Top SEO for Real Estate Strategies Strategies, Tips, and Examples [2021 Edition]
If you’re a real estate agent or investor and are looking to work with more clients, then it’s time for you to start investing in real estate SEO.
With this strategy, there is less need for cold calling and paid advertising. Instead of spending hours on the phone each day 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 any 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.
Table of Contents
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:
“For the most part, they’re all motivated. I would say 80% of the leads that come in are motivated sellers. You send out direct mail and you’re dealing with 90% 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 for Real Estate?
SEO for real estate is just like fishing with a net. When you put the net in the right spot, you’re going to catch many leads.
To break it down in simple terms, 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).
By optimizing your own real estate website page(s) for a search engine’s algorithm (usually Google since it’s the biggest), you can rank for high-value phrases and drive passive traffic to your website.
Carrot members, for instance, often rank for market-specific phrases.
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?
For many Carrot members 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 even create predictable income and lead generation.
In this guide, we’re going to 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 some practice, and you’ll be on your way to having a search engine optimized website.
Welcome to your SEO learning journey!
Chapter 1: SEO For Real Estate And Why Is It 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 all 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.
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 set of ranking factors that make the most significant impact. With just a little bit of 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 right now for 2021.
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 that is optimized for SEO, but if your content isn’t worthy, it’s not going to 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.
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.
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.
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:
Which has helped it climb the rankings to #1 for the target keyword: “we buy houses in Pittsburgh”.
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 that a page exists, the more likely Google is going to rank it. The average length of time that a page #1 result has existed is between 650 and 950 days (2-4 years!).
But don’t let that discourage you. As a real estate agent or investor, you’re dealing with significantly lower SEO competition than any sort of 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.
At Carrot, we believe in keeping things simple and effective. That’s why we created VideoPost, a feature that allows you to automatically turn one of your videos into a long-form blog article with the click of a button.
4. Mobile SEO Optimized Real Estate Website
If you want to rank in Google in today’s world, your website must be mobile optimized. Mobile optimization just means that when someone visits your site on their smartphone or tablet, your website adapts to whatever screen they’re using.
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 for sure 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 examples of 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 website builder that’s pre-optimized to load quickly and rank in search engines.
At Carrot, for instance, we’re constantly testing and iterating the tech-stack of our member’s sites to make sure they’re the fastest in the industry. One of our recent tests on a Carrot site performed even better than Google.com.
Here’s a Carrot site page speed using Google PageSpeed Insights
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 chance you have of reaching page one.
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 done enough?
We created our Carrot real estate SEO Tool to answer that question for you automatically. On every page of your Carrot site, you’ll be able to see a list of to-dos for optimizing that page for search engines.
Carrot SEO Tool
Once you have the green light, you can hit publish!
In the end, you might be able to rank a keyword-optimized webpage without considering too many other factors, but you definitely won’t rank a page for anything if your keywords aren’t in order.
For real estate, here are some common keywords that you’ll want to consider creating pages for,
- Sell my house fast in [MARKET CITY]
- Buy a house in [MARKET CITY]
- Real estate buyer in [MARKET CITY]
- Real estate agent in [MARKET CITY]
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 that have some sort of search volume), the next most important question to ask yourself 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.
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 all the time and 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 factors 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 how to ramp things up is a critical decision. 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 is going to 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 up online!
Let’s Sum It Up For You
When you’re looking at SEO and PPC to attract real estate leads, here are a few things to consider.
How SEO Can Help You as a Real Estate Agent or Investor
The goal of any solid SEO strategy is to get your real estate website showing 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 sort of traffic you need.
SEO can also build trust in the eyes of the potential lead. Research of search trends has shown that 85% of clicks go to organic SEO.
The #1 lead generation source was “Organic Search”. This is a month-over-month, year-over-year occurrence. In a snapshot, Organic leads accounted for 36.4% of all leads. For reference, PPC accounted for 12.3%.
SEO is about building your authority, demonstrating your relevance, and getting your site matched 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 necessary building blocks to achieve high rankings in search engines, the sky’s the limit!
Benefits of SEO for Real Estate and Content Marketing
1. It’s free if you do it yourself
A clear benefit to SEO 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 as they trust them so much more than a paid ad.
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, and 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 go down as your traffic increases. That means your cost per lead will decrease.
4. Not just for blog posts… turn on YouTube videos for quicker 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:
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 coming in, in the short term, and SEO to build up over the long term. It is possible to 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 often works for SEO, as well. 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. By using PPC, you’ll also quickly learn what works and what 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.
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.
Chances are, 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: Guide to Choosing the Best Real Estate Keywords for SEO
When we talk about SEO, you’re going to 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 chance you have 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?
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 that has that keyword worked into the title and strategically placed spots within the content.
We’re going to help you figure out the best real estate keywords for your business here.
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 on 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 they are about your content. You might describe what you buy or sell in a slightly different way 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 do this by communicating with your customers, frequenting Facebook forums, visiting local community groups, plus doing your 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 the 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 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:
If phrases turn up in a Google suggestion, you know that it is a phrase people are searching for. Some of the tips might not fit your goal, but they can inspire other search terms that you can use within your content.
More Tools to Find Real Estate Keywords
There are many tools you can use 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 many other SEO and PPC research features.
- The SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool is only accessible to logged-in members who have registered a free account. It provides search volumes, related search terms, estimated values, and more. Similar to the Google Ads Keyword Planner.
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…
- 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
- How to sell my house before foreclosure in Dallas, Texas
- How to sell my house during foreclosure in Dallas, Texas
- 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 themselves 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 of all.
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 in 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 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.
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 is more robust, but it does offer 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.
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 system is user-friendly and offers much more than the keyword ranking tool.
Action item: Dial in your needs. If you’re a Carrot Content Pro member, be sure to 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.
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 listings (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: What is On-Page SEO for Real Estate?
On-page SEO refers to the measure that can be 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 that you can directly control, making it faster and more effective. Without optimizing on-page SEO ranking factors on your website first, other off-page strategies are practically 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?
It is critical to give Google’s algorithm as much information as possible about your real estate website.
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.
Top 10 Steps to an On-Page Optimized Website
Step 1: Leverage SEO Friendly URLs
One way Google knows about what is on your page is by the URL of that particular page.
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.
They are ranking #3 for “we buy houses in Pittsburgh”
Action Item: Make sure you update your title tags on your pages 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 even better.
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.
The majority of 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.
Action Item: Work your keyword phrase into your meta description in a natural way. 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 sort of 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>
Action Item: Don’t overuse your H2s within your content. The more H2s your page has, the less valuable they are. Try to make sure 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.”
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 simply 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, and it creates a connection from your website to others. Also, try to link to domains that have built trust and have good domain authority.
Action Item: In all of your blog posts and main pages, you want to rank well… find a web page that talks about something you mentioned in the article and link 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.
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.
As an example, see the picture below of a search for a common motivated seller keyword phrase…
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 darn 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 website-builders (Carrot included), allow you to customize this text for each image, which you should take advantage of.
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 it 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 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 at a MINIMUM of 300-500 words.
But if you’re going after a really competitive phrase… build out some more content and see if you can get it over 1,000 words (of course using these optimization tips along the way).
In the long run, we here at Carrot feel that the future of ranking well in 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.
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, though, throw them in the comments, and we’ll answer as best we can.
Chapter 5: How to Build Backlinks Into Your Real Estate Website
What Are SEO for Real Estate 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.
Why is Backlink Building Important for Your Real Estate Website?
First, backlinks are a significant piece of the SEO (search engine optimization) puzzle.
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 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.
If it doesn’t, then 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’re going 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.
In other words, the more traffic and backlinks a page on your website receive, the better that page will rank for your target keyword phrases.
Here is another example of a Carrot website. This member has 272 backlinks:
Backlinks have helped it climb the rankings to #1 for the target keyword: “we buy houses in Pittsburgh”.
Unfortunately, getting traffic and backlinks are also a few of the most challenging things to do. This is why, in this article, we’re going to 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.
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 like a door to your website. The more doors you have, the more people who 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.
Whether you’re writing, shooting videos, or a combination of both using VideoPosts, consistency is vital.
If you get stuck creating consistent content, take a 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
A quick-and-easy win for your SEO rankings is to make sure your citations are in order.
Citations are the business listings you have on third-party websites (Google My Business, Yahoo, etc). The more citations you have, the better (aim for at least 50) — just make sure that all of those citations use the same contact info and have the same business name.
Practically speaking, building your citations is finding third-party listing sites and submitting your information which can be a little time-consuming.
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)
HARO (which stands for Help A Reporter Out) is a great way to build backlinks and market authority simultaneously. Journalists sign up for HARO to get quotes and expert 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.
4. Manual Outreach
Social media shares are like gold — highly desirable but in short supply. We like to call it “hamster wheel” marketing.
When someone shares one of your articles or one of your posts on social media, you get free publicity.
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…
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 the relationship you have 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.
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. :-)
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. :-)
Action Item: Make a list of 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” or “small-business entrepreneurship podcasts” or “real estate investing blogs.”
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. :-)
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. :-)
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).
Bonus: Warning – Avoid These Two Backlink Building & SEO Tactics
When it comes to SEO, it’s not just important that you use the right strategies, it’s also important 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, though, I will…
In a nutshell, they purchase hundreds or thousands of expired/unused domains with a bit of SEO juice build from the previous owners. Then, they go to all of these domains and plug a backlink to your website on each.
After a bit of time, your website starts to rank and you’re thinking to yourself, “Wow! These guys are awesome!”
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 little 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.
Ideally, you want your backlinks to come from sites with low spam scores. Ask any SE firm you’re thinking of hiring how they build backlinks and where those links come from. That will tell you a lot about whether those links are high-quality or not.
There you have it!
You should now understand how you can build your SEO rankings with backlinks to your real estate website.
If you have any more questions, though, feel free to ask them in the comments, and we’ll help you out however we can!
Chapter 6: 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 is creating video content that’s 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 we’ve discussed in previous chapters, getting SEO rankings can benefit your business in many ways, such as…
- Getting free and consistent traffic to your website.
- Generating high-quality leads every single month.
- 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 be closing every month 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 a lot 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 amount of 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 drive traffic to your website consistently, generate leads, do more deals, and build a more authentic relationship with your target market… all in as little as 10 minutes at a time!
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 before, 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 using 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 out 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…
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 is going to 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).
Real estate expert, Max Maxwell, is particularly good at publishing eye-catching 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 first because it’s visual and it’s 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 some extra time coming up with a title that will entice your target market to click and watch. Remember, the more engagement your video gets, the better it’s going to 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” then you might have a video description that looks like this (notice that I include the target keyword phrase near the beginning of the 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 out a bit with images or screenshots from your video.
We do this in a lot of our whiteboard video posts!
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.
There are two great things about video SEO.
First off, you can rank in search engines with video content — which means more traffic, more leads, and more deals for your business.
And second, creating videos is way less time-consuming than writing long-form blog articles. Plus, if you use 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 7: 4 SEO Keyword Tracking Tools For Easily Optimizing Your Real Estate Website Rankings
SEO is a lot of work — there are no two ways about it. You have to create content, optimize that content, publish that content, promote that content, make sure your website is wicked fast, converting 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! By tracking your keywords and making strategic changes to your content based on the data you receive from keyword ranking tools, you can reap SEO benefits.
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 optimize.
- 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.
Free SEO Keyword Bible Download
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 increased lead generation. Keyword rankings remain one of the most important KPIs in SEO.
But, don’t focus only on the positions. You need to 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. When you’re tracking keywords, keep an eye on the keywords your competition is using. 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 mention below. They can make keyword tracking dead-simple.
So here are four SEO keyword ranking tools that you’re going to 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 as well as any website of your competitors. They also break down desktop and mobile rankings for your target keywords.
3) SmallSEOTools Rank Checker (Free)
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 for 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)
Imagine that you’re writing content every week, you’re publishing that content, and you’re 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 have no way of tracking 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 at Carrot, we created the SEO keyword ranking tracker. 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 of keyword rankings, you need to 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 on 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 of one of your most important keywords can be more critical than significant positions’ increase of other keywords.
To know this, you need to keep records of your changes and have a clear picture of 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 from there.
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 becomes, will help you determine which keywords will provide you with the most meaningful organic traffic.
- 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 finding 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 8: High-Level SEO Strategy for Real Estate Websites
In this chapter, we lay 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, then this strategy is for you!
This chapter isn’t meant to delve into loads of detail for each step, but to give you an overview of everything you’ll want to do to get your website ranking and pulling in passive traffic and leads.
It’ll take time, and it’ll take 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
They’ve risen through the SEO ranking and now rank #2 (at times #1) for two competitive search terms
And, therefore, they have 1000’s of organic leads in their Carrot dashboard
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 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. In fact, only Google’s own platform beat us.
Check your website speed out for yourself using resources such as 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 you dive too far into optimizing your website to rank for traffic-driving keyword phrases, you should make sure that your website is going to 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 is converting 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: Choose 3-5 Keyword High-Value Keyword Phrases
Once you’ve got yourself 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, then 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’re going to have to create content for each of those search phrases and you want to start simple. This is your SEO foundation.
Step #4: 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, then consider recording a helpful video about your target keyword phrase and then using VideoPost to transcribe that recording into a long-form blog post.
The other option is to go ahead and just write the content yourself.
Either way, make sure that 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 #5: Prepare To Monitor Results
Once you’ve created pages for each of your target keyword phrases and optimized those pages 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 with any updates in your website’s rankings regarding that keyword phrase.
Easy as pie.
Step #6: 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 would 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 even further up the page. Are you on Page 2, 3, or 4 after a month or so? Then you might want to consider building some backlinks to the page.
Step #7: 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 of those phrases, 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 that a page exists, the better chance it has 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 work, 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 if do if you’ve done everything right, but you 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, you 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.
Well, 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.
- 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 it also means 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.
- 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’re going to see results.
- Is your page as optimized as it could be? If you’re not seeing results and the competition isn’t too fierce, then ask yourself if the page is as optimized as it could be. 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 even more helpful and make Google want to rank it even more?
- 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.
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.
After a few months, you’ll see your rankings start to increase and you’ll gain SEO momentum. That’s when you should increase your content production and keep trying to rank for new phrases.
Eventually, you’ll build a business with predictable lead-flow and sustainable monthly income — every entrepreneur’s dream.
Want To Build a Bigger, More Sustainable Real Estate Business?
Of course, you do!
You got into the real estate businesses 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 money every month 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, more sustainable business.
So dive into the chapters and let us know if you have any questions! To your success!