mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.

(2) Load Speed

Load speed is important for SEO because if your website is slow, people will leave before they can see your content. Search engines will rank your website lower in the search results pages if your site loads slowly. 

You can improve your website’s load speed by optimizing your images, using a caching plugin, and minifying your scripts and CSS.

(3) Mobile-Friendly

Mobile-friendliness is important for SEO because more and more people use their mobile devices to search the web. Over 60% of all Google searches are now done on mobile devices. 

You can make your website more mobile-friendly by using a responsive design, optimizing your images, and mobile-friendly font size. 

(4) Site Security

Site security is important for SEO because it helps protect your website from hackers. If your site is hacked, it could be entirely removed from the search results. 

The easiest ways to secure your website are getting SSL certification and using a secure web hosting service.

(5) Indexability

If search engines can’t crawl your content, you won’t have any chance of ranking. If your site isn’t indexable, then the search engines won’t be able to rank it.

You can improve your website’s indexability by using a sitemap, optimizing your robots.txt file, and using the “no index” tag where appropriate.

(6) Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free tool that allows you to see how Google sees your website. It also allows you to submit your website to Google for indexing and gives you information about any crawl errors that Google encounters when trying to index your site. 

You can use Google Search Console to improve your website’s technical SEO by fixing any crawl errors and submitting your sitemap to Google.

(7) Broken Links

Broken links are bad for SEO because they prevent the search engines from crawling your content. If you have a lot of broken links on your website, it will hurt your chances of ranking in the search results. 

You can fix broken links by deleting them or pointing them to the correct page. 

How do Carrot Sites Stack Up? 

That all makes sense. 

But you might wonder how Carrot websites stack up to these requirements. 

In short, very well. 

Because we care about your site’s performance. :)

Our sites are mobile-friendly, have record-setting load speeds (see the image below), and come with SSL certification.

small website provider PageSpeed score

We’re constantly improving our website’s tech stack to give our members better results.

Try us risk-free for 30 days by clicking here!

Final Thoughts on Technical SEO for Real Estate Websites

Technical SEO may seem daunting, but it’s essential for any real estate website that wants to rank well in the search engines. 

By following the tips in this chapter, you can ensure that your site is technically sound and set up for success.

Chapter 7:

Real Estate Video SEO – 5 Ways to Optimize YouTube for Real Estate

What is Real Estate Video SEO?

Video SEO is… well, search engine optimization for your YouTube videos rather than written content or images.

In other words, real estate video SEO creates content optimized to rank in search engines — Google, Yahoo, Bing…, and of course, the YouTube search engine!

But how do you optimize your video content for search engines, especially considering that search engine bots can’t watch your video to learn what it’s about (they can only read text)?

More importantly, why should you care about video SEO for your real estate website?

Why Should You Incorporate YouTube Videos into the Marketing Mix?

As discussed in previous chapters, getting SEO rankings can benefit your business in many ways, such as…

  1. Get free and consistent traffic to your website.
  2. Generating high-quality leads every single month.
  3. Building brand awareness and becoming the go-to real estate professional in your area of operation.

(Not to mention all the extra deals you’ll close monthly because of your high rankings!)

But why take the time for real estate video SEO?

Usually, search engine optimization involves writing articles on your website’s blog that target specific keyword phrases or adjusting your homepage copy to target a specific keyword phrase.

And that illustrates the first benefit of video SEO — it takes much less time than written content.

What would you rather do; spend several hours trying to write the perfect blog article or record a 10-minute video on your phone with quick tips and advice for your target market?

Yeah… way easier.

But video SEO isn’t just more manageable. In some regards, it’s also more exciting and attractive to your target market. Consider some of the below video marketing statistics…

  • 54% of consumers want to see more video content from the brands they love.
  • 88% of video marketers are satisfied with their ROI on social media.
  • 76% of marketers say that video helped them improve website traffic.
  • 80% of marketers say that video has increased the time people spend on their websites.

In other words, people love videos. It allows them to connect with your brand in a way that written content doesn’t, and it’s easy to watch (they don’t have to read anything).

With video SEO, you can consistently drive traffic to your website, generate leads, do more deals, and build a more authentic relationship with your target market.

Here’s how to do it. But before we dive in, be sure to download your FREE SEO Keyword Bible. You can utilize the highest-performing keywords by including them in your video content.

How To Optimize Your Real Estate YouTube Videos For SEO

Here are five steps to optimizing any video to rank in a search engine.

1. Use Video Transcription

As we’ve discussed, website crawling bots (the robots that search engines use to determine what page content is about) can’t read videos.

This is a bit of a problem. It means that if you record and post a video without a title, description, or transcription, that video isn’t going to rank (it might not even get indexed) because there are no words for the robots to read.

That’s why video transcription is an absolute must — without it, your videos have a much lower chance of ranking. With it, Google and other search engines can read the content on your page, attribute it to the video (especially if you title the content “Video Transcription”), and rank that page and/or video for your target keyword phrase.

The only problem is that you don’t want to spend several hours writing a transcription for each of your videos…

That’s why, at Carrot, we created VideoPost, which allows Carrot members to upload a video and then create a transcription with the click of a button. Here’s what that looks like…

VideoPost Real Estate Blog Content

Action Item: Add a transcription below your videos. You can do this by becoming a Carrot member and using VideoPost.

2. Create an Engaging YouTube Video Thumbnail

What’s the point of recording a video if no one will watch it?

Yeah… no reason.

And the thumbnail of your video is one of the most important elements for getting more clicks and engagement (which, in turn, means better rankings — the more people who click, the more that Google wants to show your content).

YouTube video thumbnails
The thumbnail is the image that shows before the video is played.

Think of your thumbnail as the featured image of a blog article. When people see it, it helps them determine whether they’ll watch your video or not. If your thumbnail is attractive and enticing, more people will click — and when more people click, Google increases your rankings.

Here are a few examples of great video thumbnails
youtube thumbnail

Real estate expert, Max Maxwell, is particularly good at publishing eye-catching thumbnails

max maxwell youtube thumbnails

Action Item: Spend a little more time on your video thumbnails. Ask yourself, “What will catch my target market’s attention and make clicking irresistible?”

3. Pay Special Attention To Your Video Title

As with all real estate content — blog posts, podcasts, and videos — the title matters twice as much as everything else.

People might look to your thumbnail because it’s visual and interesting, but they’ll look to your title next to figure out what your video is about and, more importantly, if it’s of any interest to them.

So spend extra time developing a title that will entice your target market to click and watch. Remember, the more engagement your video gets, the better it will rank.

Here are a few practical tips for writing enticing headlines

  • Be specific.
    • Ex: 10 Tips For Selling Your House During Probate
  • Focus on attracting your target market.
    • Ex: How to Sell Your House in Just 2 Weeks!
  • Don’t be afraid of a bit of controversy.
    • Ex: Why You Should Skip The Real Estate Agent
  • Create urgency.
    • Ex: Watch THIS Before Choosing a Real Estate Agent!
  • Offer a certain number of tips, tactics, or strategies.
    • Ex: 10 Hacks For Getting Top-Dollar On Your Home

Action Item: Create an irresistible headline using the tips above. When more people watch your video, your rankings increase.

4. Optimize Your YouTube Video Description

Just like you would optimize the meta description of a blog post or website page, you should optimize your video description for search engines. Your video description is one of the primary places that search engine bots look when determining what your video is about, so make sure to include your target keyword phrase a couple of times.

If you created a video titled “Sell My House Fast Pittsburgh PA, ” you might have a video description that looks like this (notice that I include the target keyword phrase near the beginning of the description.

Optimize Your YouTube Video Description

“Wondering “how to sell my house fast for cash?” We are local HOME BUYERS with cash in Pittsburgh.”

Action Item: Include your target keyword phrase within your video description at least once and no more than twice.

5. Optimize Alt Text On Images

When you transcribe your video into a long-form blog post, you might want to space that content with images or screenshots from your video.

We do this in a lot of our whiteboard video posts!

optimize alt image text

Action Item: Add alt text to your images and use your target keyword phrase when possible within that alt-text!

And this tip is dead simple. If you decide to use some images in your video-based articles, just add some alt text to those images. Just use alt text that describes each image and tells search engines what that image is about.

Final Thoughts

There are two great things about video SEO.

First, you can rank in search engines with video content — which means more traffic, leads, and deals for your business.

And second, creating videos is way less time-consuming than writing long-form blog articles. Plus, using our VideoPost feature, you can turn any video into a blog article and pull even more SEO juice out of your 10-minute recording.

So pull out your phone, hit record, and offer your target market some killer advice.

Chapter 8:

SEO Keyword Tracking Tools: Optimize Your Real Estate Website Rankings

SEO is a lot of work — there are no two ways. You have to create, optimize, publish, promote, make sure your website is wicked fast, convert as it should, and tons more.

Fortunately, the real estate agents and investors who focus on SEO for the long-term are the ones who build the biggest, most amazing businesses.

So it is worth your time and investment.

Yes! You can reap SEO benefits by tracking your keywords and making strategic changes to your content based on the data you receive from keyword ranking tools.

What is Keyword Rank Tracking?

Keyword tracking is checking the rank positions of your real estate keywords in search engine result pages (SERPs). These keywords include the following types:

  • Keywords that are used on your website.
  • Other keyword terms you haven’t optimized.
  • Keywords that your competition ranks for.

Keyword tracking is about analyzing the organic positions of keywords in time. It’s based on current rankings and historical data so that you can analyze your organic traffic’s progress and impact.

Why You Should Care About Tracking Your Keyword Rankings

Keyword tracking is an essential part of the real estate SEO workflow. Tracking will give you information to take actionable steps to improve your website traffic and increase lead generation. Keyword rankings remain one of the most important KPIs in SEO.

But, don’t focus only on the positions. You must understand how the keyword positions influence your overall organic traffic potential. Not all keywords have the same traffic volume. It’s a good idea to include long-tail keywords and try to rank for more competitive terms.

You can also find “low hanging fruit”:

  • Keywords ranking on page two
  • Competition keywords
  • Keywords ranking 4-10

Look to see if you’re ranking on page two for any keywords. Then add some content, add internal linking, and optimize the existing content to give you a boost to page one.

Also, track your competition. Keep an eye on the keywords your competition is using when you’re tracking keywords. Stay ahead of them by producing strong content that sets yours apart from theirs.

Your keyword ranking answers will lie within using some of the tools mentioned below. They can make keyword tracking dead simple.

So here are four SEO keyword ranking tools you will want to take advantage of.

Tools to Check Your Keyword Rankings

1) SEMrush (Limited Free Plan. Paid for Full Service)

SEMRush calls its keyword tracking “Position Tracking”. Their tool allows you to track your website’s ranking for target keywords in the Google top 100 organic and paid results. You can receive daily updated data showing how your optimization efforts help your keyword rankings progress over time.

You can also track your competitors’ keyword rankings using a side-by-side comparison of your rankings versus others and highlights the keywords you need to focus on.

2) Ahrefs (Paid Service)

Ahrefs is more than just a keyword ranking tool. But, if that’s all you need, its keyword rank checker tool allows you to see your keyword rankings and any website of your competitors. They also break down desktop and mobile rankings for your target keywords.

3) SmallSEOTools Rank Checker (Free)

smallseotools rank checker

If you’re looking for a “simple” way to track your real estate keyword rankings, SmallSEOTools rank checker might be for you. As you can see from the image above, you can check your rankings based on the keywords of your choice. You can toggle between desktop, tablet, and mobile devices and download your rankings in spreadsheet format.

4) Carrot Keyword Ranking Tracker (For Carrot Members)

real estate seo keyword rankings

Imagine that you’re writing content every week, publishing it, and optimizing it to rank for some seriously high-value keyword phrases.

Then imagine that you start seeing some organic traffic to your website — WooHoo!

But imagine that you don’t know where that traffic is coming from because you cannot track your rankings. You don’t know which pages are ranking or what phrases they’re ranking for, and because of that, you can’t replicate your results.

It would be kind of self-defeating, huh?

Well, that’s why we created the SEO keyword ranking tracker at Carrot. All you have to do is enter in the keyword phrases that you’re trying to rank for, and we’ll automatically track your results for you; just check your dashboard when you’re wondering how your SEO for real estate efforts are paying off.

Keyword Tracking Best Practices

To get the most out of keyword rankings, you must understand that ranking #1 for each keyword should not be your only priority.

If you obsessively track your keyword rankings, you’ll lose time that can be invested in actually improving your positions.

Keyword tracking aims to check the overall progress of keyword positions and their impact on your organic traffic.

There might be times you’re keywords ranking in the highest positions will bring less quality organic traffic than the other five keywords for which the website ranks towards the middle of the first page. On the flip side, a drop in one of your most important keywords can be more critical than a significant increase in other keywords.

To know this, you need to keep records of your changes and clearly picture the potential traffic. Using one of the tools above allows you to keep clear records. Or, simply create your spreadsheet and keep track of your movements.

Follow Your SEO Keyword Ranking Closely

There are many other SEO keyword tools you can use. Pick one that fits both your needs and budget.

The longer you record results and the more detailed keyword tracking will help you determine which keywords will provide you with the most meaningful organic traffic.

In summary:

  • Create actionable steps to take from the keywords you’re tracking.
  • Stay aware of your competition to ensure that you can understand whether your content needs an upgrade or find weak spots to overtake them in keyword rankings.
  • Create keyword buckets that provide insights into your other marketing strategies. Keywords can be used for paid traffic as well as direct mail.
  • Use a keyword tracking tool to aid your marketing efforts and inform your team with better insights and strategies.

Chapter 9: 

How to Optimize For Voice Search

How often do you ask Siri, Alexa, or Bixbi to search something online for you rather than typing it in? 

It’s certainly a lot more convenient. 

And that’s probably why voice search is on the up and up. Here are some stats (from Search Engine Journal)…

  • 55% of users do voice search to ask questions on a smartphone, according to Perficient.
  • 39.4% of U.S. internet users operate a voice assistant at least once a month, according to eMarketer.

Interestingly, optimizing your website to rank for voice search is a little different than ranking for traditional search. 

If you want to target voice search, specifically, which is something your competitors probably aren’t doing, here are some quick tips…

1. Focus on Long-Tail Conversational Keywords

People speak differently than they type. 

When they type something, it’s short, sweet, and condensed. 

But when they ask something out loud, it’s usually a bit longer and more long-tail. 

Make a list of the real estate questions people might ask on their phones in your market. Things such as…

  • Where can I find someone to buy my house for cash in ?
  • Do I have to repair my house before I sell it in ?

And so forth. 

Then write blog posts to target those keywords. 

2. Answer Common Questions

One of the best ways to rank for voice search is to answer questions. 

Take your list from the previous step and create a page with FAQs — answer as many common questions as possible on that page. 

The more you answer, the more likely you are to rank when people as their phone one of those questions. 

3. Think Local

This tip isn’t specific to voice search, but it’s important to reiterate. 

Localize all of your keywords so that you’re not competing on a nationwide scale. You don’t need to compete with people in every state… so make sure you’re ONLY targeting people in your target market. 

Chapter 10: 

High-Level SEO Strategy for Real Estate Websites

This chapter lays out your beginner SEO for real estate plan from a high level. If you’re a real estate agent or investor who hasn’t done SEO before, this strategy is for you!

This chapter isn’t meant to delve into details for each step but to give you an overview of everything you want to do to get your website ranking and pull in passive traffic and leads.

It’ll take time and work (but maybe not as much time or work as you think).

But before we dive in… Here’s a quick example of the results you can achieve by having a solid SEO for real estate plan…

This Carrot member has followed the plan

real estate investor carrot website

They’ve risen through the SEO ranking and now rank #2 (at times #1) for two competitive search terms

 seo-ranking-for-sell-my-house

And therefore, they have 1000’s organic leads in their Carrot dashboard

organic real estate leads

When SEO is taken seriously, you can see that you can be successful with a good plan!

High-Level SEO for Real Estate Strategy

Step #1: Choosing a Website Builder That’ll Get The Tech Stack Right

The first thing you need is a real estate website builder that isn’t going to sabotage your SEO efforts down the road. If you use a website builder (or website hosting, for that matter) that has slow load times, a clunky experience, or isn’t mobile-friendly, that choice can hurt your rankings.

Regardless of how hard you work to rank for keyword phrases, you need a website that supports you.

These are important for Google, which means they are important for your SEO rankings.

Our websites are fast. In a study of 150,000 websites, Carrot’s tech stack outperformed Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, plus many others. Only Google’s platform beat us.

Real estate Website Builder Tech Stack

Check your website speed out using resources such as the Google Developers PageSpeed tool.

The website builder you choose must be ready to support your SEO efforts with speed, mobile-friendliness, and a clean user experience. Otherwise, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle.

Step #2: Optimize Your Website For Conversion

What is the point of driving traffic to your website if you’re not going to generate any leads — or very few leads?

Yeah… not much.

That’s why, before diving too far into optimizing your website to rank for traffic-driving keyword phrases, you should make sure that your website will convert at least 5% of visitors into leads and ideally 10% or more.

This, for example, is the kind of conversion rate that we consider average for a seller’s website.

And this is what we consider solid.

But how do you know if your website converts as many leads as possible?

The long way around is to create a website, drive paid traffic to it, and track the number of conversions that come through. Are you getting at least 10% of people to give you their contact information?

Or (the easier method) is to get yourself a Carrot site that’s pre-tested and proven to convert higher than any other website template in the industry.

We’ve got your back with support and free content whenever you need it, and you’re guaranteed to start with a site that converts.

Because there’s no reason to work on your website’s SEO if your website isn’t going to convert visitors consistently.

Step 3. Create a Google Business Profile

Local real estate SEO is much easier to tackle than nationwide SEO. 

At Carrot, for example, we have to compete for really saturated keyword phrases like “real estate website builder” or “how to build a real estate website.” 

Lots of software companies around the nation are trying to rank for those keywords, which makes our job even harder. 

(But that’s okay — we’re up for it)

The good news is that, unless you’re managing a nationwide real estate business (which you’re probably not), you don’t have to compete for those crazy keywords. 

The keywords you want to compete for will be localized to your specific city or state. 

And you know the easiest and fastest way to jump to the top of the search results for phrases like “home buyers in ” in your market? 

Create a Google Business account.

This is free, and it’ll allow your business to be listed and found under highly relevant search phrases.  

Here’s what that looks like in action…

local seo for real estate - google my businsess

That’s a lot of visibility. 

Cool, right? 

But how do you snag a top spot with your Google Business account like that? Here are some best practices to keep in mind.

Complete Every Section

Some of the sections that Google wants you to fill out when listing your business might not feel important or relevant, but it’s essential to fill out as many as possible. 

Google will treat your listing better if you’re thorough. 

So make sure you fill out the following:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Website
  • Hours
  • Category and Attributes 
  • Products and services
  • From the business
  • Questions and answers (Owner-generated queries)

And keep these as updated and current as possible:

  • Posts
  • Reviews
  • Questions and answers (Consumer-generated)

Be Consistent

Google is a website-crawling bot ninja. 

And to ensure your business listing is legit, it will crawl other websites to see if your information is consistent across all sources. 

So make sure your name, address, phone number, and other information should be identical across all the websites where your business is listed. 

Optimize the “From The Business” Section

In the “From The Business” section of your Google Business listing, you’ll be able to spend a bit of time talking about your business and what it does. 

This is an excellent opportunity to sell your business to readers. Use all 750 characters, repurpose some content from your About page and keywords your audience will use when searching in Google, and don’t include any links. 

Collect Reviews

The more positive reviews you have on Google, the higher that Google will rank you.

So make sure to collect Google reviews whenever possible from friends and family, past clients, and happy clients you’re currently working with. 

Step #4: Choose 3-5 Keyword High-Value Keyword Phrases

Once you’ve got a site with an SEO-friendly tech stack and a high conversion rate, it’s time to get to work.

But don’t overwhelm yourself — start with just 3-5 keyword phrases that are high value. If you operate in multiple markets, you could just target the phrase, “Sell my house fast in [MARKET CITY]” and create a separate page for each market where you operate.

If you operate in one market, then definitely still create a page that’s gunning for “Sell my house fast in [MARKET CITY],” but you might also try to target phrases like, “How to sell my house for cash in [MARKET CITY].”

If you’re a real estate agent, then consider targetting phrases like “Best real estate agent in [MARKET CITY]” or “Real estate agents in [MARKET CITY].”

Don’t choose more than 5 keywords for now, though, because you’ll have to create content for each search phrase, and you want to start simple. This is your SEO foundation.

Step #5: Create Optimized Content For Each Of Your Chosen Keywords

Now it’s time to create a separate page or piece of content for each of the keyword phrases you’ve chosen to start with.

You have a few options here…

If you want to get as much value out of your time as possible, consider recording a helpful video about your target keyword phrase and transcribing that into a long-form blog post.

The other option is to go ahead and just write the content yourself.

Either way, ensure you include your target keyword phrase within your page’s title, meta description, and URL slug. You can use the Carrot SEO Tool to determine whether you’ve optimized the page or not.

This will be the most time-consuming part of the process, but this is where the magic happens, so make sure you check off as many of the SEO to-dos as possible.

Step #6: Prepare To Monitor Results

Once you’ve created pages for your target keyword phrases and optimized them to rank, it’s time to monitor your results.

After all… having an SEO for real estate strategy without knowing whether that strategy is working or not is kind of silly. You want to be able to test, watch results, and make changes as needed.

That’s a critical part of your SEO journey.

But how do you do that?

Well, the easiest way is to sign up for our Content Pro or Advanced Marketer plan, which will provide you with a high-converting website and the ability to track your choice of keyword phrases (plus tons of other goodies).

Just go to your dashboard, click “Rankings” on the left side of the page, add a new keyword, and we’ll automatically provide you any updates in your website’s rankings regarding that keyword phrase.

Easy as pie.

Tracking Your SEO Rankings

Step #7: Build Links If Necessary

Unless you KNOW that the keyword phrase(s) you’re targeting is highly competitive and you won’t be able to rank without link-building, I will wait to see how each new page performs before spending time or money on building backlinks.

In case you don’t know, backlinks are a HUGE SEO factor — a backlink is when another website links to your website.

But again, give your new pages at least a month before building links to see where each one lands in the SERP.

Are you on Page 1 already? Great! Then there’s probably no need to build backlinks (unless you want to crawl further up the page. Are you on Pages 2, 3, or 4 after a month? Then you might want to consider building some backlinks to the page.

Step #8: Rinse and Repeat

There’s your high-level plan!

In the end, the goal is to find high-value keywords, create pages or content for each phrase, watch results, and then make changes as necessary.

But remember, one of the most significant SEO for real estate factors of all is time. The more time a page exists, the better its chance of ranking in Google. So be patient and give each new page at least a month to see where it settles before spending more time and money to re-work or re-optimize it.

As you invest in SEO, you’ll learn tons about what works, what doesn’t, and what keyword phrases are the most valuable for your business.

So be willing to adapt as you go — and always feel free to reach out to us for support. :-)

Just one final thing to cover. What do you do if you’ve done everything right but do not see results? Here are some thoughts.

Diagnostics: What To Do If You’re Not Ranking Like You Thought You Would

You put in a ton of work.

You did the keyword research, created content, and optimized as best you could; maybe you even built some backlinks to the page and got yourself a high-performing website… but still, you can’t reach page 1 where all the traffic happens.

What gives?

Here are the questions you should ask yourself (and the actions you should take) if a page isn’t ranking as you expected it to.

  1. Is your tech stack optimized for search engines? The first thing to ask is, “Is the coding of your website optimized to rank?” Typically, this means having a site that loads within 3 seconds or less and having a website with clean code. The tech stack of all Carrot sites is automatically optimized to rank in search engines. So we got you covered here.
  2. Are the keywords too competitive? If your website is brand new and you’re trying to rank for keyword phrases with a lot of competition (typically, this only happens if you’re in a super competitive market), then you’re not going to see many results. Try to focus more on long-tail keyword phrases to start — things like, “Tips for selling my house fast in [MARKET CITY]” or “What to know before buying a house in [MARKET CITY].” The less competitive the keyword phrase, the faster you will see results.
  3. Is your page as optimized as it could be? If you do not see results and the competition isn’t too fierce, then ask yourself if the page is as optimized as possible. Are there any questions you don’t address that other page 1 results do? Is your content longer or shorter than page 1 results (longer content typically ranks better)? How can you make the content more helpful and make Google want to rank it more?
  4. What other actions could you take to rank the page? Building backlinks to the page is recommended if it is optimized as best as possible and the keyword is not too competitive, but it still isn’t ranking. You could also get your citations to see if that makes a difference.

Final Thoughts

Now you know the high-level SEO for real estate process for getting your website ranking, from A-Z. Optimize your website, choose your keywords, create content, monitor results, and adapt as needed.

Then give it time.

How to Optimize For Voice Search

How often do you ask Siri, Alexa, or Bixbi to search something online for you rather than typing it in? 

It’s certainly a lot more convenient. 

And that’s probably why voice search is on the up and up. Here are some stats (from Search Engine Journal)…

  • 55% of users do voice search to ask questions on a smartphone, according to Perficient.
  • 39.4% of U.S. internet users operate a voice assistant at least once a month, according to eMarketer.

Interestingly, optimizing your website to rank for voice search is a little different than ranking for traditional search. 

If you want to target voice search, specifically, which is something your competitors probably aren’t doing, here are some quick tips…

1. Focus on Long-Tail Conversational Keywords

People speak differently than they type. 

When they type something, it’s short, sweet, and condensed. 

But when they ask something out loud, it’s usually a bit longer and more long-tail. 

Make a list of the real estate questions people might ask on their phones in your market. Things such as…

  • Where can I find someone to buy my house for cash in ?
  • Do I have to repair my house before I sell it in ?

And so forth. 

Then write blog posts to target those keywords. 

2. Answer Common Questions

One of the best ways to rank for voice search is to answer questions. 

Take your list from the previous step and create a page with FAQs — answer as many common questions as possible on that page. 

The more you answer, the more likely you are to rank when people as their phone one of those questions. 

3. Think Local

This tip isn’t specific to voice search, but it’s important to reiterate. 

Localize all of your keywords so that you’re not competing on a nationwide scale. You don’t need to compete with people in every state… so make sure you’re ONLY targeting people in your target market. 


Want To Build a Bigger, More Sustainable Real Estate Business?

Of course, you do!

You got into the real estate business so you wouldn’t have to work for “the man,” so you could work where you want, when you want, and spend more time doing the things that matter.

But it’s almost impossible to build a successful long-term business without consistent and predictable lead flow and income. You need to know that you will make monthly money to support yourself and your family. You need to count on your business, not just hope that deals or transactions come in.

And SEO for real estate is your ticket to building a more significant, sustainable business.

So dive into the chapters and let us know if you have any questions! To your success!