Real Estate Marketing How To: Effective Keyword Research

Most of the REALTOR® I speak with tend to over look the importance of keyword research.  In most cases they seem to assume that if they have a real estate website the buyers and sellers will just come running. If you do not have a system in place to identify which keyword phrases you should be targeting you’re missing out on many leads!

So how do you exactly develop a strategy for keyword research?  The process is simple – but determining keyword variations is where your brain power will come into play.

Here are the steps you should follow in determining your market-able keywords:

  1. Brainstorm
  2. Categorize the areas of your market (communities, REO, relocation, retirement, etc.)
  3. Research via online tools
  4. Compile a final list
  5. Make your final picks


The first thing you need to do is think about what a buyer or seller may type into Google (or other search engines) to find the information they are looking for — what phrases would they type?  Homes in Bergenfield NJ, Bank Owned Properties in Jersey City NJ, Luxury Homes Bergen County NJ.  Compile all the variations on a spreadsheet so it is easier to read.

Don’t limit yourself to just your own ideas.  Seek ideas from other people like your spouse, friends, other family, current clients, neighbors – and think about different age groups as well.

Categorize the Areas of your Market

Using the information that was just discussed above – on your spreadsheet – begin to move these keyword phrases into categories.  Are you targeting a certain age group, community, property type (like age restricted or waterfront homes), lifestyle – the lists can be infinite!

Research via Online Tools

Google has a great keyword research tool that lets you know how many searches are run on a particular keyword phrase and how competitive you have to be to rank among others using your keyword phrases.

So if you chose to use Google’s Keyword Tool enter your keyword phrase, Hackensack Real Estate for example,then look at the ‘Searches per Month’ column. Below you can see that our keyword phrase gets an average of 850 searchers per month – which is a relatively competitive keyword phrase. That means we will have to put more emphasis on our keyword phrase and keyword density throughout our marketing materials.

Phrase Searches per month Competitive
hackensack nj real estate 400 Low
Hackensack real estate 850 Medium

The added bonus is that Google will also return related phrases. For example: hackensack nj real estate, real estate in hackensack nj etc.

Compile a Final List

Now that you have all these primary and secondary keyword phrases you can now begin to reduce them into the ones you feel will be most beneficial to your business.  There is no easy way to do this.  You need to focus on many factors such as; competitiveness, searches per month, Adword price (if you are going to use Adwords), and ROI.

Determine the Competitiveness:  The key point here is to figure out which are within your reach.  Some phrases are simply too hard to rank under because they are so competitive or too broad (like new jersey real estate). Determining keyword competitiveness has proven to be one of the trickiest aspects of the keyword research process.

Now that you have your final list, you need to begin to optimize your web pages around these phrases.  Remember do not mix unrelated keyword phrases together or your web content will get diluted in search results (if you are going to focus on a few communities on your website make sure you make a page for each – do not use Community A keywords on Community B’s page).

The bottom line is this: The web page that is MOST relative to the keyword phrase entered generally ranks the best! Good Luck!

4 thoughts on “Real Estate Marketing How To: Effective Keyword Research

  1. Great article Mark, you hit the high points well. Thanks for sharing.

    Another thing to consider is frequency of your posts. You should be posting blogs around your top keywords at least 3 times a week. The easy way to do that is to write 3 or more at a time then post them every other day. Google loves fresh content.


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