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Google Adwords Advice

Quick Review:

And now: Selecting Good Keywords

So you’ve made your ads.  Now you need to make a list of words and phrases – a list of keywords – for which your ad should appear.

What Do They Want?

Let me ask you this: Someone who sits down and types "Tucson Real Estate" into Google, what are they looking for?  Do they want to search the MLS?  Are they buying or selling?  Wanting to know about styles of housing?  Looking for land?  An agent?

You don’t really know.  What I do know is that "Tucson real estate" is a very expensive, competitive keyword.  Do I really want to pay several bucks per click when I don’t even know what offer to make that person?

They’re trying to tell you what they want. You need to listen.

Keywords tell me user motivation.  If I don’t know what they want, I don’t know what offer to make.

Part of using AdWords effectively is to show my ads to people that want to see them.  And the only way I have any idea of what they want is to listen to what they’ve typed in.  They’re trying to tell me what they want.  It’s my job to pay attention.  And we do that by making smart keyword pairings with our ads.

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So now you’ll make a list of words that if someone were to type them into Google, they’d be happy to see your ad, would click on it, and be delighted that you’ve given them what they were looking for when they see what’s on your site.  A thesaurus comes in handy here.

There are also hundreds of sites that will help you generate keyword lists, and you could end up with thousands of variations and gigantic spreadsheets of words.  That’s not what we’re aiming for.  We want small, highly targeted lists.  Sit down and brainstorm – think about synonyms, antonyms, short phrases, single words, related terms.

Google has a free tool that can help you out too, the Keyword Tool.  You type in a word or phrase and it returns keywords related to what you entered, a search volume, general competition level, an estimate of cost per click, all very helpful information.

Good Keywords Are…

In general, a good keyword list:

  • is highly relevant to your ad and your site.  We’re going highly targeted here.
  • has high business value words.  Someone who types in "Tucson home loans" is probably less likely to want to fill out your loan application than someone who types in "get Tucson home loan."  Can you target them both?  Absolutely.  Should you be showing them the same stuff, making the same offer?  Probably not.
  • has high traffic.  If no one ever types it into Google, then no one sees your ad.
  • has low competition.  Good luck.  Typically, high traffic keywords have high competition.  If you can find a high traffic, low competition set of words, by all means, have fun.  Go dominate that niche.  Otherwise, you’ll have to decide what level of traffic and competition…
  • has an acceptable cost.  Depending on your budget and how well you can convert those site visitors, you’ll be making decisions trading-off traffic and cost.  You may have to play around a bit to find the right set of words and bids to get enough traffic to make your ad return worthwhile.

Next time – How to improve your results.

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Written By

Kelley Koehler, aka the Housechick, is usually found focused on her Tucson, Arizona, real estate business. You may also find her on Twitter, where she doubles as a super hero, at Social Media Training Camp, where she trains and coaches people on how to integrate social media into successful business practices, or at, a collection of all things housechick-ish. Despite her engineering background, Kelley enjoys translating complex technical concepts into understandable and clear ideas that are practical and useful to the striving real estate agent.



  1. Derec Shuler

    November 14, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Looking forward to your Google series here. Your presentation are REBW was great!

  2. Eric- New Orleans Condos and Lofts

    November 14, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    I always experiment with neighborhoods that may give me traffic. Some work better than others and they are cheap. I have seen my real condo niche clicks drop off in the last couple of months.

    I ma lucky to have 3 sites in the organic search on page one which still do well. Glad to have those.

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