The internet has provided businesses in every industry and of every size with the opportunity to not only reach customers in their home country, but also to expand into the global market.
However, for estate agencies, the ideal target audience is local, rather than global.
For estate agents, a successful digital marketing strategy should focus on reaching customers who are based in the local area by appearing on localised search queries. This enables users who are searching for an estate agent in their local area or users who are in the area already to find you as quickly and as easily as possible. Because of this, performing local SEO should be a top priority for any estate agent, and a crucial part of any digital marketing strategy. Read on for some top tips for local SEO for estate agents.
Registering your Estate Agents with Google My Business
Google provides a one-stop-shop for a number of local businesses, including estate agencies, known as Google My Business. This is a tool which enables you to increase your company’s visibility within Google search results, Google Plus and Google Maps, making it extremely useful for smaller, local organisations such as estate agencies. It also provides extra convenience by allowing you to manage all of your business’ Google services from one platform. Visit www.google.co.uk/business in order to quickly sign your company up for this service. Once you have done this, you will need to ensure that you include all of your business’ correct details, including an address, before verifying it.
Include Your Address on Your Website
It is hugely important that Google understands exactly where it is that your business is located in order for it to show up in local search results. In order to improve your visibility in the search results, it’s crucial that your business address is fully listed on your business website, including the postal code. If it fits in well with the design and is appropriate, your first choice for including your address should be in the website footer of every page on your site. By doing this, you will reinforce the relevancy of each and every page on your whole website for local searches.
Separate Branch Pages
If your estate agency has a number of different branches in different locations, it’s crucial to keep them separate from each other on your business website. Having a separate page on your site for each branch that you have will ensure that you create optimum search result visibility for all of your estate agency locations. Each page should include a range of information which is specific to the location, for example the full address including the postcode, and the telephone number including the area code. This enables Google to have a clear picture as to where your branches are active and keeps them separate from each other in order to avoid confusion.
Location Relevant Keywords
In SEO, the process of using location relevant keywords in your website’s content is known as optimisation, which is the process of ‘optimising’ your website so that each page is as relevant as possible to the search terms for which you would like to appear in Google’s search results. If you want to be found when people search for local place names or people search for estate agencies in your area, you will need to ensure that the name of the area and local place names are used across your website. This means creating content which talks about where your branch is, where the houses that you have for sale are located, and which areas your company serves, for example.
Links from Local Websites
Links are a hugely important part of SEO. When another website links back to yours in the form of a hyperlink, Google views this as a favourable ‘vote’ for both the relevance and quality of your website, rewarding you with a boost in visibility in the Google search results. By getting links to your website from other websites that are based in the local area, you can help to improve your own local visibility. These could include links from local government websites, news websites which cover the local area, or local groups and associations of which your estate agency is a part. You could also get involved with the local community, for example by sponsoring a local sports team, in return for links back to your website from theirs.
Online reviews are becoming more and more of a significant tool for improving your presence online. If you want your business to appear prominently for localised search terms, you will definitely need to consider how your customers are able to leave online reviews for your company and the service which they have received. The importance of generating honest and genuine reviews of your business and its services online is ever increasing, along with the need for these reviews to come from authoritative online social hubs and businesses. Even if you have all of your other local search strategy elements fully covered, it’s important not to underestimate the power of review data. Ensure that your business is listed in local directories that allow customers to leave reviews, and also encourage customers to specify the area when leaving a review of your company.
Although the internet has given all businesses the chance to go global, companies in the estate agency industry need to go back to basics and focus on targeting a local audience.