Real estate is a highly competitive market. In India alone, the real estate sector is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2030 using digital marketing and SEO strategies. It is the second-highest employment generation sector in India, after the agricultural sector.
Over the past decade or so there has been an increase in the digitization of the real estate market. Many individual real estate agents are adopting digital marketing strategies and getting 24/7 calls by leads and receiving a sales boost by selling more houses than they used to sell physically.
In India as well, though many real estate agents still did not rely on digital marketing strategies and trusted a more physical approach. Many players like 99 acres, magic bricks, makaan.com, etc. have managed to capitalize on these strategies and secure a large number of leads and sales.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also taught many businesses how important a digital presence is. Therefore, there is a growing need of mastering SEO for the new and upcoming real estate agents who are looking to build their websites and improve their sales in their local area.
Search engine optimization (SEO) ensures that your website has increased visibility to your target audience and appears on the first page of a google search result.
Simply put, SEO for real estate means when people search for properties in your local area, your website’s name pops at the first five results of a google search.
Imagine if you are a customer and looking to buy a home in your local area, the first thing you will do is an online search. When the search results pop up, you are more likely to click on the first 5 results that pop up on the screen.
If your website is search engine optimized it can show up on the first page of a google search leading to an increase in traffic from your target audience. It can become the source of constant lead generation and you no longer have to rely on cold calling.
Here is an example of how SEO works: –
You can see in the above screenshot, that the search engine results page shows these websites in a google search. Recently, they have started including Ads, instant answers which have further pushed down the results of an organic search.
But that does not mean you have to go around buying Google Ads services to feature your website at the top of the search results.
The best way for improving SEO in your real estate website nowadays is to focus on your local areas and have relevant keywords according to that.
In the early years, the Real Estate industry heavily depended on cold calling, physically showing around the house, and making business deals physically.
Gone are the days of listing Ads on newspapers, bus stops, and direct mailers. The market has changed. The competition has increased drastically and cold calling and buying Ads are now not enough to sell properties to the customers in your local area.
Real Estate agents used to own a particular local area. They would get leads on every property listed in these local areas and earn huge profits from selling a large number of properties and enjoyed the lack of competition.
Now, with knowledgeable customers, the internet, social media, the competition has increased rapidly. There are many big players in the real estate market in India now which have utilized the benefits of SEO and now receive constant leads from their targeted audience 24/7.
Therefore, real estate agents need to target a particular local region and deploy digital marketing strategies for that region. For that, SEO is very important, and knowing the basics of SEO and the strategies, they can reach their target audience and generate constant leads.
Nowadays, buyers first conduct online research of the house they are looking for before contacting the Real Estate agents. According to research, 71% of users online in India are home buyers! Therefore, your website must appear on the first page of a google search result.
Needless to say, SEO is cost-efficient as well and you do not have to buy Ads to list your properties on newspapers and billboards.
Therefore, it is important to know how to do SEO for realtors.
Successfully search engines optimizing your website can have long-term benefits and attract lots of traffic from your targeted audience and get constant leads.
Here is how to do SEO for Realtors: –
Your realtor website should be easy to navigate and should contain relevant keywords. It should contain information about the company (“about us” page) and the content should be comprehensible and relevant.
Your website should contain the information about the properties you have listed and should have various keywords covering the information about the surrounding area of the property.
There should be clear information about the properties like their price, carpet area, its map, and a 360-degree view of the house, etc.
An effective website is the foundation of SEO for real estate listings. Once your website is in place and highly functional, you can move your focus to optimize your real estate listings for search.
The content of a website is also the most important step for SEO as search engines like google, yahoo and Bing compete with each other and all of them want to provide the most relevant search results for a user. Therefore, your content should be the best out there and relevant so that your real estate listings reach your target audience.
Keyword research is an essential part of planning SEO for real estate listings. You need to know the keywords that will lead your targeted audience to your website and real estate listings. Once you know these terms, you can strategically insert them into your property listings.
For example – 24/7 water and electricity, friendly neighborhood, gated community, etc.
Know the surroundings of the properties (like landmarks, popular places) you have listed and insert keywords relevant to that.
Inserting keywords like homes for sale in Bandra, Properties for sale or flats on rent, etc. will allow people to search for properties using those keywords to find your website.
If you put keywords like the ones mentioned above, it can help boost your website’s ranking in the search results.
There are tools for researching keywords as well like Google’s keyword planner.
If you have a Google Ads account, this is a great way to see how many people are searching for terms related to your industry and how many other businesses are competing for traffic from those terms.
Once you’ve found appropriate keywords for your listings, you’ll want to include them where it is relevant.
Do not use the same keywords in every single listing! This will be called “keyword stuffing” and Google will rank your website negatively for that and it will show further down in the search results.
For example, if you are trying to list a 1500 square flat in Greater Kailash you might list it as “1500 square feet flat in Greater Kailash. “
But if keyword research shows you that more people are searching for “3 BHK flat in Greater Kailash.” That’s probably a better choice.
SEO for realtors is not easy. There are big players in the market in India like 99acres, makaan.com, magic bricks, etc. So, you have to up your game.
Here are some strategies and tips for realtors: –
Before you develop an SEO strategy, you need to examine where you are on the search engines and how well your pages are performing.
To put it simply, an SEO audit is a process of identifying issues that could prevent your site from ranking on Google and other search engines.
If there are issues, it might mean that your website is not easy to navigate and its readability is not good or your content is not relevant according to the keywords you have inserted or your content does not stand out against your competitors.
SEO audits assist in identifying technical and on-page SEO issues, keyword gaps, competitor website metrics, organic vs paid traffic, individual page metrics, etc. You can assess the goals and conversion rates and tweak your strategies accordingly.
When it comes to SEO for real estate, posting local area-based content is an excellent strategy. This is because search engines, including Google, want to provide readers with the most relevant information.
For example, if you sell properties in Greater Kailash, then you can publish content on local attractions, educational institutes, hospitals, and civic amenities, shopping complexes and restaurants, and entertainment hubs in and around Greater Kailash.
Imagine if you are a customer, and you want to buy a property in Greater Kailash near a school, you would search for something like, “2 BHK flat near a school in Greater Kailash. “If your website has the relevant keywords, it will be the first website they click on.
Imagine if you already have a website, but you are not getting the kind of response you wanted and your website is not showing up on the first page of a google search result. There arises a need for certain tools to identify the problem in your website and optimize it.
SEO tools investigate the potential of Web pages for high placement on search engine ranking pages. They provide information on backlinks and keywords as well as insights into SEO competition on the Internet.
SEO tools are important to get customers. Wholesale SEO thus helps you accelerate your ranking, update and provide quality SEO service.
No matter how ingenious and creative your website is; if there aren’t sufficient viewers on that particular site, then the product you are offering won’t reach your target audience. SEO tools generally optimize websites to achieve good search engine rankings.
There are many tools like Google AdWords, Mobile-Friendly Test, etc. which helps in optimizing your website.
If you have a website, I’m sure you’ve put a lot of hard work and long hours into making it a valuable resource for your visitors. But if your links aren’t working, it can derail all of your hard work. Broken links on your website can be harmful in two ways:
To avoid these potential pitfalls, you should periodically check for broken links on your entire website. There are several tools you can use to identify broken links like Google Analytics, Xenu, etc.
As shown in the above screenshot, this is how your website will appear if you have local google my business page.
This map covers almost half of the screen in the search results and customers are more likely to visit these websites. So, if you have a local google my business page, your website will receive a large number of website visitors from your targeted audience.
To set it up, you can go to google.com/business and fill out your profile.
Make sure your profile is 100% complete as Google selects only three local websites on this page. It favors those websites which have the most complete information
As shown in the above screenshot, having good reviews on your website will earn your customer’s trust and improve your website’s credibility.
Make sure you have good reviews as it also helps in improving your SEO ranking.
If you have a lot of happy customers, make sure you are actively asking for reviews on Google, Instagram, Facebook, and other important third-party review sites.
This is an example of how 99acres have given a virtual 360-degree tour of a property.
Make sure to include high-quality pictures of the property and if possible include a video covering in and out of the property.
Customers who click on your websites would know everything about the property and how it looks. If there are no pictures of the properties you are offering, it will give a very bad user experience further affecting your ranking in search engine results.
There are many alternatives nowadays, and if the customers do not like what they see, they are just 2 clicks away from switching to a better website.
Therefore, it is very important nowadays to give a 360-degree virtual tour of a property especially now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has eliminated all chances of a physical tour of a house.
Your website should be mobile-friendly. It should be easy to navigate through the content and the different tabs. The properties should be listed properly and there should be different tabs for the virtual tour of the property.
If your website is not mobile-friendly, you run the risk of not being found on google searches!
No one wants to spend hours reading the contents of your website if the text is too small and impossible to understand. People nowadays are just a click away from moving to a different website, so do not give them a reason to!
Google marks your website as mobile-friendly and non-mobile friendly. If your text is too small and difficult to navigate, Google will mark it non-mobile-friendly which adversely affects your ranking on the search results.
Imagine if you want to buy a property, and when you visit a real estate website and find that next to the website’s URL, there is a “not secure” message, would you still want to stay on that website?
No one wants to stay on a website in which there are constant pop-ups and malicious links which take you someplace else when u accidentally click on them. That’s where site security comes in. Online security measures, or a lack of them, can impact your SEO rankings and user experience.
Google will rank your website negatively if it is not secure. It will place a not-secure msg next to the website’s URL thereby leading to customers not trusting the website which will affect the ranking of your website in search results.
Securing your website using HTTPS will keep your website safe from hackers and keep customers’ trust.
The real estate market in India is still at an early stage in terms of digital marketing though most of the home buyers below the age of 40 years buy their properties online.
But COVID-19 pandemic has speeded up the process. Due to social distancing and buyers not being able to check out the property physically, digital marketing techniques have become the need of the hour and for that, the new and upcoming realtors should put the above SEO knowledge into use.
It is time to move on from the traditional methods of selling a house and adopting digital marketing techniques from Digital WoM to become a big player in the Real Estate market.
It is time to act!