Whether you're attempting to sell the home you reside in, or you're trying to attract new tenants for your rental property, one of the keys to your success is going to be marketing your property. If you're working with a real estate agent, they'll do at least some of the work for you, but you'll still want to make some extra effort if you want to sell or fill your property fast--and for the best possible price.
Traditional marketing methods include direct advertising, which can be effective, but costly. Instead of relying exclusively on these marketing methods, consider adding in search engine optimization (SEO). After all, the more diversified and targeted your overall property marketing strategy is
, the better results you'll see.The Benefits of SEO for Property Marketing
These are some of the most important benefits of SEO for property marketing:
- Low cost. Unless you're a property management magnate with multiple properties, you probably won't have a large budget for marketing and advertising. Ads will take a good chunk of your budget to start, so SEO can fill in easily as a low-cost supplement; even a few hours of work a week (or a few hundred dollars) can be enough to see results.
- Low (and changing) competition. One of your biggest hindrances in SEO is the amount of competition you face. Fortunately, there isn't much competition for SEO when it comes to specific properties. Yes, there are many other homeowners and landlords pushing their properties, but few of them are using SEO specifically--and if they are, their highest-competing properties will likely drop from the market once they're sold or rented.
- Inbound interest. Drawing traffic in naturally, rather than explicitly advertising your property, means you'll generate a higher flow of inbound interest. If you're collecting prospective tenants to screen, that can be a huge advantage.
- Search capitalization. More than 90 percent of home buyers use the internet to search for properties at some point during the buying process. This makes search engine results pages (SERPs) one of the most heavily trafficked areas for home buyers, and SEO capitalizes on that volume. No matter what type of buyer or renter you're looking for, they're almost certainly using search.
However, before you get started, there are some important considerations to note:
- Use SEO as a supplement. SEO is valuable, but it may not work perfectly for all property types. It's best used as a supplementary marketing strategy, to be used in combination with traditional marketing and advertising methods.
- Nab as many pages as possible. The more pages and sites that contain your property, the higher the chance that it will appear for relevant local searches. Make sure your property is listed on its own landing page, as well as popular listing sites like Zillow and Trulia. Optimize each page with a slightly different set of keywords and phrases, to maximize your potential reach.
- Consider getting your own domain. If you own a rental property you know will need tenants again in the future, consider buying your own domain. That way, you can build your domain authority steadily over time, and your SEO strategy will grow more effective each time you use it to find a new renter.
- Use rich media content. Anyone who's sold a home knows the importance of including lots of high-definition images; all these images should display what your house looks like, and be marked up with titles and alt text that makes them likely to appear for relevant searches. You should also include ample written content, describing your house, to maximize its search visibility.
- Know your audience. Finally, make sure your SEO tactics are focused on one specific target audience. If you try to optimize for everyone (a general audience), you won't have the same relevance, and you'll rank for fewer keywords.
Is SEO a perfect strategy for every homeowner or landlord? No. Is it a foolproof way to sell or fill your property? No. But as a supplementary, low-cost strategy, it's all but guaranteed to forward significant additional traffic to your property listing.
It won't take you much additional effort, but it could help you target your specific audience, and get the sale price you want faster.
Jayson DeMers is the founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content marketing & social media agency. You can contact him on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.