Real estate websites are a huge part of the online marketing options for agents and brokers. As the competition for real estate clients among agents, brokers, and iBuyers continues to intensify as we near the end of 2022 and head into 2023, it’s more important than ever to have a well-optimized real estate website that potential clients can find. Part of being well-optimized is organization and is your site user-friendly. Another part of being well-optimized is your website’s SEO or search engine optimization.
SEO is the “art” and science of having your website appear in Google and other search engines for what you want it to show up for. For example, if you are a Gilbert AZ real estate agent, can you and your website be found for your name as a real estate agent in Gilbert AZ. If so, then your website has some “good” SEO.
SEO can get you free visitor traffic and, thus, real estate leads, but is SEO worth the investment? You may be asking, can I really compete against the big boys like Zillow and Realtor.com in Google for real estate consumers searching for real estate with my local real estate agent website (which is primarily all about how good is your website’s SEO)? In this blog post, we’ll look at the pros and cons of SEO for real estate websites to help you decide whether or not it’s worth your time and money.
The Pros of SEO for Real Estate Websites
You Can Get More Traffic from Google
There’s no doubt that Google is the 800-pound gorilla when it comes to search engines. According to StatCounter, Google has a 92.62% market share in the United States as of March 2019. That means that if you’re not ranking well on Google, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of potential traffic.
You Can Rank for Long-Tail Keywords
Regarding real estate keywords, most agents think about the big, popular ones like “homes for sale” or “real estate listings.” Realistically, most real estate agent websites won’t organically rank for high-level broad terms like Phoenix real estate – the competition for these types of keywords is limited Zillow and Redfin and other highly trafficked websites, and very old local websites. There is another type of keyword called a long-tail keyword which are longer groups of words that people are are using when they search. These keywords can be a goldmine for real estate agents. It is important to think of these as longer terms, but also tied to your local market. For example “homes for sale” could be “homes for sale in Phoenix” or better yet “4 bedroom homes for sale in Ray Ranch Estates.” Another example: “curb appeal tips” or “curb appeal tips for Tempe.”
You Can Get More Leads from Your Website
If you’re ranking well for your targeted keywords (long-tail keywords), you will get more traffic to your website. And if you have a well-optimized website with good calls-to-action for good conversion rates, that traffic can turn into leads. In fact, SEO is one of the most effective lead generation strategies for real estate agents. If you are looking for more leads from your SEO efforts though, you’ll need to prepare yourself for the long-haul – like years of work. See below for Cons of SEO.
When you rank well in Google, people will see your name and your website pop up over and over again. And as we all know, the more people see your name, the more likely they will remember it. not only will they remember it, but if they can find you they are likely to do business with you. That’s why SEO can be such a powerful branding tool for real estate agents.
You Can Make More Money
At the end of the day, most real estate agents are in business to make money. And there’s no doubt that SEO can help you do just that. In fact, studies have shown that businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on SEO. The question is, how deep do you invest in SEO compared to other lead generation strategies like using a CRM?
The Cons of SEO for Real Estate Websites
It Takes Time to See Results
One of the biggest complaints about SEO is that it takes time to see results. And that’s definitely true. It can take months, or even years, of hard work to start ranking well in Google. So if you’re looking for a quick fix, SEO is not the answer.
It Can Be Expensive
If you decide to hire an SEO company to help you with your real estate website, it can get expensive quickly. SEO companies typically charge anywhere from $500 to $5,000 per month, depending on the size of your website and the competitiveness of your keywords. For most agents, this type of monthly budget is prohibitory.
You Might Not Rank No Matter What You Do
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that you’ll rank well in Google, no matter how much time and money you invest in SEO. Because of how Google’s algorithms work, some websites will rank well no matter what, while others will never rank no matter how hard they try.
Google Can Change its Mind
Sadly, with Google being the 800-lb gorilla in the search engine world, if they change their ranking rules like they do every so often your website could be dropped from their rankings if they decide that your site doesn’t fit their guidelines anymore. The first major algorithm update Google rolled out was in Feb 2011, and many websites including the likes of JCPenny were dropped or severely reduced in their rankings because of this update.
Should You Invest in SEO for Your Real Estate Website?
So, should you invest in SEO for your real estate website? The answer, like with most things in business, is it depends. If you’re willing to invest the time and money, and you’re in a market (or you optimize for a small geographic farming area) where SEO can help you stand out from the crowd, then the answer is probably yes. But if you’re not willing to put in the work or you’re in a market where SEO isn’t going to make a difference, then the answer is probably no. If your expectation is being found in Google for your name and as a local area real estate professional then the answer is probably yes, but with limits.
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to invest in SEO for your real estate website, feel free to reach out to us here at iFoundAgent.com to discuss things.