Well I am sure that you know that most people go online when they want to find out something new, right! Its the same in real estate as according to research by realestate.com.au (REA), 86 per cent of Australian buyers are turning to real estate websites as their primary resource to search for property.
Running a successful business on the web means being found by your customers. Being found means showing up on search engines, which means ranking highly for the keywords people are using. The better the keyword, the better the business you’ll generate from it.
At least, that’s the conventional wisdom. But when it comes to your top keyword, my advice is simple.
Ignore it, for now.
That’s right. Don’t spend another minute on it. Instead, you should be investing your energy in long tail phrases—more specific queries of four words or more. Here’s why.
Long Tail keywords
Are those 3, 4, and 5 word keyword phrases which are very, very specific to what you are selling and “where” you are selling it. You see, whenever a customer uses a highly specific search phrase, they tend to be looking for exactly what they are actually going to buy. There are significantly less daily search counts for these phrases however in almost every situation, such extremely specific searches are far more likely to convert to a desired action (lead generation) than general generic searches. Generic Searches tend to be geared more toward the type of research that consumers typically do prior to making a decision.
A top level keyword might be “Real Estate Wollongong” where as a long tail keyword might be “Find a tenant in Wollongong”. You can see how the second searcher is after specific information and a lot closer to choosing the property manager they will use.
To help illustrate this phenomenon, let’s take a look at the typical step-by-step path that a home buyer travels on the way to a making a purchase.
- Consumer begins to think about moving or buying a new home.
- Consumer seeks information about housing in preparation for possible purchase.
- Consumer evaluates alternatives to product (features, pricing, etc…). REQUESTS MORE INFORMATION
- Consumer makes a decision to VISIT specific communities or homes. MAKES CONTACT TO ARRANGE VISIT
- Consumer Visits communities or homes and meets with Sales Professionals
- Consumer Buys, or goes back to step 3 to “rule out” current housing candidates.
- Consumer then evaluates the buying experience, the home and community after buying it and may provide referral.
Using the above 7 step path to a purchase as our scenario, you can probably already see that you want to target the consumer who is in step 3 or 4
Your top keyword isn’t realistic.
If you or your website are new to the game, you simply won’t rank for your number-one keyword anytime soon. Ranking standards for competitive keywords are stacked against challengers; they rely largely on factors like site age, which is beyond your control, and volume and diversity of backlinks, which require either tons of time or tons of money to develop. So don’t go trying to beat realestate.com.au, play the game where you can win.
The long tail generates more traffic and revenue, more quickly.
Let’s say you ignore my advice and concentrate on your number-one keyword. You may end up on page two of Google’s search results. But let’s face it: there’s no value in page two. In fact, there’s pretty much no value in anything but the first five spots—and by the time you get there, you’ll have nothing but a lot of expense to show for it.
Long tail phrases, on the other hand, are much less competitive, so you can concentrate on more than one at a time and build up your ranking much more quickly. Less time and more phrases means you’ll make more money, earlier.
Top search queries may generate more revenue overall, but on a case-by-case basis, long tail keyword phrases get better traction from visitors. In fact, people who click the top search link are less likely to click again on the site, where as at the other end people who choose links lower on the list will click through more. That’s because people searching long-tail phrases know more about what they want, and are more prepared to make a buying decision once they find the right solution: you.
Long tail phrases are a perfect fit for the real estate industry.
A web search for real estate is inherently more specific than a web search for just about anything else. If I want to buy a pair of Nike’s, I don’t need to search “Nike’s shoes greater Melbourne.” I can get Nike’s from any online retailer. Homes, on the other hand, are inseparable from geography, which means that long tail searches, which make up 70 percent of all search engine queries, actually take a larger portion of the pie in our industry.
Even More Good News on Long Tail Real Estate Keywords
Of course this suggests that you should be creating pages that zero-in on capturing long tail keyword searchers. And, since there are potentially so many different long tail combinations that searchers may use to buy what you offer, that means you’ll likely be creating even more pages.
The best way to work out what pages to create is to simply ask yourself what questions do my clients regularly ask me. If you get commonly asked questions, it is also likely that people may be asking these questions online. If you are answering their specific question then you are demonstrating your expertise and professionalism even before they mean with you. A big win for you.
More good news is that Google likes sites that have more pages. It makes the site look more substantial, more established, and even more real in the eyes of the world’s most popular search engine. Keep in mind that your “unique” pages need only be variants of your main offering(s) but focused on a specific long tail niche.
Therefore, each and every page will have a unique title, description meta tag, h1 header tag, and body content that emphasizes your community by using the long tail keyword that you choose for each specific page. None of this is exceptionally difficult, but it sure does work well to capture prospects at the optimum stage of the buying process!
Therefor, instead of focusing on just two or three highly competitive general keywords, target the dozens or even hundreds of easy-to-rank-for long tail real estate keywords.
Long tail phrases will help you get your top keywords.
Long-tail phrases are the gift that keeps on giving. By building a healthy list of long tail phrases and nurturing the traffic that comes with them, you’ll automatically gain more authority with search engines. In other words, your long tail efforts will actually make you more competitive when it comes to your top keywords.
It is essential to realise that it takes time and effort to increase your search engine ranking; therefore, patience is required. Your website will not go from nonexistent on search engines to the #1 spot in a matter of days. However, if you are property utilising real estate SEO tips that prove to be highly effective and remain patient, your website will start climbing in rank before your eyes.