By Sean Callahan
RISMEDIA, August 16, 2010—When it comes to finding a niche to get in front of real estate buyers and sellers, there are very few to choose from. As we know, most real estate agents currently run print ads in local publications, input listings in their local MLS and try to pay for marketing to get their websites ranked in the search engines and set up accounts with Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and others.
Since over 80% of homes sales now began with a search on the Internet, it has never been more important to try to get exposure online in search engines.
Search engine marketing may be the most important place to try to get exposure when looking to buyers and sellers.
I have set up and run thousands of Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing, and MSN/Bing accounts and have spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours researching what keywords consumers are typing in when doing a home search.
I recently ran upon a company who has found a niche market in Google which may offer the largest pot of gold ever found online.
It has to do with what is called “long tailed keywords.”
Long tailed keywords are keyword phrases that are normally five, six or even seven words long.
These keyword phrases could be something like:
“San Diego three bedroom oceanfront condo”
“San Diego ca beach condo for sale”
“San Diego three bedroom home in gated community”
These keyword phrases can also be broken down for searches and specific subdivisions, gated communities and areas within your city and area.
As an example, La Jolla is a very prestigious community within San Diego. Within La Jolla there are subdivisions which include:
UTC, La Jolla Shores, La Jolla village, Bird Rock and La Jolla Farms. So if you start breaking down areas like La Jolla into more specific parts, you can start getting great traction and organic search engine rankings in Google, Yahoo and MSN.
Samples of this may include:
“la jolla bird rock 3 bedroom home for sale”
“la jolla utc 2 bedroom condo for sale”
“la jolla shores oceanfront condo for sale”
The main thing I am trying to the show is that many buyers are looking for something very specific and are not just typing in “San Diego real estate for sale” or “San Diego home for sale,” but instead they are typing in something which includes more keywords.
The thing about long tailed keywords is that they very rarely come up when you do keyword research in an area because they may only get 10-25 searches per month. I never thought much of them since I never saw them coming up while doing keyword research on the Google Keyword Toolbar.
Ten 25 searches a month is not enough data for Google or other keyword research tools to normally bring this up as a keyword to use. They want you to focus on keywords which have more volume since they make their money from pay per click advertising and the short tail keywords get many more searches individually.
The fact is however that long tailed keywords, when all combined account for 60% – 80% of all searches being done in search engines.
If you add up 50, 100, 200, 500 or more long tailed keywords, their combined traffic is substantial and the competition in Google is very minimal.
The mass majority of real estate agents are all competing for short tail keywords, while the long tail keyword phrases have very little competition. That is why it is very difficult, if not impossible, for individual agents to get first page rankings in Google for phrases like “My town real estate” because thousands of websites are competing for those same terms and many big national companies have much larger marketing budgets to make that happen.
Real estate agents are all bunched up on short tailed keywords and are ignoring long tailed keywords, which actually, as a whole are getting more search traffic. The searches are also much more specific so they create more targeted traffic to the agent’s website.
In order for long tailed keywords to be effective, you must write up and index dozens or hundreds of them to get the traffic and results you desire.
If a long tailed keyword phrase on average can get even 15 visitors per month, then adding 100 of those to your website and/or search engine marketing plan can bring an extra 1,500 visitors per month from free organic search results.
These are very targeted keywords from buyers who know exactly what they want and where they want to live so there is a lot of value in getting these keywords ranking in search engines and bringing traffic back to your website.
You can target these types of keywords in your blogs, social media posts, YouTube videos, article marketing and portal sites and also in online classified ads. I have had great success getting traction from these long tailed keywords and have been able to get first page rankings on Google within days or even weeks, which is much faster and easier than trying to compete for the short tail keywords were everyone in the market is bunched up.
I recently met with a company that has created a way to use an MLS feed from a real estate agent to create thousands of Web pages, which target these long tailed keyword phrases. This patented technology goes into the MLS and breaks down long tail keywords based on number of bedrooms, subdivisions, types of property and more. It is done for a very low cost and is very effective for getting results. It can rank hundreds of pages and keywords in Google under long tailed keyword phrases and track the results with Google Analytics software. Long tailed keywords provide a great opportunity for the average agent to get results in Google and separate themselves from large competitors.
Long tail keyword searches will break down a group of different ways including, “under 2 bedroom,” “3 bedroom,” “4 bedroom,” “waterfront,” “gated homes,” “luxury” and more. Every area has different inventory, so target long tail keywords based on what is relevant for your area.
So what does this mean for you?
This means that there is a huge black hole of keywords out there that very few real estate agents are going after and the ones that do will start seeing great results in their search engine rankings.
The goal is to create blogs, article posts, press releases, online classifieds, Craigslist ads, Backpage.com ads and social media posts to go after these types of keyword phrases. Each long tailed keyword on its own may not bring in hundreds of visitors each month, but when you target 50-100+ of these keyword phrases and they are combined together, they can be highly profitable and effective for selling real state.
If you can start indexing articles and content for these types of phrases, you can expect to start seeing the amount of traffic in your website increase every month. You can also see about setting up your IDX feed to create thousands of these pages cheap and harnessing this power with little or no effort and expand into this untapped marketplace.
The secret niche market and “Pot of Gold” in Google is long tailed keywords.
The sooner you can start targeting those the better it will be for growing your real estate business in 2010 and beyond and separating yourself from the thousands of agents who are all competing for short tailed keywords and missing 60%+ of all real estate related searches.
Sean Callahan is an Internet Marketing Consultant and founder of Real Estate Marketing Nerds. He has worked with thousands of real estate agents and brokers over the last 10 years providing Internet marketing services and information. He is also a public speaker and has helped teach thousands of small business owners how to effectively market themselves online.
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