Real Estate SEO – Do Meta Keywords Matter?
There are many challenges with real estate SEO. Search Engine Optimization, has become a very complex set of processes and best practices (regardless of what you read). One of the oldest references to SEO is the infamous “meta tag”. In real world SEO those words have many meanings, but in real estate search engine optimization, it is referenced all of the time. So this begs the question…Do Meta Keywords Matter?
Real Estate Website Platforms
One specific challenge that real estate agents have when dealing with SEO is that many of them are using some sort of a monthly website platform. What I’m referring to is NOT having a custom website built; instead taking advantage of one of the hundreds (possibly thousands) of real estate technology companies that offer websites for a monthly fee. I am not attempting to bash these types of websites, as many offer great CRM’s and lead capture systems and can be cost effective. The problem is, from an SEO perspective most leave quite a bit to be desired. In most instances, they advertise their website to “have SEO built in” — which is all but impossible. What they usually DO provide is a place where you can enter “your keywords” that you want to be found by on the major search engines. This lets you feel as if you have some level of input and control and that after putting “homes for sale” and “real estate” in that little box, you will magically start to rank. Truth is, Search Engine Optimization is much more complicated than that.
Meta Keywords For Real Estate SEO
Now that we have spoken about how most real estate agents optimize their website for SEO (putting those keywords in that little box) I think its only fair to say that pretty useless. For it to be successful, SEO for real estate take many forms including:
- Detailed keyword research
- Meticulous attention to the URL structure of your website
- Methodical use of H1, H2 and H3 headers
- Fresh, unique copy that is not found anywhere else on the internet
- Copy density control
- Well written meta descriptions and meta titles
- Strategically thought out internal linking between pages
- Properly set up XML sitemap and robot.txt files
- Backlinks from high trust, high authority websites
This is only a few of the basic things needed if you intend to rank your site in an ultra competitive niche such as real estate. Notice…one thing was not in there….Keywords! Although meta titles and meta descriptions are extremely important, meta keywords are useless. Google has not looked at meta keywords in years. The irony is that many of the website platforms for real estate, give you ONLY that for your real estate SEO.
What Can I Do To Rank My Real Estate Website?
Well….that is the question of the day. Truth is…anyone that gives you a one line (or even one blog) answer to that question is lying to you. Keep in mind, there are literally thousands of real estate websites in every city fighting for the same keywords. There are some things that can help generate traffic to your website… and in the world of SEO, traffic begets traffic. What I mean by that is if Google sees that your website is getting a ton of new visitors and they are all staying on your site for an extended period of time, you will gain rankings. But don’t loose focus! The goal of the website is to generate new leads and ultimately new clients…SEO is only ONE of the ways that traffic gets to a website. If you can generate tons of traffic without ranking…do your really need SEO?
So What Can I Do To Get Traffic?
First thing is to write original content and post it to your site. This has to be something that a potential home buyer or home seller would have an interest in. Once you have it…share it! Get it on social media, use some social media syndication. You may even want to pay for some targeted Facebook advertising, to get your awesome new article in front of your potential clients. If you can get some great content out there, people will share it. Once it gets shared enough, other websites will link to it (remember those backlinks in the above list?). Create different types of content. Make video’s and embed those videos on your website to engage your customers. Have the videos inside your new blog posts that get shared. Make sure that all of the profiles you set up online have a link back to your website. Finally…if you post listings to social media, be sure to do it from YOUR website…NOT from Trulia or Zillow. These are the same things that an SEO company would do….its just they fine tune every aspect of the process.
Digital Marketing Should Be Holistic
As we touched on earlier, if the goal is to conjure up new real estate leads, real estate SEO should only be a part of an overall Digital Marketing strategy. Most of the other aspects of Digital Marketing, such as Google Pay Per Click or Social Media Advertising go away as soon as you stop paying for them. Search Engine Optimization takes quite a bit longer to get implemented, but has much longer term affects. There are other peripheral benefits to ranking on page one of Google such as brand recognition. Even if people searching for real estate don’t make it to your website, they will see your brand over and over again.