Planning is everything. You plan your wedding, plan your meals, plan your day. Without planning you would essentially have a pretty chaotic life, wouldn’t you? So it goes without saying that you would plan on how you are to achieve your online business generating goals, right?
More often than not, there is little (dare I say, even zero) thought put into how one’s online business is going to be set up, structured, and maintained. Can you imagine going out the door in the morning with no plan? Where would you end up? Would you even start walking?
Ok, so lets imagine that you have decided that a real estate blog is definitely the way to go (static websites are SO 2006). You sit down at your computer and set your fingers on the keyboard. A blank, yet faintly disturbed look creeps over your face… “What do I do now?” you ask yourself.
This is where your real estate keywords and phrases research comes into play. So no, deciding on what template and custom design you are going to have created for your new blog is not your first concern. And no, not which pretty picture of the sunset and tranquil boats will you have as your rotating header. Those two are aspects of your blog that are decisions you will have to make, but they are not what will bring you leads and make you money. But YES, real estate keywords and phrases – FIRST AND FOREMOST! The rest will come in their own time…
Determining what/who you want to (and will) attract to your blog is not only the first thing you should do, but the first, second, and third thing you should do before ANYTHING else!
ANOTHER GREAT QUESTION!
Here’s a breakdown of how you need to determine your keywords and phrases:
- Determine your market. Where are you currently focusing your real estate business? Is it over-saturated with other Realtors? If so, is there a niche within your market that you can concentrate and capitalize on, such as only golf neighborhoods or waterfront properties?
- Determine if you should modify your market. Is it too broad or too narrow of an area? An area that may be too broad would be the city of San Francisco, but a section or neighborhood of San Francisco may be more attainable to effectively marketing yourself in. Whereas a single neighborhood with only a few hundred homes would be too small of a market and you may want to consider adding additional neighborhoods and/or communities to your marketed area.
- Decipher if your market is the best for you and your business growth. Where are you most comfortable and confident? Normally this is the neighborhood(s) that you are living within, however, depending on the city or town, you may know surrounding areas like the back of your hand too. I would be hesitant to be marketing myself in an area that I was not comfortable in, since you would be ill-equipped to give accurate information; kinda like diagnosing an illness without having the resources to do so with confidence… So even if you would LOVE to become the expert in the high end condominiums in your city, if you don’t know them and know them really well, stick to what you’re good at, and in the meantime, research and learn about those areas you may want to add to your expertise in the future.
Once you have given some time to think and make notes on these three determining factors, you will be ready to start researching the keywords and keyword phrases you will use within your blog and all other online marketing and social media sites.
There are several excellent tools available to conduct your keyword research – by far the best of the best is Google’s Adwords Tool. I would HIGHLY recommend that you get an adwords account, simply because it gives you eight (8) times the information you would get without one – oh and it’s free. You can go here to sign up now: Free Adwords Account
Before you jump into Adwords, you’ll need to narrow down your list of keyword phrases to research. Here’s how:
- Think like your customer. Sounds strange, right? But it’s a MUST to getting the best words to get them to your site. Thinking like a Realtor when researching keywords is a sure fire way to fail. You may want to even talk to some of your friends, family or someone infront of you at the Starbucks line – get some insight and input from the REAL people you’ll be trying to attract.
- Create an initial list of words and phrases. Once you have determined your market niche, create a list of words and phrases that are both the most frequently and not so frequently used to describe your market. Refer to #1 (think like your customer) for this list too.
- Include ALL variations of your list. You will be VERY surprised to find that the difference between the phrase “San Francisco Property” versus “San Francisco Properties” is enormous. These variations can mean the difference between finding yourself on Page One of Google within a month or two versus never.
- Be broad, but not too broad. Finding the right balance can be tricky; Too broad of a search and you’ll get no search engine traffic to your site – Too narrow of a search and you’ll ALSO get no traffic to your site! A specific but not too specific search term is key to getting the right traffic to your site:
|Too Broad||Good Balance||Too Specific|
|Homes||San Francisco HomesFor Sale||San Francisco HomesFor Sale with Mountainand Water Views|
|San Francisco||Best San FranciscoNeighborhoods||Best San FranciscoNeighborhoods to live|
|Events||Upcoming Events inSan Francisco||Upcoming events inSan Francisco that arepet friendly|
You’ve now determined the best real estate keyword phrases to use! Or have you?
Not quite! You’ve done the research on narrowing down what phrases you think you should use, but now you must use the tools that are available to you (again, for free via Google’s Adwords Tool) to determine which ones TO USE. Well be discussing how to best use Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool in our next “HOW TO” post.
Let us know if this information was helpful or new to you, although this is great information for those of you who are already positioned well in a market area, but haven’t done a review recently. A review of how you are doing online is always a good thing to do once every 6 months.