Rising to the top: The ultimate guide to local SEO for real estate

Optimising local seo for real estate illustrated image

Want to boost your online presence, attract quality local leads, and reduce the need for paid ads or cold calls? The solution is to optimise your real estate agency's local SEO. As a local business, it's crucial to be visible online to reach and connect with potential clients in your community. By focusing on a few targeted keywords, you can generate hundreds of monthly searches from prospects seeking a real estate agent or a new home in your area.

In this guide, we walk you through six strategies to enhance your local SEO, increase the visibility of your agency and listings, and attract more leads. Get ready to step up your real estate game and achieve an automated, 24/7 lead pipeline.

What is local SEO for real estate?

In a nutshell, it means showing up in search engine results when someone searches for real estate listings or services in your area.

Imagine a prospective client has begun their search for a local agent to sell their home. They have no idea yet who would be their best choice so they turn to Google and search for “best real estate agent near me”, or “best real estate agent Ascot” to create their short-list. Improving your local SEO means you’ll be rising to the top of both standard and map search results.

Example of real estate seo search results

How to improve your local SEO:

1. Setup and optimise your Google Business Profile

Your Google Business Profile, previously Google My Business, is the most important ranking factor for local SEO. Not only will it boost your website’s ranking in local search results, but it will also help potential clients find your agency through Google Maps. 

To get started, be sure to claim your listing at business.google.com and verify your ownership. Ensure that your business name, address, and phone number are accurate and up-to-date and include your most important keywords and local geotags in the description field.

When selecting your business categories, only pick the top 1-3 most relevant to avoid watering down your keyword effectiveness.

Finally, don’t forget to include content in the posts, FAQs and photos section. Use our GBP optimisation checklist to ensure you get it right.

example of a real estate google business profile

2. Optimise your website for local search terms

Your real estate agency website is the foundation of your online marketing, so the next step is ensuring it’s optimised for search engines. This includes making sure that the website is mobile-friendly, has a clear and easy-to-use navigation structure, is fast-loading and has a secure SSL certificate. For more website design tips, check out our guide to optimising your real estate website for leads.

To boost your rank for local search terms, you’ll need to start including these keywords strategically across your website. Start by creating a target keyword list. Think about your ideal clients and the keywords they're likely to search for. Include your location as well as neighbouring suburbs. 

Once you have your list of relevant keywords start including them in your page names, page titles (or H1s), meta descriptions and website content.

Finally, optimise your website images by adding your business name, location and keywords to image names and image alt text. 

3. Geotag your website images

Geotagging website images is an often overlooked but powerful tactic for local search optimisation. Geotagging means linking geographical coordinates to the images and videos on your website. It will help search engines pinpoint the geographical location of your images and website.

There are many online tools to help you geotag an image, like Geoimgr. Simply upload your image then add your longitude and latitude coordinates (you can find these by right-clicking the map marker on your Google Business Profile). After EXIF tagging, your geotagged image is ready to be downloaded and used on your website. For extra SEO benefits, use these geotagged images on your Google Business Profile, business directories and social media.

geotagging real estate images for local seo using geoimgr

4. Add your website to relevant directories

In addition to your Google Business Profile, you can further improve your local SEO by listing your agency on other online directories. Not only does this offer more opportunities for potential clients to find your agency, but the more directories you can be found in with accurate and complete information, the better you’ll rank in your area on Google. 

Start with general directories like Bing Places, Yelp, Bright Local, and Yellow Pages, then take it a step further by adding your listing to real estate-specific directories like Local Agent Finder and Which Real Estate Agent. 

5. Request backlinks from other local businesses

Backlinks are links from one website to another. When another website links to your website, you receive what’s called a backlink. Backlinks are important for SEO because they indicate to search engines that other websites consider the linked-to content valuable and relevant. The more high-quality, authoritative websites that link to a website, the more likely it is to rank well in search results.

Local backlinks can be particularly useful to boost local SEO for real estate agencies. So put those networking skills to good use and start reaching out to other local businesses to see if they would be willing to link to your agency's website. A great way to do this is to offer a link swap through blog articles.

requesting backlinks from local businesses for real estate seo

6. Encourage customer reviews

Positive customer reviews can have a significant impact on your SEO. How? In the same way that a potential client would, Google uses reviews as social proof for your business. Encouraging clients to leave reviews on sites such as Google, Yelp, and Zillow can help build trust and reputation for your agency. 

Make requesting reviews from your past clients standard practice by setting up a reminder or workflow in your real estate CRM to send them an email including your GBP Review Link after a sale is completed.

Lastly, don’t forget to respond to reviews, whether positive or negative, as this shows both clients and Google that you pay attention to feedback. 

By completing all of these steps, you’ll have built the foundations to start rising to the top of your local search results and attracting more quality leads. But remember to be consistent and persistent in your efforts, as results take time and ongoing optimisation will make a big difference to your real estate SEO strategy.

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