Marketing for Estate Agents is extremely competitive. Therefore, businesses need to utilise the power of digital marketing to increase their leads and transform their online presence. Digital marketing allows companies to inform their audience before they are ready to engage with their services. With so many new online channels, it can be hard to know where to start; this guide will provide an overview to help you create and execute an integrated digital marketing strategy to gain that competitive edge.
This guide covers Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Local SEO, Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC), Email Marketing, Social Media, Landing Pages and Content Marketing.
Invest in your website. A beautiful looking and highly functional website is the key to an Estate Agent’s success.
The property market is highly competitive; spend time shooting and uploading high-quality pictures of the properties you are selling and renting. Make sure the site is easily navigatable with frequent calls to actions. Contact information needs to be easily accessible on all pages.
In a quickly evolving technology world, consumers demand more from businesses at a quicker rate. Utilise plugins that allow users to book consultations with minimal time investment from their side, Calendly is a great tool for this. Filters are a great feature on any website as they allow customers to find what they are looking for faster.
Finally, design the website with the user at the forefront of the decision-making process. Go through the typical journey of a user and test test test. Ask friends, family, previous customers to trial the website design. User experience is one of the critical factors of the success of a website. A website is never fully finished, regularly evaluate and improve your site for optimum user experience.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of optimising your website to increase your traffic by increasing your organic rankings on Google.
Firstly, you need to audit your website. Tools such as, Screaming Frog and SEM Rush, show you which technical elements of your site need work.
Then you need to choose the keywords/search terms you want to rank. To find out what people are searching, you can use SEMRush, Ahrefs or Keyword Planner on Google Ads. They show you the keyword volume, difficulty and competitiveness, allowing you to make an educated decision when choosing your search terms.
A few strategies to increase your rankings on the SERP are:
- Link building – increase the number of links from other websites to improve your Domain Authority (DA). High DA shows Google you are a trusted and authoritative source. Achieve this through PR or outreach.
- Comprehensive content – create content that answers all potential queries and questions.
- Unique content – make sure your on-page content and images are your own and relevant to your business, while optimised to target your chosen keywords.
- Technical SEO – make sure your website is technically sound, with a sitemap, schema mark-up and no 404 errors (to name a few).
- Page speed – you want your web pages to be as fast as possible, A hindrance to page speed is unoptimised images, you can check your sites score on GTMetrix.
- User experience – reduce the bounce rate of your site, increase your click-through rate and dwell time.
- Mobile performance – design your website for mobile-first then browser.
The most searched Estate Agent? Hunters are the winner!
Optimise your website for local SEO to win local searches over your competitors.
SEO is no dark art. It comes down to optimising your website content and digital marketing to achieve your desired results.
How do I rank well for local searches?
Local SEO is the practice of optimising your digital marketing to appear for search terms with a local element. An example of this would be, “Estate Agent Lincoln” opposed to national SEO which would be for a keyword such as, “Estate Agent”.
Local search terms tend to have smaller volumes but are a quicker win as the competition is far lower. However, no matter how much you optimise your website locally, to rank well for local SEO comes down to three factors:
- Proximity – how close is your business to the person searching for that specific term?
- Relevance – how relevant are your products or services to that search term?
- Prominence – what do people say about your services or products?
Firstly, you need to make sure your Google My Business (GMB) page is optimised.
Your Google My Business page is shown on the right of Google after someone has searched for your brand term. It adds credibility to your business while providing more information for your customers. Optimise these key features:
- Pictures – upload recent and high-quality images that showcase who you are.
- Question and answers – utilise the Q&A feature to answer relevant and frequent industry questions. For example, how much deposit do I need to buy a house or what percentage do Hunters charge?
- Google reviews – reviews are the digital version of word of mouth, arguably the best form of marketing for acquiring new customers. Get your customers to leave honest and informative reviews on your GMB listing. Doing this will increase your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness.
- Contact information – it is essential that your GMB is up to date with the latest contact information. A large proportion of people call a business directly from a GMB listing or visit using the Map feature.
- Opening hours – your GMB page must have accurate information regarding your opening hours. If you miss phone calls due to being closed when your listing states you are open, it can negatively impact your reputation.
- Google is constantly rolling out new features on GMB. The latest ones include online appointments and COVID updates.
A web directory includes the essential information about a company such as a brief description, location, contact details and a clickable link to a website.
They allow you to appear in more than one position on the SERP, that is fabulous for SEO. Web directories include Google My Business, Yell, Yelp, BING places, Thomson Local, Apple and Google Maps.
Get your business listed in property sector directories such as Right Move, Zoopla and UK Property Guide.
Reach your customers exactly where they are to inform new and existing customers.
To appear for those local searches you need to target localised keywords. Once you have chosen the keywords you want to appear for, you need to optimise your website to achieve this goal.
Achieve this by:
- Creating an individual page for each local branch.
- Include the keyword in your meta title, description and website content.
- Add local schema.
- Create localised content (blogs).
Pay Per Click (PPC) is a form of advertising where businesses only pay for an Ad when someone clicks on it. PPC targets people at the bottom of the funnel when they have high purchase intent.
Several types of PPC Ads will increase an Estate Agent’s leads, which are:
Search Ads appear at the top of Google for a chosen keyword. A business needs to create campaigns around a specific search term and adjust bids accordingly to appear in the top searches.
For example, Estate Agents could create a campaign targeting the search term “Estate Agent”. Firstly, conduct keyword research to determine if there is search intent using a tool such as SEM Rush.
The Estate Agent keyword has a staggering volume of 110,000, which shows it is a keyword worth bidding on. SEM Rush also displays the keyword difficulty, average cost per click and competitive density. This data allows you to make an informative judgement when choosing your keywords.
When creating your campaign in Google Ads, remember to add extensions to your Ads to inform your customers further; the more information, the more you increase the likelihood of a conversion.
Analyse the data provided in the Google Ads interface regularly. Key metrics to measure are cost, conversions and cost per acquisition for lead objectives.
Top tip: Make sure the landing page is relevant to the keyword/search term. Nobody wants to search for properties to buy and end up on a landing page with rented properties. This mistake will result in a lot of wasted spend and disgruntled searchers.
Call-Only Ads work similar to Search Ads, instead of taking users to a landing page they only allow searchers to call a business. This type of campaign is only available on mobile devices.
A benefit of this type of Ad is that they are easily trackable; these types of campaigns are perfect for lead generation businesses as getting prospects on the phone is the primary aim. Then it is left to the sales team to transform that lead into a sale.
Facebook and Instagram Ads
Facebook Ads and Google Ads go hand in hand as they are the digital power couple. Facebook has the best form of targeting as it allows businesses to target prospects by interests, behaviours and remarketing, reaching people at all stages of the funnel.
Use scroll stopping creatives and eye-catching Ad copy to inform, engage and persuade the users to convert on your website.
Businesses can select their objectives, audience and creative (picture, video, carousel) to show on their prospect’s feed. Continually experiment to get the best results and find out what works for your business.
Increase your reach by opting for your Facebook Ads to be shown on Instagram to maximise your conversions.
Email marketing is a hugely influential channel. It allows businesses to build relationships with people who have a genuine interest in their brand. This low-cost strategy allows Estate Agents to inform their customers about the hottest deals on the market.
Email marketing increases a customer’s lifetime value. For example, if someone rented a house from an Estate Agent and received a good customer experience throughout they are more likely to buy a house from that Estate Agent. Sending emails with information, advice and deals improves the customer experience. Get how it all links now?
Effective segmentation is crucial for the success of email campaigns. There are so many ways that Estate Agents could segment their email list. For example, they could segment their email list into three categories, renters, buyers or sellers. Another way to segment their email list is by location. It largely depends on what type of content you will be sending out.
The best advice of all? Do not SPAM your email list, as this will lead to unsubscribes or unengaged subscribers which is detrimental to your list health.
A free tool that allows you to build relationships, increase brand awareness and sell services – what is not to love?
Invest time building up your social media channels as that is where your audience is. However, your audience may not be on every platform, so make sure you research first. After all, spending time on TikTok may not be the best decision (TikTok is starting to attract people of all ages – so keep an eye on this channel for future opportunities).
Our top three channels for Estate Agents are:
If you only had the resources to use one channel, choose Facebook. It is the most widely used social media platform and has over 2 billion daily users; it is guaranteed to help you achieve your goals and grow your business.
The content you share must be relevant, engaging and informative. Whether you want to improve your reputation, showcase your brand personality or increase your leads, Facebook allows you to do this and more.
Post regularly on your organic channel (free page) to improve the performance of your Paid Ads. If your Facebook page has no content or no recent content, the credibility and trust of your Facebook Ads is questioned and hinders leads massively. Relevant to new businesses and ones who want to enter a new market.
Test. Analyse. Test. Analyse. Test. Analyse. Test. Analyse – the never-ending journey to determine what works and generates results for your company.
Who doesn’t love a pretty picture?
Instagram is vastly increasing in popularity. It allows users to post pictures and videos to get likes and comments. The stories and highlights feature lets businesses share more content than ever before.
It’s latest features include Reels. Similar to TikTok in nature but with less of the cool effects. It is a fun way to share content with your audience.
Instagram is evolving; keep up to date with its latest features for maximum engagement.
People love planning. There is very little that is more exciting than designing your house, Ikea is the ultimate experience. Pinterest allows people to stick pins in things that interest them. It is the hot spot for interior designers and estate agents.
As it is a very visual platform, make sure that the quality of the images is high!
After clicking on an Ad, a link from an email or the search result on Google, the landing page must convert.
Firstly, make sure the landing page relates directly to the intent. For example, if the user has clicked on an Ad that promotes a two-bed rented house, make sure the page contains two-bed rented houses as opposed to four-bed detached properties.
The webpage needs to have all the relevant information required to make a decision. Include high-quality images, in-depth information about the property and contact information. User experience is one of Google’s most important ranking factors.
Make sure your landing pages have calls to actions that can be easily measured. For example, a contact form fills or a booked appointment. It allows you to monitor and evaluate what is getting results so you can create more of it and reduce the risk of wasting money.
Content marketing is an authentic way to inform customers while increasing brand recognition in the process.
Think of it as a conversation with a client. It’s a strategy to talk to them about what they want to hear about, what will help them achieve their goals, enhance their knowledge while showcasing your business as an authority figure in the market.
The most popular forms of content are blogs, vlogs, podcasts and social media. If done correctly, they can advance your brand as a market leader.
To find out what your audience is searching for you can use tools such as Answerthepublic, Google Trends or SEMRush, to give you ideas for your content creation.
If you need any help with your digital marketing strategy, book a free consultation today, contact us directly on 01522 43733 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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