Over 90% of potential home buyers use the internet to search for their ideal house. With more and more people turning to the internet to search for condos, websites are easily the most useful source for home buying information. In fact, 86% of people looking report that sites are where they get most of their knowledge and 44% make the internet their first stop in the home buying process. Real-estate related searches continue to increase providing realtors with an abundance of opportunities. Realtors cannot afford to miss out on the potential traffic, so SEO is now more critical than ever.
Increasing traffic for condominium related searches starts with using SEO on your website. Focusing on the features below, any condo sales website can capture more traffic than they ever imagined.
- Target local keywords
- Include blog entries
- Use photos and videos
- Use a responsive design and go mobile
- Get listed in directories
- Optimize your bio on your broker’s site
- Incorporate social media
1. Target Local Keywords
More than 69% of internet shoppers start their search with a local keyword phrase like “Las Vegas condos.” People prefer to work with someone local first and only expand their search if necessary. While many realtors can service several areas, it is best when you start your website to focus on your local area. You want to optimize your site for search terms like:
- (your city) condos
- (your city) condos for sale
- (your city) condominiums
- (your city) high rise lofts
You want to place these throughout your website so you can organize your pages in the following manner: Las Vegas Condos for Sale, Las Vegas Condominium Testimonials, Living in Las Vegas High Rises and About Finding Las Vegas Condos. Within each of these pages be sure to include local keyword targets in content that will be useful for a potential home buyer.
You also want to make your website a resource, providing information the buyer may need. Under the “Living in Las Vegas” section you can include details about local school districts, median income, public transportation details and any other useful statistics they may want. The more targeted your site is, the more traffic you will get and keep.
Remember not to be too general because you will get more traffic with a phrase like “Las Vegas Condos For Sale” than you will for “Southern Nevada Condos For Sale.” You can use broader keywords once you have established good traffic to your site, but your initial approach needs to be strictly targeted.
Many realtors and brokers use IDX (Internet Exchange Data) for real estate listings which are great for users but will not impact search engine rankings. These listings are usually rendered with jQuery on a subdomain that appears off the main site, which means Google will not index the content as part of the site. To avoid this problem, be sure to add extra unique content to your listing pages such as additional facts and features about the property, videos, photos and pieces from your testimonials page.
2. Benefit of Blog Posts
Given that real estate agents typically represent hundreds of listings at a time, there are always those favourites that realtors are very motivated to sell. For these specific properties, one way to increase traffic is to include blog posts. Each post needs to target the property directly by address so potential condo buyers will be drawn right to it when searching. Essentially the property address becomes your keyword, so you want to include it in all the right SEO places; meta description, title tag, content, photo tags and photo filename.
When it comes to the blog content, keep it close to 500 words and keep it unique. You want to describe the condo’s features on top of the standard description. Search engines expect to see these home descriptions, so you are not going to be penalized for duplicate content. To get that higher ranking, however, you need to have original and unique content.
3. Photos and Videos
Websites always benefit from photos and videos because of the ease with which way they engage users. Real estate websites especially help because browsers love to see pictures and especially enjoy virtual tours of the home. You can also include testimonials in videos as a unique way to present information. Anytime you sell a condo, be ready to capture a testimonial from the happy new buyers. The best time to ask for a review is after the papers are signed, and they are holding the keys to their new home.
4. Go Mobile and Off-Site
Everything today is mobile which means even condominium buyers are searching for houses on their phones and tablets as they wait in line or for an appointment. Statistics show that 89% of new home shoppers use a mobile device when house hunting and there has been a 300% growth rate in real estate related searches done on tablets over the past year. Mobile applications and devices allow people to search from the comfort of their home as well as when they need to pass the time. Think of the traffic you could be missing out on from this mobile world.
The commonly searched for information regarding condos includes:
- Contacting a broker
- Comparing prices
- Getting directions to a building
- Getting general home information
- Reading reviews
- Looking for a listing agent
- Researching mortgages and lenders
- Watching videos about a property
You want to make your website mobile, and the best recommendation for this is to use responsive design which is Google’s preferred configuration. You also want to look into optimizing more than your website. You can also take steps to increase traffic off-site such as optimizing your bio page on the agency’s site, getting listed in directories and using social media platforms.
5. Listings in Directories
It is well known that real estate directories get a lot of traffic, so you need to be listed there. The following real estate sites have directories for realtors and are currently the most popular on the web: Trulia (277 million page views in one month), RedFin, Zillow (498 million page views in one month) and Homes.com. There is a lot of traffic out there you want to snag.
6. Optimize Your Bio
Realtors that work with an agency usually have a page devoted to them as part of their brokerage website. It is not always guaranteed that a sub-domain can rank for local keywords but this page is great for selling your name. You want to make sure you present yourself well because people will Google your name. Using your full name in the title tag is recommended as well as in the meta description. The difficulty comes with the fact that you do not have complete control over this domain so make sure you find out exactly what you can change. Along with ranking your name, you can upgrade your bio by providing a link to your site.
7. Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media is the best way to meet people and establish business relationships. Not only can you make new contacts but you can strengthen old ones. Realtors with active social media accounts can interact with clients daily. You gain access to a broader set of individuals the more platforms you use; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. When people link to you through social media and follow you, it shows trust which will benefit your chances of developing new contacts and potential clients. Realtors benefit significantly from Pinterest and Instagram accounts due to the importance of videos and pictures to the real estate game. So use social media strategically to your advantage and be sure to use those hashtags anywhere you can.