The Online Real Estate SEO Maze Simplified

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8 May 2019

Real estate SEO as practiced by most real estate agents for their personal and business websites hasn’t really evolved much. There is still a lot of emphasis on keywords and key phrases, how much repetition, and where to place them. Then there’s the inbound linking and internal linking stuff you have to weave into your content.

Let’s face it, there’s just a whole lot of stuff to try to weave into a page about how to price a home for sale, and getting it all in there usually results in something your website visitors don’t want to read. Is there a better way to deal with real estate SEO? Put a simple to follow step-by-step plan into place that won’t drive you crazy and should improve your results.

1. Identify the Google Problem

Do a Google test search in your area, and see if you get something similar to the results for this “denver homes for sale” search. After the paid ads, the top 10 results were for these sites:

  • Zillow.com
  • Realtor.com
  • Trulia.com
  • Redfin.com
  • ColdwellBanker.com
  • Homes.com
  • Remax.com
  • Century21.com
  • ZipRealty.com
  • Movoto.com

You’ll probably find similar results for broad real estate related phrase searches in your area as well. Of course, you can do paid search advertising, but that gets expensive, and it’s competitive as well. These mega sites have so many instances of the broad key phrases that you’ll have a tough time breaking into this group at the top of results if you stick with the old rules.

Action

Have you buried yourself in strategies like “keyword density” or “website optimization” for your real estate SEO? If so, you’re not alone, but you can save time and anxiety in your real estate SEO content strategy, because Google has been innovating behind-the-scenes.

Google holds several patents on something called “phrase-based indexing.” With Google’s hundreds of billions of indexed pages, the search engine has constructed a gigantic database of related phrases for searches and major key phrases based on Google’s recognition of the overall purpose of the website, in our case, local real estate. You see a hint of this when Google suggests phrases related to the search phrase you entered.

Your first simple real estate SEO improvement strategy is just to use the phrases that your site visitors and prospects use in searches and that describe your page topic. When it comes to real estate, there will be local subdivision names, phrases related to transactions (such as “real estate closing” or “{areaname} title insurance,” etc.

You don’t have to overthink this, which is why it’s of value. Start thinking in terms of all of the phrases that are relevant to real estate and your locality and use them more in your content. Don’t get crazy about it, as you don’t want your visitor to quit reading, but the more phrases that Google has ranked highly for your local real estate area, the better your chances of higher ranking.

2. Inbound Linking Social Strategy

Instead of trying to entice other sites to place links to yours, write valuable content, link to sites of value to your visitors, and some will likely link back to you anyway. It’s too time-consuming for most of us to do much more. You do have direct control over inbound linking from your social sites presences.

Action

You want a presence on the most popular social sites:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

You may want to be on others as well, but these are sites that can generate traffic to your real estate website if you set up that way. For every page or blog post on your site, you’ll want to craft an appropriate styled post to each of your social sites. You want a business presence on these sites, not just a personal profile.

Using Facebook as an example, and your website page describing transaction repair negotiations, write a post with an attention-catching title such as “Dealing with Unreasonable Buyer Repair Demands when Selling Your Home.” Write a short summary of the content of this page and link any relevant phrase back to your page/post. Do the same for Twitter, etc. Use a good image for Instagram.

This is your best strategy for inbound links, especially if you have enough followers/friends that share your social posts. Those links go with the shares and multiply the effect.

3. Internal Linking

There are really no dramatic new revelations about internal linking. However, perhaps you should consider why Google uses it in ranking so that you’ll use internal links better.

Google isn’t necessarily that interested in the exact phrase “title binder exceptions” that you use to link to a page on that topic from a page about title insurance binders. There is ranking value however in how many visitors who view the title binder phrase and then use that internal link to the exceptions page. The longer a visitor stays on the site and the more they move around, the better Google will treat you.

Action

You don’t have to get crazy about it, but placing relevant internal links to content that educates, expands, or answers questions is a great practice for your visitors as well. Start thinking about general information pages with internal links to more detail.

The title insurance binder page is a good example. You would give a thorough overview of a title insurance binder’s purpose and main sections content. For each section overview in bold or accented text, link it to a detailed page that fully explains that item, such as “title binder requirements.”Keep your visitor in mind, sending them to more information if they want it or have questions.

Google tracks their movements, and you will garner real estate SEO rewards. Follow these three simple to implement rules and you’ll begin to see positive real estate SEO results.