Some of the best and most powerful tools a real estate agent has at their disposal are their listing photos, and this fact holds true even when thinking about SEO for real estate agents.
In addition to listing photos’ usefulness as a way to grab attention and get people interested in a particular property, they can also serve as a signal to Google and other search engines that a particular post is relevant to a search query. But in order for this signal to work, each image must be optimized using image SEO best practices.
This particular field of search engine optimization (SEO) ensures you focus on a positive user experience while helping search engines connect the dots between your post and a query like “homes for sale in Richmond.” You can accomplish this — and potentially boost your search engine rankings — by following the best practices below.
Use Real Photos as Much as You Can, Not Stock Photos
Your first step is to use original photos that you own as much as possible throughout your website, not just on property listings. While using a generic stock photo as your homepage header or as a header for a blog post may seem convenient, they indicate to Google that your website is similar to the thousands of others that have no doubt used the exact same image.
Make Your Images Relevant
Another ding against stock photos is that they tend to be less relevant compared to photos you have taken yourself. If someone rolls their eyes at the type of stock photos they see every time they visit your site, your site statistics will reflect their displeasure.
A high bounce rate or a low time spent on page, for instance, all tell you that someone was not having a great time. Google pays attention to these statistics, and they will often rank websites with high negative stats lower than a site that seems to drive better engagement.
By the same token, make sure your images look nice and flow naturally in terms of the structure of your page as a whole. If your entire blog post is filled with distracting animated GIFs, for instance, people will be less likely to stick around.
Including the photo closest to the relevant text can likewise improve user experience while strengthening ranking signals.
Optimize Image File Names and Title Tags
Never ever upload an image file with a generic file name like “IMG28djl8208.jpg.” Instead, change the file name to be both descriptive of what the image represents and to include the biggest priority keyword.
So, if you have a blog post about the best grocery stores in Kitsilano Beach and the aim is to rank for “Kitsilano Beach homes for sale,” then the first thing you want to include in the image file name is “Kitsilano Beach” or “Kitsilano Beach homes for sale” followed by a descriptor of the image content in brief. The final file name might then read: “Kitsilano-Beach-grocery-stores-2.jpg.”
This same strategy can be used to apply alt text and image captions, which are both used as ranking signals to search engines. Using the example above, a image caption might read “One of my favourite organic grocery stores in Kitsilano Beach!” and the alt text might read “An organic grocery store in Kitsilano Beach.”
Optimize Your File Sizes and Make Them Responsive
As a final note, your image’s data size should be as small as possible without detracting from quality. You can use a tool like JPEGmini to greatly reduce your file size without hurting the quality.
You should also always preview how the image looks on your final post. The image should not be too big or too small for the screen size. Platforms like WordPress do a decent job of automatically resizing these images for you, but you should also ensure the original size is not too large. Test viewing the post on at least one smartphone screen and a tablet.
Get Expert Advice on SEO for Real Estate Agents
If you want more advice on how to improve your website in order to boost your search engine rankings for crucial keywords, you can work with a company that specializes in internet marketing for real estate agents. They can help you make small changes that add up to a big difference in how many people see your listings and how likely they are to love what they see.