Search Keyword DO’s and DON’Ts
By Colin Ryan
At first glance, search keywords may seem pretty intuitive. Still, plenty of marketers don’t seem to understand what makes a good keyword, leading to poor rankings and cash wasted on bad phrases. Here are some best (and worst) practices.
DON’T use your name or the name of your company.
Your name might be an important part of your business with respect to branding, but remember that searchers don’t want you: they want answers to their questions. Anyone who types your name into Google already knows what they’re looking for, so why waste time and energy on them?
DON’T use empty adjectives.
Subjective words like great or amazing may have some benefit in ads, but they don’t mean much to organic searchers. Instead, pursue words that can be measured: cheap, affordable, etc.
DON’T use stop words.
Some keywords are bad because they include terms that search engines ignore. For instance, Google filters out most common misspellings and “stop words” like is, the, and a, so including them in your target keyword is usually a waste of time.
Now, let’s look at some keyword DOs.
DO limit yourself to 2-4 words.
One-word keywords are usually too general. Long tail phrases of 4-6 words are important, but won’t drive much traffic individually. Instead, find a happy medium.
DO include location information.
Particularly in real estate, your keywords should include terms that are related to the “where” of your business: city, state, region, neighborhood, etc. After all, people don’t just search for real estate: they search for real estate where they want to live.
DO use product or service keywords.
These are terms related to the “what” of your business: homes, apartments, rentals, condominiums, etc. If you tend to focus on a particular niche, you should include those words as well: foreclosures, FSBO, distressed, etc.
DO describe your site content.
If you’re using a blog to drive traffic to your website, you should pursue terms that reference your content, either by using titles as an exact match keywords or by combining them with common descriptors: guide, handbook, how to, beginner, etc.
Want to know more about how to research the right keywords for your business? Check out our free eBook below: The Real Estate Marketing Guide to Keyword Research.
Published on May 6, 2013
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