If you are a local estate agent, you know competition comes thick and fast, and in all shapes and sizes. You will likely have rival firms which are similar to you, but you may also have some big agents to contend with.
These companies may be a national organisation with a local branch, or they may be a local behemoth, as much a part of the local fabric as the nearby sports team and favourite pub. Taking on these companies is difficult, but it is possible. If you are a local estate agent and what you want to know if you can beat the big guys, the answer is yes.
You’ll need to work on a few aspects at the same time to boost your chances, but SEO will play a part.
Do big sites have an advantage when it comes to SEO?
Before you start to improve or develop your SEO, you need to know what you are up against. There is a good chance that big or established companies have an advantage over you when it comes to search engine optimisation and ranking on Google.
Some ways in which an established firm may hold an advantage over you includes:
Their domain authority means Google is more likely to trust them
Google is placing a greater emphasis on reputation, trustworthiness and links; and this helps a company. A well-established organisation which is known for providing an excellent service, or which has helped many people in the past is likely to rank well. They will likely benefit from more links to them and external reviews, which are factors which influence search rankings.
Having more money to put towards the site, SEO and advertising helps
You know full well that having more money to spend provides an advantage. This advantage isn’t always taken, many companies have made a mess of their website, SEO and advertising regardless of the amount of money they spent on it, but having the funds in the first place helps.
Local firms have advantages too
These are advantages which a significant estate agency holds concerning SEO and rankings, but small, new or local companies also hold advantages too. You must recognise the areas where you can stand apart, and above, other firms in your area, so look to capitalise on these advantages:
If a big company wants to change its site or run a new advertising campaign, it is likely to be a long and drawn-out process. The bigger the firm, the more people are involved with the decision-making process. The more people whose opinion matter, the more likely it is that disagreements will arise, but as a small or local firm, you don’t have this problem.
Being nimble allows you to make changes or decisions quickly, allowing you to react or respond quickly. You can also change things if there is a problem, or update your site as and when it matters.
Creativity has more chance to flourish
Not every idea you will have, or receive from the companies you work with, will be great, but every idea has a chance of being realised. Smaller or local companies have an opportunity to be creative, and this brings many benefits.
In a local market, you have a chance to be creative in a way that allows you to connect or engage with local people and businesses. A significant firm will likely find they have a strategy imposed on them, and they can only make a minor change here and there.
Your knowledge and awareness of the local area will help you to get a feel for what works when connecting with your audience. Your size and flexibility provide you with the opportunity to bring it to life with a minimum of fuss and effort.
Your size allows you to focus
While we said at the start that local agents need to do a lot of work in different areas to perform well in rankings, you don’t have to do it all at once. You have an opportunity to focus on a particular task or part of the process, making sure you get it right. Also, if an element of your approach is working well, you can focus on that aspect, and get more of a return from it.
You can go niche while big firms cannot
Your location or size allows you to meet niche needs and demands. You can provide a service tailored to tenants looking to let to students, to families or any particular group. You can sell homes that are of interest to downsizers, property investors or any type of buyer. You have a chance to provide a specialist service that beats every other competitor in the local area for that niche, and you can shape your website to support this approach.
Now that you have confirmation that you have advantages you can use over more prominent or better-established companies; how do you compete and beat bigger rivals when it comes to SEO?
Five ways to compete with more significant firms when it comes to SEO:
1. Improve your keyword usage – consider long-tail keywords, comparison keywords, editorial keywords (where you rank or review aspects relevant to your business)
2. Focus on a niche aspect of your business, and develop authority in that area
3. After using keyword research to create topics, create content that compels, persuades and informs
4. Create bigger and deeper content that offers insight from your knowledge and experience
5. Ask questions and look to build one-to-one relationships in the way big businesses cannot
The tips on succeeding with SEO against big firms aren’t much different from how you should look to take on larger or more established firms in any other aspect of your business. Your strength lies in your personality, your experience, your ability to offer a personal service, and insight that big firms cannot hope to provide on such a local or niche level.
If you want to take on more established names in your local area, contact Agent Media for tailored guidance and support. We are pleased to say we have helped many local estate agents find their niche, develop their voice, and reach their audience effectively. SEO can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be scarier than any other area of your business, and with our help, you can develop a local reputation which ensures you welcome clients and do business.
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