Keyword Research is the building block of any SEO strategy. Formulating an SEO strategy without keyword research is like walking into a maze blindfolded. If you don’t use the words people are actually interested in and actively searching for, you’re missing a lot of traffic.
Keyword Research helps you mainly in two ways:
1. To figure out what people are interested in and what language they are using to search these topics. Your audience might not use the same terms to describe things or not be aware of industry terminology.
2. To rank higher in search engines. With keywords that you decide on you can optimize your website, target phrases for link building and develop content for target audience. All of the factors mentioned help a website achieve better search ranking.
Note that Keyword Research is not just about finding the right words to help you talk to your consumers online- it’s part of a process and requires diligent monitoring and updating to get the best results.
KEYWORD DISCOVERY PHASE
In this post we will cover some initial steps which help you through the keyword discovery phase. People use their familiarity with the products/services to find new word variations or maybe some new relevant words. This might produce a lot of information, therefore finding the right method to organize and deduct is crucial.
A good way to start would be to write down the top twenty words you associate with your company and product/services. Once you have that go over to Google.com and type in your keywords to see more targeted, suggested searches. You can get more and more detailed and local to see varied suggested keywords.
Let us first set up a spreadsheet to organize all the information you have gathered until now. You can download (click on file, go to download as excel) a simple spreadsheet we use.
GOOGLE ADWORDS KEYWORD TOOL
The Google free keyword tool is a good start to associate some numbers to your keywords. Enter your core keywords and run the search…
The keyword shows you three columns:
- Competition: “The number of advertisers worldwide bidding on each keyword relative to all keywords across Google. The shaded bar represents a general low-to-high quantitative guide to help you determine how competitive ad placement is for a particular keyword.”
- Global Monthly Searches: “The approximate 12-month average number of search terms matching each keyword. This statistic includes traffic in all countries and languages but is specific to your keyword match type selection.”
- Local Monthly Searches: “The approximate 12-month average number of search terms matching each keyword. This statistic is specific to your targeted country and language as well as your match type selection. If we don’t have enough data for a particular keyword, you’ll see this noted within the column.”
If you have logged into the google adwords account you can also see approximate CPC. (CPC- “This is the approximate cost-per-click you might pay if you were to bid on the keyword. The CPC is averaged over all the ad positions.”)
It is here you need to narrow down your keywords and start moving away from generic terms. If you see the left side of adwords you can select three options for specific match types based on broad, exact and phrase. This becomes more relevant if you are looking to run a PPC campaign.
- Broad- “The sum of the search volumes for the keyword idea, related grammatical forms, synonyms and related words” So PPC ads and Organic search results for commercial real estate would show up with any searches including commercial or real estate.
- Phrase- “The sum of the search volumes for all terms that include that whole phrase” Therefore if you were doing PPC and targeted the phrase match for Condo, ads would show for anyone who typed in commercial real estate with or without additional keywords such as commercial real estate listing . Organic results would include only results including the exact phrase commercial real estate.
- Exact- “The search volume for that keyword idea” . If you were doing PPC and targeted the exact match for commercial real estate , ads would only show if someone typed in commercial real estate but not any other variation of that phrase.
Generic terms are expensive and hard to get a good ranking for, therefore you need to narrow down your keyword list to 10-15 terms that you can dedicate your budget and time to. We will look further into the details of picking the best terms based on more specific factors other than volume- stay tuned for the next post!
If you would like to learn more about Keyword Research, check out our LogicClassroom video presentation, Master Your Keyword Strategy (Advanced SEO)
Here at Boston Logic we set up a LOT of new websites for our real estate clients. We also perform a lot of website-upgrades, switching existing website URLs over to our Sequoia platform and implementing 301 Redirects in order to help ensure a smooth SEO transition to your new real estate website.
In helping our clients switch to a new website, we often have to coach our new users through the process of adding a new user to their Google Webmaster Tools account, especially now that Google Webmaster Tools has recently upgraded it’s appearance. So, I decided to write this step-by-step guide with screenshots to help our clients (and all of our readers) with the process.
How to Add a User to Your Existing Google Webmaster Tools Account
1. Log into your Google Webmaster Tools account at:
2. See the “Home” screen on the left sidebar of your Dashboard.
3. Click on the drop-down arrow next to the ‘Manage Site’ button of the website you wish to add a new User to. (You may only have 1 site listed on your dashboard, or several like the example above.)
4. This will bring you to the ‘Verification Details’ screen for that particular website. This screen shows the Verification Attempts history for the account, as well as listing the Verified Owners. Scroll to the bottom of this screen and click the ‘Add an Owner’ button in the lower left corner.
6. The User you just added will now appear in the Verification History section.
If you want to remove a User, just return to this Verification Details screen, and click the ‘Unverify’ link next to that User’s email address on the list of Verified Owners.
I hope this was a helpful and useful guide to those who are new to navigating Google Webmaster Tools! Be sure to subscribe to this blog, along with our Sequoia System blog, for more hints, guides, and advice on how to better leverage your website platform.
Ever wonder why some real estate professionals jump to the head of the pack, while the rest sit back with unanswered questions and empty calendars? The most effective real estate agents understand an important principle in today’s market: a business will perform best tomorrow through effective online marketing today.
Minimizing marketing costs and extending market exposure are areas where real estate professionals can really excel. Real estate agents understand what buyers, sellers and investors want and why- and they may even be experts in the art of the close – but what separates those at the head of the pack is becoming an expert on how to get there. In today’s modern marketplace, where the power has clearly shifted to the consumer, being ‘findable’ and accessible to all potential and current clients at every available opportunity is the real leg up.
Let’s face it, the process and commitment of leveraging tools available online is no longer one to procrastinate or underestimate. It’s a necessity of staying in the game.
Newspapers, circulars and penny savers are traditional advertising sources brokers and agents are familiar with. Real estate pros today need to think about advertising with online newspapers and industry directories, free online classified ad sites like Craigslist, real estate blogs, personal websites and social media channels. Deploying a broad online strategy with a focused message allows Realtors (and any entrepreneur really) to advertise their listings to as many people, for as little cost, as possible.
Advertising online effectively however calls for some insider knowledge of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). And the reality is that Real estate SEO and real estate SEM (Search Engine Marketing or Paid Search) today require more complex strategies than simple keyword inclusion.
Keyword density is important in enhancing your real estate search engine relevance. This keyword repetition can put a real estate website or blog on the map, but it’s important not to over-saturate (nobody, search engines included, wants to read text in which every other term is the same). Once you have created content in your own words that conveys your message, you need to make sure it reaches as many people as possible, and with a consistent message.
For Realtors, personal branding is, (in the age of social media), essential to establishing a stronger and more viable business presence. A brand is synonymous with quality in business. Put simply, a brand is a promise. And your personal brand is your unique market perspective, your value contribution to your clients. You need to establish yourself as a credible expert in the industry to gain your clients’ confidence, and spreading your message through social media can be a highly effective means to this end.
Real estate professionals should focus foremost on using social media marketing to access a greater audience and communicate with other like-minded professionals.
The goal should be to build an infrastructure of “friends”, and eventually, a community of your own. While Google+ is less business-promotion friendly for now, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Foursquare each offer real estate agents the opportunity to get the word out about their businesses routinely and conveniently from a smartphone, tablet, or any other device that can connect to the internet. Reaching this larger audience frequently, conveniently, and at a very low cost is the key to growing your sphere of influence and seeing real results.
For example, LinkedIn is still less popular than other mainstream social media platforms, but it can allow for very targeted prospecting in a professional, no BS environment. LinkedIn’s dovetail networking allows members to access other like-minded individuals with similar backgrounds, work history and interests, and to promote themselves to the job market. Once considered only a platform for individuals to connect with potential employers, it has evolved into a valuable channel for prospecting, product positioning, personal branding and viral marketing.
With so much to learn and adopt and so little time to do it- find a few avenues of modern marketing to get passionate about and hopefully it will feel a little less like a strain and more like a wheel in a well-oiled machine. If you’re a Realtor in today’s marketplace, you can choose to overlook new marketing mediums as trends that will phase, but chances are you are also choosing to be left behind.
Be proactive about growing a competitive business online, and contact Boston Logic today for a free consultation. Trust the experts…because we’re invested in your success!
Over the past few weeks we’ve framed what SEO really means and entails for Real Estate professionals trying to stay ahead of the game. We’ve finished up our series with some advice about the Content component of increasing your web presence and remaining competitive online.
CONTENT IS STILL KING – OPTIMIZE IT!
With a strategy set and the right technology, it’s time to create some content! Great content not only engages users, it attracts links, comments, referrals, and search engine traffic. When content you create is optimized, it will be picked up by search engine crawlers and allow visitors who are searching for your content to find it and reach your site. We recommend adding new, unique content to your site at least twice each week- and keep in mind there is a direct correlation between the frequency with which you post content, to how successful that content is in attracting leads!
The Nitty Gritty
So you know what optimizing does, and you know how often to do it- but what are some day-to-day actions that you should take to actually get more leads? Watch our latest LogicClassroom video, Optimizing Your Content for Search Engines (and People!)- and you’ll be ready to go with a content bag full of techniques!
A great strategy and a great website platform will never be found if the site doesn’t have quality content and if it isn’t updated regularly. Blogging is a great way to publish content, and it’s smart to syndicate that content to sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Getting found at the top of the search engines results is unfortunately not a black and white endeavor. While Google does use a mathematical algorithm to determine where your website ranks on a page, these equations are constantly changing in nature. It’s fair to say it would be impossible to keep up with all the calculations, particularly when you have a business to run. But there are some good places to start. With some commitment, and the right foundation, new clients will find you!
If you’re interested in learning more about how Boston Logic can help you with SEO, contact us today for a no-pressure consultation
We’ve taken some time to break down what SEO really means and entails for Real Estate professionals trying to stay ahead of the game. With some digestible facts and tactics to employ, we’ll cover what we think should be top of mind as you consider an SEO strategy, the technology behind it, and the content production involved- all with end goal of increasing your web presence and remaining competitive online!
Having the Right Technology Matters
I can’t tell you how often we speak to realtors and realize the technology behind their site is so antiquated that it will actually keep them from ever ranking in Google. It’s tough to swallow, but most real estate website platforms will actually keep your search engine traffic down. You have to have updated technology and you need to make sure the company you work with can perform.
When you’re shopping for a website provider, avoid the common pitfalls by first asking for numbers. Have the site provider send you reports from other sites built on their software- specifically, ask to look at traffic and inbound leads. Next, make sure your site includes a blog. The blog should be a part of your site. Your blog should not be hosted on blog.yoursite.com or part of some other website altogether like myblog.blogger.com. It should be an integrated blog. Example: www.yoursite.com/blog. The navigation of your site should be made up of HTML text links, not images. Finally, you should be able to edit the pages of your site with unique content. If your current provider doesn’t offer all of these features, it’s time to start looking for a new one. And these are just a few of the features you need. Doing your homework will payoff!
Once you’ve got your SEO strategy down with a solid platform behind it, it’s time to think about CONTENT. Nailing this last component down will steer you towards the top of the Google results- this may seem old hat by now, but content really is still King! Stay tuned for our final thoughts about how to make search engine optimization work for you.