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This is our latest digital insight report on estate agencies & property sites.
We produce these reports to provide industry leaders with insight on where they sit in their market and how they compare to the rest of their competitors over key digital metrics.
Over the report, you’ll discover year on year performances in areas such as organic visibility, link authority, brand reach and page speed. Each score is individual and qualitative – this means you may be top of the charts in one area and lacking in others. It’s a great way to benchmark your digital performance.
Our report contains data about the top 66 retailers in the sector. If you can’t see your name in the report but want to know where you sit compared to the rest, get in touch and we’ll discuss your metrics in more detail.
You can read this post alongside the report to give you a broader view of what’s going on underneath all the numbers. We appreciate that the report is data-heavy which is why we’ve explained the wins, losses and standout moments of the sector here in words. It’ll also help us to explain why and how these metrics are linked.
Organic visibility is number one on most SEO’s list when it comes to improving site metrics. That’s because better visibility leads to increased click-through rates and potentially more leads or sales.
Despite uncertainty around house markets due to the current political climate, this doesn’t seem to have had a negative effect on the visibility of the property sites in our report.
Rightmove is topping the list with a visibility score that almost doubles the next competitor. They had a 9% increase year on year.
Zoopla is in 2nd place after a 20% improvement.
Prime Location has also had a successful year, increasing their visibility by 12% to put them in 3rd place.
In 4th place is OnTheMarket who had a fantastic 41% increase in visibility.
Making up the top five is Foxtons who increased their visibility by 23%.
The rest of the top ten has seen some fantastic wins and also some losses:
Continue reading to find out what can affect rankings and how you can improve yours.
In the report, you’ll find a list of top competition and opportunity keywords. These are based on search volume vs. competitiveness.
Judging by the keywords we’ve highlighted, the rental market is thriving online compared to buying and selling properties.
Well done to Rightmove who is ranking in position 1 for the highest competition keyword ‘3 bedroom house for rent’.
They are performing well across lots of the keywords, mostly appearing within the top five results.
It’s no surprise that Google shows up local results in this market. The results range from featured snippets with maps to pages with localised title tags such as ‘Houses For Sale in Chester’.
The Google Venice update in 2012 changed the way that the search engine provides results based on location. Users don’t have to include ‘local’ or ‘near me’ in the search for Google to provide them with localised results – their IP Address does the work for them, identifying where they are to provide the most relevant and useful results.
You can add SCHEMA to your page to signal your location to Google and appear in map packs.
You should also set up rank tracking to see where you rank well for each location in the UK. You can then use this data to determine where you’re performing well and where you could maybe be helped by implementing a paid strategy.
It looks as though plenty of our featured sites already have their head in the game when it comes to localised search strategies including Zoopla, OnTheMarket, PrimeLocation and OpenRent.
Not all the keywords in our list will bring up solely listings for properties or property pages.
This is a sector in which people often need a lot of help – especially first time buyers.
For example, the term ‘renting a property’ brings up a guide from Gov.uk on everything a prospective tenant would need to know before approaching a rental property.
The term ‘property prices’ bring up a top stories section with news articles about house prices in the UK.
Home Owners Alliance has landed a featured snippet for the term ‘buying and selling houses’ with their guide on how to buy and sell a property at the same time.
Creating guides like this will help you to earn the trust of prospective buyers/sellers and tenants as well as ranking for long-tailed keywords.
This is all part of a wider content strategy that can nurture new leads with the view to turning them into customers.
Read more about content marketing campaigns and how you can make the most of yours.
While you may think that prospective homeowners are unlikely to flock to social media to find their new property, it’s the perfect place to inspire people.
Zoopla is topping the social charts with the highest number of brand searches and highest owned social score. Their Facebook feed is filled with beautiful homes that are listed on their sites and they get a lot of engagement on their posts with people tagging their friends, liking and sharing.
While it’s easy to get lost in the feed of spectacular houses and interior design inspiration on Facebook and Instagram, they could vary their feed by including competitions or links to related blog posts and useful guides.
Rightmove is doing this well by including memes occasionally. However, they could also go one step further with their social.
We all love a beautiful Insta feed or tagging our friends in a post of a stunning house on Facebook, but there are other ways to broaden your audience on social media:
If social isn’t a priority for you, it’s worth investing some time into tweaking your strategy. You might see great results from some small changes!
Page speed is one of the most crucial elements to consider improving if your overall SEO is struggling to make an impact. Page speed directly affects not only user experience (poor page load means a higher exit or bounce rate) but is also considered highly favourable by Google.
We used Google PageSpeed Insights to determine which retailers have the fastest page speed.
The top five were:
Need to improve your page speed? Read our page speed guide.
If you want any more information about our data or would like to speak to us about your property site we’d love to help.