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Search engine optimisation (SEO) is all about ranking higher on search engines such as Google, to get more clicks to your website – which you hope then convert into more business.

Almost every industry relies on search engine optimisation (SEO) to become successful at marketing. 

The property industry is no exception. Estates & letting agents need to focus on SEO to connect with potential sellers & landlords.

However, with the rate of change in SEO and search algorithms today, it can be challenging to keep up and make the sales needed or find leads that become clients. 

Between going back to outdated SEO tactics to not utilising all that social media has to offer, there are some consistent mistakes that many estate agents make.

Fortunately, you can take your SEO game up a level by checking out these SEO mistakes to avoid as an estate agent.

 

1. Inconsistent Content

Be consistent with your content posting. Going months or even weeks without posting a new blog article, listing, or social media post will lead to your potential clients forgetting about you and possibly moving on to a different estate agent.

To avoid inconsistent content posting, create a schedule for your website and your social media pages, as well as emails. 

Google actually rewards websites that consistently update their website with new content and pages. 

Blogs are great ways to engage with both your audience and Google for a boost in search engine rankings.

A good flow of posts is 1 or 2 a week

 

2. Keyword Stuffing

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Keyword stuffing is the practice of getting your target keyword in your page’s copy as many times as possible.

The idea is that the more times it appears within a specific page or on your website, the more likely it is to show up in the first few search results on Google or another search engine.

It’s tempting to keep writing in your pages & blogs the term “the best estate agent in Birmingham” if you’re an estate agent in Birmingham, trying to attract people looking for an estate agent in Birmingham!

However, keyword stuffing does you more harm than good. Google doesn’t like it, it gets annoying for your reader, and it’s not natural for readability. 

Instead, focus on writing more natural content with a few sprinkled keywords throughout. 

Write for your audience first, which may be home sellers, landlords, or other property professionals, and then you can modify it for keyword performance.

 

3. Broken Links

Broken links are a no-go for your website. When a landlord or seller comes to your page and clicks on a link within a blog post or a home for sale, it should work. 

Having multiple links that produce an error can deter your audience from coming back to your website.

Furthermore, broken links indicate a site that isn’t maintained properly, which again Google doesn’t link and will penalise you for.

Make sure you and your marketing team frequently audit your website for links. 

Older blog posts or informational pages are more likely to have outdated or broken links, so check those first. 

This can also happen when you upload content, such as photos or videos of a house. After uploading, make sure you check the link.

 

4. Duplicate Content

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Posting duplicate content, whether you created it or you ‘borrowed’ it from someone else, across your website pages can damage your SEO performance. 

Having the exact same paragraphs, documents, or blog posts across your site may seem like it can trick Google, but in fact, the machine learning algorithms within the search engine are much smarter than you may think.

It’s still okay to have shorter, commonly used phrases or long-tail keywords on various pages on your website. However changing a few words here and there isn’t enough to make Google think you’re creating new content.

 

5. Choosing the Wrong Keywords

When writing something for your estate agency website, you want to select your keywords carefully. 

Choosing the wrong keywords could strike disaster for your search engine optimisation. 

Every letting agent would want to rank for the term ‘letting agent’ on Google. You’ll get thousands of clicks a month and make a load of money.

But it’s too competitive and unlikely to be achieved (unless you’re spending thousands on marketing and willing to wait 3-5 years).

We made this mistake ourselves. We spent a lot of time and money trying to rank for the term ‘letting agent’. 

However Google knows we aren’t a letting agent, so Rentround doesn’t rank anywhere near the first page for that term. 

However, for terms such as ‘estate agent marketing’, ‘landlord leads’ or ‘letting agent fees’, we’re on page one as that’s what we are all about.

Pick keywords that pinpoint your business. For example, “letting agent in SW1” or “HMO letting agent in London”.

These keywords get less traffic, but are far easier to rank for and help attract organic visitors to your site.

 

6. Sloppy Internal Links

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Internal links should improve the overall user experience. They should be relevant to your topic and give your readers valuable information. 

You’ll have pages on your site that you want to rank well. It’s tempting to then internally link to these pages in every blog post.

While you should internally link to the pages you want to rank for, don’t overdo it, especially if it spoils the user experience.

Google will spot you’re ‘artificially’ linking to the pages in question and penalise your ranking. 

Only internally link where it makes sense and feels natural.

This will help inform your buyers and sellers and will keep them coming back to you. Make sure your links don’t have suspect content, either. 

Determine if the links are actually necessary and valuable for the content you’re creating.

 

7. Disregarding Your Audience

Your audience is the most important aspect of your SEO strategy. If you disregard your audience and only focus on Google and the algorithms, you’ll miss out on attracting your audience and maintaining their attention. 

Think about your audience’s search intent and their knowledge level surrounding the property industry. 

Make sure you’re writing for them and answering their questions before they even think about them. 

Keep them updated on industry trends, housing prices, and the estate market. Then you can worry about writing for the algorithms.

 

8. Not Checking Google Analytics

Even though you should put your audience first with SEO, you still need to check Google Analytics. 

Spend some time each week working through your Google Analytics dashboard to look at all of the relevant data surrounding your estate website.

Without consistently analysing your SEO strategy, you’ll never know if it’s working, and you won’t know how to improve your SEO. 

The analytics information will tell you how many visitors you get, which pages get the most leads for buyers or sellers, and which keywords perform best.

 

9. Being Too Broad With Blog Topics

It’s better to put out quality content rather than quantity. One of the biggest mistakes to avoid is not knowing your user profile. 

Being too broad in the topics on your website or even on social media can make it look like clickbait rather than wanting a genuine interaction with potential clients.

Overtime when you start ranking well, you’ll be approached by sites asking you to host their blog posts (with a backlink to them) in exchange for some money.

While £50-£150 seems like a decent amount of cash for just hosting a blog post. But, if the blog post is out of sync with your site, you can cause a negative impact to your rankings. 

Even worse, if the paid for backlink is to a low reputation site, it boosts the negative impact even further.

 

10. Making Too Many SEO Changes

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It’s true — some search engine optimisation changes can hurt you. 

Over a decade ago, changing your optimisation on your website daily or every other day was a regular part of marketing for every company, estate agents included.

As technology and algorithms have advanced, making daily changes to your SEO can do more damage to your traffic than good. 

Making edits to your website every day, whether through keywords or sharing links on your social media page, won’t significantly impact the amount of traffic you receive. 

You need to be patient with your listings, sharing, and keyword alterations to see an impact. 

Sometimes it may take a month, but patience is vital!

 

11. Forgetting About the Reviews

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Reviews are important for SEO. 

Google wants their results to be as spot on as possible for their users.

If someones searching for an estate agent, Google wants to show them the best estate agent sites or businesses it can find.

Google factors in reviews and ratings for this decision. 

The more people raving about how great you are, the higher Google holds you in terms of being amazing. They’ll reward you with better rankings.

 

12. Disregarding Web Design

Your website design matters. Invest in creating a website your users can enjoy. It should be straightforward, easy to navigate, and pleasing to the eye. 

Anyone should be able to use it, no matter their age or whether they’re looking at your website from a phone, tablet, or computer.

Google tracks how people use your site. Do they click on it and leave within a few seconds? Or do they stay and click on multiple pages for a large amount of time?

In the latter example, it paints a picture that your site is what users want and therefore you’ll be ranked better.

This is known as the bounce rate and you can view yours on Google Analytics.

If your bounce rate is poor, you may need to address site issues such as the layout, speed or content

 

How Will You Better Your Estate SEO?

Be sure to avoid these common mistakes in your industry. Take small steps to reach your SEO potential, and you’ll see results with hard work and patience for a successful business.

All SEO work takes months to show and it’s not something you can just leave once it’s working out.

SEO needs constant updates and tweaks, as well as staying on top of Google updates.

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Rentround October 11, 2021