What SEO Experts Do When They Need to Get Found Online

By Craig Forte, Founder - Posted on
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When people seeking your service start exploring online, they do so like you, me and everyone else. They rev up their browser, head off to a site or search engine and start searching.  Most searches are done by typing in a KEYWORD or PHRASE to a search box, clicking the search button and scanning through the resulting SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). Since we know this is what people do, all that’s left for us to determine is WHAT the heck they are typing into that little search box.  If we can make an educated guess about that, then our job becomes more defined.  All we must do is PLANT ourselves (our service, our listing, a web site, a web page or a blog) so we show up in the SERPs where they are looking.  It’s simple if you know how; impossible if you don’t. If you’ve heard anything about “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO), this is basically what we are discussing, but at a simplified level. You need not have any special talents to do this stuff, just the knowledge of what to do and where to do it. The process, once clear in your mind, is rather simple.  The good news is that doing this stuff on the LOCAL level is far easier than trying to achieve a similar goal on a national or global scale.  But for you, and for your business, LOCAL is exactly where we want to be found. So what do we need to do first?  We need to figure out what KEYWORDS or PHRASES local folks are typing into those search boxes!

WOOD WITH GORDS?

Are you good with words?  Great!  Even if you aren’t that’s OK.  There are many tools online that query actual search databases and tell us exactly what people are typing into those boxes.  To make it easier, I’ve posted a tool that is like a ONE STOP SHOP for most of your keyword research needs.  It’s located here (and it’s FREE):  http://danhollings.com/woodgords/ Another way to do quick research on top keywords is to use the Google Suggestion Tool. This tool is now integrated into the main search toolbar on Google’s homepage.  You’ll notice when you begin typing a search phrase, before you press enter to search, suggested phrases automatically show up below.  Pay attention to these as they are high-traffic terms people search. Here’s what you can do to get a feel for local real estate search terms…
  1. Enter “your city” and “real estate” (example = “tucson real estate”…without the quotes)
  2. Before pressing “enter” or clicking search, notice what phrases Google suggests
  3. Write these top phrases down for later use
For local search, just a little research on these general terms goes a long, long way.  But we’ll need to dive a little deeper to really uncover the specific KEYWORDS and PHRASES local homeowners, homebuyers and others may be using in their searches…

How to Find The Keywords and Phrases BUYERS and SELLERS Are Typing Into Search Engines

1. Determine who you’re after…
  • Think of the ONE person most likely to need what your web page or service is about.
  • Erase from your mind all inside knowledge about your company, product, service, industry etc.
  • Forget all techno-babble terms only known by experts or industry insiders.
2. Jump into the mind of the person (the homeowner in need)…
  • You are not a former client, so you have no history or relationship.
  • You have a definite need, challenge, desire, question or interest (that’s why you are searching).
  • You’re about to type words into a Google search box in the hope the search results page will guide you to a solution, a service, an answer, an agent, a perfect business or site.
  • You initially seek information and/or help more so than a product or “expert.”
3. Ask Yourself…
  • What words or phrase would you type in whereby when the results came up and you saw the site title listed (and ultimately a linked page)… you’d say “BINGO” this is what I was looking for!
  • Sometimes by thinking about the “who, what, when, where, why or how” behind the searchers motivation will spark additional useful keywords and phrases.
4. You’re not done…
  • Ask others what keywords they use to find real estate information online, including:  your spouse, your Ex, your neighbor, your kids, your postman, your lawn-keeper, your pet sitter, your cousin Skippy, past clients, your bartender and anyone else you can reach out to.
  • Don’t prep them with background info, just show them your draft page, a printout, or tell them your basic goals. The less you say, the better results you’ll get.
  • Remember, people are not always good spellers… misspelled keywords can be untapped potential for traffic.
5. Explore your competition…
  • Go to Google, type in the keywords you’ve discovered and look at the top sites that return on the results page.  These sites are competing for a similar audience on a large scale – borrow from them for your local plans.
  • Go to sites you already know (from experience) that are seeking to attract the same people.  Examine what they are doing and take notes if you think you see a good idea.
  • Examine your competition’s page title, headlines and the general subjects of their web pages.
This process will give you a running start at getting your web site found by your ideal prospects.  In my next article, I’ll show you how to round out your keyword research to dominate local search results. See you soon!

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Craig Forte
Craig Forte has helped more than 32,000 real estate professionals over the last 22 years, helping them generate more clients, more referrals and repeats, and grow their production with less stress, time and effort – all by using innovative marketing training, systems and tools.
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