4 Quick Tips for Local SEO
By Colin Ryan
The Importance of Local SEO for Real Estate
If SEO is sacred for improving your website’s search engine ranking, then local SEO is the Holy Grail. In the United States alone, for instance, nearly 20 billion search queries are conducted every month. Of these, about a quarter are for local businesses or services.
Of course, no profession is more local than real estate, which means that agents looking for an edge need to invest time into understanding and practicing local SEO. With that in mind, here are four practical steps you can take to improve local SEO for your real estate website.
Include Contact Information on Your Website
While listings are an important part of any real estate marketing website, they won’t do you much good if searchers don’t know how to contact you. Make sure you display your business address and contact details on every page of your website, ideally in both the header and footer. You should also create a separate “Contact Us” page with your full address, phone number, email, and links to your social/local profiles. While Google doesn’t give contact pages special treatment, they’re a convenient source of information for visitors. Plus, the more pages you have indexed in search engines with your local information, the better your chances of popping up in search results.
Get Local Citations from Popular Websites
You can also improve your local search presence outside your website using citations. These are defined as references to your business name and address on other websites. Even if they don’t link back to your websites, citations can boost your local search profile considerably. Examples of citations include:
- Business entry in yellow pages or other directory
- Local Chamber of Commerce entry
- Local business association entry
- Local blogs
- Local search engines (Yelp!, Google+ Local, Yahoo! Local, etc.)
When seeking citations, concentrate on reputable, popular sites. The higher a search engine’s regard for the site hosting your citation, the higher the citation’s local SEO benefit.
Create Local Content
Another way to optimize your site for local search is by creating a local-focused blog on your website. By generating valuable content that contains local search terms for you area, you’ll increase your exposure to both search engines and searchers. You should also turn your blog’s gaze outward to other business owners and places in your community. Interview local leaders and entrepreneurs. Write reviews of local neighborhoods, restaurants, shops, and service professionals (plumbers, electricians, etc.). By mentioning these people and establishments in your content, you’ll not only benefit from their local search presences through keywords and backlinks: you’ll also elevate their brands, creating opportunities for future referrals and publicity.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile
About half of the searches performed on mobile devices have local intent, and mobile searchers are more likely to take action after a search. But just because mobile searchers find your site doesn’t mean they’ll call you: 50 percent of mobile users say that even if they like a business, they’ll use it less often if its website isn’t user friendly. If you want to capitalize on this trend, you’ll need to make sure your website looks and performs great on smartphones and tablets. The best way to do this is to build your site with a responsive design, which scales your content fluidly across every device that your visitors are using.
With each algorithm update, Google and other search engines are assigning greater value to local search results. By implementing these four steps, you’ll reap the rewards of these changes while providing a better experience for your customers.
Published on November 4, 2013