SEO efforts pay off. This becomes evident as soon as real estate investors start to consider growing their online marketing. Optimizing the use of keywords helps your website rank higher in organic searches, which means you get more visitors to the site. More visitors, in turn, translate into more leads. And if you look at it purely as a numbers game, more leads effectively result in more deals.
Precisely because of this, online marketers create a lot of buzz when it comes to keywords. Fortunately, the list of keywords which are relevant to real estate investors is not long. So, it’s easy to come up with keywords that will be in the focus of your SEO efforts, and ultimately, drive more organic traffic to your websites.
Before we delve into specifics, do note that real estate investors deal with a tiny niche within a large sector – real estate. Some of the tips on keyword use might work just great for eCommerce sites, small businesses, retailers, and similar websites who serve broader audiences. The motivated sellers that you want to attract will type keywords in a search engine with a particular intention, and that’s selling a house, so always factor this in when you are considering general SEO advice for real estate.
On top of that, Google (and other search engines) change the ranking algorithms from time to time. These changes are nothing dramatic, and some basic advice still holds, however, if you follow the algorithms blindly, you may end up wasting time and other resources on implementing keywords in a way that’s no longer relevant. So, keep up with updates that pertain to search engine ranking to avoid optimizing for wrong keywords.
You’re a real estate entrepreneur, so you know what to do when a certain subject matter is beyond your field of expertise: either you study up and do the work necessary to remain in the loop yourself, or you go to someone who does it better than you.
There are companies out there, ourselves included, that have spent millions of dollars in online marketing for clients. We are in a position to analyze metrics derived from all those campaigns, so you can follow our advice to learn about keywords and SEO. Also, look for real estate investor marketing companies that have been doing this consistently throughout the years. They have to be familiar with the latest SEO rules, because if you listen to someone who ranked a website using a few keywords back in the day, but hasn’t stayed up-to-date on SEO dynamics ever since, their advice might be outdated.
For some real estate investors, keeping track of all news and updates on keywords use is overwhelming – and this is OK, you already have a lot on your plate. Instead, you can hire someone to give you a heads up on new marketing trends or do it all for you.
You’ll see why this matters as we go through a set of keyword examples for real estate investors.
One of the biggest pitfalls is attracting the wrong type of visitors to your website. Unfortunately, for real estate investors, this is a real possibility due to the fact that your keywords might end up targeting a very large real estate audience.
Sometimes, search engine users don’t even have an intent to sell a house, rather “sell house” is only one part of the search phrase (for example, “sell house photos”). In Google Ad campaigns, these so-called negative keywords for real estate investing are excluded to save on marketing dollars.
When you choose your SEO keywords, though, you can’t eliminate negative keywords. For example, if you use keywords like “sell my house,” you will potentially get a lot of visits. However, the motivation for selling the property is not specified in this keyword phrase and you might end up attracting sellers instead of attracting motivated sellers. The difference is huge. A seller doesn’t have the urgency to sell, and they’ll make you adjust to their schedule instead of the other way around. It’s a visitor with low motivation to sell and high negotiation power – this is a real estate investor’s dead end.
Target motivated sellers by using keywords that include a modifier that addresses the motive.
These keywords include the whole sentence (or a long phrase). Such an option is for those real estate investors who want to focus on one market and it can work even when you target a specific neighborhood.
For example, “sell my house cash in Atlanta GA” or “sell my house cash Edgewood, Atlanta.”
The best place to put keywords is in blog posts on your website. However, SEO is much more than simply writing articles and it includes both on-site and off-site optimization.On-page SEO in particular factors in many aspects, such as:
Let’s check these out in more detail so that you get a better idea of how to implement keywords on-site.
Keyword density (or ‘keyword frequency’) refers to the number of times a target keyword is mentioned in an article. Higher keyword density helps Google’s crawlers identify what your website (and blog post) is about, but you shouldn’t overdo the keyword mentions.
Seriously, if your keyword is “sell my house cash in Georgia” and you have a 1,000-word blog post in which “sell my house cash in Georgia” is mentioned 20 times – that’s keyword stuffing. This will not only hurt your search engine ranking, but it might also cause frustration in readers, especially if the text is difficult to follow.
The other extreme is not good for your ranking either. If you use the keyword only twice in a 1,000-word article, the search engine might have a hard time determining what the post is about and as a result, you won’t show up high in the SERPs when someone searches for the target keyword.
Use your real estate investing keywords with moderation (for example, use each keyword 3-4 times in a 1,000-word article). Just make sure that the use of the keywords is justified and comes naturally with the flow of content, so that your blogs will appeal to both readers and algorithms.
One page – one keyword, this is the most straightforward piece of advice we can give you. So, one page per neighborhood, one page per city, one page for each keyword. Otherwise, all of the effort that went into finding the right keywords will be in vain.
The number-one SEO tip on use of keywords on your website used to be: include the keyword in the title. This is still relevant today, but nowadays it’s also recommended to use the keyword in the first 100 words of the post.
For example, in a blog post about buying houses in Arizona, the title should include a variation of the keyword “Buying houses in Tucson (Arizona)” (it can be in brackets, too). And if the first paragraph has an exact match (“buying houses in Arizona”) Google will prioritize your article over those who mention the keyword further down in the text.
Remember: search engines scan headings and subheadings to find out what the blog post is about, so adding your keyword there will also boost the ranking of the post. These elements are known as H1 tag (headings) and H2 tags (subheadings) – those real estate investing websites which are built in WordPress make it easy for you to select the type of heading tag before you publish the article. Alternatively, you can write the document in Google Docs where you can select H1 through H5 headings and then just copy – paste the text on your website.
The search engine is text-based and can’t read images, so every bit of text that is used to describe the images which accompany the post can improve keyword optimization on your site. The name of the image file you upload to your website, also known as image alt tags, are a typical example of this.
For example, if you specialize in code violation properties, and your target keyword in the blog post is “fire damaged properties for sale,” the alternative text used to describe the image can help your SEO. It can be something like “distressed-home-damaged-by-fire” or “homeowners-selling-fire-damaged-property.”
And although we talk about using text in image description and tags as an opportunity for keyword placement – the same principle applies to meta tags and various page URLs. So, when you write a short description about the blog post in the HTML document (or its <head> section) you can drop a keyword there. If you don’t add a description, Google automatically takes a snippet of the content. You can also use a keyword when you choose a URL for the blog post, as well. For instance, you can set the URL to be something like:
Comprehensive SEO content strategies include using keywords on social media as well (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and even Pinterest). There are other techniques to improve off-site SEO, like adding links, writing comments, and posting on forums, but as far as keywords are concerned, social networks are the best platforms. No other platform can provide the level of exposure social networks can offer these days, and this translates into more traffic to your site.
Those who follow our blog on a regular basis will know that we aren’t big fans of ready-made solutions simply because they don’t exist in online marketing. At the same time, you are probably aware that a lot of real estate investors are after similar keywords, and this likely applies to your market as well. The reason here is: you can’t really discover a new search phrase, since every REI business offers the same service out there. Motivated sellers usually look up similar phrases and a certain level of repetition (of keywords) is natural. The shortlist revolves the following phrases:
Make sure you include keyword synonyms and variations, but, in essence, these are what motivated sellers search for on the popular engines. As we already mentioned, you can also add a specific location to narrow it down.
The keyword list above includes some of the most common real estate investing keywords. It mostly contains items that come up when people like you try to develop a content strategy. At Adwords Nerds, we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on online ads for clients who are active nationwide. And we also do SEO, so we are in a position to offer you a rare insight into real estate investing keywords based on metrics.
So, we are about to share with you some keywords that are relevant in the real world and that are sure to help you gain online visibility.
These are the top real estate investing keywords based on difficulty. The “difficulty” here is measured based on the number of websites that compete for that particular keyword. If you go after a keyword that is on this list, you aren’t only up against a large number of competitors, but you’re also going up against websites that are optimized for that keyword/keyword phrase and are already ranked pretty high. In short – they are a tough gig.
On the other end of this list, we have the 20 easiest keywords. These are keywords that aren’t targeted by many competitors, but they are also often keywords with a lower search volume – i.e., they are often less searched for. In any case, even if someone’s website appears as a search result, chances are there is a lot of work to be done to optimize the site for a specific keyword. This is your opportunity to create better content and rank high if you are interested in competing for the keywords on this list.
“High volume” here refers to the relative estimate of national search volume for a keyword. This is not a metric based on hard data as again, it’s an estimate, and the estimate itself is based on all searches on the internet, so this is not data for your specific market. However, it can serve to show you the trends of the search volume in the real estate investing industry, especially for those search phrases that are popular at the moment .
Websites that rank for high volume keywords need to have a lot of backlinks to rank higher in the SERPs. These top results are also likely to have more authority (regarding the target keyword), so, in essence, it’s harder to compete with them.
Take a close look at the keywords with a high return rate. “Return rate” measures how often the people who search for the content click on a website and then return to Google to find a better source. This metric answers the following question: “Are users’ needs met when they click on the highest-ranking results?” If the answer is ‘yes’, then the return rate for the keyword will be low.
Why is this important? Well, if there is a high return rate for a keyword that means that users aren’t always getting the result they need. And this is an opportunity for real estate investors to create content that will satisfy the need better than the top-ranking articles on Google.
The Adwords Nerds keyword list can provide many other insights once you start to analyze the data – the lists above are only examples. We are going to make this list publicly available to serve as a resource to all real estate investors. There is data on more than 600 keywords relevant for the industry, so you can easily look up specific phrases that you are targeting in your SEO research.
Real estate investors don’t deal exclusively with motivated sellers, although motivated seller keywords are the most sought after. Depending on the business model, real estate investors may also work with cash buyers and private lenders, or specialize in a specific type of deal (for example, rent-to-own contracts). Each of these groups of stakeholders might go to a search engine in order to find a local REI, so you should also keep this in mind when you create the outline of your keyword usage.
You can find online resources for these types of alternative keywords, however, they might not apply to your specific real estate investing business operations. If that’s the case, you can just use them as a general guideline when developing your own SEO strategy.
The fundamental advice here is to put yourself in the shoes of the visitors you want to attract. There are only so many ways they can ask a search engine how to sell their house to a real estate investor.
No matter how close you match the search intent of your ideal visitor with the keywords, you should also keep in mind that these keywords don’t work in isolation. First of all, there are other real estate investors who compete for the same keywords. Second, SEO includes multiple factors that are beyond using the right real estate investing keywords. You also need to consider page load speeds, backlinks, site navigation, etc. On top of this, Google values visitor engagement, the amount of time they spend on your site, the quality of content… needles to say, it’s a complex equation. Fortunately, we put together a step-by-step guide on SEO for real estate investors, which can help you navigate the process.
Keywords are the focal point of both search engine optimization and pay-per-click campaigns, so it’s no wonder that some real estate investors think that SEO keywords and PPC keywords are the same. However, they are not.
Keyword research for SEO gives results which are general (and apply to all internet users), but the feedback from use of keywords in a PPC campaign can give you an idea what your local sellers and buyers type in the search engine, which is often exactly what you need.
While it’s true that keywords can be used to boost organic traffic to your site through SEO, keep in mind that the data on searches is affected by all global users, and not just the target audience in your real estate market. The data that comes up in your SEO research is not an indicator of the specific phrases used by motivated sellers in your local real estate market. The SEO tools simply aren’t able to paint that picture.
You can also start a pay-per-click campaign to increase the number of visitors to your site. PPC will not only tackle the same goal as SEO (i.e. boost in traffic), but it will also provide data on keyword use in your specific market. We are talking about relevant and actionable data, via metrics like number of impressions, click-through rates, and conversion rates – and these indicators are all tied to an exact keyword.
Using SEO along with PPC will allow you to have unique insight into the keywords that work in your market. The real world data from even a small PPC campaign can be used to drive your SEO efforts towards the top 20% of keywords. The benefit? This two-pronged approach, when you go after the top 20% keywords, will generate 80% of your results.
These days, you have to employ a custom SEO strategy and focus on specific keywords for your real estate investor market – there is no way around it. Make sure you go for keywords that attract motivated sellers. Luckily, it’s fairly easy to come up with the phrases that are most commonly used, and hopefully the lists we provided will help you get started.
Integrate your keyword SEO with the specific market or a type of deal you specialize in and over time, you’ll have a chance to capitalize on both the search engine ranking and targeted pay-per-click campaigns. If that sounds like more than you can handle, you can delegate this task to professionals to ensure a steady stream of leads in your funnel.
Feel free to make a copy of our complete list of the top SEO Keywords for real estate investors here:
There’s a big, fat mistake most real estate investors make in their advertising which results in losing 30% of your potential customers. And to add insult to injury, this mistake also devours your advertising budget. That’s the bad news. The good news? The solution is almost so simple that no investors even think about it.
Entrepreneurs love to complicate their business (even at the expense of their sanity, profits, and freedom). Here’s a common trap entrepreneurs fall into: They hit their peak performance month — bringing in double the amount of revenue as they normally do. So what do they do? They reinvest in their business. But this reinvestment comes at