SEO has evolved from a business of attaining rankings to one that drives quality traffic to a website. Often our SEO clients will want to rank for very broad search phrases such as "real estate" or "homes for sale", however these phrases are unlikely to draw a targeted visitor. While there may indeed be a large volume of these searches there appears to be little intent so the likelihood of a smaller agency being able to match such a broad search is slim. Conversely large real estate portals can often match such a broad search as they are likely to cover a larger number of areas, additional services or more information.
There is an old joke in the Real Estate business:
Question: "In establishing the value of a house, what are the three most important factors?"
Answer: "Location, location, location." In other words, the area the property is located in is so important; everything else you could say about it hardly matters.
So what does this have to do with SEO for a real estate website? Well location. Location is the single most important part of your keyword phrase when optimising a real estate website. Most property related searches that will lead to an enquiry will include an area, after all property remains an immovable asset. This is where location really comes into the mix. We all know that the more specific the search, the more relevant your webpage is to that search and the better your chances are of converting that visitor into a lead.
SEO for real estate websites relies heavily on the localisation of the website. A few points to follow when localising your website:
• List your physical address, this may return your website in a map search as well as identifying your location.
• Include your local contact details; these are often included in search results.
• Ensure you've added your business to Google Places (and verified your listing). These are often included in a search results page.
• Include localised real estate news, not only will this increase your localised content but also ensure your website is relevant for information related searches.
• Ensure that you profile the areas that you are most active. This will highlight that you authority in these areas.
By ensuring your website is localised, search engines will immediately identify the areas in which you operate as well as understanding that your website is real estate orientated. Most real estate searches start with the searcher knowing where they might be looking to either buy or rent a property, be the real estate leader in your area.
At Prop Data we dynamically optimise all listings and search results pages, however by following the above points you'll gain an advantage of those that might overlook the value of location and the benefit to SEO of their Real Estate Website.
For a more technical overview of SEO for Real Estate websites check out this post at Outspoken Media.