Real estate SEO is the most important part of real estate marketing.  

Ranking high in Google search has never been as important as it is today.

There has been a digital transformation happening in the real estate industry for the last decade and the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated things.

Buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants are all online and you need to be too.  If your potential clients cannot find you on the first three pages of Google you don’t stand a chance of getting their business.

To be honest, most business is generated from the first page but you can still get some leads from the second and third pages.

That is what real estate SEO does, if done correctly, it increases your ranking in search and your domain and page trust scores.

The only problem is that SEO can be very confusing and complicated to understand if you have no experience or training with it.

I wrote this guide to answer all of your real estate SEO questions and give you a comprehensive strategy to use it effectively for your business.

What is real estate SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation which is the process of improving the ranking of your site in search engine results pages.

The goal is to increase the amount and quality of the organic traffic to your website.

There are quite a few factors that contribute to complete real estate SEO and each one should be given the same priority and effort to get great results..

  1. Content creation
  2. Technical optimisation
  3. On-page SEO
  4. Off-page SEO

Why is SEO important for real estate agents

Real estate SEO is the most effective and long lasting marketing strategy there is.  Nothing else will give your business the foundation to succeed for years to come.

As with everything else these days, real estate is happening online and people are using search engines such as Google for all their purchasing needs.

If you don’t have strong consistent SEO you won’t show up to people shopping online.  

That is a recipe for disaster!

The benefits of real estate SEO are huge.

  • Increased number of high quality leads 
  • Prospects at the right point in their buyer journey
  • Elevated brand awareness
  • More sales and profits
  • Marketing that continues to work forever 
  • Lower cost per lead and cost per sale than traditional advertising or pay-per-click

How much does real estate SEO cost?

This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on so many factors.  The cost isn’t purely financial, there is a time cost that needs to be factored in.

The questions to ask yourself when trying to determine cost of real estate SEO are:

  • Are you doing real estate SEO by yourself?
  • Have you hired an agency?
  • How bad is your current technical SEO?
  • How often will you perform keyword research?
  • What frequency will you update the content marketing plan?
  • How many pieces of content will you produce each month?
  • Will you include blog videos in the content creation and distribution?
  • Will you be producing separate short videos for social media?

There is more to it but this certainly shows you that it is hard to give a definitive answer to the price question.

Content creation is a bit like a tap, the more you open it the more that comes out.  It really is up to you how much content you create and how much money you spend.

Can you do real estate SEO on your own?

Again, this is a complicated question but the short answer is yes, of course, you can do real estate SEO on your own.  The catch is that you have to know how to do it and you have to find the time to do it.

Most real estate agents don’t even have time for lunch most of the time, so being able to start freeing up hours a week for focused SEO work seems like an unachievable task.  

However, there are a small number of agents that can do it.  If you are one of them then we applaud you and wish you the best of luck with your results.

For everyone else that is pushed to the limit everyday working with new clients, transactions, rental agreements and other miscellaneous admin tasks real estate SEO will be impossible.

My conclusion is that doing real estate SEO effectively and with longevity is not possible all on your own but if you want to try to be one of the few that succeed at it I hope this guide helps you.

Why hire an agency for your SEO?

When there’s a lot to learn followed by hours of putting it into practice, we’re often better off hiring an expert. From accountants and lawyers to housekeepers and hairdressers, our professional and personal lives are full of experts to help us.

In all marketing there is loads and loads of trial and error to go through while you are determining what will work best and what isn’t worth your time.

Why not hire an agency that has done all that already, has the formula to succeed and wants to use it for your business. 

The benefits are substantial when considering if you should use an agency for your real estate SEO.

  • Quick results as they have been through all the trial and error already
  • You don’t have to get involved or try to learn the technical aspects of website SEO.  They have (or they certainly should do) that down to a science.
  • No searching for copywriters, video producers and graphic designers as they will have that as a one stop shop
  • You will get value for money with regular reporting and results meetings 

In short, hiring an agency is really the only way to go if you want to jump up the Google rankings quickly and be the envy of all your competitors.

How much real estate SEO should you do?

This is a question I get asked all the time and the answer is always the same.  

You should do the keyword research and make the content plan first before even thinking about the quantity of content.  

Then and only then you can decide at what rate to produce the content.  Remember it is like a tap, the more you turn it on the more content comes out.

But just like water from the tap, the more content you produce the more it will cost you.

It goes without saying that the more content you produce, the faster your website will gain authority in Google.

Our advice, budget as much as you can to content creation and distribution as it will pay off 10 fold in the future and keep paying for years to come.

How long does it take real estate SEO to work?

This is probably the most frequent question I get asked about real estate SEO.  And it’s a very hard one to answer because every client and every site is unique.

Also, people who budget high and produce a massive amount of content get results a bit quicker as well.

The industry standard says 6 to 12 months to see significant results from your SEO efforts.

If the goal is to increase traffic to your site in a lasting and meaningful way then yes, I would agree.  However, with real estate SEO you can see some quick results if you do things correctly.

Using things like shortlists and location pages (we will discuss this later) you can quickly start appearing to people looking for really specific things.  The speed of this will depend heavily on the competition for the search terms.

There is no definitive answer but if you build a solid, long lasting foundation that generates quality consistent traffic and continue to produce it will consistently bring big results.

What’s the difference between paid search and SEO?

The difference between investing in pay per click search and SEO is like the difference between renting and owning. One will still be yours tomorrow and with the other way if you stop paying, you’re homeless. Or leadless in this case.

Paid search has no lasting benefit.  it only attracts visitors as long as you are paying.

Once you stop paying you stop showing up in search and no authority has been gained for your site.  No lasting foundational effects.

Real estate SEO is a combination of tune up and adding new and exciting content to your site.  You end up owning this content and it will work for you forever.

It’s like having an ever growing library of useful information that builds trust with your prospects and the librarian.  Well the search engine in your case.

The more you do the more that authority increases.

Both are useful tools to you and should be used to their best advantage.

Paid search is direct response advertising that is used when you need leads and sales quickly, just remember to test, test and test some more when creating adverts.

Real estate SEO is a longer game that builds you up as an ultimate authority to search engines and your visitors.

How to do real estate SEO

For real estate SEO to be effective you need to follow a set process.  A process that Respacio has perfected over the years.

No matter the client we work with, everything always starts with learning and research then planning then action.

If you follow these main phases and the instructions below you will succeed beyond measure.

1. Learning and research

This is the most important part of real estate SEO and cannot be overlooked or rushed.  It is the basis for everything you will do afterwards.

Arming yourself with as much research and knowledge as you can is worth its weight in gold.

Imagining the ideal client

At Respacio, when we start any real estate SEO project we always start looking at the ideal client first.

You will want to have a great understanding of your typical clients as well as your ideal clients to draw the correct assumptions here.

You might be saying that you know your clients already.  That could be the case but chances are you don’t have it written down or made into a real imaginary person.

Things like age, interests, gender, marital status etc etc can be used.  The more detail the better because you want to put yourself in their shoes whenever you’re thinking about content creation.

You want to dive into their pain points and motivations and explain why they do business with you.  You can also describe their typical day to really get a sense of them.

Once you have your ideal client completed, you will be well acquainted with exactly whom you are doing all this SEO work for.

Remember that just like a real person your ideal client should evolve and grow.  As your business grows, use interactions with clients and peers to constantly update the ideal client.

You may also need to create and imagine multiple different ideal clients for the different services you offer.  In the beginning start with one and grow from there.

Local industry 

Now that you know who your ideal client is and you have expert knowledge about them you need to have the same information to hand for your local area.

This could be a big area like London, Toronto or Malaga or it could be a small town or village that you operate in.

You will want to know all about market trends, local events, population statistics and marriage and divorce rates.

Knowing the local area well helps you gauge how your ideal client is likely living and what their life is like.

Real estate SEO keyword research

In real estate SEO there is nothing more important than keyword research.


This is where you start to really get down to the nitty gritty of what your ideal client is searching for in search engines.

To build the best keyword list possible you will need to employ several tactics.  Using them all will make your list indestructible and give you the greatest advantage.

  • Brain dump as many search terms you think your ideal client might search for, for any of the services you offer
  • Start googling some of the best terms from the brain dump and Google will give you related searches and people also search for
  • Use software like SE Ranking, Semrush or ahrefs to extract all the keywords that your competitors are ranking for and pick the best ones
  • Using Google keyword planner to get related and similar keywords to the ones on your list.
  • Use A.I. such as ChatGPT or Meet Bard to expand on your list and get some great long tail keywords
  • Add all your locations from your location tree to the list
  • Add all your shortlists from your website to the list

If you want a list of some of the top keywords we use for our real estate SEO then you can click below and download them free.  It will give you a great base to start from.

Current technical health and speed investigation

Even though keywords and content creation is most of what drives real estate SEO, if your site is not technically sound and cannot pass Core Web Vitals among other technical tests, all of your efforts won’t matter.

Luckily if you address these technical issues once, all that will be required moving forward is maintenance.

Similar to a car, if you treat it well and give it the service and updates it requires it will run the way it should for a long time.

There are multiple software programs that can tell you all you need to know about your website’s technical health and speed.

The team at Respacio uses a whole array of software and tools to understand every aspect of technical real estate SEO.

Current on-page real estate SEO audit

During this part of the process you need to go through each page on your website and go through a checklist to make sure everything is set up optimally.

You will want to check the following:

  • SEO title
    • Is there one?
    • does it have the target keyword at the beginning if possible?
    • Is it relevant to the content on the page?
    • Is it the ideal character length?
  • Meta description
    • Is there one?
    • Does it have the target keyword at the beginning if possible?
    • Does it marry with the SEO title?
    • Is it below the recommended character length?
  • URL
    • Does the url for the page match the SEO title or match closely enough?
    • Is the url small and easy to read?
  • Images
    • Is the alt text relevant to the content on the page and to the image itself
    • Is there a title for the image with the targeted keyword in it?
  • Videos
    • Are all the videos on the site embedded from your YouTube channel?
    • Is a video schema used to signal search engines 
  • Internal and external links
    • Are there any broken links?
    • Is all the anchor text for the outbound links relevant to the link destination without generic link terms 

After you have completed this audit you should have a full list of all the on-page real estate SEO issues that need to be addressed.

Current off-page real estate SEO audit

This is where you need to check up on the quality of the activity happening outside of your website to enhance your domain’s authority and rank.

This is generally judged by the quantity and quality of your backlinks.  There is software such as SE Ranking, Semrush or ahrefs that can give you excellent backlink reporting and tracking.

Backlinks are external links on other websites pointing to your website.

This is very important to pay attention to because backlinks from other websites act as a form of an approval to search engines.

That’s why I say check the quality as well as the quantity because the more reputable the referring source the better results will be.

2. Planning

Now that you are armed with all the information and data from your research you can’t just jump right into conducting real estate SEO.  

As with everything in business and life, you need a PLAN!

With a well laid out plan you will be able to get results much quicker and be earning more money before you know it.

As part of your larger real estate SEO execution plan you will need to have sub plans to cover everything and make sure you aren’t missing anything.

Keyword distribution plan

Just having the big keyword list you made in the learning and research phase of real estate SEO isn’t enough. 

You need to plan out what pages and areas of your website will be targeted by which keywords.  This makes the content creation process more of a system than a free for all.

Remember it is very important to look at the current content on your website because making new content that is targeting the same keywords as existing content is very confusing to search engines.

So, once every existing page has a keyword or keywords assigned to it you have the beginnings of your content marketing action plan.

But that’s the third step of the planning phase.

Site optimisation plan

Now that we know what keywords are being targeted and where, we need to make sure that each of these pages is optimised to do it.

You will want to put this plan on the screen in Google sheets for instance so you can list what each page already has and what it needs.

If you want to download our free site optimisation Google sheets template you can click below and get it.

As you can see it is a simple table showing what each page has and what each page needs.

You also want to make sure that the structure of your site makes sense.

If how the category pages and subpages are organised is confusing to you then it will certainly be confusing to the Google crawler.

It needs to be easy and simple to understand.

You will need another Google sheet to list out the hierarchy of all your pages noting the parent and child relationships.

If you want to download our free site structure template then click below and get it.

Real estate SEO content marketing action plan

When it comes to content creation for real estate SEO the content marketing action plan is critically important.

This will tell you or the team creating your content what to create, what assets are needed and when to create it.

Having this all in the form of a plan is a great way to track your progress and know what is coming.

A typical plan will be laid out in a table and list the keywords to be targeted in the first column. The details of how and with what assets those keywords will be targeted follow in the columns to the right.

We always use a simple Google sheets template for these content marketing action plans at Respacio and you can download it free below.

A content marketing action plan should be a maximum of 6 months long because the SEO and content creation space is ever changing and 6 months for reviewing and updating the plan is ideal.

With 6 months of data you can make very accurate decisions about which content works and which doesn’t.

Technical health repair roadmap

Finding out the technical issues of your site is only half the battle.  You need to have a concrete plan and timeline to get them fixed.

You should be asking yourself some questions here.

  • Who will perform my technical fixes?
  • What kind of budget do I want to, or can I, assign to these technical fixes?
  • Could a new website be a better option time, money and results wise?

When you have answered these questions you can make a plan and the most important part of the plan will be the scope of time.

Make sure you get accurate timelines from the technical team and hold them accountable throughout the process.

Backlinking and off-page SEO strategy

The best off-page and backlinking strategy for real estate SEO is to create amazing valuable content that people will want to point to from their websites.

It is like social media, if you make great content and promote it people will share it.

As I said above, the quality and relevance of the backlink matters the most now.

So you need powerful authoritative websites in your industry to have external links to your website on their sites.

Even though having valuable content will generate backlinks on its own you still need outreach to promote it if you want to see fast beneficial results.

Using software tools like SE Ranking or SEMRush you can check what backlinks your competitors have and promote your content to them.

The important part is to have the strategy of content promotion and to put it into a scheduled and itemised plan so you can take action effectively.


It is now time for you to start putting your new found knowledge and plans into action.

This is where your website becomes what it was meant to be.

A lead producing machine!

Optimise the site

Getting the current site, as it is, up to date and in line with your plans is the first step to real estate SEO action.

According to the site optimisation plan you will:

  • Ensure every page has an SEO title that is in line with the targeted keyword and is less than the viewable maximum of 55 to 60 characters.
    • Pro tip: Put the targeted keyword at the beginning of the SEO title for best results.
  • Edit or write meta descriptions for each page making sure the targeted keyword is included and the length is below the viewable maximum of 150 to 160 characters.
  • Add alt text and titles to at least the featured image of every page to let search engines know what the image is and what it represents.
  • Create a video structured data markup schema to let search engines know about your embedded videos.  This could also be on the technical SEO section but really is on-page SEO optimisation.  This needs to include details such as title, description, video length, upload date and thumbnail.

Once this is all complete and you have checked everything off the on-page optimisation plan your website will be ready for new amazing content according to the content marketing action plan.

Real estate SEO content Creation

This is it, the main beef of real estate SEO.  

Creating great, valuable content that will answer the questions people are searching for in search engines.

This content is created according to the content creation action plan that was drawn up earlier.

It is quite important to remember that the quality and accuracy of your content is more valuable than ever.  Gone are the days when writing a substandard piece of content littered with keywords would give you authority.

Google is getting smarter and smarter and their mission is for you to find the answer you are looking for in search as fast as possible.  That means they don’t want you to have to check lots and lots of search results to get to the one that you need.

This indicates that the content that they return to people searching has to be very very good.

This is where modern day real estate SEO comes in.  

You either have to be a dedicated and talented content creator or you contract the services of a content creation agency, like Respacio.

If hiring out these services is not for you or not in your budget then keep reading to find out the best way to make great content for your visitors and for the search engine algorithms.

Written content

Written content is a major part of real estate SEO and should be considered the foundation that the rest is built on top of.

Written content varies in its purpose, tone of voice and length depending on where it’s being used on your website.

Although written content can appear in many places on a website there are five main areas that are the most important for real estate SEO.

  1. Blog articles
  2. Location pages 
  3. Shortlist pages 
  4. FAQs
  5. Main pages content (homepage, about page, buy page, sell page, etc)

Whichever type you’re writing you need to make sure you are optimising for the target keyword.  This is indicated in the content marketing action plan.  It is also a great idea to have secondary keywords that are aligned with the primary keyword.  This helps give your writing more relevance and therefore more authority.

The best practice is to start with an outline of the content you intend to write.  The outline should contain the goal of the words that will be written and a list of the main sub headings to give you organisation when writing.

A good portion of these subheadings should contain your keyword in a natural and sensical way.  If you just stuff keywords wherever you want and it doesn’t make sense your results will be poor.

Everyone has to find their own process for writing good real estate SEO content.  Have a look at mine to give you some inspiration.

  1. First draft 

I don’t read back at all, I just write as a stream of consciousness

  1. Edit into second draft 

I go back and fix all the spelling and grammar mistakes and polish the writing into good concise thought.

  1. Third draft

I edit it and pretend I’m speaking to one person.  This could be my ideal client or a recent client whom you wish you had more of

  1. Send it to the editor

I know, most of us can’t afford an editor, and that’s ok.  Anybody that is good with writing and knows your voice can edit your work.  This is an important step as a second set of eyes can make all the difference..  

  1. Final once over

This is the point where I take a good long read of it and make all the final tweaks and changes to really make the piece hit home. Check your keyword distribution at this point. You need to ensure there is a good number of them in the body text and the headings.

  1. Add the props

Generally if I’m writing content I like to have images, infographics and statistics to drive my point home.  It acts as a form of credibility.  

  1. Publish

Now all that’s left is to publish my work on the website.  Make sure all your headings are correct here and to have all the images and videos optimised correctly.

Maybe my process seems long and arduous to you, and that’s ok.  You will need to find your own method that works for you.

One good thing to remember is that the best writing is genuine and sounds like the writer.  

Don’t get me wrong, if you are writing a piece on the effects of the tax burden on short term let owners you won’t want to speak like you do to your mates but you would most certainly want to sound like you would if you were addressing a table full of short term let owners.

Be you and people will relate to your writing.

Real estate SEO video content

Video is certainly the future of marketing and you need to get comfortable with it and it needs to be a major part of your real estate SEO content marketing action plan.

The real truth is that video consumption is winning over all other media types and the gap is just getting bigger. 

For real estate SEO, videos are best used on your website as embedded youtube videos to add more value to the page where they are located.

Think about a blog about tax for short term lets.  A lot of people don’t like reading and a clickable video at the top of the page explaining the blog article would be very very useful.

I personally recommend using head and shoulders videos of yourself talking about the subject matter.  This is much more personal and people will feel more comfortable.

If you’re just not up for that then you can create videos using your own imagery and videos or stock items from programs like Adobe Stock, Envato or Shutterstock.

At the very least you will need to record a voice over for the video using a script that you write as a summation of the content on the website.

A script or some point form notes at a minimum are necessary so you stick to the message you’re trying to convey and don’t start rambling.

There is a time and a place for stream of consciousness videos and this really isn’t it.

Once you’ve recorded the video it will need editing and some b roll added as well as subtitles and clever headings throughout.  You might want to put some music in the background but be careful with this as you don’t want to take focus off your voice.

Subtitles really are a must as a large percentage of viewers scroll and watch videos on mute.  Think about all the people you see on public transportation scrolling through social media, they are all watching videos with the sound off so having captions is a non-negotiable.

Try and keep the video length to what is absolutely necessary.  Be succinct and to the point so people don’t lose interest but make it as long as necessary to tell the story you are trying to tell in full.

With YouTube it is always better to upload a separate subtitle file instead of embedding them using your video editor.  These are srt files and most video editors can export them in this format.  This is important because YouTube will translate them if you upload them natively which means people with different language accounts will see them.

It is very important that your written content and your video content can both stand on their own.  Remember people might come across the video on youtube and you want them to find it helpful in its own right.

Image Content

Images are constantly used throughout digital content to help reinforce and explain the subject matter.

They can also be used to trigger people’s interest and keep them on your site, video or page.  They are even great to scatter throughout the written content to break it up and make it easier to read to the end.

Every YouTube video needs a thumbnail and you want to try and stay away from using the automatically generated still images from inside your video.  These will be passed over in favour of a more standout and unique thumbnail.

Have a look at these two I used for two of my videos.  Simple but effective.  They draw your attention.

great real estate seo thumbnail example
real estate seo youtube thumbnail example

The other very useful place for images is throughout the body of written content on your website.

It really helps to break up the words on the screen and gives people some visual queues to better understand your point.

Make sure to always give images alt text and a clever title ensuring to include the keyword.

If you want to get really fancy you can make use of infographics which are visual representations of information and data.  Text, images and charts are combined to communicate complex information in an easy to understand way.

Check out this example to give you an idea.

real estate seo infographic

Now that all your new shiny real estate SEO content is ready and on the web you need to promote it.  You want to showcase it as much as you can so that people will see it, share it and eventually link to it from their sites.

Remember the better the reputation of the site the better the backlink is.  Getting a backlink from Joe’s used cars will not be as good as getting one from a big reputable house insurance company or mortgage lender.

There are numerous ways you can promote your content for real estate SEO backlinks.

  • Social media posts
  • Social media groups
  • Email newsletters
  • Email signatures of the entire team
  • Guest blogging
  • Submitting to directories
  • Commenting on other websites with links to yours
  • Press releases

The best and most effective way to get backlinks is, unfortunately, to be patient.  Create amazing valuable content on a consistent basis and you will get backlinks.


Real estate SEO is a complex and very involved endeavour but an essential one if you want to succeed in today’s online digital world. Showing up to the right people at the right point in their buyer journey is critical to long term success. The only way to achieve that is with a comprehensive real estate SEO roadmap.

After reading this guide you should be educated and prepared to tackle the task with efficiency and confidence. You should now know:

  • What real estate SEO is
  • How much it costs
  • Why it’s important
  • If you should do it on your own or hire and expert
  • How much you should do
  • How long it takes to work
  • How to do it efficiently and profitably
    • What the three main phases of real estate SEO are
      • Phase 1: Learning and research
        • Ideal client profiling
        • Local industry investigation
        • Website technical health
        • On-page and off-page SEO
      • Phase 2: Planning
        • Keyword distribution plan
        • Site structure plan
        • Site optimisation plan
        • Content marketing action plan
      • Phase 3: Action
        • Optimising the site
        • Content creation
          • Written content
          • Video content
          • Image content
        • Backlinking

If you find all this a bit too much to do along with the enormous task of running your business please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and find out about all of our amazing marketing services. You can check everything out here on our real estate marketing page.