18 May How to SEO Your Social Media Profiles (for Realtors)
While Google search engine results don’t’ actively draw from social media profile content just yet, there are still plenty of reasons why a real estate business should be using SEO in their profiles.
SEO, or search engine optimization, has evolved a lot over the years. While focusing on targeted keywords is still the primary purpose of SEO, businesses are also considering search context, and utilizing common phrases, concerns, and breaking news or trends to capture the attention of Internet browsers.
Search context spells great news for social media accounts, where the use of repetitive keywords is easily noticed, and a less viable strategy.
Why SEO Your Social Media Profile?
While your social media profiles may not alert Google while it’s searching for those keywords and phrases, there’s one very obvious thing to keep in mind: social media platforms themselves have become search engines.
Every day, users on Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Tumblr, Pinterest, and other social media hubs are searching their preferred platform for news, funny updates, and gossip. With the rise of websites like Yelp and Amazon creating a culture of consumer reviews, those social media sites have become another place where discussions about businesses and services are commonplace.
So, the first reason why any real estate business should be considering an SEO makeover to their social media profiles is that potential buyers are searching those very platforms for news on house listings, in addition to engines like Google.
Another reason to make sure that your social media profiles turn up often in searches is to lend them authority and make them easily searchable databases in themselves.
A user may be led to your website through a Google search, look up your Twitter account as their preferred method of communication, and then search through your Twitter account for the name of a particular town or style of home. Keeping common search terms prevalent in your Tweets (or Facebook posts, Pinterest pins, Instagram uploads, etc.) is an excellent way to catch the eye of the casual browser.
Don’t Skip This Step!
There are several things you can do overall, on any social media website, to improve the SEO strategy of your real estate business. The absolute number one thing to do is always, always take advantage of the bio or About section of a profile.
Most social media sites only allow a sentence or two here, so you need to be creative in order to work in SEO keywords. If you can, add links to other pages or profiles within this space, to keep the user clicking for more information.
Here’s a case in point: Let’s say you’ve identified your targeted SEO keywords as “open house”, “Boston”, and “first-time homeowner”. But currently, your bio on Twitter says:
“Real Estate Company A: Bringing You Home.”
It’s a lovely slogan, but it won’t bring up anything when a buyer searches Twitter for news on upcoming open houses in Boston.
With just a few tweaks using your SEO keywords, your bio now says:
“Closing deals with first-time homeowners in Boston every day. Check out our listing of weekly open houses.”
Add a link to an appropriate page on your website, and you’ve now not only told your buyers what they need to know, but you’ve also attracted the attentions of browsers looking for your exact product.
Visual Content is King
Most social media experts will tell you that the best way to attract viewers, followers, and friends, is to produce quality visual content.
A beautifully staged image of a house listing, or a personal shot of the view from the back deck, will go much farther than the standard ho-hum shot of the front of the house.
And the good news is that images can be optimized for search engines as well. Your images should always have a title, and that title should always include a keyword. It can be as simple as a home in Boston with a great view of the city, and the title “Goodnight, Boston” underneath.
However, you can also add SEO keywords to the image file name. Search engines don’t see images as pictures, but rather as files. Whatever the file is named is what the engine will consider when it’s running a search. If your image is named something generic (Image24844?), change it to include the city and the type of house (BostonTudor, for example), or any other keyword you need to use for your real estate business.
Tips and Tricks for Specific Sites
The most widely used social media website by far is Facebook, and any real estate company not using this social media giant is indeed wasting a valuable resource. To optimize your Facebook profile for SEO, don’t forget to use the Notes section.
Create a note for each area you serve, each type of home you currently have listings for, upcoming events, or any other category you can think of. Fill the notes with great information, peppered with SEO keywords.
If you rely on Twitter to advertise your open houses or real estate listings, be sure your keywords are in the first 20-30 characters. Google search returns will only show a snippet of the beginning of each tweet, so you need to communicate very quickly that you have what a buyer is looking for.
On websites like YouTube and Vimeo, be sure you include a video transcript. Not only does this help your hearing impaired buyers, but it’s also another great place to add those SEO keywords.
Maintain Brand Awareness
Finally, no matter what website you’re updating, or profile you use to connect to your client base, be sure that you always keep all your profiles uniform.
Your real estate brand is your strength on the Internet, and you have to be sure that it is communicated clearly wherever you go. Use links back to your own website whenever possible, and be sure the URLs for those links include SEO keywords as well.
Don’t forget that SEO is changing. Keywords are important, but context is equally so. Connecting with your buyers in a meaningful way improves your chances at closing deals in the long run.