As a part of the modernization of the real estate industry, agents need to know everything they can about online marketing. No longer are clients finding their agents in newspaper ads. Now, most house hunters rely on internet searches to do so.
Agents frequently ask, “But how do I get seen online?” Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the answer.
Chris Rodgers is the CEO and founder of Colorado SEO Pros. The company is an SEO agency that uses its deep experience to help clients improve their SEO best practices and leverage the internet to increase their revenue and ROI.
“SEO is really a marketing channel. It’s the process of implementing strategies to increase the visibility of web pages in search engines, on the organic or free section as compared to paid ads,” said Rodgers.
Rogers says one acronym agents need to remember is Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (EEAT). EEAT is what Google is searching for in all websites. As an agent, the content you post should prove that you have experience as an agent, that you are an expert in your field, that you are an authority among other professionals and that you — and your information — are trustworthy.
Once agents have a firm grasp on EEAT, Rodgers has three steps they should follow to leverage SEO to the best of their abilities.
Get the tools
“Make sure your site is indexed in Google, at the very base level. You can do that using Google Search Console when you are first starting out. It’s a free program that Google offers,” said Rodgers.
The right tools are essential to winning the SEO game. If agents are using platforms like WordPress to create their sites, those platforms may have tools built in to improve your SEO.
“WordPress has a plugin called ‘Yoast,’ that makes some of this stuff pretty easy,” said Rodgers.
Be the expert
A real estate agent must show that they are local experts to stand out from sites like Zillow or Realtor.com. According to Rodgers, once you have the tools in place to communicate with Google or another search engine, that search engine will monitor your site to assess the level of authority and expertise you have.
“Once you have a website, you want to break it down by towns and cities. You want to show Google that you know everything about that area,” said Rodgers.
“Think of the names for areas that are not officially the city names. Like in Denver, they have Rhino and Lodo — and other areas that people refer to. By using those keywords in ways that make sense to people, you are demonstrating to Google that you understand the nuances of that area.”
Make the content
Rodgers says there are two sides to every website. There is the transactional side and the informational side. In real estate, content is king. Not only do you need to prove to Google, and your clients, that you have the knowledge and tools they need, but you should also be creating content that is informative and that builds your personal brand.
“What are the topics that people are searching online before they realize, ‘I want a home in Colorado in the Lo-do area?’” asked Rodgers. “People didn’t start with that specific need. They start with questions like, ‘What are the best places in the West to live?’ ‘Where are the best schools?’ ‘What is the weather?’”
Once you have become a local expert, then real estate agents should know the questions and things that their clients are interested in. Agents can create blog and social media posts that answer the questions future clients have and create a trusting, working relationship. Posts could range from answering, “How’s the housing market?” to ranking local school districts.
“Your blog posts should feed back to your category pages. Always link back to the pages with your homes for sale,” said Rodgers.
The combination of content, tools and expertise can set you as an agent apart from the rest of the pack. SEO is everywhere, and according to Rodgers, it isn’t going anywhere.
“SEO can be extremely lucrative. Outside of email, it has the highest return on investment of any digital channel. It isn’t something you try once, it is a long-term process and it builds over time.”