Word of mouth has always been hugely valuable for estate agents, but today online search is just as important. It may surprise you to learn that almost half of all searches on Google are seeking local information, with 86% of users relying on the internet to find a nearby business. So if a search for estate agents in your area doesn’t have your name at the top of the page, it may be having a greater impact than you think.
The topic may sound a little complex, but we promise improving your local SEO is easier than it sounds. By the end of this post, you’ll have a solid understanding of exactly what it entails, plus some quick wins and long-term strategies for keeping on top of it. Here is everything you need to know about local SEO for estate agents.
Table of contents:
- What is local SEO?
- Claim and optimise your Google My Business listing
- Make sure your website is mobile responsive
- Add location pages to your website
- Create local content
- Ask your vendors and buyers for reviews
- Add your agency to online business directories
What is local SEO?
Local search is when someone uses a search engine to find any service, shop, business or information in a specific area. For example, that could be ‘hairdresser in Ascot’, ‘restaurants in Hamburg’ or ‘estate agents near me’. Local SEO (search engine optimisation) is all about optimising your online visibility so you show up as one of the first results they see.
Being the top result on Google for local search terms can make a big difference for your business. This is particularly true if you are in a larger town or city that has lots of estate agents to choose from. 75% of users will never even look past the first page of search results. Getting your business to appear top of the list (or at the very least, on the first page) will help you:
- Increase your online visibility
- Bring more people to your office
- Attract more targeted website traffic, resulting in more leads
- Boost your credibility and build trust with potential clients
While you can appear as the top result by paying for Google ads, spending some time on your local SEO could have the same effect (without the price tag). Here’s how local SEO for estate agents is done.
Claim and optimise your Google My Business listing
Completing your Google My Business listing is crucial in getting your business found, as it’s one of the key factors Google uses to determine your position in search results. This free tool is provided by the search engine to not only provide information to users but also authenticate businesses. Naturally, Google is much more inclined to share information about companies that they have verified. This makes it all the more important that your company details are as complete, accurate and optimised as possible.
Get set up
If you don’t have a Google My Business profile already, the first step is to set one up. This takes just a few minutes and is even quicker if you already have a Google account.
- 1: Log into the Google Account you want associated with your business (or create a Google Account if you don’t already have one)
- 2: Go to google.com/business and select “Start now” in the top right-hand corner
- 3: Enter your business name and address
- 4: Choose your business category
- 5: Add your business phone number or website
- 6: Choose a verification option
Remember that having a thorough Google My Business listing isn’t just great for local SEO, it’s good for your clients too. Keeping your contact information and opening hours up to date helps to improve the client experience and gives a good first impression of your company.
Complete your profile
Once you’re set up, you want to put as much relevant information as possible in your profile. This will include your opening times, when the business began, the area you serve and a business photo. Once you login to your Google My Business account, it will be very clear exactly what information is required and where you need to input it. Remember that anyone on Google can suggest an edit to your profile, so making it as complete as possible from the start will help avoid people making their own changes.
Photos may not seem that important, but according to Google, businesses with photos see 35% more clicks to their website. The search engine suggests adding a variety of images showing the exterior and interior of the business, a representation of your services and shots of your employees that show your culture and team personality.
One great way to make the most of your profile is to take advantage of the posts function. This allows you to share additional information with your clients, such as updates, offers, events and news. While these posts don’t have a direct impact on local SEO for estate agents, they provide up-to-date and relevant information that can increase clicks to your site.
When posting, make sure to always use high-quality images and videos and keep text short and sweet. Adding keywords into the text, for example the location that you serve, can help you appeal to searchers.
Make sure your website is mobile responsive
Lots of people use their mobile phone to search for information, particularly when they are looking for something local. The most common ways they will use your site on-the-go is to find directions to your location, your contact details and to look up reviews. This may be the first impression they get of your company, so it’s vital that your website is mobile-friendly, meaning it’s easy to scroll through, navigate and read. If it’s not, then there’s a chance those users might simply look elsewhere.
Do an audit of your website on different devices (ask your staff to take a look on theirs to get a good overview). This should include varying sizes of mobile and tablet if you can. How does your website look on each? Is the font large enough to read? Is the layout clear and not overcrowded? Do the menu and buttons work as they should?
It may have been quite some time since your website was made, and it may not be up to date with the most recent mobile standards. Make a note of any issues you identify and have a chat with your website developer to see what they can do.
Add location pages to your website
If your estate agency has more than one location, creating a different page for each on your website can give local SEO a boost. Location pages can provide users with the branch name, address, phone number, opening hours, branch descriptions, parking information and testimonials from happy clients.
Adding a descriptive, unique ‘About’ section for each branch and a Google map of the location can go a long way in driving more traffic to each page. You should avoid copying and pasting any significant amount of text on each page as this can have an adverse effect on your overall SEO.
Create local content
We’ve previously discussed how important content marketing is for driving traffic to your site. Writing about general topics can get great results that attract a wider crowd. However, focusing on more niche topics is great for improving local SEO for estate agents.
Think about what people might like to know when buying or selling a home in your area. Perhaps a regular market up date? Or an in-depth guide including things to do and places to eat? An overview of the schools or upcoming events? Topics like these can not only provide value to your clients but also improve your visibility in local searches.
Ask your vendors and buyers for reviews
Along with a thorough Google My Business listing, reviews play a huge part in where you appear in search results. This is because with every search, Google aims to give the user the best results. Reviews are a clear indicator of how your business is perceived, which gives Google confidence that yours is a site worth displaying. In a business as personal as buying and selling homes, reviews can play a huge part in improving local SEO for estate agents.
If you’re struggling to get online reviews organically, reaching out to your vendors and buyers directly can make all the difference. However, moving is a stressful time, and with so much going on most people will need a prompt to offer any kind of feedback.
Set up a template email requesting a review that you can send to your clients after they have had a chance to settle in. To make things as quick and simple as possible, you can create a link straight to your Google review page. The more convenient the process, the more likely you are to get that all-important social proof.
Once you start getting reviews on your Google profile, the best way you can encourage other people to follow suit is to add a personal response to each one.
Add your agency to online business directories
Along with your own Google My Business profile, having your agency information on online directories is important for local SEO. That’s because these websites usually have a high domain authority, meaning Google trusts the information that is on there.
For estate agents, good directories to be on might include Trustpilot, Get Agent, All Agents and Yell. Your company listing on any property portals you use will also be a big help, so make sure to fill out your profile with as much relevant information as you can.
It’s worth double checking your details across all of these sites to ensure everything is consistent, accurate and spelled correctly. If Google can’t determine which information about your business is correct, it may not show your business at all in search results.
Local SEO for estate agents needn’t be overly complicated or take up too much of your time. But put in a little bit of effort and it can bring huge rewards for your business. We hope this guide has given you some actionable tips to start improving your local SEO today. For more tips and tricks for estate agents, you can follow our company page on LinkedIn or have a browse through our property marketing blog.