Technology for the ADHD Real Es…SQUIRREL!!!

Real Estate Agent & Trainer using the power of technology to achieve maximum productivity

Monthly Archives: March 2011

Demystifying SEO Keywords

OK, those of you who like to keep the little man behind the curtain and believe in the Easter Bunny, stop reading now.

If you like to pull back the curtain and know the “How” behind the “What,” this entry is for you. Secrets behind the ubiquitous “SEO” (Search Engine Optimization) are about to be broken down for anyone who can use Google. And if you can’t use Google, how the heck did you find my blog???

First, some ground rules:

1. There is a fundamental difference between zebras and horses. Just because it has black and white on it does NOT make it a zebra. If it’s a horse, you can ride it. If it’s a zebra, leave it to the professionals because you’re (probably) in real estate and not in web design / content management.

2. As Oscar Wilde said, “Everything in moderation…including moderation.” Don’t go overboard with your keywords and make your content read like an instruction manual for an Asian product so cheap they couldn’t afford to hire a real translator.

3. Blog. Period. Just do it. And when you do, the conventional wisdom (of this second, but hang on and it’ll change) is to keep your post between 300 & 500 words, with your keywords making up 2-5% of your text. In other words, a post of 500 words should repeat your keywords 10-25 times.

4. Keep your content fresh. You can write the perfect blog entries for a month, but if you don’t keep it up and those dozen blog posts are all that you have for the next year, you wasted your time.

5. Don’t get cute. Plastering your keywords all over your website in 4 pt type and in white letters on a white background will not help your site – it will get you blacklisted and banned from the search engines. I’m sorry, did you say you wanted to be on the FIRST page of Google or NO page of Google?

Now, with our ground rules in place, here is MY formula for finding the right keywords:

1. While logged in to your Google account (you DO have one, don’t you???), go to

2. To establish a baseline for how well your current website targets your pool, enter your website name in the “Website” box and click ‘Search.’ Are these the phrases used by people you WANT to attract?

3. You know who you want to attract, and you know what they would probably put into Google to find someone like you. Type those words / phrases in the ‘Word or phrase’ box, one word or phrase per line. For example, “find a home | homes in Chicago | real estate,” then click ‘Search.’

4. When the results come back, there will hundreds of them. Look at the first page and make sure you haven’t made a huge error in the keywords you used. If you are trying to market your Dallas real estate business and “morticians in Cheyenne” comes up, you might want to try again. Just sayin…

5. On the bar right above the results, click “Download,” then “All (###)” and save this file in the CSV for Excel format. Open the file in Excel, then save it as an XLS file (not CSV) in a directory that makes sense with a name that makes sense. In Excel, do the following:

a. Change “Global Monthly Searches” and “Local Monthly Searches” to GMS & LMS, respectively.
b. Move the LMS column before the GMS column.
c. Insert a column after LMS and another after GMS. Label these two columns “Local Rating” and “Global Rating,” respectively. Highlight these columns and click Format > Cells. Format these as Number with 2 decimal places (the default). Select all the columns after these columns and hide them.
d. Assuming that you still have a header row, Competition is column B, LMS is column C, and GMS is column E, paste the following formula into the first open “Local Rating” cell: =((1-B2)*(SQRT(SQRT(C2)))*3). Now paste this formula in the first “Global Rating” cell: =((1-B2)*(SQRT(SQRT(E2)))*3). Not to bore you to tears, but this is a formula I created inverts the amount of competition into the marketing opportunity, boils down the number of searches to a number to eliminates wild swings, and multiplies it into a number between 1 & 100 (ish).
e. Highlight the entire worksheet and click Data > Sort, sorting by Local Rating first and Global Rating second – both in DESCENDING order.
f. Pay attention to the top 20-25 results. These are the keywords / phrases that are being searched at a high volume and the competition for the user’s eye is very low in proportion.
When you create this spreadsheet, you’ll probably be amazed at some of the things you didn’t think about. For example, in my area, the phrase “property tax” is searched 823,000 times PER MONTH on average. In other words, every 2 minutes there are 3 people near me who type it into Google. For some reason, only 20% of websites comparable to mine have the words “property tax” in them. How fast do you think I put “property tax” in my META tags and wrote a page for homeowners wanting to appeal their “property tax” assessment???

What works for you?