Welcome to the Neighborhood
The digital marketing and SEO neighborhood can seem to be a daunting and scary place for those who have yet step foot in this vicinity of the internet, but don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through an overview of what to do! We’ll explain the crucial elements of SEO and how you can best incorporate said elements into your next SEO strategy. Enjoy!
On-Site & Off-Site SEO
In SEO, there’s on-site SEO and off-site SEO. On-site SEO consists of, you guessed it, on-site configurations of your website. Off-site SEO consists of external factors related to your website.
Both are extremely important in your overall SEO strategy and will help you significantly when optimized to the highest degree. On-site and off-site SEO are different slices of the pie, yet equally fulfilling.
On-Site SEO for Realtors
With on-site SEO, there are several different factors, but today we’ll be discussing what we believe to be some of the most important to help you start without overwhelming you. Below is a list of some easy to implement components of a proper, on-site SEO strategy:
- Consistent Hierarchy
- Site Speed
- Quality, Authoritative, Fresh Content
- Optimized Internal Linking Structure
- Keyword Research & Implementation
- Optimized Meta Data
A consistent hierarchy of your website not only helps individuals better navigate your site and find what they’re searching for with ease, but it also helps search engines better navigate and understand what your site is about. When you make the search engine bot’s job easier, they in turn reward your site with higher crawl rates and this will in turn lead to higher rankings over time as long as you maintain a steady flow of fresh content production.
Site speed is a vital element to your site’s success. Here are a couple of site speed testing tools to gain a glimpse into what you can do to best improve your site’s speed:
The reason site speed is so important for rankings is due to search engines realizing over time users who visit a site and have a poor experience with load times will more often than not exit the site without even engaging with the site itself. This is considered a big red-flag for search engines and can potentially cost you a large amount of business over time. Bottom line, improve your site speed and watch your rankings improve.
Quality, Authoritative, Fresh Content
When you continually produce great content, you’ll not only appeal to new and existing users of your site, you’ll also appeal to search engines as they can discern what your site is all about through the keywords you use within your content. This will in turn allow you to eventually rank for keywords you would have never thought of which is fantastic as it can open up new opportunities for business to develop.
In addition to new keywords being attained, you can also expect search engines to appreciate your efforts for continually producing fresh content and they will reward you with higher rankings among those newly-acquired keywords.
Additionally, you’ll want to ensure your content is 800+ words as this often indicates to search engines your content is well-researched and provides a more valuable experience for users.
However, if you find your content is just as effective at 500 words, then feel free to maintain that length. Don’t just write to write. Write to provide value and a great experience for the users.
Optimized Internal Linking Structure
When you have an optimized, internal linking structure, you’ll spread out the “link-juice” within your site. Link-juice is basically the amount of “juice” other sites share with you when they give you a backlink from their site.
When this link-juice is solely concentrated on the home page of your website, you’re missing out on some valuable dispersement of said link-juice.
Connecting a structured web of internal linking throughout your website will allow other, lesser-frequented pages to receive some of the benefits of the home page’s authority. This will in turn allow the lesser-frequented pages to gain higher rankings themselves and potentially lead to higher conversions when users see those pages in the SERPs.
Keyword Research & Implementation
With keyword research, there are several different options, but one of our favorites is Ahrefs. It provides an enormous amount of valuable keywords and data to help guide you on which keywords to incorporate into your content based on keyword difficulty, search volume, and the average number of backlinks you’ll need to break into the top ten search results.
A much more affordable, yet less effective option, is Google’s keyword planner.
With Google’s keyword planner, you won’t be able to see in-depth metrics unless you create an AdWords account, but you can place a $0.01 budget on a single keyword and have full access to all of the valuable data within the keyword planner.
Google’s keyword planner is very effective for local keyword search volume and provides great insights on the seasonality of keywords as well. When you perform effective keyword research, you won’t end up wasting time on keywords nobody is searching for.
Unless you’re a huge brand and can create trends by coining terms of your own, you’ll want to have keyword research behind each and every one of your pieces of content. Overall, no matter which keyword research tool you choose to use, be sure to perform keyword research in some way, shape, or form for your valuable content. Your future self will thank you.
Optimized Meta Data
When you have your meta titles and meta descriptions optimized, you’re making a great first impression on both potential visitors of your site and search engine bots.
By incorporating compelling CTAs (call-to-actions) and relevant, valuable keywords into your titles and descriptions, you’ll be able to persuade users to click through at a higher rate and search engines to rank your content higher.
It’s one of the easiest fixes to implement, so don’t wait!
One of our favorite plugins for optimizing your meta descriptions is the Yoast SEO plugin. Check it out and let us know what you think!
Learning From Other’s Mistakes
The best way to learn is from errors others have made, so when it coems to SEO we can look to some data points from SEO tools companies to get an idea of just what’s wrong with other websites SEO efforts.
Off-Site SEO for Realtors
With off-site SEO, it’s just as important as on-site SEO due to the fact it’s been proven time and time again the number of high-quality, relevant backlinks your site possesses directly correlates with where your site’s pages will rank within SERPs (search engine result pages).
In addition to backlinks, sharing your content across your social platforms can provide great signaling to search engines you’re doing a fantastic job with promoting your content across multiple platforms for users to consume.
There is not a direct correlation with sharing content on social platforms and rankings in Google but it can have an impact for Bing and Yahoo. Additionally, it can generate a decent amount of referral traffic from your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc… and this will only help in the overall, off-site SEO strategy.
- Social Signaling
Backlinks are basically a popularity contest in the eye of search engines. When you have several high-quality, high-authority sites linking to your site and/or the pages within your site, you’ll move up in the rankings.
Think of it as a word-of-mouth, yet technical advancement in your overall SEO strategy.
The more people talk about you while giving you a nod of approval (a link to your site), the more you’ll move up in the rankings.
Then the snowball effect begins to occur. The snowball effect consists of when you’re already ranking due to a great backlink acquisition campaign and then you in turn organically acquire backlinks from simply being one of the top search results within Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
It’s exactly the same principle as wealth. The more money you have, the more money you have. Backlinks eventually provide exponential, compounded growth and this is why it’s a vital part of any SEO strategy.
When you share your great content across your social platforms, you’ll increase the potential for users to engage with your website through referral traffic.
When users are engaging with your website for extend periods of time, it will signal to Google, Yahoo, and Bing you’re doing something right, and when you’re going something right, they’ll reward you appropriately. ASD (Average Session Duration) is a strong signal for search engines.
ASD consists of the average time users spend on your site and/or within a specific page on your site. When ASD is lengthy, you’ll notice an increase in rankings as it’s deemed to be valuable to the user.
Why is SEO Important for Realtors?
Whether you’re a national realty firm or a smaller, locally-based, independent realtor; you’ll need SEO to stand apart from the competition. Even if there’s a relatively small amount of competition, why not be the best at what you do and show your excellence with some fantastic rankings in Google, Yahoo, and Bing?
Excellent SEO leads to inbound leads and inbound leads are significantly easier to convert into real customers for your realty business due to the fact they’re already halfway through the door when reaching out to you.
Overall, SEO is a crucial element of any modern-day business; especially in the real estate sphere.
How to Best implement a Proper SEO Strategy?
You may be able to successfully develop a great and efficient SEO strategy all on your own after experimenting and if there’s low competition in your general area. However, if your area is saturated with other realtors who are already ten steps ahead of you in relation to SEO, you may want to consult an SEO agency who can best determine exactly what you’ll need to succeed.
While a talented SEO agency or consultant may cost more in terms of dollars, you’ll save so much time and reduce the potential of costly mistakes from occurring. SEO agencies and consultants are similar to CPAs or law firms in the sense that you’ll save money by investing with a professional.
We hope this guide has been helpful in welcoming you to the Big G’s (Google’s) neighborhood and Feel free to contact us for all of your real estate commission advancement needs and we’ll be happy to consult you on the next best steps!