Ok, so you want to become a real estate SEO expert. Before we get started, I want to mention that this article goes way beyond the traditional articles on Google that mention the “basics” of real estate marketing. We are going to assume you already know how to hold events and create signs for the commercial buildings you are in the process of marketing.
In this article, I am going to take you through actionable steps that we have taken to create our commercial real estate marketing strategy and fill up our coworking spaces and other commercial properties.
Over 7 years of digital marketing expertise, and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of trial and error, we have integrated our real estate SEO knowledge into this article. Hopefully, saving you both time and money.
Commercial real estate marketing is the process of coming up with a commercial real estate plan in an effort to market your commercial properties or portfolio. Commercial properties unlike residential, are those designated for business activities such as retail, medical, industrial, and office.
Most real-estate brokers or owners make the mistake of not creating a website for their buildings or locations. This is one of the single biggest mistakes you can make. The most qualified leads you will ever receive will be from organic search on google.
What do I mean by organic?
This means unpaid advertising on Google. So why do many companies offer “pay for” lead approaches? It’s because it is easier for them to pay for traffic rather than put in the work to scale in competitive markets.
So what is SEO?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving your websites search engine rankings (for keywords). A great SEO strategy will include:
- Keyword research
- Onsite SEO
- Local SEO
The first step to your real estate SEO strategy is to determine what keywords are the most important for your business. Prioritize your focus based on keywords that will generate customers. Below, we will be using a monetisation first strategy for our seed keywords.
Since we are dealing with commercial real estate, we will use the following keywords (office space keywords) as an example:
- Private Offices
- Meeting Space
- Coworking Space
Now that we have a general idea of what products we want to offer, the next step is to focus on location. For example, if we choose to market to the Long Beach, NY market. The hierarchical location structure for Long Beach would be the following:
United Stated>NY>Long Island> Nassau County> Long Beach
If we were to combine both our product terms with location terms, following our hierarchical structure, we would have the following
Private offices U.S., NY, Long Island, Long Beach
Meeting space U.S., NY, Long Island, Long Beach
Coworking space U.S., NY, Long Island, Long Beach
Now add some intent descriptors such as for rent, for lease, affordable, cheap and other terms that focus on transactional terms.
Because we are dealing with real estate, it’s important to focus first on the most granular terms. Since the building is in Long Beach, the most qualified customers we are looking for will be looking for our products in Long Beach.
There are a variety of keyword tools you can use, I prefer AHREFS.
In the keyword explorer tool, you can easily type in a keyword and find ideas.
The tool shows:
- Keyword difficulty;
- Search volume;
- Clicks per search
- Type in the domain
- Click Organic Keywords
Read more: about how we target keyword and other long tail variations of keywords
Once you have determined your product and local terms, the next step is to optimize your website with the terms. So what items do you need to optimize on your site?
Site structure: XML sitemap, robots.txt, redirects.
Page structure: Page Titles, meta descriptions, H1-H6 tags, ALT tags, Image descriptions, URLs.
Links: Referring domains, outbound links, interlinking, and broken links.
Usability: Navigation, content Silos, site speed.
Not sure if you have the right optimizations or where to start? Book a call with our team.
Local SEO, involves targeting local (hence the name) keywords that would drive traffic to your website or landing page. For example, if you have a coworking space or office space in a specific town focusing on (product) + location, terms will be essential to your strategy.
Listing your business on Google is one of the best FREE ways to start advertising your space. So how does it work? Basically, if you list your business on Google my business, you will show on the local results (which appear just after the ads).
From the image above, you can see that the Google my Business listing is just after the ads and takes up a significant amount of space on the page.
Tip: Make sure you choose a relevant service, for example, if you are an office space company, list your space as an office rental agency and take professional photos and keep your listing up to date.
Don’t submit your listing to just any directory. Start compiling a list of the essential directories and other listing services that are within your industry.
In general, most directories will need the following information about your business:
- Business name
- Contact Information
- Hours of operation
Here are some essential sites to list on:
- Yellow Pages
You can also check out our guide on where you need to list office space.
Link building, is one of the most important factors that help you rank on Google. You can optimize your website, write great content, and have an impeccable page load time, but if you do not attract links to your pages, you will never rank.
So how do you go about building links to your website pages?
The foundation to attracting credible high-quality links, is dependent on content that provides value to the reader. Whether you are writing content or guest posting on other websites, your content has to be link worthy enough for others to want to share it. How can you do this if new to an industry?
- Use your own personal experience or in-house data to create unique content
- Write articles that are much more informative than what’s currently available on Google
- Spend hours researching your niche and reading from the best minds to enhance your knowledge.
By offering to guest post a blog (on another website), you can control what types of links are directed back to your website. Although this seems easy enough, it really depends on the editors of these websites, the value of your contribution, and really convincing the website owners on why your content will help their readers. This is why another major component of your Off-Site SEO strategy will be composed of Outreach.
If you don’t tell others about your content, you are greatly limiting the eyeballs on the content you spent countless hours developing. Outreach is one of the most important techniques to attracting links and it is often not done or done in a spammy way.
A great outreach flow to follow:
- Notify those who are mentioned in your article
- Reach out to your existing audience (new letter to subscribers)
- Post of social media and promote the article to relevant communities (Facebook, Linked-in, Google+, Slack)
- Repurposes/Restructure content (audio, video, images) (Youtube)
- Syndicate content on platforms like medium
- Answer questions on Reddit and Quora linking back to your articles for reference
- Promote your article via paid promotion
- Reach out to other publications that have already linked to your competitors
It’s important to note that SEO is a long-term strategy. It takes a ton of effort and time (especially in competitive markets to rank on the first page of Google). So how can you be productive as you are implementing your SEO strategy?
Above, we focused on SEO and generating leads based on visibility on Google. Next we are going to cover some more proactive methods that have helped us target ideal customers in our area of focus.
Real estate lead generation is the process of generating local leads using prospecting, real-estate marketing tools and outreach.
Step 1) Create a list of companies and/or the demographics of what types of companies would see value in your commercial space.
For example, if you have an executive office that you are looking to lease, a good option would be to target professional service industries. If we were to have our office in Manhattan, we would want to do a local search:
And, just like that, we have a list of prospects that we can call or send emails. So how do you go about contacting these individuals?
Compile an excel spreadsheet of your top prospects and input the urls into Hunter.io.
Hunter will return the top emails with estimated deliverability.