One major SEO ranking factor is using keywords — specific words that let Google and other search engines know what your content is about. Knowing which real estate keywords prospects are using in their search, and implementing these throughout your website, will raise your profile in search engines, making it much easier to attract new low-cost leads.
But a truly modern real estate SEO strategy is about more than sprinkling the right words throughout your website. Some keywords are difficult to rank for and it’s important to be able to identify which ones will drive the most traffic at the lowest cost.
So how do you build a successful real estate keywords strategy? Read on for the tools, tips, and techniques to help boost your traffic and rankings.
50+ real estate keywords you can swipe
Just here for the keywords? We used a combination of Search Engine Ranking Page (SERP) analysis, Ahrefs data, and expert insights from agents with proven track records in search marketing to curate a list of over 50 real estate keywords to get you started.
Just fill in your property and location specifics and you’re ready to roll!
Keywords for buyers
- houses for sale [city, state or zip code(s)]
- [property type] for sale [city, state]
- condo versus townhouse
- mortgage payment calculator
- buying my first house help
- new home buying tips
- interest rates on home loans right now
- down payment assistance [state]
- new home listings [city or county]
- commercial real estate agent [city or county]
- when is the best time to buy a house [state]
- fsbo not on mls [city, county, or zip code]
- steps to buying a house in [state]
Keywords for sellers
- how much is my home worth [state]
- sell my home fast [city or state]
- how to market your home to out of state buyers [state]
- how much does it cost to sell my house with a realtor [state]
- tips for selling my home repairs and maintenance
- what will a realtor ask me to fix to sell my house in [state]
- capital gains tax on home sales [state]
- how to fix my home to sell [state]
- house comps in my neighborhood [zip code]
- home stagers [city]
- how long does it take to close on a house [state]
- how can i sell my home without a realtor [state]
- should i sell my house or rent it out calculator
Keywords for movers
- best [city or zip code] neighborhoods
- homes for sales X miles from [school name city]
- homes for sale X miles from [local attraction/hospital/large employer in your area]
- crime rates in [neighborhood or city, state]
- top real estate agents in [city or state]
- [state] long distance movers
- apartments in [neighborhood or city]
- best moving companies in [state]
- stuff to know about a place before you move to [city or state]
- best cities to live for working from home [state]
- things to explore in [city]
- what is the weather like during the year in [city or state]
- best local restaurants in [city]
- relocation realtor in [city or state]
Keywords for investors
- buying a repossessed house [city or state]
- where to buy rental property [city or state]
- buying a house to rent out [city or state]
- fixer upper homes for sale [city, county, or state]
- land for sale [county name]
- how to get a house for cheap to flip [city or state]
- costs to invest in commercial property [state]
- [state] taxes for rental property
- resources for flipping houses in [city or state]
- houses for sale for cash [city, state]
- foreclosure listings [city or state]
- apartment buildings for sale [city]
What are keywords in real estate SEO? Why they matter
Keywords are specific words that signal what your content is about to Google and other search engines crawling your website pages to help them categorize the information for user searches.
Using these bots and crawlers, search engines can extract information about your website from the keywords found in your page titles, meta descriptions, subheadings, URLs, and more.
By adding the right real estate keywords in the right places, you’re essentially letting the search engines know that your pages have the answers users need.
Types of keywords for real estate: short-tail, long-tail, and hyperlocal
To create your real estate keywords list, it’s important to start by understanding the different types of keywords that are out there.
Short-tail keywords are typically one to three words and tend to be broad in terms of topic — think “real estate” or “realtors near me.” These keywords typically have a higher search volume, which often means they can be more difficult to rank for.
Long-tail keywords tend to look more similar to extended phrases, usually three or more words searched or spoken into a search engine — for example, “Townhouses for rent Grand Rapids.”
Long-tail keywords are specific, usually hyperlocal, and have lower search volume but higher user intent. This means they can be great ‘low-hanging fruit’, helping you get seen by prospects who may be further along in their real estate journey.
Hyperlocal keywords typically contain modifiers specific to the location users are researching, such as the Grand Rapids example. In the game of real estate SEO, hyperlocal keywords are gold.
Larger companies, or those that operate on a national or international level, often overlook the area-focused keywords. This means there is increased opportunity to rank and be seen by people researching school districts, home amenities, local entertainment, and more.
Hyperlocal keywords are gold. They usually have lower search volume but higher user intent.
How to find the right real estate SEO keywords
The way we research online has evolved leaps and bounds since the early days of the internet. The ability to speak inquiries into our devices has opened the floodgates for longer, more specific searches.
To succeed in real estate SEO now and in the future, don’t focus only on the most obvious keywords, but rather the smartest choices for your business. Often, that means choosing keywords with low competition.
Highly competitive keywords are harder to rank for because they’re sought after by hundreds or even thousands of other websites. If you’ve recently built a real estate website or you’re just beginning your SEO journey, your site’s page and domain authority need time to develop before you can even think about ranking for highly competitive terms.
In the beginning, you may see a quicker payoff by focusing on relevant long-tail keywords with lower search volume, but higher intent.
“‘Real estate’ is an obvious keyword as there are so many key terms (city real estate). But what about ‘homes with a pool in Nevada’ for example? Low-hanging fruit, but a very high chance even a new website can rank on page one for that term,” explains Kelowna-based REALTOR®, Brandon Glass.
During your initial brainstorm, pick a primary keyword and start developing a keyword cluster from there using a free tool like Answer The Public or the Semrush Keyword Magic tool. Once you see content themes emerge, group those keywords together on a spreadsheet.
From there, you can include fields for monthly search volume and keyword difficulty. Monthly search volume is the average number of monthly searches for a keyword. Keyword difficulty is an estimation of how hard it will be to rank in the top 10 results for a specific keyword.
Weighing the monthly search volume against the keyword difficulty score will help you understand the effort vs. impact of each keyword, so you can make calculated decisions for which keywords to target first.
The best tools for finding relevant real estate keywords
If your keyword list feels a little light, or you’re ready to dig deeper into your keyword strategy, there are plenty of tools that can help.
Choose what works for you depending on your SEO experience, competition in your market, and of course, budget.
1. Walk in your prospect’s shoes and Google it
Sometimes the most obvious answer really is the best one. Ryan Fitzgerald, owner of Raleigh Realty, takes his cues for real estate keywords from real Google searches.
"The best way to find and use keywords is to determine what questions people are asking. You can do this by typing your city name into Google and viewing the 'People also ask' section, which will give you plenty of ideas and questions to answer,” he explains.
Though a little time-consuming, this can be a great starting point. In fact, using this one strategy, Ryan’s been able to successfully rank Raleigh Realty for some of the top local keywords in his area.
“Here's an example of how our UpHomes website performs when someone types in 'San Diego' into a Google search. Our website appears under the 'is san diego a nice place to live?’ question of the ‘People also ask section’. This can be an excellent tool for finding topic ideas and securing quick wins. Go straight to the source (Google), and they will tell you exactly what people are looking for information on.”
2. Use Reddit to find real questions to answer
Who would have thought you could find hyperlocal real estate keywords on Reddit? As another free source of great SEO opportunities, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Chris Zacher, SEO Strategist with content marketing agency Intergrowth, has a unique knack for shedding a light on the nooks and crannies where relevant search terms may be hiding.
“For real estate agents, I'd say look at your city's Reddit board to see what types of questions people are asking in your area. If a lot of people are asking questions about a particular neighborhood, or a specific aspect of your city, it means that they probably can't find good answers on Google.”
Compile your list of keywords based on the questions you find, then run them through your keyword research tool of choice to help narrow it down.
3. Refine your keyword list with Google Ads Keyword Planner
Use the Keyword Planner to research the search volume, traffic potential, and interest for the keywords on your list, or discover new keywords to add to it. The Keyword Planner is meant to help users create a forecast based on potential ad spend, but the information derived from this tool can also be used for your non-paid keywords strategy, helping you snag the traffic — without the ad spend.
4. Grow and manage your keywords list with Ahrefs
When you’re ready to invest more time and resources into your website’s SEO, it may be time to consider Ahrefs as a cornerstone asset for you and your team.
The Ahrefs Keyword Explorer feature is one of the best there is. Simply type in a keyword search and you’re provided with a performance overview for almost any search engine out there — including Google, YouTube, Bing, Yahoo, and more.
Ahrefs doesn’t only help you find keywords — it’s a resource for everything SEO. The platform includes a website audit feature, dashboard for managing your progress, a monitoring option for keyword performance, and competitor rankings. It’s got everything you need to put your newly researched keywords into action.
Pricing: $99 per month for an individual plan, up to $399 per month for a team plan, or $999 for enterprise.
5. Get deeper SEO insights with Semrush
Semrush is another big name in the world of SEO. When it comes to real estate keywords, the platform’s features go deep, giving savvy agents a leg up on the competition.
For example, Alex Caras, broker at Magellan Realty LLC, uses Semrush to cater to high-intent prospects looking to buy or sell now.
"The best way to learn what search terms are going to be valuable is to use a tool like Semrush. Not only can you find the best keywords for higher volume searches, you also can see the intent of the search term.”
Alex knows intent is everything. By leveraging Semrush’s filters, Alex can differentiate between informational and transactional keywords to capture those with the highest intent.
Pricing: The Pro plan is $119.95 per month, Guru for agencies and midsize businesses is $229.95 per month, and the Business plan for enterprise needs is $449.95 per month.
6. Find more long-tail keywords with Mangools KWFinder
Mangools KWFinder’s claim to fame is helping users “find long-tail keywords with low SEO difficulty,” but the tool goes above and beyond this task for real estate agents who pay attention to their market’s seasonality.
KWFinder gathers historical search volumes and long-term trends to help you understand which keywords bring traffic and when. This can help you focus your website’s SEO strategy on the current or future keywords bringing in the most traffic as you plan your content for the year.
Pricing: Plans range from $29.90 per month to $129 per month.
Expert tips for using your real estate keywords effectively
Once you select your list of real estate keywords, your next step is to actually use them on your website to start building traffic.
We asked the experts for a few pro tips to help increase your results as you get your SEO up and running.
Begin by optimizing your “money” pages
You’ve got your keywords grouped and are ready to roll them out, but where’s the most effective place to start?
Pam Aungst Cronin, owner of Pam Ann Marketing, advises her clients to concentrate on the sections of their websites that cater to high-intent buyers and sellers.
"The best way for REALTORS® to utilize SEO keywords on their website is to use the hub-and-spoke method. This entails utilizing high-intent-to-buy keywords on the important pages of your site. These pages are your hubs, or as I call them, your ‘money pages’ (pages that make you money).”
In real estate, your money pages might include your homepage and listing pages. After you’ve covered your high-conversion keyword bases, Pam suggests moving your attention to the lower-intent keywords and working those into informational blog posts, backlinking to the money pages that correspond with these posts.
“Doing this creates ‘wheels’ of content topics that Googlebot and other search engine bots can understand. If you have these neatly designed wheels of content on your site, the search engines will be much more likely to rank your site for those topics,” Pam explains.
Create content around keywords that make you the local expert
Chris Zacher knows some real estate websites focus their SEO efforts on factors like site reputation and often overlook the specifics of a city or town. Their lack of hyperlocal keyword content creates a major opportunity for local agents.
“The advantage you have as a local real estate agent is that you probably know your city much better than the marketing teams at these big real estate websites.You have a good chance of outranking them if you have hyperlocal content on your website that relates to specific places, businesses, landmarks, etc.,” says Chris.
Producing written content for buyers researching your area improves your rankings in search engine land and wins you high-intent leads.
💡Bonus tip: Use these 6 characteristics to guide your content creation and stand out above the noise
Use AI resources to help you write for SEO
Real estate professionals wear about a thousand hats and we’re guessing you simply don’t have the time to add ‘professional copywriter’ to the mix.
While it’s not perfect, AI can help lighten the load. “There’s been a lot of tools released and there’s a lot of noise out there,” explains Elena Kee of Kee Technology Solutions. Elena’s of the camp that believes AI should be used to increase your results, not replace them.
Tome is a free AI tool used to create presentations based on a single prompt. Use cases include creating a neighborhood guide, a home staging guide, an FSBO versus REALTOR® guide, and so much more.
Then of course, there’s ChatGPT. From listing descriptions to entire blog posts, ChatGPT is another free option to inspire creativity and generate content based on the keywords you find. Just be sure to edit the content to match your own brand values and tone of voice, and consider using a free tool like GPTZero or ZeroGPT to check for AI plagiarism and make sure you don’t get penalized in the future.