Real estate SEO is important for your business growth…
Statistics show that 91% of searchers will look for a real estate website in their apartment search (Homes.com, 2012).
According to Brightlocal, 86% of consumers rely on the internet to find a local business.
In fact, just by observing people’s general behavior towards anything they purchase, rent or sell, any marketer can see how much the majority of the population value the results found on the internet.
With so much opportunity online, local realtors like you can’t afford to miss out on this valuable traffic…
And when it comes to professional real estate listings, the need for effective search engine optimization is more important than ever.
The competition on the internet is fierce.
Never assume that you’re the only person employing all these top-notch strategies and tactics.
Everybody else is too…
So… Is it worth it?
Yes, it is.
As you can see above, whatever is the intent type, ranking on top position still rules!
Sites optimized for keywords and search queries have a better chance of high rankings on search engine results.
Not only do people never make it past the first page of search results, but most of them also end up committing to the first real estate agent or agency they find.
For this reason, SEO holds your digital marketing strategies together. It’s an essential ingredient of internet marketing success.
A site that barely gets enough traffic due to poor SEO can use some overall optimization. From the structured data to web content to the links and the meta tags.
This was the case for one of our clients who achieved SEO success after careful optimization strategies and tactics.
Discover how he achieved about 21k traffic and 10K in traffic value.
Real Estate SEO Case Study of Rentspot
Rentspot is the home of Canada Rental listings.
Because of that, its primary goal was to be the go-to site for Canadians who were searching for a place to live or looking to have their place rented out.
It was being marketed as an easy-to-use site when it came to navigation, search features, and tools.
On 2015, Rentspot came to us as they faced a somewhat taxing situation.
Plagued with decreasing site visitors and outranked by its competitors, the site was badly in need of a real-working strategy that would attract traffic once again.
With less than a thousand visitors per month, Rentspot’s site performance on the internet wasn’t doing all too well.
How It Outranked the Competition
For Rentspot to gain the notoriety it needed, several strategies were put in place.
Every aspect of the site had to be optimized, so Google’s bots would crawl and drive the traffic towards the site.
Here’s how we implemented each strategy:
Website Review & Analysis
Before any kind of measure was taken, an assessment of the damage had to be done first. For this reason, we reviewed the website’s performance using an SEO checker site like SEO Site Checkup.
A Sample of Onsite Check using SEO Site Check-up:
With Google Console, we can see also issues.
Like, crawl errors:
Review and analysis of Rentspot in 2015 revealed the following problems:
- No meta tag optimization
- No structured data
- Crawl Errors
- Missing NAPs and in listings
- Fewer Backlinks
- Poor content marketing and optimization
- Missing important features on the landing page.
Meta Tag Optimization
Meta tags describe your page content to website visitors, but especially to search engines. Tags like:
- Title tag
- Meta description
- Canonical tag
- Alternative text (Alt) Tag
- Robots meta tag
- Social media meta tags
- Header tags
- Responsive design meta tag
These 8 major meta tags improve the optimization of a business or an already running website.
With meta tags missing, search engines won’t be capable of finding the site on the web. It’s lost to a sea of competitors without proper meta tag optimization.
Title tags and meta descriptions, for instance, require the presence of a focus keyword so search engines and web visitors can easily find it.
We can often hear the phrase, “content is king” constantly thrown around in every digital marketing forum on the internet. It’s never been truer, and it’s always relevant.
And here’s why:
Search engine optimized content determines who finds the website, and what kinds of information they’ll be able to take from it. In addition to providing needed information, content aids in increasing conversion rate.
In the beginning, Rentspot barely had any properly optimized content, especially on the Calgary page. What little content it had lacked keywords for search engines to pick up.
Our team’s response to this is evident. We added keywords relevant to the site’s niche like Calgary apartments for Rentspot’s Calgary page.
All in all, countless SEO elements work together so a page is visible on the first page of search results. But in the absence of actual text, there is nothing for search engines to read.
Without text, there isn’t a match for keywords that prospect clients type.
To check Rentspot’s structured data competency, our team made use of Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool
In a nutshell, structured data helps search engines understand what the content is specifically about. Technically, structured data is an HTML markup that comes as a code.
Because user experience is a huge factor for ranking, adding structure data to the site will give users and prospect clients a firsthand look of a business’s worthy credentials.
Structured data use has increased, and is found in approximately one-third of the commonly crawled web now.
By structuring data, you help define content. This, in turn, increases machines’ chances of correctly matching content that is relevant to search queries.
Directory-based websites like Yelp, Foursquare, Yellowpages, etc., give a brief description of what your site does.
They also provide your company name, address, and phone number along with a link to your website. And citations are references from website directories like these.
For this reason, citation sites become an essential part of your business success. And when you view it from the perspective of SEO, consistent citations are essential for local SEO.
The exact NAPU (Name, Address, Phone number and URL) is important if the business’ goal is to rank for what Google determines as local searches.
Because citations are necessary for ranking correctly on search engine results, there is a need for a full citation audit. And this is what our team did for Rentspot.
We looked at any site that referenced Rentspot’s business and ensured that they had the correct NAP along with the website.
When the existing citations were cleared to us, we went on to “claim” any citations that haven’t been claimed.
In addition to directory based sites like Yelp, there are other sites that real estate citations can be found in:
- Real Estate ABC
- Luxury Real Estate
- Directory Critic
- Home Owners Circle
- Lake Homes USA
- International Real Estate Directory
- Agent Preview
People are more inclined towards local searches, and it has become fundamental for businesses — especially local ones — to be active on local forums like map listings.
No matter where you are, it is important to get a business listed on major maps (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) that are popular among everybody.
In the case of not being in some really important local citations for Canada (in Rentspot’s case), it was important to submit links manually so they could be cited as well.
Furthermore, our team went on to check Rentspot’s citation listings on Yext.
When checking under yext, you will be ask for Business Name, Phone, Address, & Zip:
Added Featured Listing in the Landing Page
In the words of Hubspot’s writer, Pamela Vaughan,
“Landing pages are the heart and soul of an inbound marketer’s lead generation efforts…”
A landing page lets you target your audience, and offer them something of value.
Do that correctly, and you can convert a higher percentage of your visitors into leads. At the same time, you acquire information about who they are and what converted them.
So, after successfully being accepted into other real estate citation sites that boast high domain authorities, it was necessary to feature these listings on the landing page.
It was to make sure the credentials were visible and attention-grabbing.
And this is what we did for the site…
Since the early 2000s, the interest in link building has grown to 43%.
It’s integral to SEO because it gets web pages to link to each other by acquiring hyperlinks from other websites.
Backlinks are one of the most critical ranking factors for your website, and it’s not just the quantity either.
Search engine crawlers are after the quality. It needs backlinks that are relevant to the website’s niche.
This was one of the things Rentspot lacked initially. Its backlink profile wasn’t pretty to look at. While it’s necessary to have a backlinking scheme, it’s necessary to link with pages of at least a 50 in domain authority.
Backlinks from high-DR sites carry more weight than those of low DR-sites.
Content marketing is the greatest reason behind the most successful digital marketing campaigns. Behind every superior site on search engines is a wealth of relevant and valuable content. Every part of it connects well with the company’s audience.
No matter how many years have passed, our team will consistently acknowledge the importance of marketing content effectively.
It’s what we also take into account when we deal with other sites.
That’s because content marketing does:
- Attract new traffic,
- Influence conversions,
- Cultivate trust, and
- Build a reputation and domain authority.
One factor that is very valuable to content marketing is guest blogging or guest posting. It’s one of the many strategies we applied to help increase Rentspot’s traffic and lead generation.
- Establishes authority: It showcases a company’s expertise in a particular area. In Rentspot’s case, it shows that the people behind Rentspot are knowledgeable in real estate.
- Increases exposure: When we began guest posting for Rentspot on popular websites and other relevant sites, we put the company’s name forward. It’s another form of written advertising.
- Generates leads and traffic: Visitors of a site you guest blogged for can easily turn into new leads for the business. When you guest post, you network with potential leads. At the same time, it increases traffic for your landing pages or your website. That way, prospect clients can find you if they want to know more about you.
- Grants Google Authorship: By guest posting, you let Google know who you are. In addition to gaining more recognition, Google Authorship improves rankings on the Google search results.
Adding Google Console
When all of the strategies are implemented and put into play, it becomes important to monitor and track the progress of the schemes.
So after the long process of maximum site optimization, our team registered Rentspot on Google Search Console.
Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google to help businesses check the visibility and indexing status of the website on Google’s search results.
Several helpful tools that have helped us monitor Rentspot’s health include:
- Site Health Messaging System: That alerts you if your website’s health is compromised by hacking or malware. It also lets you know if important pages have been removed or blocked by robots.txt.
- Robots.txt Tester: It tests whether the site is blocked from Google’s crawler, which it shouldn’t. A page blocked by robots.txt can’t display your page in search results.
- Google Search Results Statistics: The tool has a number of filters that allow you to see keyword searches that drove users to the site. In addition, you can sort the data by impressions, click-through rate, and other options. Furthermore, you can also see your organic clicks and average ranking position.
Around November 2015, Rentspot began to see much-awaited results. The rental site slowly climbed the ranks on Google’s search result pages.
And nowadays, Rentspot’s notoriety continues to grow, reaching to 20,000 visitors in organic traffic.
Rentspot’s top 5 organic keywords in Canada — its base — are Calgary rentals, basements for rent in Mississauga, rent Calgary, apartments for rent Toronto, and Vancouver apartments for rent.
Throughout this detailed case study of Rentspot’s growth, the following conclusions can be derived:
- Decreasing visitors are caused by a website consistently slipping from the SERP rankings.
- To avoid being outranked by competitors, it is necessary for a website to have proper search engine optimization. From links to a site’s content. Each page must be properly optimized to drive leads and traffic to the site.