The Internet gives every business the opportunity to reach customers across the globe. But for many estate agencies, the most desirable target audience isn’t global, it’s local.
A successful strategy for digital marketing 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 eight 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 results, Google Maps and Google Plus. It enables you to manage all of your business’ Google services in one place.
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.
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 Rex Gooding:
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, which includes details of when the branch is open, what services are available, the areas they serve and so on:
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.
This means talking about where your branch is, where your houses are, the areas you serve and so on.
In the example below, the estate agent has created a series of pages specific to each location they 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.
These might include links from local government websites or local associations of groups of which you are a part. 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 The Property Ombudsman, ARLA, RICS or NAEA? 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. The example below is taken from the Rex Gooding website:
8) Get positive reviews of your business online
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.
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.
If you’d like more advice on local SEO for your estate agency, visit www.hallam.co.uk and search ‘local SEO’ in the search bar.