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SEO for real estate investors often feels like one part uber-advanced technical “hacks” and two parts dark magic.
Listening to the advice of SEO gurus could easily leave you feeling overwhelmed … and incredibly disheartened.
It’s not. And you shouldn’t be.
SEO for real estate investors comes down to optimizing around 10 on-page elements. And that’s incredibly good news.
Why? Because traffic is the lifeblood of any online business. And for real estate investors what you need isn’t just any old traffic — not just visitors for the sake of visitors — but high-quality, lead-worthy, traffic you can count on month in and month out.
This post will guide you in how to get more traffic to your website by teaching you what’s important to search engines (i.e., ranking factors) and what you yourself can do to get your real estate investor site to rank exactly where you need it to.
If you’re already familiar with SEO, then CLICK HERE to jump down to the meat of this post: a step-by-step checklist of HOW to optimize your on-page SEO for real estate investors.
Your position among those 72-million-plus results dramatically determines how many people visit your site. Data from May of 2016 indicates that while the average clickthrough rate (CTR) of position one websites on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) is 23%, position ten is 2%.
Image Credit: Advanced Web Ranking
And you don’t even want to know what happens to a clickthrough rate when you fall outside of positions one through ten. As the old adage goes, “The best place to hide a dead body is on page two of Google.”
All this to say, it’s vital to understand exactly what factors Google takes into account when prioritizing their search results.
According to Open Umbrella’s analysis of 182 websites, there are at least 12 vital factors:
Image Credit: Openumbrella.org
That can sound like a lot … but it’s nothing compared to SEO genius Brian Dean’s Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List. (Full disclosure: the list actually contains 205 ranking factors. Geez.)
But here’s the thing … you don’t have to become an SEO genius to get your real estate investor site to rank. And — even better — you don’t have to get to page one.
Instead, SEO for real estate investors falls into three big buckets: (1) technical SEO, (2) off-page SEO, and (3) on-page SEO.
Naturally, technical SEO involves a host of behind the scene elements, some of which include …
- Indexable: can Google access and catalog all your pages?
- Speed: how fast does your website load?
- Responsiveness: does it appear correctly on mobile, tablet and desktop devices?
The good thing about being an Investor Carrot member is that all these factors are taken care of for you. Big sigh of relief.
If you’re not a member, have a look at the health of your website by using a tool like HubSpot’s website grader.
Off-page SEO is really all about the links from other websites to yours.
And when I say “all about” … I mean all about. Backlinks are the number one ranking factor all search engines use to prioritize their results.
They’re also the side of SEO you have the least control over.
That’s why — for now — we’re going to forego link building strategies and instead focus on the side of SEO you can control.
On-page SEO for real estate investors focuses on your (1) content and your (2) keywords.
Everybody wants to “hack” Google with the second approach. And of course, optimizing your keywords is vital. But before we go through our checklist on that process, do not ignore …
SEO for Real Estate Investors: Content Matters
Sadly, one of the most neglected areas in SEO, specifically by small businesses and entrepreneurs like real estate investors, is the continuous development of quality, value-add content.
Many real estate investors who take their business online are under the false impression that adding content — any content — with the right keywords placed in the right keyword positions will do.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
At the very start of our Content Marketing Roadmap, I make this claim:
SEO is really all about content marketing.
Easy, because valuable, and fresh content is the only kind of content that other people will link to. And remember, other people’s links are the number one factor in SEO.
In fact, Brian Deans number three and number four “key findings” from We Analyzed 1 Million Google Search Results: Here’s What We Learned About SEO highlight exactly this point:
3. We discovered that content rated as “topically relevant” (via MarketMuse), significantly outperformed content that didn’t cover a topic in-depth. Therefore, publishing focused content that covers a single topic may help with rankings.
4. Based on SERP data from SEMRush, we found that longer content tends to rank higher in Google’s search results. The average Google first page result contains 1,890 words.
Do not make the mistake of putting “content quantity over content quality.”
Instead, invest in long-form content — roughly 2,000 words — that valuable and relevant. If you’re looking for ideas, check out our 101 Blog Post Ideas For Real Estate. If you’re looking for a comprehensive crash course that covers the entire process, jump over to our Content Marketing Roadmap. Both are free resources … even if you’re not a Carrot Member.
But this isn’t a post about content marketing. This is a post about SEO … so let’s turn our attention to the real meat: keywords.
SEO for Real Estate Investors: Keywords
Keywords are what help search engines match the content on your website to online searches. It’s essential that you master the art of keyword research in order to maximize your results.
The easiest way to find your own most popular keywords is by using a free tool called Ubersuggest. Simply type in a target phrase like “sell my house”:
Ubersuggest will then automatically generate a massive list of possible long-tail keyword phrases related to that general phrase.
You can also use Google’s auto-complete feature as well, especially to narrow down the most popular long-tail phrases.
For an even more detailed examination of the keywords you should target, Google AdWord’s free Keyword Planner tool is phenomenal. Just be sure to enter the area you want results for under “Targeting”:
Google will then give you a list of possible long-tail keyword phrases to choose from based on the location you selected:
Whatever tool you use, simply select the long-tail keyword most relevant to what you’re offering. In this example case “sell my house fast in Denver” is hands down the winner.
Before we proceed to the next section, you should know that Investor Carrot websites come with guidance as to how to add on-page SEO to your content, but if you’re not a member, the next part should bring clarity.
After you’ve created your content and selected your targeted keyword, it’s time to get to work on SEO. What follows are the ten most valuable on-page elements that should include your keyword phrase.
You can easily use this as a checklist, but we’ve also built a Carrot SEO tool especially for real estate websites. Our SEO goal for this page is to rank for the phrase “SEO for real-estate investors.” So this is what the tool looks like when we plug that phrase in:
Now let’s walk through the ten most important elements.
1. Title tags
Title tags are the headings of the pages on your website. In search results, they are the main headings.
If you’re adding keywords to titles, and your permalinks are set up correctly, the URL will automatically include the title.
Often, however, your title will be longer than the keywords you want to rank for. That’s why you should simplify it in the URL and limit the actual web address to your targeted keywords alone.
Image Credit: WebKnowHow
As much as possible, try to avoid using numbers in your URL, whether that’s dates or even numbers associated with the title of your article. Why? Because if you ever want to go back and update your post, changing the URL will essentially void any SEO power the original pages had.
For example, in one of my latest posts — 5 Signs You’re Likely To Fail As A Real Estate Investor — the URL was simply: https://oncarrot.com/why-real-estate-investors-fail/
3. Meta descriptions
And when you compile the meta description, make it compelling in order to attract attention. Consider it the advertisement for a page’s content. This is what the meta description looks like in searches:
4. Headline tags
Headlines and subheadings divide your on-page content into scannable chunks making it far easier to read.
But at the same time, they also tell search engines what the content is about, and what’s most important.
Image Credit: IBlogNet
5. The First 100 Words
Pretty self-explanatory, but make sure you add keywords naturally and don’t “stuff” your content with them. A good rule of thumb is to add the keyword phrase in the first 100 words — preferably in the very first sentence — as well as after every 150 or so words.
6. Bolded words
Adding bolded words for SEO is debatable, but it can’t hurt if you don’t over-bolden. When you add this technique, focus on using bold text only to make a point to the reader. In other words, focus on reader experience.
Image Credit: Fonts
We’ve covered off-page SEO for real estate investors and the importance of links from other websites to yours.
What I mean by inserting links to keywords (otherwise known as anchor text), is that when you link to a good website from a keyword, it signals to search engines what both your content and theirs is about. But there is a certain art to it and it shouldn’t be obsessed over.
Image Credit: Placester
The real “secret” to your own links and SEO is using internal links. As Aaron Orendorff pointed out in Little-Known SEO Ingredients That Make A Huge Difference In Google Search:
While external links dramatically improve both types of authority [domain and page], linking between pages on your own site — namely, linking from high page authority URLs to low page authority URLs — passes the SEO value of the first page onto the second.
Here’s the bottom line: do not include your targeted keywords in the anchor text to other sites. Do include your targeted keywords in the anchor text to your own site.
Search engines use the images on your site to further help them decipher relevancy (how relevant your content is to user searches).
First, before you upload images to your website, they should be compressed so that they don’t slow down your site. You can use a tool like Optimizilla for this.
Second, for every image you add, include your keywords in two place. Let’s take this post’s header image as an example:
(1) Image name
Instead of using a generically titled image name, get specific. Rather than “blog-post-header-image-1.jpg” or even “seoforrealestateinvestors.jpg” … use “seo-for-real-estate-investors.jpg”
(2) Alt tags
Alt tags are the default text a browser displays if images are turned off. This time, write your alt tag with your keywords, but write them to be read: “SEO for Real Estate Investors.”
10. Local keywords
In no other industry does location matter quite as much as it does in the real estate investor SEO realm. Since your competitors are likely not fully up to speed with the location element in SEO, you could get way ahead of them with a little bit of additional work.
Local search is a lot different to international search, and the intentions are often very different too.
For example, if you wanted to order pizza for dinner tonight, Google is going to assume you want local buying options. By default, instead of serving up global results, Google will offer you local results you can actually use to order pizza.
People searching for “real estate investors” want to know about a career as a real estate investor or find someone to sell their property too. But if they were to add an area — which most do — their intention is to find a real estate investor in that area. Big difference, right?
Have a look at this: for the search term “real estate,” there are a phenomenal amount of searches every month — 3,350,000 to be exact — and there’s not much competition for the phrase.
But the term is also not relevant for real people because real people who are searching for what you provide will add an area. Now watch what happens when you add an area:
The search amounts drop to 49,500 per month. Although the search amount is lower, the good news is that “Utah real estate” represents the people most interested in doing business with someone in Utah.
Our own 6 Simple Tips To Master Location-Based SEO And Skyrocket To The Top of Search Engine Results goes into detail about how to use location keywords. But the important thing to notice is perfectly summarized in this visual where the location has been added to a number of the on-page SEO elements this post has already called attention to:
You can even get hyper-local in your SEO for real estate investors.
Remember Google AdWords Keyword Planner? They have the option to add nearby locations:
Of course, you probably know your area even better than Google. So if you’re creating landing pages to target specific locations within your larger geography, in those specific locations as well.
However, don’t stuff all your hyper-local keywords into one page. Instead, create 5-10 copies of your original landing page, each with the hyper-location featured in all the on-page elements mentioned above.
Next Level Property Investments — who are Carrot customers and have been featured on HGTV — do this masterfully. For example, here is a copy of their homepage with all of the location elements highlighted:
But, if you hover over the “Sell Your Home” button in the header navigation, something of SEO-brilliance occurs:
They’ve essentially created cloned versions of their homepage with hyper-local keywords for each of the areas they serve.
Another local keyword area you have control over — although it’s not technically part of on-page SEO — are business listings. When your website is submitted on business listings like Google Business Pages, Yahoo’s Aabaco small business listings, Bing places for business, etc., it tells search engines that your website is valid and dramatically increases your ranking when someone searches for a keyword associated with your side.
Moreover, search engines would rather list a website that’s registered as a local business, than one that is not. Be sure that the format of your NAP (name of business, address, and phone number) are consistent throughout the Internet.
11. An SEO for Real Estate Investors Bonus: Reviews
Moz states that reviews account for 8.4% of search ranking factors for local businesses. Why do search engines take online reviews into account for search rank?
Reviews give search engines “signals” as to:
- How relevant your website content is according to what people are searching for in your niche.
- Where the business is situated, also for the purpose of “area relevance.”
- How prominent your business is and it’s objective reputation.
Pushing for reviews is one substantial SEO technique to use to beat competitors in the world of real estate investment. Have a look at a Google search I did for “real estate Utah.” This is what was on the first results page, immediately under the ads, which means it gets the ultimate place of prominence:
Can you see how every single one of these websites has reviews? None of the other results below these contained reviews.
SEO for Real Estate Investors Isn’t Dark Magic
We’ve covered a lot of information in this post.
But don’t get overwhelmed.
Instead of getting obsessed with backlinks, focus on what you can control: your on-page keywords. Select the right keywords and add them — like a human — to each of these ten areas:
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Headline tags
- The first 100 words
- Bolded words
- Image Names
- Image Alt Tags
- Local keywords
SEO for real estate investors may seem daunting at first, but it’s what will set you apart from your competition who won’t bother learning the ropes.
And if you want to make life a lot easier, you may want to consider becoming an Investor Carrot member, so that most of the hard work is already done for you or to get help as you go.