In many ways, the real estate digital transformation was bound to happen. The coronavirus pandemic was just the catalyst it needed to make the leap. Now, more and more firms are investing in their digital platforms such as websites, blogs and social media which is creating serious competition. To stand out, you will need a killer SEO strategy.
According to Ronald Kaweesi, project lead Proptech Uganda and Regional Chair for FIBREE, it is very important that every real estate player understands exactly what their segment is.
Are you in marketing (real estate agency) or investment and finance of real estate (valuation, Portfolio or asset management among other segments? With this clarity, you have the ability to come up with the opportunity key words for your site and pages and optimise these.
Here you stand out from others professionally providing you an opportunity to be accessed by your target clients and customers,” Kaweesi says.
With the exemption of agencies, many clients of real estates in other service lines know what they are looking out for therefore, there is an opportunity for more clicks. Add a search box to allow users to refine their search by location, number of bedrooms, price range. However, this will not improve your website’s ranking on internet search engines without additional optimisation.
To optimise searches, add relevant content to your property pages. “For instance, if someone searches for homes in Muyenga and they are directed to that page, include information about the neighborhood, video, or snippets from a feature about the area with a link to that story,” he advises.
Kaweesi says it is important to also back link your content with interesting content in the field. For real estate listing, this may not make sense but for other service lines, this comes handy.
The type of content on your website, if done correctly, can increase the effectiveness of your SEO strategy by more than 50 per cent.
That goes for your property descriptions, your Meta descriptions, and page tags. Meta descriptions are the first 155 characters of a web page that appear in a search, and give a reader an idea of what the page is about.
Kaweesi says: “Post content that sparks interest and informs your visitors. Such content is also often shared between friends and family which will bring more unique visitors to your website, thus making your site popular,” he recommends.
Short and catchy words
Do not forget to retain short and catchy keywords for your content and internal linking with pages on your site. This requires you to be good at generating unique content in your service line.
“For instance, if you are an agency, you can target your prospective buyers directly. Create categories for first time homebuyers, retirees, renters, and those searching for home loans. Target your searches by age demographic such as 30s, 40s or 50s,” Kaweesi dvises.
For real estate agency and marketing content, design is your yard stick. Good images, charts and visuals (post bannners for offers and discounts) are everything.
Also, including video content as well when visitors look at a photo of your properties can triple or even quadruple inbound links to your website.
Brian Agaba, a website developer, notes that digital success depends more on just designing and launching a real estate website.
“All search engines file content on the web so that whenever keywords are typed into a search box, the most useful sites come up first. Your website will not show up on the coveted first-page spot on Google as if by magic, the way you maintain and nurture your site makes the difference,” he shares.
Agaba notes that the way your websites is structured plays an important role as well as making sure that your content is rich and full of information related to your market.
“Search engine optimisation is not a onetime event, it is a gradual and constant process to ensure that you’re staying top-of-mind. Get quarterly reports to see what is working and do more,” he advises.
Make sure the photos and descriptions are authentic and are a proper representation of the properties.
It is very easy to ruin your reputation with false information. That means that if you want your website to become popular be the trusted and reliable source.
Make sure your platforms are formatted for mobile devices.
According to Google, the best way to enhance mobile searches is to use a method called “responsive design.” Responsive design refers to how well your website responds to all devices.
Google recommends using the same URL on all devices as opposed to building a website for mobile devices and a separate one for desktops. This makes sharing your content easier and eliminates the need for users to be redirected to an external link.