The Internet is a significant factor for many people in any rental or purchase decision. Prospective renters will search for properties to rent using Google or other search engines. Research shows that where a business appears in the search rankings has a major effect on whether consumers will choose to patronize the company or not. SEO for real estate investors is a crucial success factor.
What is SEO and Why Is it Important?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO is the process of improving your company’s ranking when people search for products and services related to your business. SEO is important. Studies show that the business that ranks at the top of the search results receives 33 percent of the traffic. The No. 2 site receives 18 percent. Traffic goes down from there. So, if your rental properties fail to rank near the top, chances are no one will ever go to your website to check them out.
What is Required for SEO?
Search engines such as Google use bots to collect information on pages on the Internet. The search engines have algorithms that analyze the website information received from the bot. The algorithms consider factors such as readability, relevancy, and authoritativeness. The algorithms change from time to time, so a website optimized a year ago may not necessarily receive the same ranking today.
One factor in the readability and user-friendliness of your website is how quickly it loads. Pages that load quickly rank significantly higher than those that don’t. PageSpeed Insights can give you an idea of your loading speed relative to Google’s expectations.
Google’s algorithm gives high rankings to sites where customers spend some time and downgrades sites that customers leave quickly. To keep customers on your website, you’ll need to provide helpful content, such as blogs and embedded videos, in addition to real estate listings.
A linking strategy is also important to SEO. Search engine algorithms look favorably on websites that link to other places on the same page. So, a table of contents can be helpful. Google also ranks favorably those pages that link to other internal and external pages. Web pages that provide information that compels external pages to link to them also rank highly.
Keywords are essential in SEO, and SEO specialists develop a whole strategy to choose the right keywords. In general, the best keywords are:
- reflect the customer’s search intent
- are long-tailed keywords (or four or more keywords in a sequence)
- are a result of a considerable amount of research using free and paid tools
Updating your content regularly improves SEO for several reasons. The first is that the more you update, the more often bots visit your site. Each time the search engine bot visits your site, you can potentially climb higher in the search rankings.
Google also loves up-to-date content, so real estate investors who update their site several times a week improve their odds of achieving a higher ranking. If you add content frequently, you also have the opportunity to use more keywords.
Search engines also consider up-to-date content more valuable to potential readers, so they will rank it higher. Finally, a user who visits your site and sees old content won’t linger for long. However, if they find new content each time they visit, they are apt to stay longer, which will improve your search engine rankings.
How Does an Investor Develop a Real Estate SEO Strategy?
Developing a successful real estate SEO strategy requires a specialist. While you could designate a member of your in-house team to learn about SEO and keep up to date with algorithm changes, you probably don’t want to. Even just choosing the right keywords requires a considerable amount of research using the right tools. And keywords are only a part of the overall strategy. Your in-house team member could likely make a more significant contribution to the growth of your business by spending that time on customer relations, sales, and business development functions. A real estate virtual assistant specifically trained in SEO can help you develop the strategy and determine your keywords more efficiently.
The strategy will include frequent updates to your website. You won’t want your in-house team to take time away from other tasks to write blogs and produce and embed videos. A real estate virtual assistant can handle these ongoing tasks. They can also continue monitoring Google and other search engines to detect changes in their algorithms. And the assistant can periodically compare your websites with those of your competitors to ensure you continue to rank higher than they do.
ShoreAgents can partner with you to find and hire the best real estate virtual assistant to help with your search engine rankings. Start improving your search engine rankings today.