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Keyword Search Strategies for Real Estate Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

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Keywords for real estate searches.

Know what real estate keywords are being used and how often.

® Photo: Screenshot Yahoo Search Marketing

Work the Fringes and the "Long Tail":

Everybody knows that "YourTown real estate" is the most-used keyword search term, with the addition of the state abbreviation (YourTown CO real estate) next. Competitive bidding on those search terms in pay-per-click advertising can be really expensive.

Note that there is a long list of terms that derive from the basic popular ones and have more words in them that limit the results. That's called the "long tail". By choosing those that will work for your niche and site, one can spend less due to the lesser competition. There are frequently a great many terms that fit this description.

Look for Search Terms that Fit Your Market but are Less Popular:

There were more than 50 variations on the "Denver real estate" search term, which has bids around $10/click. There are some great opportunities there to work the long tail and get very focused clicks on your niche markets.

Take for example denver luxury real estate, which had 185 searches in one month. Note that top positioning in this term is around $2.00/click. That's quite a savings and very focused on your niche if you're working the luxury market.

If you're working downtown lofts, the "downtown denver real estate" term, with 163 uses, could be a gold mine at a bit over a dollar a click.

Run the Numbers for a Great Cost-to-Prospect Ratio:

Ideally, in your market area, you should be able to find a half dozen or more of the niche keyword terms. But just for this analysis, let's look at the two Denver terms for a year in this cost-per-prospect spreadsheet. Note that we're only going to count on one in 25, or 4% of those using the search term to click on our ad and visit our site. This should be a conservative estimate with a well-written ad.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a newspaper ad that will generate prospects at a cost of only $1.60 each. Now you just take these 167 prospects, get them into an effective drip email campaign, and do some business.

Though all the Old Marketing Venues Still Work, Look Carefully at PPC:

If you've got a marketing budget that's spent in some mix of newspaper, homes magazine, post cards, broadcast, promotional items like calendars, etc., consider diverting some budget to promoting your web site with pay-per-click or PPC marketing.

If your site is properly designed and set up to capture prospect information and work them through drip email, PPC can be extremely effective and not that expensive.

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