Last Friday, many Phoenix area real estate bloggers came together for a face-to-face meeting. I’m late to the posting party, as several attendees have already chronicled the meeting. I won’t review the details as these folks have already done it, better than I could. Special thanks to Brian “I’ll never buy donuts for Realtors” Brady for setting it all up.
While the gathering was newsworthy in and of itself, and meeting folks and being able to put a face and voice to the prose was certainly a highlight, the discussions that evolved provided the real food-for-thought.
Greg Swann was in attendance and discussed and has penned a great post on cultivating a local audience for your blog.
Another topic that came up more than once was The Long Tail. I’ve always been fascinated by the subject of The Long Tail and highly recommend both Chris Anderson’s book, The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More, as well as his outstanding blog.
It’s a very interesting concept, and with apologies in advance to Mr. Anderson, I’ll attempt a Cliffs Notes version of The Long Tail and how it relates to local content real estate blogging.
Basically The Long Tail is about the volume of sales, web hits, search engine results etc. for “less popular” things. Say Amazon sells 100,000 copies of the latest New York Times best seller. That’s great, brings Amazon a lot of money. But while they are selling 100K copies of the best seller, they are selling one MILLION copies of a bunch of other, less popular books. What generates Amazon more revenue, 100,000 best sellers, or 1,000,000 other titles? That’s the long tail.
OK, goody for Amazon. But what does The Long Tail mean for a real estate blogger?
The Long Tail has huge implications. As I mentioned in the Phoenix bloggers meeting, it’s extremely difficult to get good Google placement for a term such as “Phoenix Real Estate”. But pick a “less popular” term like “Subdivision Real Estate” (substituting “subdivision” for, well, a subdivision name) and you will find two things:
1) FAR greater ease at getting ranked well for that term
2) FAR more serious prospects — serious as in ready to buy or sell
When people hit our site for a term like “Phoenix real estate” they tend to be “tire kickers”, out-of-staters, or people looking for general info on the Phoenix market. Not that there is anything wrong with that. We welcome them.
But when people hit our site for “Val Vista Lakes real estate” they tend to be one of two types of people — someone living in Val Vista Lakes looking for a Realtor to list their home; or someone who is saying, “I want to buy a house in Val Vista Lakes. I need a Realtor.” We love visitors like this.
Our main web site has a page that ranks #1 – #3 (depending on the day) on Google for “Val Vista Lakes real estate” or “Val Vista Lakes Realtor”.
But the real power of the long tail (and local content blogging) is evident with this fact. Three days after I posted a blog entry here about Val Vista Lakes, that post, that THREE DAY OLD post ranked #7 – #9 on Google for Val Vista Lakes real estate/Val Vista Lakes Realtor. Comments on that post are also now showing up on page 1 of Google.
I posted about this on ActiveRain, and THAT post was rapidly indexed and is now 5th and our AR profile is 6th on Google for the “Val Vista Lakes real estate” search term.
Nothing you could post using a “mainstream” keyword will rank this highly this fast. A post on a Long Tail term however, can place very well, and with remarkable speed.
We now have FIVE web pages on the first page of Google for two very powerful search terms that someone ACTIVELY looking to buy or sell in a 1,000 home subdivision would use. We own 50% of page 1 on Google.
Will more people type “Phoenix real estate” into Google than will type “Val Vista Lakes real estate”? Sure, no question. Will someone seriously looking to buy or sell a home in Val Vista Lakes type “Val Vista Lakes Realtor” in Google. Absolutely. Traffic to the main site from Val Vista Lakes searches is up significantly. We’ve added three people on Val Vista Lakes auto-listings this week alone. Only time will tell if thetraffic and prospects on searches lead to active clients, but there’s no reason to expect it won’t–it certainly has in the past.
The Long Tail works folks. Local content blogging works. Learn it. Use it. Take it to the bank.
PS: Happy Birthday Elvis!
[tags]Long Tail, Val Vista Lakes, Phoenix real estate[/tags]