November 26, 2010

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Real Estate SEO Part 3

glennbatten welcomes the third in a series of guest posts from Australian real estate expert Glenn Batten about SEO or “Search Engine Optimisation” for real estate.

Glenn Batten is the General Manager with Nerang First National where he started in the industry in 1992 as one of the agency’s foundation sales associates. One of Glenn’s passions is technology, especially as it applies to the real estate industry and his responsibilities extend to the design, creation and implementation of a number of the agency’s systems and procedures, an integral reason why Nerang First National has been awarded the REIQ Gold Coast Agency of the Year for four years in a row and the REIQ Queensland Agency of the Year for 2000 and 2009. This article is part of a series on SEO for Real Estate Agents featured on the Business2 Blog

This article is the third in the series. The first article introduced the concept of SEO and focussed on the initial tasks and housekeeping to prepare your website to improve its SEO and monitoring that improvement. The second article concentrated on Referral Building and how to increase the authoritative value of your website. This article will concentrate on the very important task of keyword research.

Keyword Research

A keyword is a word or phrase used to search on and extract information out of an index. In the context of these articles keywords will be search engine keywords. These are the word or terms that a web user will use to search for property related websites.

The whole context of Search Engine Optimisation hinges on your website appearing as high as possible for related search engine keywords on the many search engines. The more keywords your site returns for the more targetted traffic you will generate.

This article focuses on identifying potential keywords to implement into your SEO structure. We will leave the implementation of these keywords to the next two articles but identifying the right keywords is really half the battle.

Not enough people treat the keyword research phase with enough importance. It really is the foundation of your whole SEO work and is why I will be concentrating a whole article in the series to this.

In the next article in the series we will look at using some of these keywords to improve your existing pages of your website and then in the following article we will look at creating new pages to add to your website.

Primary Geographic Keywords

These are the keywords that will probably bring you the most traffic and should be setup for each of the suburbs in your primary trade area.

Using our agency as an example we operate in four key residential suburbs, Nerang, Highland Park, Carrara and Worongary but I will use Nerang as my example. Other than the agency name itself the primary keywords for a real estate agency primarily fall into two camps. “Real Estate” and “Property”.

So our primary keywords would first start with the suburb and then add that suburb to each combination so for Nerang we would have.

* Nerang
* Nerang Real Estate
* Nerang Property

Repeat for every primary suburb of course and let’s not forget to reverse your keywords.

Many of these keywords can also be used in reverse, so “Real Estate Nerang” would also be valid. This does not work all the time but each of these below would be natural search terms.

* Real Estate Nerang
* Property Nerang

This gives us five primary keywords per suburb. Assuming you focus on the top four suburbs that form part of your primary trade area and you have first 20 keywords but let’s not stop there.

Other Geographic Keywords

The exact secondary keywords you need to identify will vary for each agency depending upon the property types you sell and the services you offer.

I am going to give you a few examples broken down into sections which should highlight the need to think about the different “layers” of keywords that you can target.

At the bottom of this article I will show how you conduct some research to find the keywords for your particular requirements.

Property Types

* Nerang Houses
* Nerang Homes
* Nerang Units
* Nerang Land


* Nerang Property For Sale
* Nerang Homes For Sale
* Nerang Units For Sale
* Nerang Land For Sale


* Nerang Investment Property
* Nerang Investment
* Nerang Property Investment


* Nerang Property Values
* Nerang Property Sales
* Nerang Agents
* Nerang Real Estate Agent
* Nerang Real Estate Agents


* Nerang Homes to Rent
* Nerang Property to Rent
* Nerang Rentals


* Nerang Property Management
* Nerang Property Managers


* Nerang valuers
* Nerang valuation

Other examples that could be valid for some agencies but not others could focus around keywords like “studio” or “studio apartment”, “waterfront”, “prestige”, “acreage”, “hobby farm” and many others.

Offices operating in smaller country towns will find it worthwhile targetting keywords based on the name of the town but those in the urban sprawl of the cities will find the competition for city based keywords like Sydney Real Estate or Melbourne Property is just too high.

The same things goes for keywords based on district and regions and I would recommend that you initially concentrate on suburb based keywords. Crawl before you walk, and walk before you run.

Secondary General Keywords

Another good thing to target is more general keywords. Although these sort of keywords can bring significant traffic it is not targetted for your specific agency or location. The traffic is still useful though as it improves your overall ratings and authoritative value on the Internet which in turns pushes your results for other keywords higher and higher. Use this list as a guide only and create a list that suits your particular office.


* What happens at settlement
* Settlement day
* Building and pest inspection
* First Home Buyers


* real estate investing
* Real Estate Investment
* Investment in real estate
* Real Estate Investment Software
* Real Estate Investment incentives
* Real Estate Taxes


* Real Estate Commission Queensland
* Agent Commission Queensland
* Real Estate Commission
* Exclusive agency
* Selling By Auction


* Renting with Pets
* tenants rights
* tenant responsibility
* properties for rent


* real estate investment management
* real estate investment manager
* property management
* property manager
* tenant screening
* evicting tenants
* evict a tenant
* Tenancy Database


Another interesting set of keywords to consider is common misspellings. As an example Real Estate is often typed in as realestate by many searchers and Gold Coast is often combined to GoldCoast. You should consider keywords that people would often type even if they may not be technically correct. If I operated in Port Macquarie I would certainly make sure one of my keywords was “Pt Macquarie”.

An International Flavour

If a large selection of your potential market is to international clients you should also concentrate on words they would use when searching for properties in your area. Americans would use “realtor”, “condominium” or “condo” whereas visitors from the UK would use words like estate agent, detached and semi-detached.

So Where to Next?

You have to take my examples and suggestions above and create your own keyword lists that is specifically suited for your office and your primary trade area and then you have to prioritise those keywords.

Prioritising for Quality AND Quantity

Thankfully we don’t have to just guess our way through the list as Google provides a fantastic tool that will provide you with enough information to make the job relatively easy.

Google runs a service called AdWords. This is when you advertise on Google with those small “sponsored by” ads on Google’s search engine and other sites. Google provides their advertisers and potential advertisers with a “Keyword Tool”. This tool allows you to enter any search term and it will return the relative traffic generated for that search term plus it will suggest a range of other keywords that you might want to consider and their relative traffic.

But please remember one major point: It’s not just about selecting the keywords with the highest traffic. Some keywords might only attract a couple of searches a week, but you want to come up number one every single time.

To put this in perspective lets look at two different examples. The exact keyword “Sydney Real Estate” was searched for 6,600 times for the month of July, 2009. This is certainly significant traffic but it is an ultra competitive keyword and is an unrealistic target for most agents just getting into SEO. Even if you could get a good share of that traffic your particular agency would probably not suit the majority of searchers targetting this fairly generic keyword most often used by buyers.

On the other side of the fence, 58 people searched for the exact term “Parramatta real estate agents” and if you were a Parramatta real estate agent you would be relevant to all 58 of those searchers who on average would mostly be sellers.

When you create your keyword list I suggest that you rate each keyword you add to the list out of five. All your primary keywords should be a four or a five, but the secondary keywords will range dramatically. Those with higher priority will be your initial focus and give you a place to start as well as identify targets for the future.

Another Good Place to Identify Keywords

If you have Google Analytics or some other web analytics solution installed you can find out what search terms people are using to find your website now. That can also be a good place to start but don’t limit yourself to what is just working now.

Use your own personal experience. We have all been using search engines for quite a few years now. Chances are what you would search when looking for an agent is just what most other people would. Think how you would search for an agent in your area if you were looking to select a real estate agent to sell your home. What would you search for?

Google Keyword Tool

There are quite a few keyword research tools available but most cost money and are too complicated but because of Google’s dominance in Australia combining your own fundamental market knowledge and Google’s Keyword Tool should be more than enough to get you started.

The Google Keyword Tool is of course free to use and is your best friend when you are trying to create a collection of keywords to target. For every keyword returned the tool provides three sets of data as a default although you can turn on additional columns if you want.

Advertiser Competition is the level of competition that other companies are bidding on that keyword on Google. I will cover this a little in the next article but in simple terms the higher the competition the more it will cost to compete for that keyword. For a keyword targetted to a seller it may be worth it to pay $1.00 per click but you may not want to consider that rate to attract potential buyers.

Local Search Volume. This provides the Australian based searches for that specific keyword. For the most part this is the column with the most relevant data we are looking for.

Global Monthly Search Volume is the amount traffic that is generated in the rest of the world for that particular keyword.

Changing the Match type will provide more detailed results. Don’t forget low search numbers may produce “Not Enough Data” but they may be still a very valid keywords to use. The Keyword Tool seems to be great for popular keywords but for less searched terms it is not quite sensitive as we would like.

The tool allows you to save keyword lists as well and is best shown in a short video which hopefully will show you how easy it is. The video is in two parts. The first I have concentrated on keywords specifically targetted to buyers and then for general property management search terms using the Gold Coast suburb of Robina.

We are now half way through the series with the next article concentrating on improving the pages you already have on your website.

By Glenn Batten
General Manager at Nerang First National Real Estate
Gold Coast, QLD, Australia

This article is part of a series on SEO for Real Estate Agents featured on the Business2 Blog.


Related posts:

  1. Real Estate SEO Part 4
  2. Real Estate SEO Part 2
  3. Real Estate SEO Part 1
  4. Common SEO Mistakes on Real Estate Sites
  5. On-Site Tips for SEO: Part 1
  6. Using Google Keywords for More Traffic
  7. On-Site Tips for SEO: Part 2
  8. SEO for Real Estate: What to Avoid
  9. Real Estate Website Tips from



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  2. [...] and on other websites, which can be effective if used properly. As our guest blogger Glenn Batten points out, using AdWords is not just about selecting the keywords with the highest traffic. “Some [...]

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