How To Optimize Real Estate Business Listings And Citations

Learn how to optimize your real estate business listings and citations with our comprehensive guide. Boost your online visibility, improve SEO, and attract more clients with these effective strategies.

Table of Contents

How To Optimize Real Estate Business Listings And Citations

In the bustling and complex world of real estate, carving out a unique and impactful niche can often feel like trying to assemble a dream home, brick by brick. Like an architect meticulously planning a blueprint, each element of your business marketing strategy must be carefully considered and optimized to make the house – or in this case, your real estate business – stand out in a crowded market.

One cornerstone of an effective real estate marketing strategy is optimizing business listings and citations. Like the welcoming front porch of a house, your online presence invites potential clients to your business. It forms a crucial part of your digital “curb appeal” and should not be overlooked. This article will offer actionable steps on how to optimize your real estate business listings and citations for increased visibility and improved SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Understanding Business Listings and Citations

Picture your business listings and citations as your digital business card, scattered across various online directories. They share vital information about your business like the property address on a ‘For Sale’ sign. Essentially, a business listing or citation is a mention of your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) on other webpages.

Importance of Business Listings and Citations

Just like a strong foundation is vital to any property, the accuracy and consistency of these listings are critical to your business’ online presence. They act as “trust signals” for search engines, verifying the legitimacy of your business. The more accurate and consistent your business information is across various platforms, the higher the chances of your website ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).

How To Optimize Your Business Listings and Citations

1. Verify and Claim Your Listings:

Staking your claim on your digital presence is as crucial as acquiring a prime piece of real estate. There are multiple online directories and platforms where you can claim your business listing. Here are a few examples:

Google Business Profile: Google is the prime neighborhood of the online world, with an unprecedented footfall of 5.6 billion searches per day. Ensuring your business has a verified Google Business Profile listing is non-negotiable. The listing acts as a mini-website that pops up when people search for your business name. You can manage your business profile, add photos, respond to reviews, and share updates, like new property listings or open house schedules.

Bing Places: While Google might dominate the search engine market, other search engines, like Bing, still host a significant amount of traffic. Just like diversifying real estate investments can spread risk, claiming your business on Bing Places helps you cover all your bases and reach a broader audience.

Zillow: In the world of real estate, platforms like Zillow are akin to exclusive gated communities. Zillow is the largest real estate and rental network on the web. Ensuring your real estate business has a robust and active Zillow profile can help you reach a highly targeted audience of real estate shoppers, sellers, and renters.

Trusted REI: As the name suggests, Trusted REI is a reputable real estate directory that provides validated information to its users. Listing your business on Trusted REI ensures your business is part of an esteemed network, enhancing your credibility, much like acquiring a property in a prestigious location.

Claiming your listing on these platforms involves providing your accurate NAP (Name, Address, Phone number), and business information, and following the respective verification process, which often involves a phone call or a postcard sent to your physical address.

Once your business listing is verified, you gain control over the information displayed, much like owning versus renting a property. You can update your business information, respond to reviews, add pictures, and make your listing more attractive and informative to potential clients.

Claiming and verifying your business listings across the web enhances your visibility, credibility, and the overall ‘curb appeal’ of your real estate business online. So start staking your claims today, and set the foundation for a thriving online presence.

2. Consistency is Key:

Just like the cohesive design of a property’s interiors enhances its overall appeal, maintaining consistency in your business information across all online platforms plays a significant role in optimizing your business listings. Here’s why consistency is key and how to maintain it:

NAP Consistency: NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number – the essential information about your business. Think of it like the unique identification number of a property. The consistency of this information across the web directly affects your search engine rankings, particularly for local search results.

For example, if your business is named ‘ThriveByWeb’ on Google Business Profile, it should be the same on Bing Places, Zillow, and other directories. It shouldn’t be listed as ‘Thrive By Web’ on one platform and ‘Thrive-By-Web’ on another. The same consistency should apply to your address and phone number.

Other Consistent Information: Beyond the NAP, other information like your business hours, official website URL, and business description should also remain consistent across all platforms. This information can be equated to the operational details of a property, such as opening times for an open house, the agent’s contact details, etc.

The business description should be uniform, portraying a consistent brand image. While the length and format might differ based on the platform’s requirements, the essence of the description should remain the same. For instance, if you position yourself as a real estate marketing company specializing in residential properties in the Google Business Profile, this should be echoed on Zillow, Bing Places, and other platforms.

Why Consistency Matters: Consistent information creates a sense of reliability and trustworthiness, both for search engines and potential clients. It can be compared to the trust a buyer places in a property with well-documented records.

Inconsistencies can confuse search engines and lead to a lower ranking on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). In the eyes of search engines, inconsistency equates to unreliability.

Just like inconsistencies in a property’s paperwork can deter potential buyers, discrepancies in your online listings can negatively impact your digital presence. Therefore, regularly audit your online listings to ensure that all the information about your business is consistent, accurate, and up-to-date.

3. Enrich Your Listings with Additional Information:

Think of enriching your listings as staging a house for sale. You add eye-catching details and create an inviting ambiance that makes potential buyers envision themselves living there. Similarly, enriching your online listings with additional information makes them more appealing, informative, and engaging for potential clients.

Here are some ways to enrich your real estate business listings:

Business Categories: Most directories provide options to select business categories. These categories help search engines understand what your business is about and aid in relevant search rankings. For instance, for a real estate business, appropriate categories might include ‘Real Estate Agency,’ ‘Real Estate Consultant,’ or ‘Property Management Company’. Choose the most accurate categories to correctly represent your business.

Business Description: Your business description is an opportunity to introduce your business to potential clients and differentiate yourself from competitors. Highlight your unique selling points, areas of expertise, and your value proposition. For example, you might emphasize your experience in the local market, your successful track record, or your personalized service approach.

Services: Detail the services you offer. Are you a residential or commercial real estate agency? Do you offer property management services? Maybe you specialize in real estate consulting or investment properties. Clearly listing your services helps potential clients understand what you offer and how it aligns with their needs.

Photos: Images can significantly enhance the attractiveness of your listing, much like beautiful photos of a property for sale can captivate potential buyers. Upload high-quality images of your office, team members, happy clients, or properties you’ve successfully marketed. These visuals can greatly enhance your listing’s appeal and engagement.

Videos: If a picture paints a thousand words, then a video can tell an entire story. Short videos introducing your team, showcasing testimonials from satisfied clients, or providing a glimpse of your day-to-day operations can make your listing more engaging and personable.

Reviews and Ratings: Just like a property with positive reviews and recommendations is more likely to sell, businesses with positive reviews attract more clients. Encourage your clients to leave reviews and ratings on your business listings. Positive reviews can significantly improve your online reputation and rankings.

Social Media Links: Links to your social media profiles provide additional channels for potential clients to engage with your business. It’s like providing extra entrances to a property – the more, the better!

FAQs: FAQ sections address common questions or concerns clients may have, just like a property brochure might address frequently asked questions about the property. Adding FAQs to your listing can improve user experience and save time for both you and your potential clients.

Business Hours: Clearly state your business hours to set the right expectations. Are you open on weekends? Do you work by appointment only? This information helps potential clients know when they can reach you.

Remember, enriching your listings doesn’t just mean adding more information; it means adding valuable and relevant details that will help potential clients understand your business better and choose you over your competitors. Like beautifully staged properties that sell faster and for higher prices, enriched listings stand out in the crowded online marketplace and attract more clients.

4. Encourage Reviews:

Reviews act as the digital equivalent of personal recommendations or the word-of-mouth referrals, which are gold in the real estate world. Just as a homeowner singing praises about the comfort and convenience of their house can sway potential buyers, positive online reviews about your business can significantly influence potential clients’ decisions. Here are some strategies to encourage reviews for your real estate business:

Ask For Reviews: The simplest way to get reviews is to ask for them. After successful interactions or transactions, request clients to leave a review. This could be after closing a property deal, a productive consultation, or even after a property viewing if the client found it particularly insightful. You could send a follow-up email with a direct link to your review platform, making it easy for clients to leave a review.

Provide Exceptional Service: Remember, the cornerstone for getting good reviews is providing exceptional service. Much like a well-maintained property naturally attracts appreciation, excellent service is likely to get clients talking positively about your business.

Respond to All Reviews: Make a habit of responding to all reviews – both positive and negative. For positive reviews, express your gratitude. For negative reviews, offer a professional and constructive response. This shows that you value customer feedback and are committed to improving your services. Seeing this interaction can encourage other clients to leave their reviews.

Leverage Social Media: Your social media platforms can also be a great place to gather reviews. Encourage your followers to share their experiences and promote these reviews on your page. This not only boosts your online reputation but also encourages more clients to share their experiences.

Offer Incentives: While you should never pay for reviews, offering small incentives like discounts on future services, or entry into a draw for a gift card can motivate clients to leave a review. However, ensure that you’re seeking honest feedback, not just positive comments.

Create a Reviews Section on Your Website: A dedicated section for testimonials on your website not only builds credibility but also prompts more clients to share their experiences. You can include a simple form for clients to submit their reviews directly on your site.

Remember, in the real estate industry, reputation is everything. Positive reviews help to build your online reputation, improve your search engine ranking, and most importantly, they can be the deciding factor for potential clients choosing between you and a competitor. So, make it a priority to encourage, collect, and showcase reviews to boost your real estate business.

5. Update Regularly:

Keeping your business listings up-to-date is as essential as regular maintenance and renovations for a property. In the real estate world, you wouldn’t let a listed property gather dust or leave repairs unattended, would you? Similarly, your online listings should reflect the current and accurate status of your business. Here’s why regular updates matter and what you should focus on:

Business Hours: Are you now open on Saturdays? Have you changed your opening hours? Keeping your business hours updated prevents potential clients from facing closed doors or unanswered calls. It’s just as disappointing as visiting a property during an open house, only to find it’s been rescheduled.

Services: Has your business expanded to offer new services or stopped providing some? Maybe you’ve branched out into commercial real estate or added property management to your portfolio. Regularly update your services to match what you currently offer, so potential clients know exactly what to expect. This would be like updating the property listing to mention new renovations or additions.

Images and Videos: Regularly update images and videos on your listing. Just as property photos would be updated to show a newly renovated kitchen, your business images should reflect any changes. This could include a newly decorated office, new team members, or images from recent successful deals.

Reviews: New reviews, both good and bad, should be addressed promptly. Responding to these shows you’re actively engaged with your client feedback. It’s akin to addressing potential issues raised during a property inspection – your prompt action demonstrates your commitment to service quality.

Business Description: Your business description may need updating if there are any significant changes to your mission, values, or unique selling propositions. For example, if you’ve recently won a prestigious award or achieved a significant milestone, such as serving the local community for 25 years, your business description should reflect these achievements.

Keeping your listings regularly updated not only enhances your credibility but also helps improve your ranking in search engine results. Search engines, much like property buyers, prefer listings that are well-maintained and up-to-date. So make it a habit to review and refresh your business listings periodically to ensure they continue to accurately represent your real estate business.

6. Build Local Citations:

In the real estate world, local citations can be compared to having your property signs on all the key streets of the town. The more places your business name pops up, the higher the chances of potential clients spotting you. These local citations, which are mentions of your business on other websites, play a significant role in your online presence and local SEO. Here’s why they matter and where you can build them:

Importance of Local Citations: Local citations help to boost your local search engine rankings. They’re like breadcrumbs leading back to your business. When search engines see your business mentioned across various reputable sources, it increases their confidence in your business’s existence and legitimacy, which can positively impact your local search rankings.

They also increase your online visibility and can drive traffic to your website or physical location. Every citation is a potential touchpoint for a client, just as every sign pointing towards a property for sale is an opportunity to attract a buyer.

Where to Build Citations:

Here are some places where you can build local citations for your real estate business:

  1. Local Business Directories: Listing your business in local directories is like placing an ad in a local newspaper. Examples include your local Chamber of Commerce website, city or regional business directories, or local news websites. Ensure your NAP information is accurate and consistent across these platforms.
  2. Real Estate Specific Directories: There are also directories specific to the real estate industry, such as Zillow,, Redfin, and Trulia. These are like exclusive real estate magazines where potential clients go looking for property and, subsequently, your services.
  3. General Directories: General directories like Google Business Profile, Bing Places for Business, Yelp, and Yellow Pages are also valuable places to build citations. These platforms have a wide reach and high authority, making them the equivalent of national newspapers for property ads.
  4. Social Media Platforms: Your business profiles on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter also count as citations. They’re like the trendy cafes in town where people come to socialize and incidentally spot your property ad.
  5. Local Blogs and Websites: If a local blogger or website mentions your business in their content, that’s another citation. This is like getting a property recommendation from a trusted local.

Building local citations can require some time and effort, but the benefits for your local SEO and online visibility are well worth it. Much like the time and effort spent on creating attractive signboards and distributing them across town to sell a property, building local citations is an investment that can significantly boost your real estate business’s online presence.

7. Leverage Schema Markup:

In real estate terms, consider Schema Markup as your property’s blueprint that’s only visible to appraisers – in this case, search engines. While your clients may not see it, this blueprint helps the appraisers understand the property’s layout, purpose, and value better. Schema markup serves a similar role for your online listings, enhancing search engines’ understanding of your business and content, leading to better SEO performance.

What is Schema Markup?

Schema markup is a form of microdata that you add to your website’s HTML code. It creates an enhanced description, known as a rich snippet, which appears in search results. It helps search engines interpret the content of your pages more effectively and provide more relevant search results. For real estate businesses, specific Schema types, like ‘RealEstateAgent’ or ‘Place’, can help search engines understand that your site is about a real estate business and its services.

How to Leverage Schema Markup:

  1. Identify Appropriate Schema Types: Depending on the content of your page, choose the relevant Schema markup. For most real estate businesses, the ‘RealEstateAgent’ Schema is appropriate for the homepage or ‘About Us’ page. If you have a page listing your properties for sale, consider using the ‘Offer’ or ‘Product’ Schema.
  2. Add Business Details: Use the markup to provide as much business information as you can. Include your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) information, areas of service, operating hours, and customer reviews. This is similar to adding detailed specifications to your property blueprint.
  3. Use a Schema Markup Generator: Unless you’re a coding expert, use a Schema markup generator. These tools guide you through creating your Schema markup and then generate the code that you need to add to your website.
  4. Test Your Markup: Use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to ensure your Schema Markup is correctly implemented. You wouldn’t want any errors in your property blueprint, would you?

Implementing Schema Markup can help search engines better understand your real estate business and services, leading to more accurate search results and a potential boost in SEO performance. It’s like giving a detailed blueprint to an appraiser to ensure they fully understand your property’s value and features, leading to a more accurate appraisal.


As we bring this journey to an end, remember that optimizing your real estate business listings and citations is akin to staging a property before an open house. You want everything to be just right – the right amount of information, presented consistently and attractively, to make a lasting impression on potential clients and search engines alike.

To recap, start by verifying and claiming your listings on platforms like Google Business Profile, Bing Places, Zillow, and others. Consistency, in terms of your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) and other key information, should be maintained across all platforms, like maintaining a consistent aesthetic appeal across all rooms of a property.

Richly detailed listings, much like a well-furnished house, provide a full view of your services and are more likely to engage clients. Encouraging reviews and responding to them reflects your commitment to client satisfaction, akin to a property owner addressing all questions from potential buyers during an open house.

Regular updates to your listings ensure accuracy and trustworthiness, while building local citations increases your visibility, much like strategically placed signboards directing potential buyers to a property. Lastly, leveraging Schema Markup gives search engines a detailed ‘blueprint’ of your business, helping them understand and present your business more accurately in search results.

Investing time and effort in these areas will not only improve your visibility in local searches but will also enhance your online reputation. Much like a well-maintained, well-presented property is more likely to attract buyers, a well-managed online presence will attract more potential clients to your real estate business.

At ThriveByWeb, we specialize in helping real estate businesses optimize their online presence. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your real estate business thrive in the digital world.

Travis Christianson
About the Author: Travis Christianson
Travis Christianson is the founder behind ThriveByWeb, a cutting-edge digital marketing platform tailored specifically for the real estate industrry in the United States and Canada. With over two decades of experience in graphic design, web development, and internet marketing, Travis embarked on a mission in early 2020 to assist families, homeowners, and small businesses in maximizing their online presence.

Table of Contents

Get Started with a Free SEO Audit

Reach out today and get a free SEO audit for your website. We’ll give you tips to help you improve your online visibility.