Advertising properties on the major portals – Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location and so on – may be part of your marketing strategy, or you may prefer buyers and tenants to come directly to your website.
Either way, the right SEO tactics will help you compete with the major property portals in Google.
They are already dominant, however, and they have huge online marketing budgets that keep them at the top of search results pages. So how can you take them on?
The Crucial Part of Your SEO Strategy – Optimising for Your Local Area
The property portals are big and powerful, but they don’t know your local area like you do. In fact, what the big property portals know about your area is probably largely the result of content you have given to them.
What does this mean for SEO? That comes down to how you go about tackling the big property portals. Your main objective should be to go hyper-local by optimising your website for your local area.
Don’t try to take on the property portals on a macro level, targeting really high-volume keywords and phrases that are also relevant outside your direct area. Instead, focus your resources, at least initially, on where your expertise really lies – the exact locations where you sell and list properties.
From this main strategy, you can start building by using the following SEO tactics.
The starting point with all SEO strategies is to research keywords. This applies to estate agents as much as it does to other types of business. Only you will know the keywords that are important, but they are likely to have a lot of location references. Examples include:
• Detached homes in
• Estate agent fees in
• Homes to buy in
Keyword lists typically have 20-30 keywords.
Optimise Pages for Target Keywords
You then need to ensure the pages on your website are optimised for the keywords in your list. This means including keywords in the following locations:
• Page titles
• Meta descriptions
• Header tags
• Content on the page
• Image alt text
Make sure you only target one main keyword per page as including more than one dilutes the impact.
Optimise Your Website Technically and Structurally
You should also make sure your website adheres to Google’s guidelines and recommendations technically and structurally. This involves a range of different factors, but two of the most important are:
1. Ensure your website looks great on mobile devices as well as ensuring everything on your website works on mobile
2. Making sure your website loads quickly
Add New Content to Your Website Regularly
Google likes fresh content, new content helps you target keywords, high-quality content gets backlinks (which are essential to SEO), and content helps you target highly-valuable longtail keywords.
These are just some of the reasons you should consistently add new, unique, and high-quality content to your website.
Make Sure You Are Listed on Google My Business
Google shows Google My Business listings on many of its search results pages, so you should make sure you have a fully up-to-date and optimised listing. It’s free and easy to use, so this one is a no-brainer.
The End Result
Other tactics you can use include getting reviews from buyers and sellers and using social media to engage your audience. The goal is to increase the authority of your website for search terms – usually location-based search terms – that are specifically relevant to your business. The above will help you achieve this.