Talking Your Way to Better Real Estate SEO

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24 Aug 2017

Weren’t you proud when you learned something about SEO, Search Engine Optimization?  You learned about keywords, key phrases, and terms like “long tail.”  All of those articles and classes about the META content on your site and how to create effective titles and descriptions for SEO has helped you along the way.

Well, we’re popping your bubble now!  First, getting on the first page of Google desktop searches has become very difficult just using the key phrases strategies.  The big players like Zillow and Realtor.com are occupying a lot of first-page real estate, pun intended.  That’s the not-so-good news.  But there is some great news too.  How would you like to pop to the top for real estate SEO on the ever-growing number of mobile searches?

We’re not going to get into the deep tech of NLP, Google’s Natural Language Processing.  We’ll just tell you that Google has been doing deep research into the way people speak and has been using what they’ve learned in their search algorithms.  Google also knows the device being used for a search so they can create algorithms tailored to the device.

We’ll just jump into “conversational search,” the way people speak a search into their mobile device.  Two statistics will get us started:

“50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020” according to comscore.

“About 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020.” via Mediapos.

Right now, statistics vary, but most put voice searches between 20% and 30% of all mobile search activity.  Why is this good news when we’re already losing ground in desktop search?

  1. It’s a new opportunity to create content and text that is targeted at mobile users so that our exposure grows with their use of voice search.
  2. Working with locational search, we have an opportunity to pop up in mobile searches done by buyers and sellers while they’re in our area.

So, what do we do to get going on becoming one of the listings mobile users see when they’re searching on real estate topics in our market areas?

Action #1:  Start Thinking Mobile and Voice Search

Instead of thinking just in the keyword and key phrase box, start thinking how you would get a question answered or a request fulfilled if you were talking to an expert sitting in front of you.  Do it verbally, out loud, so you begin to get into the verbal search mode.

Action Tip #1:  Do It Yourself

While you’re out and about or while you’re working on the website, start picking up your smart phone (not while driving!) and speaking searches.  It’s still so new that we can’t suggest what will work in your market, but some ideas include:

  • “give me homes for sale in yourtown under $200,000”
  • “which neighborhoods in yourtown are best for children”
  • “condominium real estate agents in yourarea”

You’re getting the idea.  Just start doing it and seeing the results you get.  Who is popping up and why?

Action #2:  Get Your Business Listed Locally on Google

Listing your business on Google for mapping gets you established and in the queue for discovery in local searches, especially those on mobile devices.  Do this right away, following Google’s instructions carefully.

Action Tip #2:  List, Verify and Double-Check

Don’t short-change this action.  Follow Google’s instructions here to improve your ranking in mobile and map searches.  Make sure you’ve followed the instructions to verify your business as well.

Action #3:  Create the Verbal Text

This may seem obvious, but we’re back to the key phrase thing again, but modified.  Many of these searches will be phrased as questions, and others as instructions.  Examples:

  1. “where are the best yourarea neighborhoods for children”
  2. “show me nearby homes for sale under $250k”

You want to begin to use text that incorporates the verbal expressions.  That’s not easy we know, but it will help.

Action Tip #3:  Partial Phrasing & Questions Help

A blog post or page with the title “Where are the yourtown homes under $250,000?” is a great post.  Then put an IDX results page there or an article with a link to the IDX page.  The article or text with the IDX search can speak to the local market and the homes in this price range.

The same would work for a question about neighborhoods good for children.  Or, you can use part of a question or instruction phrase as well.  “How to find neighborhoods in yourtown good for raising children” is an example.

Start thinking like you’re talking, or talking about what you’re thinking to get the ball rolling.  Then test those searches to see what pops up.  You may in a few weeks or months get a pleasant surprise to find your listing right there on the phone.