- What is SEO?
- SEO for your estate agency?
- Bounce rate for SEO
- Google business account & maps
- Webpage titles for estate agency SEO
- A slow website & SEO
- Backlinks will improve boost your SEO score
- Internally backlink for SEO improvements
- Creating niche articles
- Get reviews to boost your SEO
- Images aren’t there to look pretty
- Header tags help SEO
- Meta descriptions
- Outbound links to add authority
- Invest in site audit tool
- Mobile optimization
- Share on social media
- Get your blogs checked for the right SEO levels
- URL settings
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is essential for every profession, especially estate agents. Ranking higher on Google brings your estate agency more leads and therefore more revenue.
But how do you improve your estate agency’s SEO? What techniques should you be using?
Your estate agency has probably been approached by plenty of SEO agencies promising high ratings within a matter of weeks.
That’s just not possible (or won’t work long term).
To prove I’m not just bulls**tting my way through this, I’ve included examples in this article of what Rentround has achieved and how.
For instance, Rentround ranks 1st or on the first page for these below terms.
While there aren’t hundreds of thousands of searches for these terms, they’re so niche & perfect for our business. They help generate us landlord leads & attract agents to sign up to our lead generation service
- Estate agent leads
- Landlord leads
- Letting agent fees
- Letting agent marketing
Hopefully by showing we’ve walked the walk, you’re more encouraged to implement some of the tips in this article and get a boost on your own SEO.
What is SEO?
In a nutshell, Search Engine Optimisation is a bunch of online activities you can do to get Google to rank your website better organically.
So when sellers & landlords use Google, for certain keywords your website appears high in the results.
Should you be looking at SEO for your estate agency?
Spending time & money on SEO activities is a great investment for long term growth. In my opinion SEO improvements should sit alongside other marketing you do as an estate agent
If you’re unsure if you want to pursue growing your estate agencies Google rankings, below are some reasons you should strongly consider a SEO strategy (as well as some of the drawbacks you’ll face).
Benefits of SEO for your estate agency
- Free traffic to your website
- Cut down on ad and promotional spend
- More seller & landlord leads
- Scope to sell more services related to what your site is ranking for
Drawbacks of running SEO activity for your estate agency
- Initially costs can be high
- There can be a lot of tech jargon & starting off is daunting
- It’s not a short term thing, benefits are only seen in months & sometimes years
- Not many people know how to do it properly & you could end up wasting money
- It’s not something you set up once. It needs ongoing maintenance.
Anyway, let’s get into it
1. Pay special attention to your bounce rate for SEO
Your bounce rate is how often site visitors leave your site without clicking on another page.
If you have a low bounce rate, it is usually a good thing. It means visitors are engaging with your site and it’s very relevant to what the search term they used on Google (if they came from a Google search).
A high bounce rate means visitors aren’t engaging very well. This lowers your relevancy for the specific search term which impacts your SEO.
To keep your bounce rate low, your site should
- Load quickly
- Be easy to navigate
- Have a high relevance to the key terms you’re ranking/trying to rank for
- Modernised (nothing worse than tired and outdated sites)
- Link well with your target demographic
People engage better with people like themselves. Landlords & sellers are usually aged 40+ and mostly male.
Using images on your site of hip & cool teenagers may not be representative of your target audience, thus impacting your engagement levels.
How can you check your bounce rate? You should have Google Analytics setup on your site. This free tool enables you to see your bounce rate as well as a whole list of important stats.
2. Google business account & maps
Creating a Google business account is free and it’s a massively useful tool to improve your SEO.
This service is more for businesses with a high street presence or an actual office potential leads can attend.
You enter your estate agency name, contact details, opening times, website etc.
Google then adds this to the list of things they will assess you for while determining your ranking for a particular key term.
As always, content is key. So try to fill in as many details as possible including images.
In addition, Google has a section at the top of results where they show businesses local to the users search term.
3. Webpage titles are essential for estate agency SEO
A web page title is like a storefront name, it tells people (and Google) what your site page is about.
It’s important to pick your title very carefully, to maximise the SEO benefit.
A suitable web page title could be made up of
Taking a look at below, you see how this pattern is being followed by other estate agents & portals.
You haven’t got much room for your title, but the keyword you choose should have a lot of thought put into it.
Consider which keywords have the most traffic & which are of most value to your business. We’ll delve more into keywords later in this article
4. A slow website will impact your estate agency’s SEO massively.
Google wants to ensure their users have a great experience when using their search tool.
Directing users to slow websites goes against that ethos.
If your estate agency website is slow to load, fix that immediately to rank better.
The slowness may be impacted by a few large images. Or it could be something more fundamental like the sites’ code.
To test your websites speed score, visit Googles Pagespeed insights page
5. Backlinks will improve boost your SEO score
Backlinks are when other sites link to your site.
The more backlinks you have, especially if they are from high ranking sites, the more Google likes you.
Backlinks aren’t easy to obtain however. Read how to get backlinks for your estate agency article to learn more.
6. Internally backlink for SEO improvements
Not all your pages will rank well on Google. But some will. Hopefully the ones that rank well are for the keywords you’re targeting.
Make sure within your web pages and blog posts, you’re linking to areas of your site you want to rank for.
By pointing to your internal pages, you’re telling Google what the most important pages are on your site.
This helps Google’s algorithms what you want to rank for, what’s relevant and hopefully what to rank better.
7. Creating niche articles
All estate agents would like to rank high for the term “estate agent”. The term has a high volume of searches per month.
But it’s also got very high competition.
For an estate or letting agent who’s focusing on improving their SEO, local related content is best.
Google spots local service search terms. So when a seller searches for an estate agent, Google adds localisation into the results.
So if you’ve been blogging your heart out about house prices, fees and property news in Glasgow, you’re increasing your chances of ranking well when the terms ‘estate agent’ are searched for in that region.
Blog, blog and blog
Blog hard or go home. If your website doesn’t have a blog, it’s very difficult to do well when it comes to your estate agency’s SEO.
Google loves content and ranks you accordingly.
Blogging is a massive piece of SEO and if you read my blogs often, you probably don’t want to hear me harp on about how to blog to get ranked well.
In which case, read my tips for your estate agencies blog posts
8. Get reviews to boost your SEO
Reviews are a key way that Google uses to assess your estate agencies credibility.
The more reviews & interaction you have towards your website, they more the algorithms like your website.
Reviews can be collected on various platforms, some provide tools that help you reach out and capture reviews from yoru landlords, sellers & tenants.
However be careful on which review site you use as you can get stung later down the line.
Let’s say you’ve spent time and effort collecting hundreds of reviews and then are feeling quite proud of yourself.
However, to show the reviews on your site and the review sites logo, you’re suddenly hit with a monthly subscription usually starting over £100 per month.
Pick your review site wisely and plan for the long term
9. Images aren’t there to look pretty
Images play a big part on your site. We touched upon how to use them to engage your target audience in one of the points above.
However they have a wider impact on your SEO.
Firstly images come with a changeable alt text. This signals what the image is about.
If you’re inserting an image on a blog post, make sure you edit the alt text so it’s relevant to the blog. This won’t drastically impact your SEO efforts but it helps chip away at the mammoth task of ranking well.
The size & resolution of images should be considered. Large images impact your page’s load speed. Landlords & sellers like any other internet user, will have a short attention span. Don’t eat into that with long loading times.
Use cache or image load reducing tools to speed up your site.
10. Header tags help SEO
Header tags are basically like chapter names in yoru blog.
Use the key term you’re trying to rank for in each blog in your headings (of course, don’t over do it).
By placing your key term in header tags, it improves your relevance to what you’re trying to rank for.
This article you’re reading is trying to rank for “SEO for estate agents”. You will see by the header titles the word SEO mentioned quite often. We’ll see the outcome of this article in a few months!
It’s quite easy to set your tags on your webpages.
In the backend of the site install an SEO plugin. I recommend Yoast SEO.
The plugin will add a section behind the scenes where you can set your tags, without needing coding skills.
11. Meta descriptions
Meta descriptions help tell users searching for key terms on Google what your page is for. They go hand in hand with your page titles.
It’s important for two reasons.
Firstly it tells Google what your page is about, helping the system categorise what to potentially rank the page for.
In addition the headers & descriptions will determine how your site is shown on Google. You want to attract clicks to your site as opposed to the other ~10 sites on the search page results.
12. Outbound links to add authority
This is a really boring one so I won’t say too much. But where you’re quoting laws, regulations or data, it’s nice to link to the source. It helps credibility and therefore SEO.
13. Invest in site audit tool
Sites like ahrefs do a lot of the leg work for you when it comes to fixing site issues that will impact your estate agents SEO.
The site will scan for broken links (places your site is linking to that don’t exist), slow pages, lost external links etc.
These types of SEO tools give your site a health score, which if improved upon, will help your estate agency’s SEO efforts.
A subscription will set you back around £50-£100 a month. But the automation gained is immense.
These types of audit sites also give you a great way to track your estate agency’s SEO improvements.
You can set the keywords you’re hoping to rank for. Then on a daily basis you can see where improvements are being made.
14. Mobile optimization
This point links in with site speed and usability.
Most searches are now being done on mobile, so your site should be optimised accordingly.
If not, you lose engagement.
Ensure your menus, images, text sizes etc are mobile friendly, especially when it comes to seller & landlord valuation tools. Long forms that are hard to navigate on mobiles will impact your lead generation.
Include your address & contact information
Again, quite a simple point, but not something people usually factor into their SEO.
Contact info, company name, legal details etc all play a part in building credibility which Google likes!
15. Share on social media
Love it or hate it, social media impacts your SEO.
I won’t mention this point again as I’m sick of typing it, but followers & likes build credibility which helps your SEO.
In addition, sharing your web pages on social media is a great way to generate traffic. More traffic on your site (that stays engaged), shows Google people want to visit your site and rankings should love you more.
For Rentround, we’ve been pretty poor on social media. It’s something on the to do list!
16. Get your blogs checked for the right SEO levels
When writing blogs, how do you know if you’ve included the key term the right amount of times?
Is your writing SEO friendly?
I mentioned the plugin Yoast SEO early as a great tool to set your header and description tags.
However the plugin also helps you assess your writing.
The plug provides a red, amber, green status to your writing. In addition it provides suggestions to make your pages more SEO friendly.
It’s not always appropriate (or needed) to always aim for a green status. But some of the suggestions can help boost your estate agencies SEO
17. URLs help you rank your estate agency
Ensuring your URL has your key term pushes your SEO improvements dramatically.
As with most things you do to improve your SEO, it tells Google what the page is about.
This post your reading right now is geared at ranking for the term SEO for estate agents (it’s a service we’re going to be offering to agents alongside our lead generation service). As a result, the URL includes those key terms.
If you haven’t done this already your posts, be careful in going back and updating URLs.
Some of your pages will already rank well. Changing the URL may disrupt that.
In addition, other sites may be linking to your pages. If you change the URL, those links will be broken. The other sites will then clean up their broken links and you’ll lose SEO link juice.
If you are changing URLs for existing posts, ensure you utilise page redirects.
URLs are an easy way to get SEO improvements, but it’s surprisingly overlooked.