Writing blog posts for your estate agency’s site should be a crucial part of your marketing. Why? Google likes content. When Google likes your site, it ranks you better when landlords & sellers search various terms.
When you rank better, you get free website traffic and therefore more leads & conversions.
There’s so many ways to get Google to like your site and rank your estate agency better organically.
Previously I had written about how getting backlinks need to be part of your estate agency’s marketing strategy if you want to rank well on Google (this remains my number 1 tip to rank better by the way)
In this segment, I’ll walk through how to improve your estate agency’s blog posts to give your marketing efforts a boost. It’ll cover how to write, format and structure a blog post to optimise ranking well and reader engagement.
1. ADD A Q&A SECTION TO YOUR POSTS
Google commonly near the top of their search results will show a list of Q&A’s related to what was searched for.
As a result having a Q&A section in your blog helps your post get more visibility.
Google looks out for a special syntax to identify Q&A sections in posts. While that sounds techy, it really isn’t. All that means is you need to download a Q&A plugin on your WordPress site.
Once installed, the plugin will let you enter your question and it’s relevant answer. It’ll then code your information in the right format to be picked up by Google.
Then you can create a set of questions centred on your keyword. How much do estate agents charge in Leeds? Who is the best estate agent in Leeds? What’s the average property price in Leeds… and so on (if your post is related to an estate agency in Leeds).
2. PICK THE RIGHT KEYWORD FOR YOUR ESTATE AGENT BLOG POST
Hopefully you read our Letting & Estate Agent Digital Marketing Ultimate Guide which covered selecting keywords your site aims to rank for. In a nutshell, keywords like “Estate agent” are so competitive and broad, that it’s impossible (or will cost thousands and take a few years) to rank high on Google for.
It’s better to pick longer tail keywords that are less competitive but will still provide you traffic and hopefully seller or landlord leads.
So using an example that I dealt with, ranking well for “letting agent” would have been difficult for us. It has 14,000 searches on Google each month and is highly competitive.
However the term “letting agent fees” I saw was far more achievable. It had less competition, had a monthly search volume of appx 2,500 and was very applicable to Rentround (i.e. we compare letting agent fees!)
So we targeted that and 6-8 months later, we’re now on the first page for that keyword.
The same results were achieved for the terms “landlord leads” and “estate agent leads”.
These terms were far less competitive than “estate agent marketing” so we picked those to target and hey presto, we rank 1st to 3rd (depending on how Google feels on that day) for those terms.
So use your location and specific to target the right keywords. “Tenant find in Birmingham”, “Find a tenant quickly in Manchester” or “Best estate agent in Liverpool” are far easier to rank well for than broader terms.
3. WHAT TOPICS SHOULD YOUR ESTATE AGENCY BLOG POST TALK ABOUT?
So you know what you want to rank for, but what do you talk about?
Take inspiration from what’s already ranking instead of starting from scratch. Look at who’s ranking for your keyword in the top positions and leverage what they’ve talked about… Then supercharge it!
If your competitor has talked about how to sell a property quickly, your article should talk about points they’ve mentioned and more.
Linked to the example above, you could talk write about
- Your own examples of properties you’ve sold quickly recently
- The top mistakes people make that delay selling a property.
- Highlight what properties currently on Zoopla have been posted the longest and give your opinion on why.
The aim is to create a better, more in depth article on the subject.
This has a knock on effect of helping you get backlinks. You can use your ‘better’ article to approach who’s linking to your competitors and ask them to link to your site instead. Read our guide on how to get backlinks to your estate agency website for more information on this subject
4. HOW LONG SHOULD THE BLOG POST BE?
2,500 words is the minimum you should work towards for a flagship post. This gives the article enough room to discuss a topic in sufficient detail.
Of course it’s important not to waffle and fill the blog with fluff, for the sake of filling the 2,500 quota.
Based on HubSpot’s data, the ideal length of a blog post intended to generate leads is 2,500 words. The 50 posts that generated the most leads in 2019 were an average of 2,569 words long and had a median length of 2,529 words.
Remember you want people to read and share your blog post, which they won’t do if the quality isn’t there. Google captures metrics on how long people stay on your blog post, read all the down and share etc. The higher the metrics, the better.
5. USE A POP UP TO CAPTURE SUBSCRIBERS AND LANDLORD & SELLER LEADS.
Having a pop up on your blog posts is essential. Your pop up might be encouraging people to subscribe to your blog, increasing your chances of getting more readers (and then to badger the point, help in your rankings).
On Rentround, our pop up provides a chance for landlords to run a comparison of letting agents to see their fees & ratings. It’s a nice and simple pop up that gets us extra leads via readers of our blog.
If you’re an estate agent in West London and you’re getting readers to your blog post titled ‘Best estate agent in West London’, a pop up asking the reader for their personal details so you can contact them about your services is a smart idea.
The objective is to make it as easy as possible for the reader to give you their information or buy your services, with minimal navigation from the page they’re already at.
Pop ups are annoying for sure. But I deem them as a necessary evil to get more future readers or leads.
6. KEYWORD STUFFING
Don’t keyword stuff! That means don’t create a blog post and keep repeating the keyword over and over again. Google’s bots will pick up on it and it’ll negatively impact your blog post.
Plus your readers won’t like it.
Use your keyword where it feels natural. In every 1,000 words, try to mention the keyword 5-6 times if appropriate.
7. INTERNAL LINKS TO WHAT YOU WANT YOUR ESTATE AGENCY TO RANK FOR
Google creates a hierarchy of your blog posts. It will know “OK, these are the sites important blog posts and these are just fillers”.
Hopefully the important ones Google starts giving you a decent ranking.
To help Google do this, link internally to your important blog posts.
On Rentround one of our blog posts is all about seller & landlord leads. In our other blog post, whenever we mention leads, we link back to the article we’re trying to rank for this search term.
Doing this builds a number of internal links to blog posts you want to link for. However be sure not to overlink. Keep internal links in your blog posts to about 3-6 and only link to the important posts.
8. ADD PROPERTY, ESTATE AND LETTING DATA TO YOUR BLOG POSTS
Your blog posts will be in competition with currently ranked blog posts for your desired keywords. Therefore your blog post has to be better.
One way is to add data to your post. For example if your post is trying to rank for “cheap estate agent in Birmingham”, include data on property in Birmingham.
Rental yields, property prices and sale volume data is easy to obtain and will add more value to your post.
People searching for a cheap estate agent may be interested in what property prices are in the area, therefore are likely to value your post more if it includes that data.
This in turn helps get your post more Google recognition.
9. SEO PLUGINS WILL HELP YOUR BLOG POSTS
You can download plugins on your WordPress blog that guides you to follow the right principles to get your post search engine friendly.
These plugins tell you if your paragraphs are too long, if you’ve mentioned the keyword too often (or too little) and if you haven’t used enough images.
Yoast SEO is probably the most popular.
It gives a post a red, amber or green status and provides suggestions on improvement areas.
While these tools are useful, it’s important not to stress about getting every post to green, the plugins should be used as a guide.
Many of our articles which are ‘amber’ rank very well.
However they do help you identify key errors in your post that are essential to improve your estate agency’s search engine raking
10. HEADINGS AND PARAGRAPHS
In your blog you need to include headers: H1, H2 and H3.
H1 is the main blog title, H2 is your key section names and H3 are for smaller section headings or bullet point headers.
When creating your headers, mention your keyword or related words as often (without overdoing it). Google will cross reference your headers for relevancy so it’s important they are linked to what you’re trying to rank for.
Using headers breaks down your post into suitable sections as well. No one likes lengthy pieces of text that goes on and on. Using headers makes your post more digestible to readers.
11. USE IMAGES AND UPDATE THE ALT TEXT
Including images helps the aesthetic look of your post.
However you can also use images to push the blog posts relevance to your keyword.
When uploading images WordPress asks for your ‘alt text’, which you should name according to the keyword you’re trying to get the blog post to rank for.
You’ll hopefully be already adding images that relate to your keyword. Adding the alt text gives your blog post an extra push to be more relevant to your keyword.
According to Innovation Visual, “the purpose of alt text is to improve accessibility by describing what an image is showing to visitors who do not have the ability to see them. However, it also helps search engine crawlers and so improves SEO. Failing to set alt attributes for images means that your website becomes difficult for screen readers and browsers to interpret and reduces the user experience for anyone who is visually impaired. Ensure that every visitor, as well as search engines can access your content by making sure you set descriptive alt text for all your websites images.”
12. EXTERNAL LINKS TO GIVE YOUR POSTS CREDIBILITY
As well as internal links, your post should have external links to reputable sources to back up what you’re saying.
Use backlinks to point to important research, quotes or data.
Try to avoid pointing to low ranking sites (and needless to say, spammy sites).
The point of using external links is to add credibility to what you’re saying. Your readers will then have a strong point of reference to some of your points and Google likes when you connect to other sites.
Hopefully you won’t do this, but avoid linking to sites/articles you’re competing with! If a post that’s ranking well for the search term you’re targeting has some amazing data you want to reference, stay clear.
You don’t want to give them a backlink, which is basically a vote that your site likes their content, helping them rank better.
13. DUPLICATE CONTENT WILL GET YOUR WEBSITE IN TROUBLE
Google quickly identifies duplicate content you’ve copied from another site and penalises your ranking.
If you are going to ‘leverage’ a post that someone else has created, change the wording so it’s unrecognisable to the original content.
If it’s unrecognisable, there’s no duplicate penalty.
To stay on the safe side, when using quotes, data or content from another site, name or backlink to them to provide credit. This lessens the chance of getting penalised for duplicate content.
If you’re paying an agency or freelancer to create content for you, run it through a duplicate content checker before publishing
14. FIND KEYWORDS RELATED TO YOUR KEYWORD AND USE THEM
There’s a tonne of keywords that are linked to the keyword you’re aiming to rank your post for.
These ‘secondary’ words will help build the relevance of your blog post, for the overall keyword you’re trying to rank for.
Use Google Adwords (check out our Google Ads guide for estate agents if you have no idea what this is) to find terms that are related to your keyword that have a decent amount of searches per month.
So if you’re targeting your post to rank for “estate agent fees in Liverpool”, you may find that terms like “estate agent costs in Merseyside” and “fees for selling a property in Liverpool” are also being searched for (to a lesser extent).
It’s good practice to also include these terms in your blog post to increase relevancy and increase the breadth of your post.
In addition, as the secondary keywords won’t be as competitive, you’ll find your post can start ranking for those terms as well. The traffic for these secondary keywords won’t be as popular as your main keyword (otherwise, you should be targeting those as your main keyword instead!) but you’ll get some traffic which can bump up lead volumes etc.
TO WRAP UP
Creating content in the right way on your site will help improve your rankings and engage readers.
It’s not always appropriate or possible to include all the points I’ve mentioned. Sometimes there won’t be data tables available or enough things to talk about to get to 2,500 words.
But the principles in this article will help significantly in improving the results in your agency’s blog posts.
Remember, if you’re interest in getting seller and/or landlord leads from us, check out how we can help.