Benefits Of Local SEO For Real Estate Agents

If you are a real estate agent, there is no doubt that you have been successful, invested, or thoughtful in building your online web presence and search results in local SEO

The idea of people finding you online and calling you to help them buy or sell real estate sounds incredible.  And there are thousands of brands, SEOs, coaches, and others who constantly tell you that you need to be online, that you need a website, a blog and to be on social media.

I know many of you have tried these things and have not been successful. I apologize for that. I am one of the thousands of people who have told you this.

I'm not saying it doesn't work... on the contrary, I have success with it in my own business.  But like any marketing strategy, it takes time and effort.

Benefits Of Local SEO For Real Estate Agent

It's important that you understand that building your local SEO presence is a massive undertaking that can't be done in a day. Instead, it takes a little time every day over a long period of time.

Developing a solid strategy to implement SEO for your website is a must for all local real estate agents. So I decided to share the top 5 things you can do to help rank your realtor website. Below, I list the best local SEO optimization tips for real estate agents.

Let's get started!

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What Is Local SEO For Real Estate Agents?

Local SEO optimization is the process of optimizing your realtor's website, blog, or social media profiles for "local search". For real estate agents, local SEO is a powerful tool to promote your services to buyers and sellers in a specific geographic area by ranking higher on popular search engines. 

Benefits Of Local SEO For Real Estate Agent

A regular search is more generic in nature, such as "real estate" or "realtor". A local search includes a geographic location, such as "real estate agent near me", or "realtors near me".

These local searches are displayed primarily in three different places: regular results, maps, and local packs. The maps and regular results are fairly self-explanatory.

Local pack searches are performed when the regular search is used and Google recognizes the intent to get local results. Local pack results are usually displayed above the rest of the results and just below the map display, as in the image to the right. 

Local Search Marketing Strategies For Real Estate Agents

Now it's time to get down to business. We'll go over the steps to optimize your website, Google business profile page, and online presence for local real estate searches. 

1. Website Search Engine Optimization

I like to start this process with your realtor website. It's usually the foundation of your digital marketing, so it's a good place to start.

It's important when looking at these recommendations to keep the user search intent in mind. This means trying to understand why these users are using certain Google searches.

Tailor your website experience to that intent to be as useful as possible. A better user experience will help your website rank higher on Google and generate more leads. 

Recommendations for the website

Meta title and description: complete the metadata of all your main pages with relevant keywords and a catchy title. This is the data that users will see in Google search results, so it is very important. It can make the difference between getting a visit and going unnoticed.

Benefits Of Local SEO For Real Estate Agent

Benefits Of Local SEO For Real Estate Agent

Optimize individual pages: it's important to include the main keywords and geo tags (city name and/or zip code) for a specific page in the title, meta description, header tags, image alt tags, URLs, etc. to send the right signals. Google will use these elements to understand which keywords are most important for a page. If your website was built on WordPress, use the Yoast plugin to get tips on content optimization.

Website mobile optimization: it's no secret that mobile traffic is very important to the real estate industry. Be sure to review and improve the user experience from a mobile perspective. Otherwise, you risk missing out on half the online market.

Security SSL Certificate: Google has explicitly stated that securing your website with an SSL certificate helps your ranking. Most web hosts provide a free SSL certificate through Let's Encrypt, so there's no excuse for having an unsecured website these days.

Website speed optimization: Page speed is an important part of the user experience. Nobody likes a slow website, including Google. Use a tool, like GTMetrix or PageSpeed Insights, to run a speed test on your website and see where you can improve. Remember, Google has a separate page speed score for desktop and mobile websites.

Benefits Of Local SEO For Real Estate Agent

Sitemap: Add an XML sitemap to your website and submit it to both Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster. This is like giving Google and Bing a map so they know where to find the content on your website. If you use a popular content management system (CMS), like WordPress, your website probably already has a sitemap. You just need to find the correct URL.

Always Have Fresh Content: try to add content to your website regularly. As long as the content contains interesting information, the more the better. Each piece of content is like a target for Google searches. By having more content, you can expand your reach and get more data from Google Search Console. And it doesn't have to be long-form content, like blog posts. Consider adding FAQs, helpful tips, neighborhood landing pages, real estate market overviews, etc. Try to write about local topics. Consider keyword mapping if you need help generating topics strategically.

Local video content: video can be a wonderful complement to the content in the previous recommendation. Content accompanied by video generates 157% more organic search traffic. Take it a step further and focus on local content. Local video SEO is very underutilized.

Advanced SEO techniques for websites

Schema: Schema is a type of SEO code officially approved by the major search engines. It is very rigid in how you can use it, including the local business schema. This code is usually added to your homepage and helps Google verify key pieces of information about your business. Try using structured data markup helper if you're not a developer or Schema Pro if you're using WordPress.

Website accessibility: in this context, accessibility refers to the ease of use of a website for anyone with a perceptual disability (e.g. color blindness, dyslexia, etc.). About 1/5 of online users need accessibility features, so this is an important group to ignore. Also, Google and other search engines use a lot of accessibility code to understand a website. Need an extra incentive? Many real estate companies are being sued for not having ADA compliant websites. Try using the WAVE tool to test your website. 

2. Set Up and Optimize Google Business Profile

GBP (Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is the most important ranking factor for local SEO. Be sure to claim your listing on and verify that you are the owner.

Fill out all the basic information on your Google Business Profile. Be sure to include your most important keywords and local location tags in the description field.

The category of your google my business listing is the most important selection you will make during this process. Google has defined categories for you to choose from. Don't choose more categories than you need. You risk diluting the most important keywords for your business. Choose only the 1-3 categories that are most important to you.

Google business profile categories available for real estate:

- Real Estate Agents
- Real estate agency
- Real estate surveyor
- Real estate appraiser
- Real estate consultant
- Real estate rental agency
- Industrial real estate agency
- Commercial Real Estate Inspector 

GMB Optimization

Want to further optimize your google my business listing? There are three GMB features to help you grow your online presence: posts, FAQs, and photos.

Benefits Of Local SEO For Real Estate Agent

- GMB posts allow you to introduce Google users to sales, special offers, events, news, deals, and other timely content. Try to include your main keywords or variations of those keywords in these posts.

- FAQs is pretty much like it sounds. You can find them by searching for your name and clicking on the "See all questions" link in the sidebar. You and Google users can post questions and answer them. It is perfectly acceptable for you to post your question and answer it. In fact, I recommend it. It can improve the user experience and give you another chance to address content related to your keywords and local market. 

- The photo gallery section doesn't seem like an SEO feature, but it can do wonders. Take photos of your work, events, networks, etc. in your area. As you get these photos, add them to the "at work" or "additional" categories in your google business profile. This helps confirm to Google the areas you serve. While this doesn't work well for some types of businesses, it's a great local SEO tactic for real estate agents' google my business pages.

Below are before and after images showing the effects of these local SEO tactics on Google. The best part is how this can help you expand beyond your business location and reach the surrounding area as well.

Keyword ranking at these specific locations on Google
Benefits Of Local SEO For Real Estate Agent

The results after 3-months of optimization
Benefits Of Local SEO For Real Estate Agent

3. Local Citations List and Directories

Google scans your listing in online directories to validate the information about your business. The more accurate and complete your information is in these directories, the better you will be ranked in your area on Google. 

Benefits Of Local SEO For Real Estate Agent

You can manually go through the dozens of different directories that exist to create and correct your listings, but this is very time consuming. I highly recommend using a tool like Moz Local or brightlocal.

Real estate specific directories

Tools like Moz will handle all the general business directories. It's great if you can go a step further and create listings on specific real estate websites. Here are some good sites you can list on:

- Yahoo Homes
- RedFin
- HomeSnap
- Neighborhood Scout
- Zoocasa
- Trulia
- Zillow
- ActiveRain
- Alignable  

4. Google Reviews

Benefits Of Local SEO For Real Estate Agent

Online reviews are becoming more and more critical to digital marketing strategies, especially local SEO. In fact, they are now the second most important factor behind Google business profile page optimization.

How do reviews affect SEO? Google essentially uses the same method as users: social proof of your business. This includes reviews from websites other than Google, like Yelp and Facebook.

Google will pay attention to the rating, the keywords in the review, the number of reviews, and the rate at which new reviews are left. Personally, I'm personally in favor of encouraging customers to leave you a review, but be sure to follow the platform policies.

To encourage reviews, send customers the GMB review link. You can see this link on the main dashboard of your GMB page.

Finally, don't forget to respond to all reviews, even the bad ones. This shows both Google and customers that you are paying attention to reviews. 

5. Real Estate Backlinks

Google differentiated itself from other search engines decades ago by leveraging backlinks to find quality content and websites. What is a backlink? It is a link from another website to your site. For Google, it was a kind of voting system, as no one would intentionally link to a bad website.

Good backlinks from relevant websites can have a significant impact on your search engine rankings. As a general rule, websites in your local market (e.g. chamber of commerce) or related to real estate are the most useful. 

This can be very difficult and time consuming, as you usually have to contact other website owners and give them a reason to link to your website. Try to leverage your current relationships and connections to find these opportunities.

Here are some ideas for generating backlinks.

- Look for organizations or associations you belong to that have a website (e.g., chamber of commerce, local MLS board, service clubs, etc.).
- Include links in press releases you send to local media.
- Analyze the competition to see where they are getting backlinks (e.g., Ahrefs backlink checker).
- Create online tools or content that is so great that other websites will want to reference it.

PS: It's worth noting that links from websites where you can easily post links (e.g. social media posts) are not counted by Google. 


At this point, all the basics are complete. But local SEO for real estate agents is not something you can set and forget. To really maximize the SEO strategy, continuous optimization makes a big difference.

Tips for continuous local SEO for real estate agents:

- Google business profile updates: keep your profile current by posting new GMB posts, photos and FAQs regularly.
- Continue to encourage online reviews: continue to encourage your new, current, and past clients to leave you reviews on Google.
- Review Google Search Console: Review your website performance in Google search results to see where it ranks and which pages are driving traffic. Continue to optimize the best performing pages.
- Plan/add new content: keep adding new blog posts, knowledge base articles, FAQs, testimonials, projects, etc. to keep your website content fresh and expand your reach on Google.
- Customize your IDX listings: Does your website have an IDX search for real estate? These individual listings don't help your search engine marketing efforts because all websites with IDX have the same data. However, you can usually customize and add content to your own listings (depending on the IDX provider). This will help you distinguish your listings from all the other websites that have the same listings.

Try to check the above recommendations every month. This can be a certain amount of work, but it will get easier as the months go by.

Search engine optimization is like the slow cooker of digital marketing. It takes time and effort, but it can yield very powerful results. Once you start ranking locally for the right keywords, you should see consistent lead generation from Google.

FAQs About Local SEO For Real Estate Agents 

What does SEO mean in real estate?

What is SEO for real estate? SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization, but in the real estate industry, optimization efforts are primarily focused on local SEO. Local SEO strategies rely on region-specific content and pages to increase geographic relevance.

Does SEO work for Realtors?

A real estate agent must have excellent SEO if they want their website to rank higher in search engine results, so it's important that you create a real estate blog with your best real estate tips.

Is SEO important for real estate?

A good real estate SEO strategy is important because it allows you to develop more lasting relationships with new and potential buyers. On top of all this, you need the best real estate marketing strategy to position your business or agency in the market.

How are geotags used in local SEO?

Including the city name, state, zip code, etc. in key content can help send signals to Google and other search engines about where to display your website.

Where does my website appear in local searches?

Your website can appear in normal search results, map search, and the local pack.

Can realtors create their own Google Business Profile?

Yes, but it's best not to use the same address as your agency. Google will only show one listing per address and the brokerage may overshadow your individual google business listing.

How many people search for "real estate" on Google in my area?

It's hard to know for sure, as Google doesn't publish these numbers. However, you can make some guesses using keyword analysis and Google Search Console.

If you have a well-established website that is ranked on the first page for a query, just look at impressions to get a good idea of the total number of searches for that specific phrase. Otherwise, you can use a keyword research tool to estimate the numbers.

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