Think of how many customers you would be able to get if your website appeared first when people were searching for a real estate professional. Countless! While you may think that top rankings on search engine result pages are set apart for a chosen few, this is not the case. You can make your iHOUSE website show up on first pages of search engines by embracing local SEO. Most buyers and sellers add cities, regions, and states when searching for realtors. This is because they trust small local companies as compared to large, popular brands. If your website is optimized, it will quickly show up and you’ll get more customers. Here’s how to optimize your site for local searches.
Claim Your Google+ Local Page
Google+ Local (formerly Google Places) offers official business listings which appear on Google Maps and are arranged by address and phone number. It is more like an online yellow pages listing. When buyers and sellers perform local searches, businesses with Google+ Local profiles quickly show up. Claiming your Google+ Local page is like creating a free ad. You are able to add your official company information and logo to your profile. Some benefits of claiming your Google+ Local page include:
- Your business is easily found on Google
- You can add pictures to your profile
- You gain a competitive advantage over other realtors with unclaimed listings
- Clients can find you easily on local searches
- Your website gets more exposure and consequently more traffic
- Customers can create step-by-step driving instructions
- Customers can interact with your business more
Create a Yelp Account
Just like Google+ Local, Yelp allows you to claim your business page and engage with clients and prospects. You can see what customers are saying about your business, reply to public comments, and respond to private messages. You can also add your business information, upload photos of listings, and add a link to your website. You can display your work hours so that customers looking for your physical location know your hours of operation. Yelp also allows you to track leads and visitor engagement.
Your Google+ local page is affected by the number of reviews your business gets. For example, if your business gets more reviews on Yelp, it ranks better on Google. Encourage your happy clients to leave great reviews on Google+ Local and Yelp and your site will rank higher than your competitors on local real estate searches.
Use Local Real Estate Keywords
The importance of keywords cannot be emphasized enough. When choosing keywords for your pages, choose local ones. For instance, instead of using keywords like “New York Real Estate,” use keywords like “Manhattan Real Estate” or “Queens Real Estate.” This way, clients will find you easily and enlist your services as they know you are familiar with that area.
Once buyers and sellers visit your site and discover that it has what they are looking for, they will bookmark it. Even those who don’t bookmark it will see it in their search history as they look for similar businesses. They will be motivated to go back rather than look for new websites that may or may not have the information they want.
It may sound cliché, but the only constant thing is change. Change is the only thing you can rely on when it comes to search engine rankings. What worked last year or last month may be ineffective today so you must make an effort to know what works and what doesn’t. If you want your iHOUSE website to rank highly on local real estate searches, you have to go the extra mile.