Shhh! Be Vewy Vewy Quiet. I'm Hunting Keywords...

By
Mortgage and Lending with The Allaso Group

Before we even get started, let me answer a question that you will probably be asking yourself about me as you read this. “Yes”

Yes, I should probably be institutionalized for even trying to compete for the terms below, let alone compete for them in California.  I guess I’m just one of those people who just hate being told “that can’t be done.”  I’ll keep banging my head against this wall until I pass out or I win.  But, my insanity serves only to benefit you, my good friends, the Realtors®. 

I think it is safe to assume that that your completion for “City Real Estate” is slightly less than mine is for “Mortgage.”  And, the fact that I could even flirt with ranking for California mortgage related terms should serve as encouragement for you when it comes to making an impact on the rankings for your target markets!

With that out of the way, I hope you can learn from my quixotic pursuit. (I think my high school English teacher just smiled somewhere.)

When I first started building my online business, I made the mistake of building a website based on what   I thought to myself, refinance business is what I want so obviously, I should target the word “refinance.”   Off I went buying my domain name and submitting my site to directories thinking I can’t wait to get all these “refinance” leads!  I went about my merry way for a number of months knowing that it would take time for my site to do anything at all.  

I was by no means anywhere close to knowledgeable when I started on this journey, and, by taking a look at the terms and associated searches (from Overture) per month, I think you can see where I made my mistake.

  • "mortgage" 500,000 searches per month
  • "mortgage refinancing" 336,292 searches per month
  • "refinance" 56,000 searches per month

In essence, I picked a term that was searched 10 TIMES less frequently than what my actual prospects were searching for. Not only that, but until I actually started researching keywords, I had no idea that the term “mortgage refinancing” was used in.   As far as I was concerned, people wanted to refinance.  And, if anything, they wanted a “mortgage refinance.”   Well, obviously, I was wrong. 

The point of the above is that it makes sense to spend some time researching what your potential prospects are actually searching for. It is all to easy for us to get caught up in the jargon and “prejudicial phrasing” that comes with being on the business side of the industry.

The good news, it’s easy, and free to find out exactly what our prospects are typing into Google and Yahoo thanks to numerous keyword research tools.

The most widely used free keyword search tool is Overture’s “Keyword Selection Tool” (Overture is Yahoo’s Sponsored Search / Pay-Per-Click Division).   A really nice free application (that utilizes Overture’s search results) that you can download and run on your desktop is GoodKeywords.   Both tools are very straight forward, just type in the phrase you want to research and off you go.  They will return a list of keywords that are based on the word or words you entered. 

If you are serious at all about developing a solid online presence, you will end up spending a good amount of time researching various keywords and keyword niches. 

In addition to the obvious “Real Estate” based phrases, take some time researching the other things people are actually searching for in your target markets.  The easiest way to start is to just the tools above to search for any keywords that include your target city / metro name.   Just type in your target city name and see what comes up. It really is that easy.

But, for the sake of brevity, I am going to give you this quick cheat sheet of “Top 5 Real Estate Keywords” in order of most to least searched.  This top five is by no means scientific.  This list is based on the 15 or so random cities I searched. 

Top 5 Local Real Estate Keywords
ranked from most to least searched

  1. CITY ST Real Estate
  2. CITY Real Estate
  3. CITY STATE Real Estate
  4. Real Estate in CITY ST
  5. Real Estate CITY STATE

CITY = Target City Name / Target Metro Area Name
ST = Target State Abbreviation
STATE = Target State Full Name

Just replace CITY, ST and STATE and off you go!

In all my searches, the overall most searched version is the “CITY ST Real Estate”.   We’re talking 4-10 times the search volume! 

Ok, now that you know what keywords are popular with searchers, your next step is to find out which ones have the least competition.   We’ll cover that in the next post.  For now, just take some time to check out the free tools above and start building a target keyword list.

Part of my series:
A Step By Step Guide To Creating and Marketing Your Own Lead Generation Website

-Joe Ramirez
Mortgage Marketing Ideas
Real Estate Marketing
My Day Job: California Mortgage

Comments (5)

Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher
I bookmarked this one....to come back and check my own keywords.  Since Overture changed over my PPC ads have taken a leap---DOWN.  I'm not sure if it's the content or the keywords but it's off :(  Thank you for the information.
Mar 20, 2007 06:03 PM
Dan Allred
Allred Realty - Thousand Oaks, CA
DRE#01761967
Thank you for all the info I am goung to forward to my IT guy
Mar 20, 2007 06:21 PM
Link Moser - NH Lakes Region
NH Link Realty LLC - Gilford, NH
Hi Joe. I subscribe and use www.nichebot.com for my keyword research. They offer reasonable rates and access to a lot of helpful keyword tools.
Mar 21, 2007 01:47 AM
- -
- - Bogota, TN

Thanks for you for taking the time to comment on this subject in the Active Rain network.  AR is the new "cyber backbone" of the industry, and with it's uplink to Localism.com it is transforming the real estate marketplace. Agents who don't see which way the cyberwind is blowing are going to find themselves at a considerable disadvantage inside of three to five years.

Jul 04, 2008 05:55 AM
James Wexler
wexzilla.com - Scottsdale, AZ

this is the ultimate goal of all of us die hard bloggers - the magix keywords that the all might google will pick up - are you know using an outside blog instead of AR

Aug 07, 2008 05:30 PM