How do real estate brands and publishers use 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 difficult and requires the ideal blend of broad content and hyper local information. So we looked at the brands and companies that dominated the real estate SEO space, and compiled their best strategies and real estate SEO tips to gain 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 focus largely on winning at local SEO. Local SEO strategies rely on area-specific content and pages to increase geographic relevance.
SEO tips and strategies for real estate
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 conquer 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” as well as “Rent” and “Rental” searches both have large search volumes with different results.
Let’s say you’re trying to rank “homes for rent.” Google won’t recognize you as an authority in this matter if you only have a post about it.
- Create a series of blog posts with long-form, in-depth content on a topic.
- Consider customer needs beyond the decision to rent. In our study, we saw real estate SEO powerhouses like Zillow engage in this strategy to capture customers at every stage of the customer journey.
- Expand content that helps customers overcome certain challenges based on what they are looking for online.
For brands positioning themselves as experts in the real estate game, quality content is crucial, but quantity is important as well: as you find keywords based on what your customers are looking for, you need to create enough great content to give you the ability to 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 is in line with the “big fish-small pond” mentality. Google and the other search engines want to provide users with the most relevant and useful information, 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 type of helpful content is in high demand, with the highest search volume 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 kinds 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 proceed from there.
4. Align yourself with reputable 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, you are helping to ensure that some of their brand authority will 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 site 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 take place on smartphones.
Looking at customer preferences and behavior, it is clear that brands need to ensure that their sites are optimized for all major devices. In addition, Google is moving to a mobile-first index that prioritizes the mobile version of a brand’s website.
We have compiled a snapshot of the mobile leaders in two major markets in the US: New York and Los Angeles.