Commercial real estate is a challenging niche because of the sheer amount of competition you will encounter online. You need effective, well-thought-out marketing strategies to make your company stand out from the dense crowd and invite your audience to click on your links and bring them to relevant landing pages.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a digital strategy that increases the ranking of websites on popular search engines like Google and other search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, and many more! A commercial real estate company looking to expand its market reach or increase website traffic needs robust SEO strategies as part of its overall digital marketing efforts.
SEO for commercial real estate companies generates warm leads and brings them down a marketing funnel. Showing Google that your website is searchable and that you are using keywords that target specific markets will improve your rankings and boost your brand’s visibility.
We’ve put together an SEO checklist for new websites for your CRE company. This guide will help you develop an effective SEO strategy that will convert.
Search Engine Optimization Basics Checklist For CRE Companies
1. Use Relevant Keywords
Keywords are crucial for good SEO performance, so you need to choose the best and most relevant keywords for your business. In the commercial real estate industry, local SEO is even more important as property rentals and sales for commercial units are contained mainly within the state or local community.
For your website, use keywords that your target market will use to look up products and services similar to yours. All pages of your website should implement these keywords so they will appear at the top of the first page of the search engine results. These keywords must be used naturally and organically—Google’s algorithms have evolved to spot keyword stuffing and sanction websites that do so.
If your target market uses specific keyword phrases such as place names or property types, the keywords should be in long-tail format. Long-tail keywords are descriptive and specific, and they are the answer if you want to bring in traffic from a particular area or city.
2. Design A Navigable Website
User experience and accessibility are two crucial elements that will make or break your website’s search engine optimization performance. Online consumers and browser algorithms alike should find it easy to navigate and crawl each page of your website.
Once a potential customer clicks on a landing page, they should be able to find their way all-around your website without getting frustrated. All important links must be easily visible and accessible to ensure a smooth customer journey from beginning to end.
3. Create Valuable Content
Your website’s content (such as an article or blog post) should feature relevant, substantial content creation with high-performing, organically-placed keywords to help visitors find the information they want.
The best way to create content is to answer all the questions your target market searches for, provide valuable advice for common pain points, and present new information that would interest your audience and establish your brand as an authority in your industry.
4. Use Relevant Headlines & Title Tags
All web pages’ headlines and title tags should be descriptive and optimized to ensure good SEO performance. Combined with a meta description that summarizes your substantial content, potential customers will easily find you online and encourage them to click on the page.
Your headline and page title tags will also appear when users share the link and page on their social media accounts.
5. Use Text To Describe Images
For CRE companies, high-quality images are crucial when promoting properties. Using text or alt tags to describe them can identify these images as pieces of optimized content that search engine algorithms can crawl and index. This is very important, especially if you use local place names for your real estate images.
6. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
Most people conduct their internet shopping, messaging, browsing, and gaming on their mobile devices, with 91% of people worldwide using smartphones daily. That’s 7.26 billion people, and not making your website mobile-friendly will make you less accessible to your target market.
Create a visually appealing site that is easy to use and loads quickly, so your visitors can navigate it no matter what mobile device they use. You can also implement features that will engage users as they scroll on their devices, such as responsive layouts and images.
7. Optimize Your Loading Time
Research has shown that if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, visitors are likely to lose interest and go to a competitor instead. This is especially important for CRE sites; make sure your images are not too heavy and use a format that will load as quickly as the text elements on your landing pages.
8. Use Google Analytics & Search Console
Using these apps will help you check if your website is being indexed and if the search engine is crawling your website and its current keywords and content.
These tools will also show you how each page is performing so you can adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.
Basic SEO Checklist Using Google
Google Analytics and Search Console are fundamental tracking tools in your SEO strategy and must be part of your SEO activity checklist.
1. Make Sure That Google Search Console & Google Analytics Are Properly Set Up
These tools provide valuable insight into your website’s performance, online traffic, and overall visibility. You could view data about the people who visit your site, how much interaction and engagement occurs at each visit, and which parts of your website are and aren’t generating interactions and conversions.
2. Install An SEO Plugin
These extensions on Google expand the scope of your source software or content management system (CMS such as WordPress) and improves the effectiveness of your website’s SEO metrics, analytics, and marketing reach.
CMS software platforms may have different features that will help improve SEO performance, so check with your developer on the best SEO plugin for your website.
3. Submit A Sitemap
A sitemap allows a search engine to crawl through a website and review every single page. The browser then creates a list of URLs that specify the content of your site.
Your sitemap will provide the crawler with the essential files to your website and any information about the website itself. Most website owners create a sitemap using XML, but there are other formats you could use.
Once you create a sitemap, submit it to Google Search Console and other search engine analytics tools.
4. Create A Robots.txt File
Creating this file tells the crawler which pages and files the web crawler can or cannot request from your site. Doing this prevents the search engine from crawling through the content of a specific page. SEO plugins can help you create these robot files.
5. Use A Site Audit Tool
A site audit tool will evaluate all website elements that affect overall SEO performance, visibility, and traffic. You can get all the insights you need to assess and further optimize your web pages in terms of content, conversion rate, responsiveness, loading times, and more.
SEO Strategies That Will Drive Growth In Traffic & Leads
Knowing the basics of SEO could indeed improve your real estate marketing efforts. But with so many different strategies to choose from, it can be challenging to know where to begin.
Here are some basic SEO strategies that will work for your commercial real estate website:
1. Improve Your Local SEO Strategy
You need to optimize your local Google My Business Page. When potential leads will search for local commercial properties for lease, Google provides site maps, addresses, snapshots, agents, agency reviews and ratings, and agent contact information.
Create your company profile, and make sure to fill out all the crucial details, such as website URL, contact information, opening and closing hours, exact office location, and even a snapshot of your premises. Ensuring that the information is accurate and complete will give your local CRE agency a leg up because Google favors businesses that provide complete details when users look for such companies.
Another element of local SEO is customer reviews and ratings on search engines. A vast majority of consumers always consult reviews before contacting a service provider or any business.
Positive online reviews build trust and are relied on heavily when it comes to local SEO ranking. If you have clients that have been satisfied with your service, make sure to ask them to give you an online review as a CRE company.
2. Improve Your On-Page SEO | Use Targeted Keyword Search
On-site SEO works by optimizing all website content to ensure good performance in search engine results pages. Choosing the right keywords will boost your marketing SEO efforts. Use long-tail-specific keywords so the right leads will always find you.
One way to do this is to search long-tail keywords on Google and look at the other keyword research phrases that appear automatically on the search bar. These are the terms that people use most often. Compare these suggestions with your list of keywords and determine what you need to adjust to ensure better search engine performance.
You can use Google Ads to create a report on the effectiveness of your chosen keywords, and you can then find new and valuable keyword opportunities that will trigger more impressions than your current ones. You can also use Google Analytics to see which organic keywords you rank well on.
3. Create Local Content
Creating content that addresses local real estate pain points and concerns can go a long way in helping ramp up your SEO performance. Content that educates and engages your audience throughout their customer journey will help your company get a leg up on the intense competition in the CRE industry.
Look at the content that other real estate agencies in your area produce. You should be able to see which topics inspire discussion and interaction. You can also find gaps in what your competitors have addressed to present your company as a strong authority on the subject.
Explore topics concerning local commercial real estate trends and other subjects that significantly affect your target audience.
4. Improve Your Off-Site SEO | Get More External Business Reviews Online
Off-site SEO refers to external sites that could help your SEO strategy. These include social media accounts and external review sites such as Yelp. These platforms can help generate online traffic and build audience interest. After all, many potential customers check various sources before choosing a specific service or business.
Use review sites as a vehicle to increase interest. Check your profiles on these platforms and make sure all links and contact information are up to date. Then, ask satisfied clients to give a review or thumbs up if they are inclined.
5. Optimize Your Social Media Pages
Billions of people go on social media each day, and you can generate leads from your pages. If you have a Facebook page, it could also appear on search engines as long as you use the right keywords.
Provide complete information that Facebook can relate to certain search terms, such as “real estate” or the name of cities or states you operate in. These details will function the same way as Google Business reviews and sites; they boost your web presence and increase the number of people who can find your business.
Do the same thing for your other social media handles, such as Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. These social media sites should be used for different purposes. For example, using Instagram or Twitter is much better for engaging and nurturing leads, while LinkedIn increases your authority as an expert in the CRE industry. Each page should be optimized differently, and your marketing team should have a different strategy for each.
Why Is SEO Critical To CRE Agents & Companies?
Living in a world that relies heavily on digital technology makes SEO a fundamental part of digital marketing strategy. CRE agents and companies must know how something as basic as optimization could improve their web traffic and generate leads.
You don’t have to rely on word of mouth or cold marketing calls to find your targets; leveraging search engine optimization brings the targets to your website and makes it easy for agents and companies to close a deal. This simple SEO checklist can make a huge difference in your website performance and sales conversions.