You already know the best way to find buyers and sellers online is to set up a real estate investing website. So, you dutifully get your hosting package and set up your site. It looks nice, you’ve got some pictures and a clean layout, but day after day you check your site traffic and it’s zilch. Nobody’s biting.
The whole idea of having the site is for motivated buyers and sellers to come to you. So how can you improve site traffic and generate more leads without having to go out and advertise yourself?
The key to bringing buyers and sellers to your website is to make it easy for them to find you when they are searching for exactly what you offer.
In my last article, I briefly mentioned how important it is to choose the right target keywords for your website, but here I’ll expand on the idea a little bit more and show you how to find winning keywords with Google Adwords.
In general, it’s harder to compete on broader, more general keywords, simply because there are more people with websites trying to target those keywords, and they are likely to be larger, more established websites. You want to choose more specific keywords for your site that will define your niche and bring the leads to you.
Here is how you can create a lead-generating keyword list in 4 steps:
1) Create an account on Google Adwords. Just go to Adwords.Google.com and follow the instructions to open an account, if you don’t already have one.
You will have to provide billing details, but you don’t actually have to pay for the account itself. The billing details are for if you decide to run advertising campaigns with Google. More about how to run a good Adwords campaign in a future article.
Adwords has a handy-dandy Keyword Planner that allows you to explore different keywords and find out how many people are searching for them and how much competition you’ll have from other websites if you choose to target them.
2) Brainstorm a preliminary keyword list. When you’re brainstorming you list, think about yourself as a small business, and ask yourself what makes you unique. Try to think of the most specific keyword phrases that you can.
Why is that? It’s because you want to narrow your target audience and give them exactly what they’re looking for. Sure, you might not get your website in front of as many people, but the people who will see your site will be searching for exactly what you offer.
For example, imagine I’m making my site. I’m an investor in the Los Angeles, area, and I’m particularly interested in buying and flipping houses in the neighborhood of Highland Park.
Instead of “sell my house” or “homes for sale”, which are very broad keywords, I would want to target “highland park ca homes for sale” or “sell my house highland park.” This is more likely to bring me people interested in buying and selling homes specifically in Highland Park.
The other advantage to choosing specific keywords is that you are less likely to have stiff competition from a lot of websites for them. Since fewer people are likely to be targeting those keywords, you’re more likely to be able to appear higher in search results for them if you target them on your site.
Once you have your brainstormed keyword list, you’re ready to open the Keyword Planner and start researching your list.
3) Research traffic and competition of your list. In the navigation bar at the top of your Adwords dashboard, click Tools and then click Keyword Planner.
Let’s start just by researching the keywords in your list. Click Get Search Volume and Data Trends, and then enter your list in the box where it says Enter Keywords.
Below, you have the option to choose the geographic location you’re interested in. I usually leave this as United States, but you could also target your state or city. Let’s leave it as United States for now, and click Get Search Volume.
The next page you see after clicking Get Search Volume will look like this:
Don’t let all the bars and charts scare you; there are only a couple of things you need to pay attention to: Average Monthly Searches and Competition. The average monthly searches column means, you guessed it, how many times that term is searched in a month, on average. The Competition column gives you a very general idea of how many sites are advertising with that keyword.
Something to note here is that the Competition score (high, medium, low) only deals with people who are paying to advertise with that term. You should consider it a very vague idea of how easy or difficult it would be to have your website rank on that keyword.
Look through your list and see what each keyword’s stats are. You’re looking for the phrases with the highest search volume and the lowest competition score you can find.
Those will be your chosen keywords. For each phrase you find in your list that has a good amount of average searches and a medium or low competition score, click the arrows under Add to Plan so that you can save it in a separate list.
What if you don’t have any keywords in your list that fit these criteria, or only a few? That takes us to the next step.
4) Find related keywords. Next, go back to the Keyword Planner homepage, and this time select “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category.” You can just paste your keyword list into the box on the next page and then click Get Ideas.
Now Google will give you a whole slew of keywords that are related to the ones you entered. This is great because it can show you phrases that are relevant to your business and to your real estate investing website but that you may not have thought of yourself.
However, you need to be careful because what is a “related keyword” to Google may be totally irrelevant to you.
Under the Ad Group Ideas tab on the next page, scroll through the group ideas and find the ones that look relevant to you. Click on the Ad Group’s name and you’ll be able to see the stats for the individual keywords, like you saw before.
Once again, look for phrases that are relevant to your website and have a good number off monthly searches and low competition. Click the arrows to add them to your plan.
Once you’ve got a decent number of keyword phrases in your plan, congratulations! Your keyword research is done – for now. There is always more research you can do to understand your target audience, but for now you have a good working list.
Next, click the down arrow in Your Plan to download your plan and then click Download. Your keyword list will be downloaded as a CSV (you can open it with Excel) along with the stats for all of the keywords in the list.
Now it’s up to you to use this list as a reference as you’re writing the copy on your real estate investor website. Remember not to stuff keywords – use your target keywords a couple of times on your page, but always make sure your copy reads as natural language.
The best places to have your target keywords are in the page meta title, URL, and H1 tag of the page. If you’re working on WordPress, that means just make sure to include your phrase in the title of your page or post.
You’ve now got a good working list of keywords for your real estate investor website in order to target your specific audience and start bringing in those leads.
Have any other good keyword tips you’ve heard? Got questions about using the Adwords Keyword Planner, or other tools you’ve used? Drop me a line in the comments and let’s chat about it!
(featured image from unsplash.com)