When many real estate agents get started with blogging, they either expect too much or too little results from their investment. Here at NetMedia, we’ve always been advocates of manually promoting your content through <social media marketing(I suggest linking to landing page to download ebook> in order to start generating traffic and ultimately leads.
Nevertheless, SEO should never be overlooked because that is what keeps bringing traffic to your blog posts long after you’ve stopped promoting them through social media. As everyone knows, Google is the king of search engines, and judged by the current state of things; they’re primed to retain that title for a long time to come.
As a real estate agent who’s looking to improve search engine rankings for their website (and blog), it is essential to leverage every Google tool you can get your hands on. This article looks at 10 of such tools that are free and easy to use – and most importantly, they’re often overlooked by many real estate agents which give you an unfair advantage in the long run.
With approximately 60% of all Google searches coming from mobile devices, it is critical for your website to be mobile friendly and responsive to any browsing device with which your website visitors are using. Apart from the ease of use, this provides to your website visitors, Google has also made it clear that your website’s responsiveness will increase your SEO rankings.
But how do you know whether or not your website is mobile responsive? Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool makes this possible. With only a few seconds to run the test, you can quickly determine if your website is mobile friendly or not.
To get started, follow the steps outlined below:
- Visit the Google Mobile-Friendly Test website
- Enter your website URL into the Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool
- Click on “Analyze” and watch the tool spit out the results on your website’s responsiveness.
The result is usually quite clear; your website is either mobile-friendly or not. And this ultimately impacts how Google sees and ranks your website.
Pro Tip: If your website fails this test, fix it quickly – don’t waste another moment. Having a mobile responsive website will do wonders for your search engine rankings, and eventually the number of organic search results you’ll be generating for your blog and website.
Local search engine optimization is one of the smartest ways you can use to generate traffic for your website. If for example your real estate practice is based in New York, you can optimize your website around those keywords. After optimizing your website, the best way to start with Local SEO is by using the Google My Business tool.
Google My Business is an advanced business listing tool that you can utilize to position yourself higher in search engines by providing prospective customers with detailed information about your company such as your business hours, location, contact phone numbers, email address, and website.
According to recent statistics shared by Social Media Today, local search queries lead about 50% of mobile visitors to visit a store within one day. Although this statistics may not relate to you as a real estate agent, it does have proves significant. Considering our example above, if a prospect living in New York needs a real estate agent; they’re more likely to search for terms like “real estate agents in new York” or “best new York estate agents”. This is a local search and if you’ve optimized your Google My Business for New York, you’ll definitely show up in the search results.
Pro Tip: Consider uploading photos of your properties on your Google My Business listings to generate more interested traffic.
The faster the content on your website loads, the better your search engine results.
Having a fast loading website not only helps your search engine rankings, it gives your website visitors a good browsing experience. Most real estate websites have a lot of high-quality property listing images, sometimes numbering in the hundreds and this tends to make websites run very slow.
But how do you know if your website is fast or not? With the Google PageSpeed Insights tool, you never have to make a guess. You can simply run your website URL through this tool and you can find out exactly how fast (or how slow) your website is currently running.
And the best part about this tool is that it shows you exactly how to fix any errors found on your website – although you might have to talk to your website designer if you have no technical skills.
- Google Correlate
When it comes to researching keywords for your real estate blogging, sometimes, the Keyword Planner Tool is just not enough. You need to go above and beyond and the best way to do this is by using the Google Correlate tool.
What this tool does is help you find corresponding keywords to those you’ve uncovered primarily with the Keyword Planner Tool. With Google Correlate, you can easily find relevant keyword relating to your initial research and by incorporating these keywords into your blog posts, you can dramatically increase your organic search engine results.
If you’re interested in using highly relevant long-tail keywords for any blogging idea you have, this tool will prove most useful to you. Another added advantage is that it can provide you a fresh perspective on your subject matter, which can help you cover your blog post from a more unique and interesting angle that drive a more targeted organic search traffic.
This is probably one of the best free tools you can use when it comes to keeping track of your online reputation. With Google Alerts, you can easily set up email notifications whenever certain keywords are searched on Google. You can easily insert your company or personal name as the keywords and whenever a search query containing these keywords come up, Google will email you instantly.
These aren’t the only benefits, however, and this is where many agents fall short – and where you can capitalize on their ignorance. Listed below are some excellent ways you can utilize this tool for more potential:
- You can keep track of other real estate agents who are your competitors online. You can set up alerts for up to five different competitors and this allows you to see what keywords they are ranking for. This kind of information is very important for the success of your long-term search engine marketing strategy.
- Another benefit of using Google Alerts to monitor your competition is that you can see which online publications or bloggers are covering them. You can then reach out to these publications or bloggers to pitch your relevant blog posts for a guest blogging opportunity or for a featured coverage.
If these publications and or bloggers accept your pitch, this can lead to a link back to your website from theirs which will significantly increase your search engine rankings. The authority of the website that links back to you is very important because this increases the chances. And remember, the more links you get to your website, the higher you will rank.
This is a tool that every real estate agent must have in their arsenal of content marketing resources. If you want to offer relevant and trending information to your social media followers and email list subscribers, Google Trends will prove very useful for you.
Google Trends can help you uncover popular topics that are currently trending. What you can do with such information is endless. For example:
- You can leverage the search engine results for this popular topic by writing a real estate topic and looking for creative ways to include these trending topics within it. You could also offer your own perspective on these topics as well.
- If the topic is trending on social media (which most usually does) then you can also leverage your social media profiles to join the conversation about this popular topic. You could also go a step further to create funny images regarding the incident to parody it or to share your perspective or to show your industry expertise. You have to be creative about how to jump into these conversations.
- You can also use the “Featured Insights” feature of this tool in order to see future trends that you can jump on even before it starts trending. This is possible with Google’s predictive analysis algorithm which they used based on data gathered by search query trends.
Although, Google Trends doesn’t always provide data that you can always use to your advantage, especially being in the real estate industry, nevertheless, this is a tool to keep in your arsenal. From the perspective of SEO, however, it is highly recommended that you use Google Trends regularly in your search engine keyword research. You never can tell when you’ll discover that particular topic that will drive massive traffic to your blog.
The perfect combination for search engine optimization success is the seamless integration of Google and YouTube. The first is the largest search engine in the world, while the latter biggest video sharing platform in the world (and also the second largest search engine platform in the world).
Most people might not remember when Google purchased YouTube for over a billion dollars over 10 years ago, nevertheless, it is quite popular knowledge now that YouTube is a Google property and as a result, a great asset to your SEO strategy.
But in order to achieve exponential success with YouTube, it is important for you to invest in the creation and distribution of video. Using YouTube as your video hosting platform is recommended for the following reasons:
- YouTube has the largest user base of all video sharing services including Vimeo and Vine combined.
- YouTube videos often rank higher in Google’s search results which generate traffic to your YouTube channel
- You can then leverage on these views to drive traffic to your website or blog. You can even generate leads directly from YouTube by adding calls to actions in your videos.
These benefits hinges on the success of your YouTube channel and how you optimize it for relevant keywords that will help prospects find you. Below are quick and simple tips you can use to boost your YouTube channel’s visibility:
- Produce amazing, informative, and high-quality videos that will attract, engage and entertain your audience. You can share video tours of your properties, free consultation videos, tips, and guides.
- Use catchy and keyword saturated titles that will catch the attention of your target audience and also catch the attention of search engines.
- Customize your YouTube channel to stand out by using high-quality images. You can also adjust the bio section of your channel profile to your advantage by including relevant keywords that will help Google pick up those keywords you want to rank for.
- Finally, you should optimize your video descriptions to include keywords that are consistent with the title and that will is search engine friendly.
Pro Tip: Read more about how to generate leads through YouTube here.
We couldn’t conclude this list without adding Google’s very own social media. Unlike social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, Google Plus doesn’t have billions or even millions of users.
Rather, the main reason why Google Plus is such a big deal is the SEO benefits it offers to real estate agents who want to generate leads with their blog through search engine optimization techniques. What it lacks in user base, hence followers or fans for your brand, it makes up for with website traffic as a result of higher search rankings.
Apart from that, Google Plus pages allow people to see your psychical location (i.e your office) plus a direction via Google Maps on how to get there when your company comes up in search results. You can further integrate your Plus page and your Google My Listing into a much more formidable force. Follow the simple steps outlined below to get started:
- Getting started with Google Plus is as simple as registering an account with them. You will need a Gmail account to get this done.
- Secondly, you need to optimize your Google Plus page for search engines and lead generation.
- And finally, like your other social media profiles, you need to incorporate your Google Plus account into your content marketing strategy.
Pro Tip: Read more about how to set up a Google Plus page that is optimized for success here.
Whether you’re just getting started with Real Estate SEO or not, a combination of these free Google tools will go a long way in helping you achieve your goal of generating organic search engine traffic to your blog.
Recent statistics report that the first position on Google search results on a desktop has a 34.36% clickthrough rate while the first position on Google search results on mobile has a 31.35% clickthrough rate. (Advanced Web Ranking, 2015) What this simply means is that SEO has a huge impact on lead generation because the more targeted traffic you can generate through search results, the more leads you can generate.
Over to You
What are your thoughts on these free Google tools? Have you used any in the past? Share your opinions and recommendations in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you.