Improving Your Real Estate Website’s Search Engine Ranking

Reader question: “I am a new real estate agent in the Houston area. I recently launched a website, but it doesn’t even show up in Google, Bing or Yahoo. I have read that search engine rankings take time to develop, but I want to expedite it as much as possible. How can I increase my real estate website ranking in the search engines?”

Bing and Google rankings are a combination of proprietary secrets and public knowledge. For instance, search engine marketing (SEM) specialists know that “link popularity” — the quantity and quality of websites that link to a particular site — can strongly influence rankings. This is common knowledge in the SEO world, and it has been for years.

But there’s also a lot we don’t know. Search engine companies do not want their competitors to know how they develop their algorithms or how they rank websites (including your real estate website). But they do give you and I some suggestions for creating a popular, high-ranking site. Most of these suggestions revolve around quality content, a concept that is repeated in many of our tutorials.

For instance, Google says this:

Sites’ positions in our search results are determined based on hundreds of factors designed to provide end-users with helpful, accurate search results … In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.

Bing (MSN) echoes that sentiment:

Content is what Bing seeks. By providing clear, deep, easy to find content on your website, we are more likely to index and show your content in search results. Websites that are thin on content, showing mostly ads or affiliate links, or that otherwise redirect visitors away to other sites quickly tend not to rank well. Your content should be easy to navigate, rich and engaging to the visitor, and provide them the information they seek.

Now we are getting to the fundamental truth of website optimization. If you want to achieve long-term success with your SEO program, you need to develop high-quality content … and lots of it. This is the key to improving your real estate website ranking in Google and other search engines.

Improving Real Estate Website Ranking in Google, Bing, etc.

If your site offers better content than all of the other sites within your market area, it will eventually rise to the top in terms of popularity, links and visibility (with a bit of promotion on your part, of course). Publishing new content on a regular basis can also help you improve your real estate website rankings, and for a wide variety of search phrases.

See: Real estate keyword topics for blogging

Regardless of their technical differences, all of the major search engines use keyword relevance and link popularity to rank websites.

Keyword usage / relevance — If you want to rank well for a certain keyword phrase, you need to have content on your website that addresses that particular topic. For instance, I recently added a page to a client’s website to help her pull in more SE traffic for “Housing market predictions in [her city].” I knew from experience that this topic would bring traffic. But she did not have any relevant content on her site that matched those keywords. So I built it for her. This is the first and most important step of an SEO program. Search engines can’t rank your real estate website for a certain phrase or topic until you have relevant content that matches that topic.

Link popularity — This refers to the quantity and quality of inbound links or “backlinks” you have (i.e., hyperlinks from other websites that lead to your site). Link building, by extension, is the act of acquiring these all-important links. If two real estate websites are equal in most regards, but website ‘A’ has three times as many links coming in as website ‘B’ … website ‘A’ will most likely rank higher within search results. Thus, link popularity is a key component of any real estate SEO strategy.

Need help? We can help you improve your real estate website ranking in Google, Yahoo and Bing, and for a wide variety of topics. We do this through a combination of blogging and SEO, combining the best practices of both techniques. As a side benefit, your website will be more useful and engaging to your readers (and prospective clients). Contact us with any questions you have!

About the author: Brandon Cornett is a full-time real estate blogger and creator of the Home Buying Institute. He provides blogging services for mortgage and real estate professionals across the U.S.

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