10 Ways you can drive more traffic to your estate agent website
Estate agencies tend to offer similar services and make the same promises to deliver exceptional service. They go by reputation and often get business through referrals from existing clients, but the opportunity for estate agents to differentiate themselves by utilising the web and producing useful content. But how can you optimise your estate agent website to increase organic traffic and increase leads from inbound marketing? Here are 10 things that will help to increase the numbers of people that discover your property business.
1. Pay attention to your keywords
Keywords are vital for people to find your estate agent website posts in their search. You want to ensure that keywords are relevant and accurate so that if a user finds your site it correctly answers their query. You’ll need to choose keyword phrases that are popular but not too popular. Optimising your website for one keyword phrase isn’t recommended, but optimising individual pages for relevant search phrases are good. Find out more about choosing keywords here.
Placing keywords is just as important as choosing good ones. Include your long tail keyword phrase in the first paragraph of a post, include it a few times in content, but don’t go overboard. You definitely should try and get your keyword in your page URL too.
2. Optimise your meta tags
Search engines use the description meta tag as the description in their index. So it’s important to describe your estate agent website pages accurately. This helps customers find your pages, and search engines to index them. Try to include your keyword phrase and keep your meta descriptions between 150 and 160 characters.
3. Have you got a sitemap?
A site map can sometimes be overlooked, but as well as offering users a quick way of finding a particular page, search engine web crawlers like Googlebot read sitemaps to more intelligently crawl your site.
Also, your sitemap can provide valuable metadata associated with the pages you list in that sitemap: Metadata is information about a web page, such as when the page was last updated, how often the page is changed, and the importance of the page relative to other URLs in the site. Useful stuff for ranking better.
4. Don’t forget image alt text
When you upload images to your website you have the option to add alt text. In terms of accessibility, it means that if someone can’t view the images for one reason or another, the alt text serves to let them know what the image depicts.
Search engines also scan alt text in web pages to find keywords. If you’ve set a long tail keyword for a post, add it to the featured image. Remember to format alt text with hyphens-between-words-like-this. Find out more about optimising alt text here.
5. Link your posts
A good post should have several links to other websites, ones that you have quoted or referenced, as well as links to other areas of your website. Adding links to credible sources helps you come across as an authority on the subject, which for a business is fundamental.
Linking to your other internal estate agent website pages helps to drive visitors around your website. You don’t want someone to visit a page then leave, you want to encourage them to read more, view your properties or about page. Google also looks for posts with relevant links in content. Don’t go crazy and fill your pages with links, but if you quote a recent news article on property prices add the link. It will certainly go a long way to improving your search ranking and help get more visitors.
6. Social sharing
Google ranks sites higher if their content is being shared around the web. Not only that, but making it easy for visitors to share your blog post, video or landing page on platforms like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn encourages sharing and goes a long way to increase organic traffic.
It’s unlikely that people will copy and paste your page URL into a tweet, but having a social share button below a post makes it much more convenient. You can download WP Social Sharing for free to add this functionality and check out this great article on how to grow your following on Twitter.
7. Page loading times
Our attention spans tend to be shortened quite dramatically when we’re online, and slow loading pages turn website visitors away. Even those visitors who really want to find some information from you (like a contact address for example) will be annoyed by a slow loading website.
Fortunately, however, if you’re using WordPress, you can get W3 Total Cache, a WordPress plugin that you can use to speed up page loading times. Definitely, one to get and best of all, it’s free to download and install. However, my favourite combination for optimisation is WP Fastest Cache and Remove query strings which work really well for 90% of WordPress websites we develop.
8. Increase the frequency of content
How often do you update your estate agent website blog? If you’re only posting new content on a monthly basis you should try doing it fortnightly, weekly, or every few days. If you can’t remember the last time you posted anything then this should be an immediate priority.
Sites that have new content added regularly are seen as more reliable and authoritative than sites that rarely add new content. This also helps you to increase the amount of relevant content on your site, which also improves your rankings.
9. Is your site responsive?
Many viewed responsive web design as a bit of a fad initially, but more and more people are viewing web content on their phones and tablets. In fact, 54% of consumers believe that it is easier to find information on mobile optimised sites. (ExactTarget, 2014 Mobile Behavior Report)
Ensuring that your estate agent website is optimised for viewing on multiple devices not only improves user experience, but Google also ranks responsive websites higher than non-responsive ones.
10. Create valuable content
Best of all you don’t have to be the most web savvy person to implement these things, and learning more about SEO and website optimisation is vital for those looking to generate new business through the web.
This obviously is different for every business, but when you look at your blog posts or newsletters from your customers perspective, can you see value in what your posting? It’s easy to forget that each one of your estate agent website visitors or prospects is a human being with questions and needs. You need to make sure that the content you post has perceived value, and fits various stages of the buyer’s’ journey. When planning content ask yourself, is this an awareness, consideration or decision stage piece? If you want to learn more about the buyer’s’ journey and what differentiates the stages click here.