These days, putting your business online isn’t just a nice thing; it is necessary. This fact is particularly true for real estate, where nine in ten people rely on the internet for information on available properties. With so many people searching online, it is not just enough to have a presence. You need to be deliberate about getting noticed.
According to a survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), more than half of homebuyers began their purchase journey online. This validates the need for businesses to be online to cater to potential buyers. However, for these customers to find you, you need to be easy to find.
Your searchability and visibility online are affected by several factors. When a user conducts a search on Google, the search engine crawls through the millions of pages and ranks their relevance to the search terms according to an algorithm’s criteria. The algorithm considers the accessibility of your site and the quality of your content, among other things.
When users perform a search, Google can find millions of relevant pages in a split second. The search engine will assign a ranking to the pages it sees and only display a limited number of results on each page. If you choose, you can pay or bid for your site to take the top place of the very first search results page.
Why do rankings matter?
Based on research, 95% of people will not scroll past the first page of results. The higher up on the ranking you are, the more likely the user will visit your page. Studies reveal that the first search result page’s first link has a 43% chance of being visited. The click-through rate or the likelihood that a user will visit the page drops to 37% and 29% for the second and third result positions, respectively. The click-through rate plummets for the succeeding results.
The goal is to rank as high as possible. You can manipulate your ranking by employing tactics to increase your site’s desirability to a search engine. Getting to the top of the search results means a higher probability of driving people to visit your site to convert these leads into sales. Employing technical strategies to increase your chances of appearing at the top is called search engine optimization (SEO).
How do I boost my site’s searchability?
Since users behave in a particular manner when it comes to searching online, the challenge for real estate businesses is to make it easy for potential customers to find them. The internet is an increasingly competitive market for real estate. If you want them to choose your business over other options, you need to fight your way to the top. Here are a few easy ways that you can employ basic SEO for your website:
1. Improve your download speeds
The rate of downloading your site affects your ranking. Users tend to abandon sites that take more than 5-10 seconds to load, so engines like Google filter these undesirable sites out. You can ask your digital marketing agency to test your download speeds on both desktop and mobile to test its performance. If your loading times are too long, especially on mobile devices where people tend to have shorter patience, you may have to upgrade your hosting service. You can switch to a hosting plan with a bigger capacity or migrate to a cloud-based service that will make your site easier to access across a wider geographical area.
2. Find unique keywords
Keywords are terms that people use to find content online. For your business, you may use words like “real estate,” “realtor,” “property for sale” in your site. Google picks up on these d includes your website in the list of relevant search results when someone keys them in.
You can populate your site with content like blog posts, media, and news articles that contain these relevant keywords so that your site pops up anytime someone searches these terms. The more generic the term, the more results there are likely to be. When searching for real estate, for example, the keyword can gather billions of results. Your site would have little chance to be noticed among a sea of options.
You may have a combination of generic and specific search terms, depending on the type of products or services you offer. You can improve your ranking by using more specific keywords on your site. Try including your location to make sure your searches appear to people who are within your service area. Use terms like “rental apartment St Louis,” or “bungalow for sale St Louis” in your content to get you higher rankings.
3. Populate your site with high-quality content
It isn’t enough to post keywords; you need to make content that users find meaningful and relevant. They won’t have a reason to stay and explore your site when they can’t find useful content. Provide descriptive material about your agency that can establish its credibility and authority in the real estate industry. Make your property listings as illustrative as possible, listing unique features that make them desirable for buyers. You can also write blog content with helpful advice about mortgages, renovations, property investments, or anything else related to your business.
4. Optimize your site for mobile
More than half of internet users use their mobile devices to access the web. If you don’t want to alienate these future customers, you need a site that is easy to navigate on a phone or tablet. A mobile-friendly site is a streamlined version of your desktop one. It makes use of the limited visual field by rearranging the layout in a way that doesn’t compromise the user experience while viewing your site on a phone. Search engines prioritize mobile-friendly sites when users search on their phones, so if your site isn’t optimized, you risk being left out of the results.
5. Get backlinked
Links help people find your site through other related pages. If you have affiliations with real estate groups or property databases, you might want to find a way to get a backlink to your site. Linking to resource material on your blog posts can also increase your content’s credibility, something search engines favor. Specific sites have established authority, like government agencies or educational institutions. If you can get links on authoritative sites like these back to yours, you can improve your search engine standing.
Increasing your standing on search engines can help put you ahead of your competitors. However, it is essential to note that optimization is an ongoing process. Every day, new businesses are opening up online, and they are fighting for relevancy too. Search engines will continue to prefer not only relevant results but recent ones. You need to continuously employ these SEO tactics, revisit your content strategies, and update your site to push it up to the top of the results
Do you need a digital marketing agency in St. Louis? We specialize in digital strategies like SEO, PPC, and social media marketing to help you boost your site’s visibility and increase your ranking on search results. Visit our website and learn more about how we can help your business.