The real estate industry is very competitive, especially in large cities. From the one-man-band to the national conglomerates, everyone wants to do whatever they can to increase their visibility and get those all-important listings.
Luckily, on the internet, you don’t need to compete with hundreds of other real estate agents. The area you serve is hyperlocal, so you’re only competing with other agents in the same area.
Depending on your location, the competition might be fierce, even among small businesses. Using local SEO gives you the best chance, as long as you get it right.
Start With An SEO Audit
Before you can plan where you’re going, you need to know where you are. An SEO audit will determine which of your pages are performing well and where you could do with making some improvements. You can hire any experienced SEO agency like AAM Consultants for this task as well.
Performing an audit is time-consuming, but acts as a benchmark for your progress and gives you the information that you need to create a roadmap.
- Does your site rank locally?
- Are you getting any organic traffic?
- Are you generating leads or converting clients?
If you answer no to any of these questions, there will be a reason for this. An SEO audit can help you to find out what that reason is.
The key areas you should focus on include:
- Site structure: XML sitemap, robots.txt, redirects
- Page structure: titles, meta descriptions, heading tags, alt tags, URLs
- Content: structure, keyword and link placement, visual elements, duplicates, redirects, canonical tags
- Links: Outbound and inbound links, interlinking with other pages on site, broken links
- Usability: Accessibility, mobile-friendliness, site speed
When you improve these five areas, you ought to see an increase in your organic traffic.
You can use Google Analytics to find out which of your pages need the most work, and the Google Search Console to find issues that need fixing. You can also use the Mobile-Friendly Test tool and the PageSpeed Insights tool here too.
Optimize For Search
With the results of your audit, create a plan to address each of the issues you found. Take a systematic approach, so you don’t overlook or miss anything.
Once you’ve fixed any problems, look for other ways that you could improve your overall optimization. You should focus on:
- Keyword research and analysis
- SEO-friendly URLs
- Optimization of titles and meta descriptions
- Image optimization
- Outbound and internal link placement
- Broken links
- Site speed optimization
- Content optimization
- CTR and bounce rate optimization
- XML sitemap
- SSL certificate
- W3C validation
Make Sure Your Website Is Accessible
Everyone should be able to access the internet with ease, regardless of disability.
Screen readers can help people who are visually impaired, but if your website hasn’t been built with accessibility in mind, the user experience won’t be good.
American businesses should make sure they are compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. The law predated widespread internet access, but you should still make sure your site is ADA compliant. This is even more important for real estate agents, as they are common targets for lawsuits.
Basic guidelines include:
- Any media players or PDF documents must contain a link to where needed software can be downloaded
- Users must be notified of any invalid information entered, such as failing to enter an email address where one is required.
- Your website’s appearance should not rely solely on color.
- Buttons and links must be clearly named.
- Put in a ‘skip navigation’ function to make sure your content can be easily accessed.
- All images must have alt text to allow screen readers to read it.
- Video content must have text captions.
- Audio and video content should have transcripts or descriptions.
- Any audio that plays should be able to be stopped immediately.
- Page titles must describe the page content, and not be misleading to users.
- Site users are made aware of any time limits.
- The site shouldn’t contain any empty links or heading tags.
- ‘Em’ and ‘strong’ should be used instead of ‘b’ and ‘i’ tags.
- Headings should be in a logical order.
- Keyboards can be used to navigate the site.
- Every page should have language code in the header to identify the language code the code is written in and ought to be read in.
- Forms have labels and legend that are readable by screen readers.
- Any automatic blinking, flashing, or scrolling can be turned off.
- No strobe effects or rapidly flashing animations should be on your site.
- Any interactive elements must not affect the layout or readability of your page.
- Keyboard focus shouldn’t lock onto any specific element.
- The sire passes W3C HTML validation without any major errors.