Real Estate SEO - Hidden Strategies To Get Clients

Do you feel like you’ve been banging your head against the wall trying to rank on search engines with your real estate business?

This is a very common problem. 

Big real estate websites have dominated the search engines with main keywords, making it almost impossible for individual real estate companies to compete. 

Luckily, there are other strategies for gaining clients through search engines. 

We’ve got all the answers to your real estate SEO questions in this guide.

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How Real Estate SEO Has Changed

Real estate SEO was easier in the past. 

Before Zillow existed, buyers depended on individual real estate companies to send them listings for new homes on the market. 

Sellers also depended on real estate agents to list their home.

In the past, you would find a realtor and have them email or call you when listings popped up on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). 

House-hunters needed to be in touch with a live realtor, because only real estate agents were the ones with access to the official MLS.

Real estate agents are still the only ones allowed in the official MLS. 

However, in recent years, big websites like Zillow have made it easy for anyone to list or browse homes without a real estate agent. 

The website has updated listings by the hour, and they even offer automatic email or text updates for any changes in the market where you’re shopping.

Zillow might seem great for the consumer, but they make life a bit more challenging for real estate agents. 

In fact, because of Zillow, some people have cut realtors out of the equation completely. 

Buyers and Sellers simply negotiate with each other and come to terms without any agents involved.

This can get a bit dicey, as you may know. Buying or selling a home without a realtor can put you at risk for all kinds of unexpected problems.

So, as a real estate agent, how do you make sure people can find you on search engines when they need help with house listings?

SEO For Real Estate Agents— Why You Can’t Organically Rank In Google Anymore

There are so many Zillow-like websites, they all dominate the first page of Google searches. 

These are big companies with strong authority that make it impossible to compete with for space on that coveted first page of Google.

Big keywords like, “realtor,” “real estate,” “houses,” “find a real estate agent,” and any related keywords will bring up a full page of large-scale websites.

Here are some of the pages you see if you search for “homes for sale”:


The reason you can’t organically rank is because these massive websites have people creating content for them every day. For free!

Zillow and other websites like it are so popular with potential home-buyers, listing agents update the website at the same time their listing shows up in the MLS. 

They get more eyes on the home they are selling by listing it on Zillow as well as the MLS.

You Can’t Use The Same SEO Strategies That Other Businesses Use

When you’re trying to get your website to rank higher on search engines, you want to work smarter not harder. 

You know that the most common way to improve SEO for real estate websites is by creating content around related keywords, but it’s not worth your time and money in the case of real estate businesses.

Real estate related keywords are so competitive, your business will never rank against a website like Zillow. 

In order to rank higher and improve your SEO for your real estate business, you have to get creative with your marketing strategies. 

If you don’t have the time and energy to become an SEO expert, you might consider hiring a professional company that can manage your real estate SEO services.

Portland SEO Growth has had success with real estate clients in the past, and we can help you too. 

Reach out to us for a free consultation to see how we can get more leads for you with less time and cost.

Who Are The Google Leaders In Real Estate SEO?

The Google leaders in real estate SEO are all massive websites that include tons of content about real estate. 

Most of the content on these real estate websites is generated automatically. 

Zillow doesn’t need to pay or create content around keywords in order to rank because real estate agents and individual sellers post listings for new homes every second. 

The websites are very popular for house-hunting, so they are very authoritative on searches.


Zillow is a website that is used for all real estate related content. 

Realtors use it to update listings for sale or for rent, and buyers use it to browse the market. 

The website has tons of features for helping to buy, sell, or rent a home.

They also have lists of contacts for people who need to find any of the following:

  • Real Estate Agents
  • Property Managers
  • Home Inspectors
  • Home Builders
  • Real Estate Photographers
  • Renovation Contractors
  • Lenders

Zillow has information for any type of real estate-related question you have.


Trulia is very similar to Zillow, but they don’t offer quite so many features. 

Viewers can browse listings for sale or for rent. 

Trulia claims to have more insight to different neighborhoods than other real estate websites. 

When you find a listing, the site supplies information about the schools nearby, the average cost of homes and other relevant information.


Redfin isn’t quite as popular as Trulia and Zillow but they offer the same types of features. 

Features on Redfin include:

  •  Updated listings
  • Neighborhood statistics
  • Other related information also has updated listings and they also have written content with advice about how to buy or sell your home. 

These blog posts show up oftentimes when you search for specific questions on Google. 

If you are looking for real estate trends or news, probably has what you’re looking for. 

Here are some examples of topics in the articles they feature:

  • Real Estate News
  • Celebrity Real Estate
  • Unique Homes
  • Corporate Real Estate
  • Home Improvement
  • Financing

Two Hidden Strategies That Should Start Doing NOW For Your Real Estate SEO

Even though Zillow and other real estate websites dominate the search engines, your company still stands a chance against them if you use the right tools.

Hidden Real Estate SEO Strategy #1: Find A Presence On The Top Sites To Get Leads

The trick is to work with Zillow, instead of against it. Try to find a presence on these types of sites so people can’t find you when they are browsing the listings.

Here are a few things you can do to find a presence on Zillow and similar sites.

Improve Your Profile

Update your profile as often as you can. 

Sometimes a short video introducing yourself and detailing a little bit about your experience can help potential clients get to know you.

Make sure to keep your profile hyper-local, so that your potential clients see that you are an expert in the area.

Supply any potential clients with information that they may need. 

Some examples of things to include on your profile:

  • Information about nearby schools
  • Weather
  • Local Events
  • Transportation
  • Local Resources

Ask Your Clients For Reviews

Good reviews are crucial for gaining clients from online searches. 

Lately, consumers look for reviews on everything from toothbrushes to TVs to plumbers. 

Many people will look for someone with great online reviews so they can hire a real estate agent who is known for being personable, understanding, and attentive.

Also, remember to post a response to every review you receive.

Whether it’s a great review or not-so-great, you can show your potential customers that you care about your clients by responding to their feedback.

Add Past Sales

You want your potential clients to see that you are very active in your area. 

Add your past sales to Zillow so clients can see that you have been working hard in your market.

This is important because many people looking for a realtor want to make sure that the person they hire has an idea of the current market.

Hidden Real Estate SEO Strategy #2: Focus Local SEO For Real Estate

The main way to compete against Zillow for SEO is by creating content that is hyper-local

Here are a few SEO for real estate tips.

Optimize Google My Business

When you type into the search bar “realtor near me”, google local pack shows up first. 

You want to make sure you claim your business and add a website and contact information so that it pops up on the google local pack. 

Reviews are the most important thing here. 

Ask your clients to review you on Google so you can gain more authority to make it into the first page of Google local pack.

Use Hyper Local Real Estate SEO Keywords

When creating content, use the name of your area as much as possible. 

To find the right local keywords, you’ll need to do some keyword research. Use an SEO analyzer tool like SEMrush to find out exactly what your potential customers are typing into Google.

For example, if you’re a realtor in Portland, you might want to create website content around the keyword “realtors in Portland, Oregon.” 

Using hyper-local keywords ensures that if someone is searching for something very specific like, “real estate agent in Portland,” your name will be first in line.

When To Call A Real Estate SEO Expert

Real estate SEO is hard. 

Zillow and the other enormous real estate websites monopolize the first page of google results, and it can feel impossible to gain clients through search engine leads.

Because real estate SEO is unique, you might find that there is more work involved to improve your rankings. 

If you’ve done some research and you’re still at a loss for how to improve your SEO, call us at Portland SEO Growth. 

We are experts in real estate SEO, and we know exactly how to get more leads for your specific business. 

You have a real estate business to run, and you don’t have time to become an expert on SEO. 

So let us handle it for you instead, so you can get back to doing what you do best.

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Taylor Pezzini

Writer, Editor, and Military Spouse