Want organic traffic for your real estate investment business? Well, who doesn’t? However, most real estate investors don’t know how search engines work and how to optimize their websites for high rankings and organic traffic. They have to hire a professional SEO service.
In this guide, I am going to share eight things you must consider when hiring an SEO agency:
Specialization in SEO for real estate investors
SEO principles are just the same for all industries, real estate investment included. You need to follow certain guidelines relating to on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO. But if the SEO agency you are hiring has a good understanding of how a real estate investment business works, they would be able to perform better for the following reasons:
- They would know what keywords you should target due to their understanding of your goals. For example, someone who has worked with restaurant owners will struggle to research keywords specific to the real estate investment industry. Though he or she can do a competition analysis to find keywords, a professional experienced in real estate SEO would be able to align his or her efforts with your goals from the get-go. This will save you a tremendous amount of time and money.
- An SEO agency specializing in real estate would be able to come up with a more comprehensive content strategy. If I don’t know your target market, I wouldn’t be able to understand the pain points of your target audience and suggest content to address those pain points, right? I should know what circumstances cause people to want to sell a home fast or buy a rent-to-own home. SEO is not only about keywords and backlinks these days. Google takes into consideration user engagement and relevancy when ranking content in search. You might get a short-term spike in rankings with keyword optimization and backlink building, but you need to deliver value to your audience in order to rank high and stay there in the long term.
Ask for proven results
Needless to say, the SEO consultant should have a proven track record of helping real estate investors get more visibility in search results.
Ask for real estate SEO case studies. Here are a few metrics they should be willing to share with you:
- increase in organic traffic in a given timeframe
- Percentile increase in leads in a given timeframe
- Improvement in click-through-rate
- Improvement in average position in search
- Improvement in ranking for target keywords
SEO professionals can easily get this data from Google Analysis and Google Search Console they are managing for their clients as part of their job as an SEO consultant.
Request an Audit
If you already have a real estate website, you can request an SEO audit. Some professionals may charge for a comprehensive audit, but it’s better to spend a few bucks upfront, than waste thousands of dollars by committing to an inefficient SEO service.
The audit report should contain the following things:
- Keyword analysis
- Local market competition analysis
- Page load speed analysis
- Mobile responsiveness analysis
- An analysis of your website’s appearance in search engines
- Schema-markup analysis
- On-page SEO analysis
- Off-page SEO analysis
- Competitor analysis
- Content strategy recommendation
The SEO audit will help you get an idea of the consultant’s knowledge about SEO. You will also learn how they plan to improve your website’s search rankings and organic traffic.
Steer clear of those promising number – 1 ranking
This is a major red flag. If anyone promises to get your website ranked on top of organic results for your target keywords in – let’s say for example – less than 30 days, you should steer clear of that professional.
Gone are the days when an SEO professional could get you page – 1 ranking by building a few shady backlinks. This type of Blackhat SEO strategy will cause a Google penalty and severely damage your real estate brand’s online visibility.
SEO takes time. A lot will depend on the competition in your market for the target keywords and your commitment to consistency in content creation.
Reporting and communication
The good news is that most SEO results are measurable.
You can use free SEO tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console to see how well your SEO campaign is performing. For example,
- Google Analytics will show any increase in organic traffic since you hired the SEO company. You can also measure other metrics such as session duration, bounce rate, repeat visitors, conversion goals, and demographics.
- Google Search Console can help you see any improvement in Click-through-Rate (CTR), average position in search, page performance, clicks, and impressions in search results. You can also see search queries, backlinks, and top-performing pages.
The SEO company should share the Google Analytics and Google Search Console data with you on a regular basis. Ask them how frequently you will get these reports. Also, you must have your own access to Google Analytics and Google Search Console so that you can verify the data.
However, make sure you set reasonable expectations. As I already mentioned, SEO takes time. The SEO company will analyze the competition in your market using SEO tools and give you an idea of how long it will take them to improve rankings for your target keywords. For competitive markets, it can take up to 12 months, while measurable results can be achieved in less than two months for less competitive markets.
Knowledge about local SEO
Real estate is a local business. Google is increasingly serving search results that are more relevant to the user’s specific location. In other words, your web pages should be optimized for relevant local searches. Local SEO includes:
- Adding structured data markup
- Publishing localized content
- Researching and targeting local keywords
- Optimizing titles and meta descriptions for local searches
- Optimizing Google My Business profile
- Optimizing Bing Places for Business profile
- Submitting your website to online directories
- Listing your website on review sites
- Increasing reviews with keyword and location
- Social listings
- Ensuring consistent Name, Address, and Phone Number across the web
- Making your website mobile responsive
The SEO professional you are hiring should be well-versed in local SEO. It is important especially because your business mostly relies on local leads.
It’s extremely important that the SEO company shares with you all the changes they are making to your website. They should also share how they are building backlinks and promoting content. This will help you ensure that they are not practicing any Blackhat SEO strategy that can harm your business’s online visibility in the long run.
Fees and payment terms
Needless to say, you should be clear about payment terms and fees. The payment terms vary, but the three main categories are – hourly, by retainer, and by the project. Another important question to ask is whether the cost will include expenses for content promotion.
Doing your due diligence when hiring an SEO agency is important.
Many agencies guarantee Number – 1 rankings. You should be wary of such claims. An SEO professional can only ensure to follow the best practices and the Google Webmaster guidelines. The rankings and organic traffic will eventually depend on the competition in your target market.
Hiring someone with real estate experience can help you get results faster.
If you’ve any questions about our SEO service for real estate investors, get in touch with us today.