It’s no secret, the real estate industry can be extremely challenging. It requires you to constantly make cold calls and spend a lot of time with prospects who are often unqualified. But what if there was a way to automate this process to the point that you could attract quality leads with just half the effort? It turns out there is. It’s a form of marketing that’s referred to as local SEO.
This type of marketing generates leads for you. It gives you the ability to stand out from the competition without having to make calls, buy ads, or chase new customers. Let’s take a moment to discuss a few of the most effective strategies for this form of marketing. But first, what is it?
What is Local SEO?
At the beginning of the home buying process, one of the first things that most people do is perform a Google search.
Specifically, they’re looking for an agent who can explain the process to them, help them tour properties, and assist with negotiations. And SEO plays a huge role in determining which agents appear at the top of the search results.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. And it’s the process of optimizing your website so that you get as much organic or unpaid, traffic to your business as possible. This traffic comes directly from search engines. The higher you rank in Google’s search engine, the more attention your website gets and the more people click through to learn more about your business.
When you optimize your website so that it targets individuals who live in your area, then it’s referred to as local search engine optimization. This type of optimization is ideal for prospects who perform searches that include phrases such as ‘realtors near me.’ With local search engine optimization, not only will you attract people who are interested in purchasing property, but you’ll attract those who want to buy homes in your specific city or state.
6 Winning Local SEO Strategies for Realtors
Now that you have a better understanding of what local search engine optimization is and how it can help you to better target your audience, you need to know what approach to take. Here are a few of the most effective strategies to date.
Create & Optimize Google My Business
Most people would be surprised to learn that phone books still exist. And that’s because our smartphones and tablets ensure that we can easily access any information we could ever need or want. For all intents and purposes, Google is the new phone book. People are always using this search engine to find the numbers of businesses that they would like to interact with.
This is great news for agents because you can ensure that your prospects can easily look you up. But the question is when they perform a search for your business, are they finding the information that they need? Before someone ever reaches your website, they need to be able to find basic information about your business.
The best way to ensure that your local target audience always has access to this information is to create and optimize your Google My Business. Google My Business is a business listing that allows your information to be displayed by Google in various results.
Luckily, the process is pretty straight-forward. Simply create your account and claim your business, verify the business, and then optimize your listing by including as much information as you can. This is great for SEO. The more information Google has about your business, the better.
Get More Reviews
Purchasing a new home can be an extremely emotional and exciting process. That’s why prospects are always on the lookout for the perfect agent. In fact, many people consider it to be one of the most important parts of home buying. So it’s essential that your target audience is able to find glowing reviews about your services.
Not only will reviews instill a sense of confidence in your clients, but Google as well. The more positive reviews you receive, the better your position in the search results. There are a lot of review sites available for home buyers. This list includes websites such as Zillow, Realtor.com, and Trulia. You may even host a few reviews on your own Facebook page. So encourage your past clients to leave comments about your services. You may also set up a referral program for your future clients.
Another awesome local search engine optimization strategy is building citations. In marketing, citations are any mention of your business name, address, or phone number on third party websites. Google is always searching for authentic websites–meaning those that are owned by legitimate companies. Citations are the best ways to ensure that Google knows that you’re one of these companies.
Citations can also significantly improve your search rankings. This is especially the case when your name, address, and phone number also referred to as NAP, has been published across hundreds of sites. The more localized and relevant the citations are, the more likely it is that you’ll rank for the terms for your area.
Admittedly, if you want to ensure that your information is always accurate and up-to-date, then this process can be a little time-consuming. This is especially true if you’re entering your information manually. However, there are tools and data aggregators that you can use to automate and speed up the process.
Pens, magnets, and brochures are nowhere near as effective as they used to be. These days, clients are interested in interacting with your brand. And a lot of this interaction will come from the content that you provide. Content marketing is ideal for reaching your target audience. This form of marketing covers a wide range of communications such as videos, podcasts, and most notably, blogs.
When well-executed, your blog can help you to gain trust, nurture relationships, and build loyalty. The content that you provide should offer information that’s educational and actionable. In fact, your posts should make you an industry authority.
But perhaps the most valuable part of having a blog on your website is that it helps with SEO. It gives you the opportunity to use keywords and phrases that people will be searching for. For example, if you’re selling property in Colorado, including terms such as ‘family homes in Colorado’ or ‘best realtors in Colorado’ will attract the most qualified leads. And the more relevant keywords you use, the higher you’ll appear in the search engine. While search engine algorithms are somewhat mysterious, it’s safe to say that if you focus on providing value and using phrases that your audience is searching for, you’ll be able to attract a considerable amount of new clients.
Be Active in Social Media
Sites like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat have become permanent fixtures of society. They ensure that we remain in touch with friends and family and are always up-to-date with what’s going on in the world. However, social media has proven itself to be particularly invaluable when it comes to business.
These platforms help to increase brand awareness, allow brands to interact with their followers, and assist businesses with building authority. Sites such as YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook are especially helpful with real estate marketing as it allows the realtor to use video to showcase their properties.
However, many realtors overlook the fact that social media can be extremely helpful when it comes to SEO. Sure, social media can result in more people visiting your website, but your social media presence can also be another signal to Google that you operate a legitimate business. Also, the more likes and shares your content gets on these platforms, the easier it is to capture the attention of influencers in the real estate industry. And they’re more likely to read through and link to the content that you have on your website.
Another huge part of ensuring that your local search engine optimization is a success is building backlinks. Whenever one site includes a link to another site on theirs, it’s considered to be a backlink. Google and other reputable search engines love backlinks because it signals that the content on the other site is valuable enough to link to. So essentially, backlinking to another site is like casting a vote of confidence for that site.
The more backlinks, or votes, a website can secure, the higher the rankings for the website. This means that you need to create content that is valuable enough for other websites to want to share with their audience. You may also offer to guest blog for other websites in exchange for a backlink to your site. It’s essential that you focus on getting backlinks from authoritative sites as their backlinks will hold more value.
Real estate marketing has changed a lot over the years.
The tactics that worked ten years ago won’t offer the same results today. If you want to get the most out of your marketing campaign, it’s important that you focus a significant amount of your attention on local search engine optimization. It allows you to save money and spend more of your time interacting with qualified leads.