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Many real estate agents use paid advertising as their means for generating leads. While paid advertising is an effective source for qualified leads, it does have its drawbacks.

First of all, you’ll have to continue to pay for these leads and the cost of bidding for keywords using search engine results can be expensive. Competition can be fierce — especially in the real estate industry — and you could find yourself in a bidding war for the top rankings.

Furthermore, click fraud is a real thing. Competitors can continuously click on your advertisement until your budget has ended and your ad has disappeared.

While we don’t suggest eliminating paid advertising from your marketing mix altogether, we do encourage you to focus a bit more on your local SEO real estate marketing strategy. By strengthening your SEO and putting a full strategy into place, you’ll get discovered by your target audience online and increase your bottom line.

Here’s a deeper look at some of the local SEO real estate marketing tips you can implement today:

1. Develop On-Site SEO Strategy

When thinking about your overarching SEO tactics, you’ll definitely want to optimize your website. Your website is the face of your brand, so not only will it have to look good, but it must have compelling and optimized content.

Here are some things you can do to optimize your website for local SEO:

  • Make sure your business name, address and phone number are used throughout your website
  • Use your state, city and town names in your title tags, meta descriptions and in the body of the content you create for your site
  • Implement schema markup onto your website*

*This sounds really fancy, but schema markup is a code that you implement on the backend of your website that allows search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo to know what they’re looking at. When a search engine indexes your site, it will view your schema markup, allowing the search engines to return more informative results for users. Here’s some more information about schema markups.

2.  Crucial Keyword Research

Putting a content strategy in place before an SEO strategy is like putting the cart before the horse. The SEO strategy will ultimately guide the content strategy, which is why it’s so imperative to nail down your keyword research.

There are many different strategies and guides to keyword research, but there are a few tools that allow you to easily do this on your own.

The easiest route is using your Google search bar. You can start typing in words like “Find a realtor …” or “Realtors in …” and see what suggested phrases pop up. This will give you an idea of the most popular long-tail keywords.

If you’re familiar with paid search tools, you can check your search queries in Google AdWords and check the organic terms you rank for in Google Analytics.

Lastly, there are some great free keyword research tools on the market that can help you with your local SEO keyword research. Some of our favorites include UberSuggest and Wordstream.

Once you find popular keywords in your local market, you can begin to optimize your existing website content. Avoid “stuffing” keywords into your content. Instead, stick to incorporating the words casually into your content and use them no more than 3-5 times on a single website page.

3.  Create Enhanced Directory Profiles

One of the best (and easiest) things you can do to reach the top of Google’s search engine in your local market is enhance your online profiles. You can do this easily by filling out directory profiles and citations.

A citation is basically any place on the Internet that displays your name, address and phone number. At the very minimum, real estate agents should fill out their profiles on the following directories:

  • Google My Business
  • Bing
  • Yahoo
  • Yelp
  • Realtor
  • Trulia
  • Zillow

While filling out these directories, ensure that you’re going above and beyond to enhance and customize your profiles. Not only will your business appear polished and professional, but by filling out the pertinent information for your business, it will help your business appear more relevant to Google, upping your chances of being shown at the top of Google searches.

Be sure to add different photos and completely fill out every form field, including hours of operation, address and phone numbers. We also suggest creating a mini-mission statement that explains what sets you apart from the competition.

4.  Implement a Review Solicitation Program

Once you develop your citations, you’ll want to drive more traffic to them. One way to do this is to create a review solicitation program. Gathering reviews to your online profiles, such as Google and Yelp, is one of the most important local SEO factors. Both quality and quantity matter when it comes to reviews — not only for local discovery and search, but for garnering referrals, too!

There are many different ways to set up a review solicitation program. You could send a handwritten note to some of your best clients, set up an email drip campaign with a link to your Google Places or Yelp profile, or nicely ask upon closing.

We recommend verbally asking for reviews and then following up with an email link to make the process as easy as possible for your clients.

5.  Don’t Forget to Optimize for Mobile

It’s easy to completely forget about your mobile marketing plan and solely focus on desktop, however, mobile marketing is more important than ever as more consumers are turning to their handheld devices for research.

If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’ll be leaving money on the table. A mobile-first approach is necessary for grabbing prospective customer’s attention and generating leads. Failing to do so will result in a multitude of negative consequences.

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