How are real estate brands and publishers using content to rank higher? What are their real estate SEO tips and strategies, and how can you adopt them for your own business and claim your market share in the future?
Tackling real estate SEO is tricky, and requires the perfect blend of broad content and hyper-local information. So, we looked at the brands and companies who were dominating the real estate SEO space, and pulled together their best strategies and real estate SEO tips for winning organic market share. But first…
What is SEO for real estate?
SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization, but in the real estate industry, optimization efforts are largely focused on winning at local SEO. Local SEO strategies rely on area-specific content and pages to increase geographic relevance.
Real Estate SEO Tips and Strategies
Here are the strategies we recommend for any SEO working in the real estate space.
1. Create multiple pieces of content around the same topic with different key terms
Step one to conquering real estate SEO? Create numerous pieces of content on the same topic. The more content you create, the more opportunities you have to target your desired keywords. For example, “Home” and “House” and “Rent” and “Rental” searches both have large search volumes with different results.
What does this look like? Let’s say you’re trying to rank for “homes for rent.” Google is not going to recognize you as an authority on the matter if you only have one post about it.
- Create a series of blog posts — long-form, in-depth content — on a topic.
- Look at customer needs beyond the decision to rent. In our study, we saw real estate SEO powerhouses like Zillow lean into this strategy to help capture customers at every stage of the customer journey.
- Expand content that helps customers meet certain challenges, based on what they are searching for online.
For brands positioning themselves as experts in the real estate game, quality content is key, but quantity is important as well: as you find keywords based on what your customers are searching for, you need to create enough great content that gives you the opportunity target those keywords.
2. Create city-specific content
Google operates specialized search engines that focus on local content, and there is a huge opportunity to get traffic from local searchers. According to our report, only New York City has established, competitive city-specific sites dominating market share.
This one is in line with the “big fish-small pond” way of thinking. Google and the other search engines want to provide users with the most relevant, useful information, and especially in the case of real estate SEO, that means returning local results. Be local and be useful by creating content around your city’s:
- Landmarks, attractions, points of pride
- Sports teams
- Restaurants and shopping
- Schools and neighborhoods
3. Provide online tools such as mortgage calculators
This kind of helpful content is in high demand, with the highest volume of searches in the entire vertical (with four dedicated calculators in the top ten alone). This mid-stage content gives real estate companies the opportunity to engage with consumers earlier in the customer journey.
People love these kind of tools. Widely searched calculators include:
- Investment property calculator
- Mortgage payment calculator
- FHA mortgage calculator
- Best mortgage calculator
- Cost of buying a house calculator
- Home loan calculator
- Real estate calculator
Numerous sites enable you to install such calculators on your website; start by searching “install a free mortgage calculator” and go from there.
4. Align yourself with respected publishers
Contribute content, retarget, or advertise on publishers that have high visibility in your categories.
Contributing content to reputable publishers within the real estate industry helps some of their brand authority rub off on you. Not only does it borrow from the, “You are the company you keep” adage, Google views the backlinks you receive as a trust signal that you’re an authority in your niche.
The top-performing sites, according to our report, are:
5. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
Mobile is changing the way brands interact with potential buyers and renters. 72% of buyers have searched for a home on mobile, and younger buyers are particularly likely to rely on smartphones and tablets. In fact, 58% of millennial home buyers found their home on a mobile device.
On the rental side, 67% of renters use mobile devices to search for apartments, and just over half of all apartment searches are happening on smartphones.
Considering customer preference and customer behavior, it’s clear that brands need to make sure their sites are optimized for all major devices. Additionally, Google is currently shifting to a mobile-first index, which prioritizes the mobile version of a brand’s website.
We put together a snapshot of the mobile leaders in two major markets in the U.S.: New York and Los Angeles.