With the rise of the digital age, most businesses faced an increased rate of competition due to the ease at which potential customers or clients could find and compare their options. For most, this happened because their local market suddenly expanded greatly. Though it is still relatively local, real estate is no exception to the rule.
So how do you, as a real estate professional or company, stand out from the crowd? Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the answer. This is the act of configuring one’s website content and meta data to fit perfectly with algorithms set forth by Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other popular search engines. The purpose of SEO is to have your website show up as early as possible when users perform web searches for specific keywords.
Before the Internet reached its prime as an information superhighway, classic forms of advertising were still highly effective. Newspaper advertisements, lawn signs, posters and other physical ads were seen by everyone. They are still effective to some degree now, however they rarely reach their target audience and overall reach fewer people.
Consider, for a moment, your first course of action when you need information and have no one conveniently nearby to consult. More than likely, you do not look for a newspaper or encyclopedia; you pull out your phone or find a computer and search the web using one of the previously mentioned search engines.
To illustrate the effects of SEO, quickly enter your city’s name followed by “real estate” into any search engine and take a look at the first page. Any website listed on this page has fantastic SEO – and it pays off. A large majority of users choose one of the first few options on the first page of results, regardless of what they are searching for. The rate of traffic falls off dramatically as the page scrolls down, seeing a very slight jump at the top of the second page but then becoming depressingly low.
In summation, yes – SEO is necessary for ANY website to succeed. It is even more important for real estate websites due to its highly competitive nature for local markets. There is no substitute for great search engine optimization.
Especially for more crowded cities, decent SEO might land your website on the fourth or fifth page when using mainstream keywords – this is why real estate SEO is difficult. Hiring a “good” SEO agency or attempting to optimize your own website might slightly increase your traffic, but will likely not yield a return on your investment.
On the other hand, if your website is not yet optimized, hiring an agency with a fantastic reputation and experience like MezzoLogic can dramatically increase the rate and accuracy of targeted traffic. While the website itself may not directly generate revenue, the increased interest in your office could potentially return the investment many times over with the first client.