As any agent will testify, real estate is a highly competitive market. The primary place people go for their property needs and services is the Internet, in particular through searching on Google. An oversaturated market alongside the increasing shift toward businesses becoming digital means having a strong online presence is vital to getting noticed.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is imperative to an agent’s online success. The methodology of making websites and content more SEO-friendly is evolving as Google continually changes their algorithm. Since 93% of online experiences begin with search, all industries need to concern themselves with SEO. Of course, online ads are important too, but 70-80% of users ignore the paid ads, focusing on the organic results. These statistics prove that SEO is a key element to any marketing campaign.
For agents that want to rank high on search engines, here are the five SEO trends that will achieve tangible results in 2019.
1. Mobile first for real estate websites
As of 2017, Google prioritizes a website’s mobile views over its desktop counterpart. They announced the switch to a mobile-first index due to the increasing popularity of smartphones. Searches on mobile devices are going to increase throughout 2019; therefore, it is more important than ever for real estate agents to pay special attention to the mobile version of their website. Instead of their desktop version, the mobile version should be their first priority.
Thankfully, website building sites have noticed the growing importance of mobile versions. Wix and Squarespace are just two companies with templates that are mobile-friendly. Wix even has a separate dedicated mobile editor.
Furthermore, Google offers a free test so real estate agents can see if their web page is mobile-friendly. These tools ensure websites are more SEO-friendly and help agents adapt to their mobile users.
2. Guest post on industry publications
Creating an online presence and rising through Google’s rankings takes time.
One way to build credibility and rise in search engine rankings is by contributing content to reputable websites. An agent’s outlook on an area of real estate they are knowledgeable about can build their reputation as an expert.
Furthermore, being featured on a site with a high domain authority can lead to higher traffic. The increasing amount of real estate agents setting up their own websites means that these kinds of backlinks can boost their online exposure above others in 2019.
3. Make content in-depth and long
The days of creating blog posts of less than 1,000 words are behind us. SEO trends are indicating that if agents want their content to be as search engine friendly as possible, they need to be aiming for posts between 1,500-2,000 words.
Longer articles are considered more desirable by search engines. The top-ranked articles on Google’s are almost always in-depth and lengthy. Shorter pieces are found to have less-talking points and less value.
Agents should be trying to write one long blog post a week, alongside other methods of online promotion. This may be time-consuming, but there are tools to help.
4. Use long tail keywords
Keywords are a big part of any SEO marketing strategy a real estate agent may use to grow their online presence.
With an exponential amount of online competition, agents need to be more creative in their use of keywords. Long-tail keywords are keywords that contain at least three individual keywords.
This is especially useful to tap into the local market. According to Google Trends, half of all mobile searches are now local ‘near me’ searches with 48% of those being related to real estate. By using long-tail keywords such as “best real estate agents in Las Vegas near me,” agents in Las Vegas can attract more valuable traffic with a higher likelihood of conversion.
A beginner to long-tail keywords can utilize a keyword generator to help them understand this SEO trend which is sure to become more critical in 2019.
5. Maintain an active social media presence
A strong social media presence can improve SEO in addition to increasing brand recognition.
It is important to maintain an active presence via consistently posting content that both informs and entertains the target audience on selected channels. Agents need to make sure they have daily updates and engagement. Scheduling tools like Hootsuite and GAIN enable agents to plan posts in advance with minimal effort.
The exact correlation between SEO and social media remains unclear. However, a strong social media presence can have a positive impact on an agent’s authority as an expert, increase website traffic, and lead to more brand recognition.
This kind of responsible social media use will help drive up an agent’s SEO ranking and increase their customer base throughout the next calendar year.
SEO cannot be underestimated in an agent’s plans for growth. Marketers in every industry plan to increase their SEO tactics. In fact, 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. Since Organic SEO is about 5.66 times better than paid search ads, it’s no wonder SEO will continue to take priority for marketers next year. By implementing these 2019 trends, agents can grow their online presence for their in person business.