We conducted a survey of ranking factors in real estate and a survey among market specialists responsible for marketing and development of classifieds, real estate agencies and construction companies. Its results will help you understand the search engine marketing industry and adjust your strategy.
The study is based on exclusive data from the Search Analytics Laboratory “Ashmanov & Partners” and SimilarWeb, as well as a survey of more than 50 market experts.
Key features of real estate ranking
In August 2019, we prepared a detailed analytical report on real estate ranking factors. It remains almost completely relevant: in over six months, little has changed. Now we have repeated the study on the same sample: 300 queries related to the purchase and rent of real estate in Moscow and the Moscow region, 50 of them with assessors (i.e., for about 100 parameters out of 650, the sample is noticeably narrowed). The data was received in early February 2020 – before the fall of the ruble and changes in the market.
the main thing
The dominance of aggregators (“classifieds”) is noticeable in the top. Agencies are lagging far behind, and developers are only visible in the search results for niche queries.
The same sites are in the top for many queries. So in all subjects, but in real estate it is stronger. The undisputed leader is Cian.ru: it is almost always in the top 3 and very often in the first position.
Due to monopolization of the issue, the picture is distorted. The parameters that the leaders have “win”. Despite this, the picture is typical for real estate when the maximum values are not in the first position, but in the third position. There is not enough data to assess competition between developers.
What is also worth considering
The larger the site, the higher it is on average in the SERP. Correlate with the size of the site:
IKS: “site quality index”, but quality is measured primarily by traffic.
Site link and link-text parameters.
Site size and number of found documents from the site.
Assortment, especially the “huge” assortment.
The values of some of these parameters in the top 3 fell slightly, but the correlation coefficients changed little. Apparently, this is a consequence of a slight increase in the presence in the top 3 of large, but not the largest sites: domofond.ru, novostroy-m.ru, novostroy.ru, domclick.ru. There is no noticeable decrease in monopolization yet.
Site regionality and connection with the user due to the abundance of aggregators in the search results, they are not very significant for real estate. Localization in Moscow is important (requests are made from Moscow), but presence in other regions and the presence of many addresses is not important. There is no connection with the ranking for ordering a callback, an online consultant, and even for the phone 8-800.
Presentation of real estate objects almost all leaders have the same.
On sites in the top 30 Yandex or Google, there are almost always descriptions, characteristics and photographs (and not one, but several) of the proposed real estate. The proximity of the values to 100% (especially in Yandex) somewhat “hides” the significance of these parameters, but there is no doubt that their absence dramatically lowers the chances of successful ranking in both search engines. Selection by parameters, comparison of objects, calculator and reviews are also important (but the ranking algorithm does not expect to see them right on the found page).
Indicate the prices of real estate objects almost as important. The more prices on the page, the better (this correlates with the volume of the assortment and has a positive effect on the number of occurrences of the query words in the text). However, the correlation coefficients with the position for a parameter in both search engines decreased over six months, as the number of prices in the top 3 became less on average.
It is important that the site and the page have discounts, promotions and special offers, mention of payment. Sites with higher search prices are higher, although correlations with price have decreased over the six months.
Reference parameters in real estate were and remain strong: there are a lot of links to sites in the top 3. At the same time, inaccurate links (which are usually much more important) are more important than accurate ones – including the exact query or at least all the words of the query. And the lower the proportion of links to the home page of the site, the greater the variety of links and the better for ranking.
In test parameters the “principle of anti-literalism” works: imprecise occurrences are more important than exact ones – that is, from right to left, from the exact query to the words highlighted in snippets, the parameters are usually enhanced. Search engines (especially Yandex) are suspicious of SEO text – it can even interfere with ranking.
Occurrences in the text of the page are most important, followed by
headings can also be overrated, but they look good in real estate.
Real estate is not a record holder in terms of the number of query words on a page, but there are still a lot of them: in the top 30 they are “loose” on average for 23-26 queries, and taking into account synonyms – for 31-35.
The State of Search Engine Marketing in Real Estate
We surveyed over 50 marketers and CMOs from both large and small real estate companies.
Most of them are promoting their sites in search engines and are satisfied with the results. Real estate search engine customer acquisition cost (CAC) is lower or comparable to other marketing channels. Half saw an increase in traffic, and a third saw an increase in sales from search.
The three main growth points are expanding the site structure, improving behavioral factors and adapting to mobile devices. Two-thirds of the respondents post offers in classifications and on the websites of real estate agencies. Top-3 classifieds by popularity among respondents: Cyan, Yandex.Real estate, Avito. Also, most companies noted that they are present in Yandex services: Maps, Zen, Directory, Experts, etc.
Almost 88% of respondents consider it important to take into account the recommendations of SEO specialists when developing and improving a website. However, the overall state of the search engine marketing industry is not perfect.
Among the negative factors:
rather low level of knowledge – only 25% of participants rated them as deep;
38% of companies lack SEO specialists on staff with a low level of cooperation with agencies;
low priority of SEO audits and so on.
At the same time, knowledge in the field of SEO correlates with the results of promotion and the willingness to invest in the development of the channel. Companies with SEO specialists on their staff conduct a search audit more often and rate the results from promotion higher. The future of the real estate market players, as never before, depends on the competencies in digital marketing, the quality of knowledge and solutions, primarily from the company, and, of course, partners.