Everybody wants to be on page one of Google, but it takes a lot of work to get there. Sure, your IDX listings may be indexed, but is that enough to get your website the visibility it needs to generate business?
Here are 3 quick SEO tips designed for real estate agents to help you improve your site visibility today.
SEO Tips for Realtors
SEO Tip #1: Use keywords to name your images.
You’ve got a new listing going on the market. You drove by the property, whipped out your iPhone and took a few pics to use on your website. So far, so good! But here’s where most of us miss an SEO opportunity: We upload it directly to our website, with an absolutely meaningless name, like:
Next time, take the extra step of renaming the photo before uploading it to your site. Use file names that are both meaningful (i.e. give you actual context of what the photo is) and contain a keyword or key phrase. For example:
Search engines can’t see your photos, but they can read your photo names, so naming your images in a way that makes more sense (with or without sight) is good for SEO. The only catch is, don’t go crazy. Don’t keyword-stuff your file names (that just looks smarmy), but do take advantage of an easy opportunity to beef up your keywords where you can.
SEO Tip #2: Do your homework
I’ll let you in on a little secret: It’s not hard to rank top of Google… if you’re using keywords nobody’s searching for or cares about.
Why am I telling you this? Well, if you’ve spent any time trying to improve your site SEO, you’ve likely tried to optimize for certain keywords or key phrases based on your geography or area of real estate expertise. That’s great and maybe you even rank well for those targeted terms, but here’s the question: Is anybody searching for your keywords and key phrases? If not, you’re wasting your efforts.
The key is (pun intended!), know what people are searching for and then tailor your content around those keywords. I’ll give you two quick ways (one ghetto and one sophisticated) to get an idea of what phrases people use for search.
You know when you go to Google, start typing in a search word and it offers up some suggestions to auto-complete? That’s Google making an effort to guess what you’re searching for based on the popularity of other search phrases.
While not terribly scientific, this is a quick way to get an idea for potential search terms. If you’re using a free SEO plugin, like WordPress SEO, use the selected phrase as your target term.
I warned you it was ghetto.
If you have a Google Adwords account, there’s a handy keyword research tool that’s a more sophisticated that just using your search bar.
Use a Paid Research Tool
There are loads of paid services on the web for keyword research, but my favorite is Scribe by Copyblogger Media. It lives right in your WordPress dashboard, so no web surfing required.
You can do rich keyword analysis from your post editor and grade your post content against your selected keyword (in other words, how relevant is your content for the selected keyword and what are the odds of getting ranked for it).
Scribe does other cool stuff as well, like helping you improve your internal link structure, making suggestions for social sharing based on current trends, and more. It’s not cheap, but if you write regular content, it’s definitely worth looking into.
SEO Tip #3: Write. Right Now.
There’s no magic pill to improve your SEO. Great SEO happens when you’re writing regular, relevant content. And writing content takes time and commitment.
If writing isn’t your thing, but you still want to publish regular content, Winning Agent can help (yes, that is a shameless plug). We can write property-specific posts, hyperlocal blog content, or general real-estate topics.
If you want to write your content, but just need a little inspiration in the right direction, try out one of these ideas:
- Pick a topic and write a series (i.e. building a home, or preparing to relocate)
- Go try a new restaurant in town (yes, please!) and then write about your experience
- Offer up a seasonal tips post (i.e. how to select a lawn care company, or how to deal with water restrictions)
Not every post has to be focused on buying and selling homes. Let your personality and unique local perspective come through in your content. If you want to see a realtor who’s done a great job of this, check out Doug Francis.
One last thing…
At the end of the day, we put our time, money, and efforts into our websites, because we want potential clients to see the unique value we offer. A great ranking in Google is just a means to an end – the end being the joy of handing over keys to a new homeowner, or getting a thank-you note for helping a family make a smooth transition to a new city (and, let’s not lie, cashing that commission check).
My final SEO tip? While it’s smart to think about SEO, don’t let it consume you. Think about your readers and what they’re looking for.
Trust me, if it’s good for your readers, it’s good for your SEO.