How to Find the Right Real Estate Keywords for Your Google Ads

Gone are the days when real estate advertising relied solely on local newspapers to drum up interest in new listings. Fast forward 20 years and real estate advertising is more digital and reaches more people. People can search and research homes online long before they reach out to you to ask for more information.

Digital advertising is the future of business, but this means that your ideal clients are seeing more options during their search — which creates competition between listings. It’s getting harder for your listings to stand out. One way to make sure your ads get seen is to include real estate keywords in them.

Creating ads that have specific keywords seems daunting, especially if you’re new to this approach. However, there are easy ways to research keywords. Here’s what you need to know.

Why you need to include real estate keywords in your ads

When a person starts their property search, it’s likely they don’t know which real estate agents work in their desired neighborhood or which websites to browse. Often, the search for a new home starts in Google.

This approach is known as organic search and is extremely powerful because it “drives 51% of all web traffic for both B2B and B2C.” That’s huge!

Between 75% – 90% of people only look at the results on the first page of Google search results. This number drops lower and lower for each subsequent results page. This is why your listings have to appear on the first page in order to be seen. Fortunately, Google Ads help improve your chances since they always appear at the top of search results.

For example, if a person types in a simple query — like three-bedroom apartments in Brooklyn, NY — the first few search results are ads:

These listings are more likely to get clicks than other links further down on the page or on page two and onward. When you create Google Ads, focus on local SEO since chances are your audience is looking for properties in specific locations. Focusing on local real estate keywords that include cities and neighborhoods has one major advantage: it improves the chances of your ads being clicked, since they cater to a specific audience interest.

Now that you know why using real estate keywords in your ads is important, let’s look at how to find the right ones. We’ve narrowed down the process to show you four ways to help you find the right keywords for your next ad campaign.

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1. Listen to what your audience is saying

This is one of the easiest ways to find real estate keywords because most audiences are willing to share what’s important to them. Your research should be based on what you hear at open houses, private property viewings, on social media, in online forums, while talking to other agents, talking to brokers, etc.

What potential clients and other real estate professionals share give you a better understanding of audience pain points, housing features they like, ideal location, and more.

Create a list of categories and then under each one list the words and phrases you found during your search. Your list might look something like this:

Use Google Keyword Planner to learn more about the words on your list. For example, you can see information like:

  • Monthly search volume — how many times people search for the keyword every month
  • Cost per click – how much it’ll cost you every time someone clicks on your ad
  • Competition – how hard it is to rank high in Google search for the chosen keyword

Using the Brooklyn apartment example again, this is what you’ll see in Keyword Planner:

Note: Google Keyword Planner also includes additional keywords to help you expand on your list if you need more ideas.

Once you review the data from each keyword on your list, narrow down the list. For each keyword category you come up with, make sure you have about five to six specific, mid-volume, low competition keywords to improve your chances of your ads being seen.

For example, if you have a handful of listings for condos, use keywords like ‘condo for sale in [city name]’ or ‘[neighborhood name] condos for sale’ so that your Google ads stand out when people search for those words or similar ones.

2. Use Google Trends to see what your audience is searching for

Google Trends is a tool designed to help you find topics that are trending in Google. You can use Google Trends for real estate to find topics that can be turned into keywords.

To start, type in a word or phrase. This can include some of the words or phrases you gathered during your research:

The results page shows you a graph of how the word or phrase is trending, states where the trend is the highest, and related topics. You can even filter the results to go into more detail and find new keyword opportunities. The filters include:

  • Date range. The default is twelve months, but you can change this to show data from five years ago to the last hour. These are real-time insights that help make sure your real estate keywords are relevant.
  • Categories. To narrow your search, you can sort by ‘real estate’ and then choose a subcategory like ‘apartments & residential rentals’ or ‘real estate listings.’
  • Search type. The default is ‘web search’ since this is how your audience will find your Google Ads. You can also sort by image search, news search, Google shopping, and YouTube search. Besides web search, YouTube search is a useful search type because you can see whether video listings are something people search for. If they are, in addition to Google ads, create YouTube video listings and include keywords in the titles and descriptions to rank high in YouTube and Google searches.

3. Use Google’s Autocomplete feature

You might have also noticed the autocomplete feature in Google search. When you start typing in a word or phrase, Google shows options below to help you complete your search. This is a gold mine for finding potential real estate long-tail keywords.

Let’s say a segment of your audience wants to find condos in a major city. If they’re willing to pay homeowners association (HOA) fees, type that into Google search to see what autocomplete suggestions appear:

Since you know HOA fees are important to the audience segment, use Google Keyword Planner again to narrow your focus so that you can create Google Ads for condos that cater to a specific HOA fee feature — like ‘HOA fees deductible’ or ‘HOA fees included.’

4. Check related searches in Google

Below Google searches, there’s a ‘searches related to’ section that offers additional keyword search terms. They help you narrow your scope and give you ideas of other keywords to research.

Let’s say some of your audience is interested in new construction homes in Duluth, GA. Type in ‘new housing construction in duluth ga’ into Google and scroll to the bottom. This is what you’ll see:

As you can see, now you have options like ‘new ranch homes in duluth ga’ and ‘new homes for rent in duluth ga.’ If you click on one of these links and scroll to the bottom again, you’ll find even more targeted keywords to explore. For example, if you click on the first link, ‘new ranch homes in duluth ga,’ these are the related searches you’ll find:

In this example, you can see that there are even more neighborhoods your audience might be searching for new homes in.

Head back to the Keyword Planner once you have a list of new keywords and review search volumes and competition. This research will also tell you how much of your audience is searching for each of the keywords you’ve found. Keep in mind that you might find a few interesting keywords that have a very low monthly search volume. Save these and check back in a month in case the market shifts or audience needs change — search volume for these keywords might increase later on.

Test real estate keywords

Once you have keywords to match the different audiences you work with, start to create and run Google Ads. Set your Google Ads budget and run your ads for at least two weeks. This helps you gather information like click-through rates per keyword and track actions taken on your ad landing pages.

Also test variations of the same ads but change the target keywords and analyze the change in audience interest. A lot of work goes into finding the right real estate keywords, so set up a strategy that helps you methodically test and track which ones give you the best results. For example, create a matrix that includes all your real estate keywords and audience type combinations. Then as you run ads, enter the metrics you’re tracking and compare the results.

The goal with your ads is to make sure your listings stand out and you get more leads — and eventually more sales. Pay close attention to your ad performance and you’ll be sure to find a mix of keywords, message focus, and calls to action that resonate with each of your target audiences.

Now that you know how to choose the right real estate keywords, you’re on your way to creating ads that rank high and get noticed.

About Aaron Kardell

Founder and CEO of HomeSpotter

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