How real estate brands can use SEO to their benefit

[] We look at some SEO tips that real estate brands should implement to improve their business, especially in a scenario where all businesses have been impacted following the Coronavirus outbreak

The current state of global events triggered by the Coronavirus pandemic has hit all industries. Real estate is among the many industries that have almost come to a standstill, due to the countrywide lockdown and social distancing measures in place everywhere. There is much fear among both, buyers and sellers, to venture outside. This has affected scheduling of property visits and deferred purchase decisions, resulting in a lot of unsold inventory and making it difficult to continue with business as usual. It is not surprising then, that the sentiment of all real estate stakeholders is at an all-time low.

You are reading: How real estate brands can use SEO to their benefit

Nevertheless, just as life finds a way in the most trying circumstances, so must businesses. There is much to learn, if we look at businesses which are thriving and those which are continuing work by operating in a completely new way. Virtual selling is the new normal and virtual home tours will be the next big thing in real estate, allowing buyers to view homes from the safety and comfort of their current homes.

Buyer behaviour has changed and so must you

Indians everywhere are getting more accustomed to online buying across different categories. Multiple reports say that globally, nearly 95% of people search for their homes online, through search engines. Of these, 51% of them actually go on to buy from the shortlisted online homes. Of these, almost 55% of the searchers click on one of the results on the first page of Google search. Hence, if your website does not feature in those results, you are not only missing out an opportunity to be seen but you also stand the chance to lose potential customers to competition.

These statistics are very telling and it highlights the fact that you cannot afford to be absent, in places where your prospective customers are looking for you. A well-rounded real estate SEO strategy, will ensure that your listed properties are seen on search engines and on social media, to those who are looking for it.

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How real estate brands can use SEO to their benefit

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Here are some SEO tips for real estate brands

1) Optimise your website for the right keywords

Keyword research and selection are one of the key pillars in any SEO strategy. There are three basic tenets to keyword selection – intent of the searcher, as well as keyword search volume. You would also want to include a large chunk of long tail keywords, to get more specific and relevant traffic. A good SEO expert will be able to narrow down the right keywords for each of your properties.

2) Focus on local SEO

This is different from regular SEO, meaning that the results will be featured as part of local listings. This has an added advantage of searchers’ preference for looking for real estate businesses nearby. This can be done by creating content centred around local keywords, ensuring that all the directory listings are claimed and up to date and that your business details like website, contact number and address are the same across all of your online platforms – website, social media and Google My Business. Having a local business schema implemented on your website, will also make a difference, as will having valuable content for each of the localities / neighbourhoods that you want to focus on.

3) Post a steady stream of reviews on search and social

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There is still nothing like word-of-mouth referral, when it comes to getting people interested and real estate brands can also use this tactic, to add credibility to their online presence. Solicit more reviews and ensure that these are regularly updated on your website and social media, as well. This will give a huge boost to your local SEO efforts, as searchers are more likely to click on business links that are higher rated in local results.

4) Make use of photo and video content

Given that virtual home tours are going to take off in a big way, ensure that all your property listings are accompanied with good photos and videos. This will not only enhance your listing but also improve the overall experience for searchers and help you to get more relevant leads. It has been proven that listings with photos and videos generate a higher number of leads, as compared to those without it and you must not miss out on capitalising on this.

5) Optimise your website for mobile

The percentage and frequency of mobile internet users have soared in India and most property searches start on a smartphone. So, not only do you need to have the right content and relevant information easily visible on your mobile website but you also need to ensure that it offers a user-friendly mobile web experience for visitors. The photos and videos should load fast and your content needs to be customised, to make it more suitable for on-the-go browsing. Needless to say, load times will also be key to how many visitors actually stick around.

Implementing these SEO tactics can really prove to be a game-changer for your real estate business, in times like these. Given that the current pandemic will likely take a few more months to stabilise, going stronger on digital and SEO, to boost their online presence, seems to be the only practical way ahead.

(The writer is managing director, Rank My Business)

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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