Marketing for estate agents has become increasingly competitive. Online visibility gives every business the opportunity to reach customers across the globe. However, for estate agencies, the most desirable target audience isn’t global, it’s local.
A successful digital marketing strategy for estate agents should focus on reaching local customers and on appearing for localised search queries. This will enable people who are either in your local area already or searching for your services in your area to find you quickly and easily.
This is why local SEO is an essential component of any estate agent’s digital marketing strategy.
Here are some tips for local SEO for estate agents.
1. Register with Google My Business
Google provides a one-stop-shop for local businesses such as estate agencies, called Google My Business.
Google My Business is a tool to help you to increase your business’ visibility within Google Search Engine Results (SERPs) and Google Maps. It enables you to manage all of your business’ Google services in one place.
We discussed The Easy Guide to Optimizing Your Google My Business Listing on WordStream last year and it’s packed with loads of helpful tips.
You can also follow our GMB guide here.
Sign your business up to Google My Business by visiting www.google.co.uk/business. Once in, you will need to input all of your business information – essential is your full business address. Google will also give you the opportunity to verify your business address, which you need to do via post.
Use Google Posts
If you’d like to highlight certain properties or offers, Google Posts is a great tool to use when users research your estate agency’s brand name.
2. Add your business address to your website
It’s important that Google understands where your business is located, if you are to improve your visibility in the local search results. You therefore need to include your full business address plus postcode on your website.
If appropriate, consider including your address in the footer of your website so it appears on every page. This will reinforce the relevancy of every page on your site for local searchers.
Below is a great example of this from estate agency David James.
3. Have a separate page on your website for every branch you have
Many estate agencies have multiple branches. You will want to have good local visibility for all of your locations.
Include a separate page on your website for every branch you have. Each page should include information specific to the location, including the branch address and postcode. This will enable Google to see where your business is active and thus helps you to improve your search visibility for local searches across all your target areas.
In the example below, William H Brown have created separate pages for each of their branches.
This is a good start, but they would benefit further from creating a fuller page for their Ely branch.
In addition, they could include details of:
- What services are available
- The areas this branch covers
- A full list of their opening hours
4. Use location relevant keywords within your website’s content
In SEO, we call this optimisation; the process of ‘optimising’ your website’s pages so they are as relevant as possible to the search terms for which you’d like to appear in the search results pages.
If you want to be found by local searches or people searching for estate agencies in your area, you’ll need to use local place names across your website.
In fact, a recent interview on Search Engine Land highlighted the importance of locality.
“…So, if your content says where you are, what you do, how you help me with what I’m trying to accomplish, that’s fantastic.” – Martin Splitt, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst
For estate agents, this means talking about
- Where your branch is
- Where your houses are
- The areas you serve
5. List your business in property sector directories
The property sector has a wide range of niche specific directories in which you can list your business and its address(es). Some examples include:
You should look out for places your competitors have listed their businesses too.
By listing your business in high-quality property sector directories, you will reinforce your location to Google and thus help to improve your business’ visibility in the local search results.
6. Get links from local websites back to your website
Links are an important part of SEO. When another website links to yours (in the form of a hyperlink), Google considers this as a ‘vote’ for the quality and relevance of your website and this boosts your visibility in the search results pages.
By getting links to your site from local websites, you can improve your local visibility, making it a crucial form of digital marketing for estate agents.
These might include links from local government websites or local associations of groups which you are part of. Perhaps your estate agency sponsors a local sports team or has raised money for a local charity. Have them include a link to your website from their own.
7. Get links from property sector authorities
Links are valuable, but some are more valuable than others.
To improve the perceived quality of your business website, and therefore its visibility in the search results, you should seek to get links back to your site from property sector authorities.
For example, is your estate agency accredited by
If so, you should be listed on their websites.
Equally, if you or your agents are accredited by any other sector-specific bodies, try to get them to link to your website from their own.
8. Get positive reviews of your business online
We talked about the benefits of Google reviews in a previous post.
Reviews are a hugely valuable tool in improving your business’ online presence.
If you want your company to appear prominently for localised searches, then you will certainly need to consider how your customers are able to leave reviews for your business online.
According to Moz’s Local Search Ranking Factors, review signals are one of the top three.
The importance of accumulating genuine and honest reviews of your services via authoritative online business and social hubs is ever increasing, and although you may have all the other elements of your local search strategy covered, the power of review data should not be underestimated.
LocalBusiness schema is a type of Organization structured data markup that allows any local business to provide search engines with useful information.
The key benefit is that you can add review markup to your SERPs.
Other property lead generation ideas
In terms of generating leads, I’ve compiled a few ideas to help your estate agents find more properties to sell and let.
Online evaluation tool
Having a free evaluation tool is great for generating leads.
However, some may argue that these tools never really give an accurate picture compared to an in-person valuation. Yes, that may be true but this is purely for lead generation purposes and an in-person visit can always follow after.
If a prospective property owner has taken the time to submit their details and complete your online evaluation process then this could be a qualified lead. In contrast, users may be less likely to simply fill in an enquiry form.
Engaging content is key when converting users online into possible leads. Giving them something of value, for free, in exchange for their information is excellent marketing.
Pay-per-click landing pages
Love them or hate them, Google Pay Per Click (PPC) Ads are here to stay, and can form the basis of digital marketing for estate agents.
Furthermore, these ads are becoming ever more prominent as per the recent announcements from Google Marketing Live 2019.
In order to take full advantage of your online advertising efforts you should consider using landing pages. These are purpose-built, dedicated landing pages designed to convert users who are ready to transact. In this case, receive advice or a free evaluation.
Display advertising is a great way to supplement your PPC efforts.
You can leverage many options including:
- Keyword targeting
- Topics targeting
- Interests targeting
- Placements targeting
One key option you want to make note of is remarketing. This is where you can segment the traffic to your website and create audience lists that you can re-target with advertising across relevant online publications according to your users’ interests.
For estate agents, these could be popular online property publications and newspapers such as The Guardian.
Ben Wood, Hallam’s Digital Director further explains how you can take advantage of upper funnel advertising on the Search Engine Journal.
In conclusion, digital marketing for estate agents is essentially ensuring your business is highly relevant for your local audience.
In terms of reaching your audience organically, implementing the various tactics we have discussed can help improve visibility. Digital marketing should always have a holistic approach in mind so you need to also consider paid advertising and how this can help with your overall efforts.
If you need help with your Local SEO don't hesitate to contact us.
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