Home Builder SEO: 9 Ways to Stand Out on Google
What’s the secret to attracting more buyers to your home builder website? It’s simple: be where your buyers are. So where are all the buyers? Consider these statistics from a report done by the National Association of Realtors® and Google:
90% of home shoppers start their search online
69% start with a search of a local search term (“Houston custom home builder”)
52% of actions taken on a real estate website from directly from a local search result in a search engine
67% of all searches are completed on Google
Real estate searches on Google are more 253% over the last 4 years
It’s clear that if you want to be where your buyers are, that place is Google. This is why search engine optimization, or SEO, one of the most important investments you can make in your home builder marketing strategy.
But getting a top spot of Google is only half of the story. Even companies that appear on page one of Google – some of the most valuable real estate on the internet – still have to compete with 10-20 (or more) messages from other builders and real estate companies to earn the click. Paid ads, other organic search results, photos, map listings and videos all compete to earn the attention of a prospective home buyer online.
So what’s the secret to standing out on Google? Here are 9 simple ways you can create content that earns the click:
Blog… A Lot
Successful home builder blogging is really about basic math: the more search engine optimized blog content you have posted to your blog, the more opportunities you have for a potential home shopper to find you online. This is important because not all content will appeal to all buyers. For example, you could write one blog entitled “Tips for Sacramento First-Time Home Buyers” and another called, “Sacramento Real Estate Market Update: Time to Move Up?” Different buyers click on different content depending on their wants, needs, and stage of the buying cycle. When you often you cast a wider net to build your business.
Creating content that is personalized, relevant, and solves a problem will enable you to stand out on a crowded Google results page. (See: How Often Should Builder Blog for Better SEO?)
Optimize Your Photos with Keywords
It’s true that a photo says a thousand words, but in terms of SEO a photo can also help you rise above the noise on a search engine results page. Photos often appear above the rest of organic search results, and one stunning product photo can grab a prospective buyer’s attention and capture the click.
Use relevant keywords and phrases in your photo alt tags whenever you blog to give buyers a more visual experience when searching for a new home.
Optimize Your Videos with Keywords
In addition to adding keywords to your photo alt tags, optimize your home builder videos with keywords too. For potential home buyers, watching a virtual tour of your model home can be much more appealing than simply reading about it. For even more clicks, create an amazing home builder video that goes beyond the virtual tour to wow potential buyers.
Write a Catchy Headline
Headlines that include a keyword or phrase such as “Seattle home builder” can help earn top-of-the-page placement for your website or blog, but headlines still need to give buyers a reason to click. Remember, readers have 10-20 (or more) choices on page one of Google including photos, map listings, paid ads, and other organic search results.
Stand out with a headline that tells, not sells. Headlines that solve a problem or offer advice (“The First Time Buyer’s Guide to Choosing a Seattle Home Builder”) are more likely to earn the click than headlines that go for the hard sell. (See “How to Write Headlines That Buyers Will Click.”)
Turn Your Meta Description into a Call-to-Action
On Google, you have 160 characters to tell a potential home shopper why they should click through to your website and not your competitor’s. Make it an easy choice by offering a compelling call-to-action such as “View floor plans and pricing,” “Watch our video,” or “Download brochure.”
Google Places for Business
Google Places gives home builders yet another tool to stand out in search engines. Even if you have no budget for paid search and no active SEO program, you can still earn a place on page one of Google with your company’s business listing. Best of all, it’s free. Sign up >
Positive Online Reviews
Once you’ve been listed your business on Google, your company can be seen on page one. But so can your competitors. Stand out with positive reviews that help home shoppers know that you are a trusted, reputable brand. Builders with 4 and 5 star online reviews build credibility trust and that can easily win the click.
Publish on Multiple Platforms
If you rank on page one for a keyword phrase such as “Phoenix new homes,” that means that you have roughly a 10% chance that a buyer will click on your website link. That’s because you share that page with 9 of your competitors. If you have competitors buying AdWords for that term, your chances of earning the click can go down to 5%.
However, if you also use the keyword phrase “Phoenix new homes” as the title of a Pinterest board, the name of a Slideshare presentation, the title of your YouTube video, and in your social media profiles you can create multiple search results on page one. Each link will lead buyers to content that has been created by you. Use multiple platforms to increase your chances of getting the click from 5-10% to 50% (or more).
Mix and Match Your Marketing
Many home shoppers will click on an organic search result, and some will click on a paid ad. Why limit yourself? Use a blended strategy of SEO and paid ads to capture more clicks. Remember, the more spots to take up on the page, the more likely it is that you will get more clicks, website visitors, leads and sales.
Need help implementing a SEO program that puts your company in front of prospective home buyers on the web? Contact us for more information about our monthly digital marketing services for home builders.