Some of you have heard the terms Hyper Local and Long Tail before. There’s actually a book (The Long Tail by Chris Anderson, editor of Wired Magazine) written about niche marketing back in 2006. I decided to focus on this topic because I don’t think it’s something that is readily understood by many people and even less so in the real estate industry. Also, I just read a great article by Peter Kolat about relevant blogging and it got me thinking. Real estate is one of the most highly competitive industries in terms of content, search terms, and web presence. The Long Tail in real estate is about fighting dirty. It’s about kicking and scratching your way to the top. It’s about making you the undeniable expert in your niche. It’s about doing something the big boys can’t… getting local. Wanna get started?
Blogs, Blogs Everywhere…
I don’t know why anyone would still be counting but suffice it to say… there are millions of blogs and billions of people reading them… daily. Now, I’m kind of snooty and think that if you don’t ‘own’ your own blog (self-hosted) then you’re not quite as serious as the rest of us. Even so, 28,000 people download the wordpress platform daily. I doubt that includes fantastico automated installs either.
The point of my mumbling is that there is a load of content indexed by search engines daily. Would you rather be a big fish in a little pond or a tuna in a school the size of Mt. Everest? Hyper Local and Long Tail Blogging makes you the fat daddy in the little pond that is your real estate niche. Let Realtor.com and the others fight over the mountain. Even our own Bigger Pockets uses the Long Tail to attract visitors. Hey Josh. How many unique keywords has your site been found for since inception? Readers are dying to know. My guess in in the high hundreds of thousands, maybe more.
Getting on with it…
How do I blog for ‘The Long Tail?” I thought you’d never ask…
* include image of the long tail graph*
See, Realtor.com and the other big boys rank for general keywords… real estate, homes for sale, and dozens of others. We don’t want to play with them. So let’s add a few words like this… hamptons new york luxury real estate or short sales in south beach under $200,000.
These longer keywords are great because they…
- are much easier to rank for (less competition)
- they are targeted to specific interests (buyers who contact you are much more serious)
- they help brand you and your site as the go-to place for information on this subject
Okay, pick an niche; be it luxury homes in the Hamptons or short sales in South Beach. This is just about all you’re going to talk about on your blog/site. If you’re going to be serious about this do the following…
- Do some keyword research on your niche (what do people search for to find your niche)
- Write down 100 things to talk about. If you can’t thing of a hundred you just went ‘ultra-local’ and have specialized too much. Zoom out a bit and try again.
- These hundred things are a starting point for each of your posts. Pick the 10 most important and write ‘pillar’ or ‘evergreen’ content about these things. This is what you want the site to be ‘known’ for.
- Create variation. Google will only show one post for a given keyword phrase(s). If you write 10 articles that would show up in Google for the same keywords you just wasted time writing 9 of them. It’s called keyword cannibalization and smart people don’t write about the exact same thing they’ve already written about. A good example of this is market data. Vary your market data posts so that they show for different combinations of keywords.
- Keep it coming. The more posts you write, the more keywords you show up for. My personal site has 130 posts on it and I have been found for about 14,000 different combinations of keywords so far. That’s why I asked Josh (with over 1500 articles) how many the Bigger Pockets blog shows up for.
This article was just a cursory, somewhat rambling look at The Long Tail and how to use it. If you’d like a deeper look at The Long Tail and Hyper Local Blogging just let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure and dive into the subject again soon. Thanks for reading.