If you are the head, partner, or employee of a small real estate agency, it can be difficult to adopt the right techniques to obtain an online presence that can allow you to be found by potential customers (this is the principle of inbound real estate marketing ). The largest entrepreneurs in the sector tend to be more indexed on search engines due to the larger budgets at their disposal, winning a better position and therefore finding themselves in a pole position to obtain more new customers.
Nevertheless, through a good knowledge of online marketing and the best web advertising techniques, even free, currently available, it is possible for any real estate professional to conquer a place in the sun and earn a good or even excellent online presence. Follow these simple tips and you will have a good chance of growing your lead network in the short, medium and long term.
The online presence of your agency, nowadays and especially in Italy, is a result that willy-nilly depends on the real estate ad portals, in which real estate agencies “post” the properties for sale or for rent in their portfolio. It goes without saying that the two / three major websites for traffic and access are those where it is really worth being present to be found by sellers and above all buyers, according to the unwritten rule of “if you are there, you exist; if you are not there, you do not exist “.
Leaving aside the case of which is the best or the worst portal, it is obvious that good visibility of your properties can be better guaranteed by the major paid portals. That’s right, not the visibility of your agency and your brand, but that of your properties, as the ad portals hardly care to emphasize the skills, qualities and specializations of professionals. It goes without saying that the higher quality the advertisements, the richer and more correct the descriptions, the more captivating the photographs, the greater the chances that your real estate advertisements will be consulted and that interested parties can contact the real estate agent.
In any case, we advise against the practice, not yet completely eradicated among agents, of publishing the so-called “flirt ads” (that is, they do not correspond to reality and often even advertise non-existent properties), capable of generating a rather large amount of contacts, but whose quality is necessarily very low. The motto we would like to recommend is, therefore, as we often recommend, “less is more” , or better less ads, as long as they are really real and of quality (your customers will certainly notice!). We have on our blog, among other things, an article dedicated entirely to how to optimize your real estate ads to make them really effective.
In this way, your reputation, both online and offline, will benefit from your fairness and loyalty as real estate professionals and will be able to generate new leads even with a simple word of mouth and outside the context of the ads. And here through the real estate portals, you will be able to conquer a good positioning, not only for your properties but also for yourself and your brand.
Backlinks are links on another website that lead to your website. They are an indicator used by search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo…) to evaluate the relevance of your website and rank you based on specific keywords. They are believed to be the fourth major factor in determining search engine rankings.
In fact, it has become increasingly important over time, from a real estate SEO perspective, to constantly increase the number of links to your website. These links can come from editorial platforms, such as real estate blogs, websites of real estate agencies with which you collaborate, magazines of the sector or related sectors such as design, furniture, home staging, etc., local online newspapers. The most discerning agents will have noticed it, we are talking about real estate link building, a rapidly growing trend that has become fundamental for the online positioning of your website.
In the meantime, here are some small tips: create high-quality content that can attract links from other websites, take advantage of the “principle of reciprocity” by linking articles from other real estate agents and request the return of the favor, carry out interviews with interesting characters for your target audience, start networking with other real estate bloggers who share your vision, take advantage of Facebook Ads ads to show your quality content to a wider and highly targeted audience.
If the market you are targeting is purely local, we have another idea for you:
> Sponsor local events
This will give you notoriety both online and offline, as the event websites are usually equipped with links that refer to the sponsor’s website.
Therefore, become a member of local organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, Avis, amateur sports clubs: the websites of the members are often linked to the websites of the organization.
The backlinks will help you improve your ranking, but be careful, they must be of quality, therefore connected to real and articulated content. For this reason, avoid implementing reciprocal link-sharing schemes with your colleagues or friends, as the search engine algorithms will find you and you will end up having an effect opposite to the desired one.
Optimize your website for search engines
In order to optimize your website for search engines, our advice is to use, internally or in outsourcing, highly specialized SEO personnel (this is a subject in which you must always be in step with the times, in continuous evolution, subject however to the variation of the algorithms of the various players on the market), but in the meantime, we provide you with ideas to take into consideration if you want to try your hand at this activity independently:
> Mobile friendly website
Google started about 4 years ago to use mobile-friendly as one of the parameters that define the positioning of websites. It’s easy to see why: Google’s job is to provide quality results to its search engine users, and a huge number of these users search on their mobile phones.
In addition to helping your search engine rankings, being mobile-friendly is useful for improving the customer experience. Mobile-friendly websites are optimized to fit the mobile device, which means they are easier to navigate.
> Content and keywords
Content and keywords perform two important functions: they tell Google what your website is about and drive user traffic, all in relation to the quality of the content.
But be careful not to use too many keywords: this can make Google believe that you are spamming, therefore it will position you at the bottom of the ranking. Use common language and phrases that customers tend to type in their web searches. To this end, we recommend a small list of tools, to be used precisely to adjust the keywords you want to use within your content, to maximize the yield in terms of search volumes and users landing on your pages: Google Trends, Exponea, Serpstat, Moz.
The content helps your positioning if it is original and of quality. This means that it must be useful to your target and must inspire them to visit your website. Google analyzes metrics such as general traffic, the time visitors spend on your website and on the individual pages of your content (including real estate ads), the “bounce rate“, conversions with respect to calls to action (CTA, Call To Action) included in the contents.
Interesting content keeps your target leads on the website for longer and improves the metrics analyzed by Google. In addition to being found, content is a great way to showcase your experience. Try to find ways to stand out from others, be it a blog, video, podcast, infographic, Slideshare presentation, or a combination of these.
Most small real estate businesses are localized businesses, so it’s a good idea to have a strategy based on “local content” that is of particular interest to the people who live in your area.
> Website design optimized
The design of your website plays an important role in indexing it on search engines. Easy and smooth navigation makes visitors more likely to stay on the site and explore it, while other design elements characterize the perception of reliability of your site and therefore of yourself.
To give you an idea of how important it is to optimize your website also in terms of design, we give the numbers, simply by listing a series of statistics extracted from various authoritative online sources, with subsequent advice on how to improve your website:
- 40% of users abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load, the bounce rate is 100% when a page takes four or more seconds, it reaches 150% from eight seconds: do not weigh down the pages of your site with images not optimized for the web.
- 38% of users who surf from mobile devices report having difficulty interacting with a web page, 35% complain that navigation was difficult: make your website responsive (mobile-friendly).
- 93% of the most successful websites use high-quality images to present themselves to their users: use professional, impactful images, consistent with the subject matter, which are obviously always optimized for the web.
- 48% of users say that visiting a company website (such as that of your real estate agency) that does not work well from a smartphone, gives them the impression that the business is not well taken care of: give your potential customers a good impression even before knowing you, making the site functional even from mobile; remember that the new generation of Millennials, which is becoming the new segment of the main property buyers, is more active on mobile
- 81% of marketers specializing in web design say that dynamic and personalized content is a determining factor for the success of a website, only 4% say that it is of little importance: customize your content by modeling it on what is the target audience of your real estate website.
- 78% of web marketing agencies reported that their most successful marketing campaigns were driven by website optimization results: it is essential to optimize the website especially in terms of advertising, for example by inserting the right CTAs in the right place, and subsequently carry out a continuous optimization of the design based on the results obtained in the marketing campaigns.
- 95% of users say that a good user experience on a website is crucial in order to proceed with the contract or purchase action: this means that by increasing the ease of navigation of your website, you will have a better chance of being contacted by potential buyers or sellers of real estate, and this will positively affect your business.
Improving Your Online Presence: Conclusion
Small real estate companies can achieve great positioning results if they follow these simple strategies and use these tools, simple enough for any real estate professional who wants to improve in their sector without investing exaggerated budgets.
If you have any doubts, ask us for help in developing a better Online Marketing strategy.