Bombarded by ‘human signs’ at my street corner made me realize just how powerful search marketing really is

Human billboards.  Sign flippers.  Human Arrows.

They’re all over, men and women holding signs — sometimes even boogieing — at street corners and busy streets.

I soon found myself thinking about the significance of search engines — and the magnitude of its potential to leverage businesses.  Think about the power of search marketing — Organic and Pay Per Click.  Search engines and human signs are similar in a way that they aim to catch a need when it’s ‘hot’ –when they’re most likely to buy a product or service.

Both seek qualified leads. But search has it better because instead of putting a catchy sign and hoping something sticks;  search engines (if right keywords are targeted) serve as highways where only qualified leads pass by, you just have to give them what they want.  Instead of standing on a street corner, you can have a city wide signage All this without boogieing on a street under the scorching sun (or the extreme lack of).

The advantages of search marketing are widely talked about; even elementary to some.   We’ve all heard it before, but do we really appreciate it enough to invest enough time and cash that actually hurts on the onset?

Effective Keyword Strategies:

  • Focus on optimizing for specific brand-related keywords rather than focusing on broader, more competitive, and more generic keywords.  Instead of “Reno homes for sale”, it’s far easier (and sometimes more profitable) to target “Arrow Creek Homes” (a branded, luxury community in the same city).
  • If you are a brand owner then you need to develop strategies to make the most out of it.  Because if you don’t, someone else will.  Don’t forget that competitors can buy your brand name on Pay Per Click advertising.
  • Follow your analytics (what keywords your site attracts) and build out popular and profitable pages.
  • If you have a good generic domain name like “Reno Foreclosures“, make sure to break  down the site into specific areas and build a page around it.  This will make it easier to rank the page and more importantly, make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for.
  • Use a range of keywords similar to your core target keywords and you will show search engines that your pages are real and get more results from the additional keywords.  Make it natural and readable…

Example: <title> Reno Homes For Sale </title>

<meta description = “Search for Reno homes online.  We have divided the 10 major residential areas in Reno to make it easier for you to search houses in Reno via MLS”/>

  • If your domain name matches the searched-for-keywords, this gives you an ‘unfair advantage’, as noted in this article “The House Always Wins”. Having a name that matches your keywords makes it easier to click on your listing.  Think of it as a hot dog stand on a popular public landmark — Venice Beach in Los Angeles.  There would be a lot  of foot traffic, chances are people would buy food at this hot dog stand solely because of it’s great, convenient location.  But are they going to come back? Well, that depends on the product and service if it warrants a repeat visit.  But regardless, you get an advantage on the onset.
  • Be aggressive in building content 2-4 months before summer and build links to it.  Summer is the busiest season for most real estate markets — for both buyer and sellers.

Researching Keywords:

  • In my opinion, the best way to assess market demand is to start a Google adwords campaign targeting your keywords.  You will get real numbers rather than estimates. It’s time consuming and will cost a few hundred dollars but if you’re really serious about starting in the right foot — go with this route.  Of course, you can also do this with an established site.  Build/add a page that relates to your target keyword.  Buy adwords and check your analytics data.

Note: these tools can give wild estimates.  Use with caution and set realistic expectations by subtracting 50% from estimate.