Real estate consumers aren’t just looking for “Open House” signs—they’re browsing online. According to the National Association of Realtors, 51% of real estate buyers today found the home they purchased online.

The online real estate market has become crowded with competition as more agents want to attract Internet home buyers and sellers. To capture leads and increase sales, you have to find a way to reach online leads more quickly and powerfully than other agents. Your listings have to be attractive and click-worthy, and your communication has to be targeted to capture these consumers.

To stay ahead of other agents online, you’ll need a strong digital marketing plan. Here are four digital marketing steps that will help you win more online clients and boost your sales.

Step one: Build your website

The single most important element of any digital marketing campaign is your website. Your other digital marketing efforts are typically intended to shepherd qualified visitors over to your website where you will seal the deal. If your website isn’t attractive and user-friendly, leads won’t be motivated to stay when they land on it.

Few real estate agents have the programming skills to build a website from scratch, and, even if you’re an exception, you probably don’t want to spend the time it would take to build your own website. Luckily, there are numerous platforms that can make setting up and maintaining a website quick and easy.

Web design platforms

WordPress is one of the best-known web design tools given its usability and versatility in accommodating so many types of websites. It offers a wide range of plug-ins for nearly every conceivable purpose, as well as real estate agency templates you can use as the basis of your new site.

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As an alternative, Placester is a real-estate-specific website design company. The power of this platform is that it’s optimized for the industry with built-in real estate SEO, advanced property search features, and more.

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Both of these platforms are industry favorites that will help you build a beautiful site with striking visuals, friendly UX, and more to attract buyers.

IDX plug-ins

Whatever web design option you choose, make sure that your site includes IDX (Internet Data Exchange) integration. IDX will allow your website to automatically pull listings from MLS (multiple listing service) and display them, so site visitors can browse through a wide selection of listings.

If you go with a WordPress-based site, you can choose from numerous IDX plug-ins with a range of features and price points to add to your site.

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Placester sites already include IDX search that covers 99% of MLS listings. With this feature, IDX sites offer accurate property photos and data directly from their source.

With the IDX integration on your site, site visitors can browse through a wide range of listings and have a greater chance of finding their ideal property.

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Check for mobile responsiveness

More and more website visitors are browsing online through smartphones and tablets. According to the Pew Research Center, one in five American adults are smartphone-only Internet users, meaning they just use their phone rather than a home broadband service. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’ll lose out on all of that traffic.

The free Google Mobile-Friendly Test is a great way to measure the responsiveness of your site design. Enter your website URL, and Google delivers feedback and reports on whether your site is mobile-friendly.

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Using these tools to build a stunning, user-friendly site, you’ll be able to attract and secure more leads once they land on your hub and start browsing through your listings.

Step two: Equip your site with SEO

Some people will visit your site directly because they’re already familiar with your business. But many of your visitors won’t know about your work, and they’ll find your site through a search engine. To attract more of these leads, you can improve the ranking of your site in search results through SEO.

SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of maximizing your site’s visibility in online search results. By adding keywords throughout your site that target buyers are frequently searching, engines like Google will rank your site higher in those visitors’ results. The inclusion of their favorite keywords indicates to the engine that your site is a relevant result, so they rank it higher for the buyer.

To determine how frequently keywords are being searched, you can use one of the following SEO tools:

These tools will allow you to check the monthly search volume for keywords, so you can determine which ones are worth targeting.

Be wary of keywords with massively high search volumes and high difficulty scores. Many other users are going after these keywords, so they’re tough to rank for. As a solution, aim for more specific keywords with slightly lower search volumes. These will be less competitive, but their specificity will attract qualified, valuable leads.

Once you have a list of keywords, distribute them throughout the copy of your website. Let’s say, for example, your market is the Los Angeles area – specifically, the suburbs south of LA such as Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Torrance. You would include the phrase “manhattan beach houses for sale” and keywords relating to it throughout the Manhattan Beach page to rank higher for buyers searching in that area.

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Following these SEO tactics, you’ll be able to rank higher in your target buyers’ search results and draw them to your site.

To continue reading, visit the HomeSpotter blog.