In 2022, SEO is a highly recognised strategy in pushing businesses - digitally- to connect with the intended audience. Strategies such as, valuable content, high-ranking keyword copy, high-quality UI&UX & more, all work to create a strong digital presence . However we believe sometimes the advantages of a localised focus can be overlooked.
“44% of all buyers search online for property listings as the first stage of their journey”
This highlights the amount of leads that can be captured online. Moreover most of these searches will consist of a location - e.g: estate agents in South East London - meaning the more an estate agency can attach itself to such searches the more traffic that can be generated.
In today's Starberry’s blog, we discuss ‘Local SEO’, a more targeted strategy, aiming to capture leads through local organic searches - more specifically ‘Google’ users. Here are the first basic steps towards a local seo strategy that supports enhanced lead-gen.
- Optimising GMB
- Utilising Google Reviews
- Google Friendly Backlinks & Categories
Optimising your ‘Google My Business’ profile is ensuring the digital information presented to leads is always valuable and up-to-date.
Regular posts show leads that you're a digitally-active estate agency, increasing the chance of them trusting in an engagement. Connecting your social media via your GMB Profile also improves your presence during search engine crawls as it creates back-links to more relatable content that allows Google to better rank your business.
Moreover, posts can be photos, showing your offices or the work you do locally - adding a personal touch that separates you from the competition and brings in more leads.
Frequently updating basic info - e.g: name, address, office phone numbers - is the bare minimum. Regularly updated information highlights your website more during local searches. Furthermore, estate agency’s showing the most-recent information experience increased lead-gen as they come across as trusted sources compared to the competition failing to do so!
Finally utilising the valuable insights generated from your GMB profile is vital. Insights can show you your highest performing website links or the content that drove the most traffic to your social platforms - allowing for more informed future digital-marketing decisions that will drive for more leads the next time around.
Utilising Google Reviews:
Online Google reviews should be encouraged - pushing happy customers to do so leaves a trail of social proof of services. This same proof can lead to more instructions won, as peer reviews are trusted more than a business's word-of-mouth.
Even more important is that a part of Google’s algorithm calculates a website by its “expertise, authority, and trust”. Estate agency’s maximising Google Review cement their website as a trusted source, which in turn can lead to search engines shining a light on your services.
Google Friendly Backlinks & Categories:
Back-link building revolves around estate agency’s getting other websites to link back to yours. Creating a network of links - which works amazingly for SEO - will drive referral traffic and increase site authority.
Here are a few examples of valuable back-links that can be taken advantage of for an enhanced SEO presence:
- Strategic business partner: Convincing other businesses that are relatable or within your industry can lead to a valuable link network. More so if these partners utilise trending keywords, they will only push the copy further to the intended audience.
- Local charities can offer Google-friendly back-links as they share your estate agency’s location - increasing the back-links value.
- Estate agency review sites attract similar leads - taking advantage of this, you can create strong back-links that pull in leads who are already looking for support in moving along the home-buying process.
GMB categories are selected when setting up your profile and ensuring the right one is selected is vital - since Google’s algorithm values it the most. These categories represent your estate agency to both leads and to Google and choosing the right ones could lead to the following:
- An SEO structure favoured by Google: by selecting the precise category, you are providing relevant information that is important for leads to find you and for Google when judging your website’s authenticity.
- Increased lead action: selecting the right category for your GMB profile will push you in front of the right eyes. A business pushed in front of the intended target will drive up a customer- action taken - in turn increasing lead-conversion opportunities
- Higher Google ranking: Selecting a precise category of your services will push your estate agency beyond the competition who may have overlooked and selected a more generic option.
Google’s algorithm has a sole focus on providing users what they want at all times, which will always be the most relevantly useful and popular option. Through a better understanding of where your business appears in local searches, an estate agency can optimise accordingly.
One of the most important playing fields to digitally dominate as an estate agency is “Google’s Local Pack”. These optimization tips can secure you a competitively ranked spot within the pack which enhances your rankings on both organic & map listings. Especially important as the majority of searches are on mobile and the companies a part of the local pack are shown to mobile-users before others.