SEO Gets Overlooked As Lead Generation Tool

Real estate professionals typically have a basic understanding of search engine optimization. Among the 342 North American real-estate agents and brokers participating in a survey, 83% believe SEO offers the most important source for online lead generation, but only 4.9% said they generate referrals by optimizing content. It's not clear whether their attribution modeling or SEO tactics need work. Here's why.

Results from WebsiteBox's survey conducted in September suggest that most realtors make an effort to comply with SEO best practices related to relevant keywords, compelling content, and Web site coding, but many still don't get the nuances of creating great campaigns. Some 80% participating in the survey spend less than $500 annually on SEO tools, with 85% using SEO tools and tactics less than 10 hours per month.

SEO remains important because 90% of home buyers search online during their home-buying process, and 70% of consumers searching the Web never scroll past the first page of search results, per the study.

Most realtors and brokers -- 61.4% -- said they generate leads from referrals. Some 4.9% use SEO and only 1.7% use paid search. About 4.9% said they use a lead generation company like Tiger Lead or Market Leader. When asked to name the strategy with the most potential to generate the most leads, 44.4% said referrals, and 31.8% said SEO.

Some 54.3% spend time on keyword research, followed by 45.9% on content like Web sites and blog articles; and 15.4 build external links with about the same building internal links. Not surprisingly, 23.3% have not tried any SEO activities.

Although WebsiteBox provides SEM services and tools to brokers and real estate professionals, I can still believe the difficulty in this market segment having trouble creating and optimizing content to drive leads and tap into referrals.

Most realtors make an effort to comply with SEO best practices using relevant keywords, compelling content, and Web-site coding. More than half participating in the study said they use keyword research, and 35% said they use Web site meta-tags and backlinks. Some 45% blog and post content home buyers find useful.

When asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 10 their knowledge of SEO, the sum of all weighted rating calculates to 5.1.

Realtors may rely on content to show prospective buyers features online of homes and property, 75% of survey respondents said they don’t know how to create content that encourages SEO. About 75% want to manage SEO themselves, but few would feel comfortable hiring an SEO expert.

Along with the survey results, WebsiteBox released an ebook, "Do-It-Yourself SEO for Realtors in 10 Days," to help real estate agents and buyers

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