Make Your Site Stand Above the Rest
With more than 90 percent of house hunters using the internet for their search, it is vital for estate agents to have a strong online presence.
In some respects, the real estate sector has been a little late to the party as far as the world of SEO and digital marketing is concerned. On the face of it, that seems strange. After all, sites like Rightmove and Zoopla are among the most popular, and have been around since the dawn of the internet. In fact, people were looking online for property long before they were searching for clothes or car insurance or mobile phones.
However, it is the popularity of these property search sites that caused many estate agents to simply not put the effort into developing their own online presence. Yet while these sites are fine for tracking down buyers, they do exactly nothing to help an estate agent promote its services to sellers or private landlords. SEO for estate agents means ranking high on those Google searches when potential customers are looking for a reliable agent to sell their house or manage their property. So how is it achieved?
Few businesses are as geographically focussed as property sales. After all, this is the industry that invented the phrase “location, location, location.” Yes, of course there are those national chains that advertise on TV, but sellers are a savvy bunch. They know that these represent a cheap alternative that will not have the local knowledge that can make such a difference.
It’s essential to leverage this as a competitive advantage, and your SEO consultant will come up with lots of local keyword phrases to incorporate into your site. These are the phrases people are likely to type into Google, such as “homes for sale in Chelmsford”, “Essex estate agent”, or “how to quickly sell my home”.
If you are picturing house hunters sitting at a desk in front of a computer scrolling through your website, you need to think again about how people access the internet these days. The most popular platform for browsing is not a PC, or a laptop or even a tablet. It is a smartphone.
Google is well aware of the fact and if your site is not optimised for mobile, it will struggle to get anywhere on the search results. For a property site, the most important aspects of mobile optimisation are ensuring that images come up quickly, that the site is easy to navigate and that calls to action such as “send me details” or “request a callback” work properly from a mobile screen.
Spend more than five minutes with anyone in SEO and you will hear the phrase “content is king.” What this means is that you can have all the keywords and the optimisation right, but it means nothing unless there is content on the site that people want to consume.
Of course that needs to include information about the services you provide and properties you currently have on the market, but people want more than that. Adding a blog or news page, for example, is a great way of getting regular traffic and of establishing yourself as an expert in the local property sector. Better still, it provides a great source of material to share on social media, thereby attracting even more traffic back to your site.