Since MLS data is shared with every other website on that MLS feed, including big players such as Trulia and Homes.com, the competition for visibility is high. Sellers want to get as many people viewing their property as possible so that it will sell. This puts agents and brokers under pressure for good search rankings, where the majority of people begin their property search, there are several ways to increase the chances of leap-frogging the pack. In no particular order, here are 7 ways to improve search engine traction to your listings.
1. Share Your Listings on Social Media
This seems like a no-brainer for a business page on Google +, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, since your network can easily share these listings through links and do a lot of work for you. Watch out however, that you don’t overuse these mediums and come across as overtly commercial. Simply posting listings with no context can have the reverse effect and the Likes and Followers you have slowly built, will quickly disappear.
2. Promote on Real Estate Aggregator sites
Sites like Trulia, Zillow and Homes.com receive millions of visitors a day and so the potential visibility for your listing is significant. This comes at a cost, since most of these sites will require a Pro account or a fee for promoted listings. A good tool to measure the quality of traffic from these sites, is Google Analytics. If these traffic sources consistently refer visitors that stick around on your site and/or convert into leads, then working this traffic source a little harder can be worthwhile.
3. Create a video tour of the property
The benefit of video tours are that you can gain search engine traction, since videos are indexed. Be sure to optimize the video title and description by including the address, MLS number and some keyword-rich copy. Include a link to the property detail view page on your site rather than just a link to your home page, so you are directing visitors to the relevant page instead of forcing them to search again for it on your site.
4. Enhance the listing with additional information
One of the many benefits of having a real estate website with Union Street Media, is your ability to further optimize your own listings, beyond what is shared in the MLS. This can include customizing the title of the page other than the address. Other ways to enhance your listing are to include a video tour, customize the URL for a better click through rate in search engines and provide more keyword-rich copy.
5. Blog about your listings
Similar to using social media, your blog is a way to communicate less formally with site visitors, so avoid an overtly commercial blog strategy. The SEO benefits of blog posts can help contribute to the listing’s search ranking and, in conjunction with a video tour and images, can add value that pushes up your rankings.
6. Use paid search advertising
If you have a list of your own listings on your website, you can use a pay per click ad to drive traffic to this page. If your listings are similar in price and type, then this makes it easier to create ad copy that targets a particular audience e.g. luxury waterfront homes. If you have a wide range of listings from mobile homes and condos to single and multi family listings, it becomes more problematic, since your audience is more diverse and will not want to be directed to a property type they are not interested in. In this case, opt for a few ads targeting these different types and create multiple landing pages for these types of property.
7. Use email marketing and drip campaigns
Email marketing is a great way to nurture your current leads, to keep them in the know and deliver them targeted listings. Site visitors can save their favorite searches by town, price, style, or feature and receive a regular email of new listings that come onto the marker first. We then track these visitors who have arrived at our client’s site by clicking from a listing update email.