Did you know that according to Hubspot, 97 percent of people start searching online to find a local business?
Having your name and website highly ranked should be your ultimate goal in online marketing, since how you rank online can mean the difference between attracting a desert full of tumbleweeds and a stadium full of screaming fans. So what’s the best way to get people to take notice?
In today’s blog, I’ll share some of the tricks up my sleeve for boosting SEO — including handy software you need to try — that can help you track and optimize your website’s ranking.
Let’s get started.
Find relevant keywords.
You don’t want to haphazardly clutter your website with keywords — you need to select a few keywords that are especially relevant to you, your specialty, and the area you serve.
Sign up for Google Keyword Planner, and search for the terms you are interested in. You’ll be able to see the volume of searches each day and each month for various keywords. Remember to target the keywords that are searched often and would apply to your real estate business.
If you want to spend a little cash, Google Adwords can give you an estimated price on pay-per-click for each keyword. Curious about Google Adwords and whether it’s worth the investment? You’re in luck; I wrote another blog that shows you how to get leads and listings with Google Adwords here.
SEMRush is another website you can use for this type of research. It isn’t free like Google Keyword Planner, but it has more features, such as analyzing your listings or mentions around the web.
Understand that not all keywords are practical targets.
There’s a dark side to keyword research. While you may discover a certain keyword gets 100,000 searches a month, that also means it’s incredibly difficult to get ranked for it.
The most popular keywords require an enormous amount of content and backlinking through other websites. Getting your website ranked on the first page for those keywords is typically not attainable if you’re doing your own marketing or working with a small budget. For example, a phrase like “Florida Realtor” is almost impossible to rank without the help of an SEO firm. It’s even possible that targeting large cities — think “Miami Realtor” could be too lofty.
So, instead of those top keywords, target other keywords that still promote a lot of traffic. There will still be plenty of attainable ones, especially if you focus on your location — the more hyperlocal, the better. Target specific areas such as neighborhoods, counties or smaller towns. Also target what you specialize in, but first make sure those terms get a reasonable amount of traffic. Your visitors will be more likely to convert with keywords specific to their needs and interests.
Utilize keywords on website pages, blogs and URLs.
Publishing content consisting of at least 300 words, with headers and a URL including your keywords, is a great way to get ranked. Avoid fluff or repetition. Keep in mind the longer visitors stay on your page and the better content you have, the higher visibility Google gives your site. If you don’t have a blog, implement keywords on your Home page and your About page. A little content on these pages goes a long way in ranking them.
For relevant content topics, think of questions that potential clients need answers to. Make sure they work well with the keywords you’re targeting. If your title is something like “What to consider in the Jacksonville Real Estate Market in 2019,” your keywords might be “Jacksonville Real Estate Market.”
Then, when you use that phrase in the headers and copy, it fits naturally, and it will boost your SEO. Google will downrank your site if keywords are not used in a way that makes sense.
Don’t hesitate to get writing help.
Unless you’re brand-new to the industry, you’re likely familiar enough with real estate to successfully write blog articles about it. But if you’re more comfortable having wordsmith help, don’t hesitate to find it. A freelancer or blogger might cost more, but the results will give you a better chance of getting ranked.
Virtual assistants can also help you produce and curate content, and VAs can get content inexpensively. If you go that route, you may have to heavily edit the results. Still, hiring a virtual assistant can be a good way to save time.
Our MyBooks members also have access to a blog with 100+ pre-written articles on topics relevant to today’s buyers and sellers.
Images are one of the most overlooked parts of SEO. Each image on your website should have a description caption as well as an alternative text tag. Come up with a relevant photo description using keywords you are targeting. An alternative text tag is specifically for search engines when they crawl your website, and it can just be one or two words identifying the photo.
If you have a Home page or About page with an image, that image title should match the page title and its URL. The same principle applies to any published blog posts. The more things match up, the better your rankings.
Use backlinks for a boost.
Backlinks are links from other websites to yours that can boost your SEO.
One great way to achieve this is to ask other local businesses to link to your website, and offer to do the same for them. If targeting the local area is your goal — and it should be — it only makes sense to ask related local businesses to partner with your website.
The other aspect to using backlinks is posting your reviews and profiles from sites such as Zillow and Trulia. Overall, any links from another website to yours will improve your ranking — and the more hits from other sites you’re linked with, the better.
Do you have a Google Analytics account? It can help you see how many visitors you get from certain search engines.
You might also want to sign up for Google Search Console. Once you set up your URL there, it will sync with your Analytics account. After almost a month, you’ll have detailed data on your keywords, their rankings, your pages and your search traffic.
Use the “HTML Improvements” report to find out what parts of your website you can improve, from headers and copy and image tags to everything in between.