JL's Columbia SC Real Estate Blog: The Long and Short of Long Tail Keywords

The Long and Short of Long Tail Keywords

New Construction Homes Google Search












  When I first started blogging here on Active Rain, I barely knew what a keyword was much less what a long tail keyword was and how to target one. But,  10 years later and I have pretty clear understanding of what I am doing.
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  Now, before I get too far ahead of myself, just in case there's someone reading this post that doesn't know what a long tail keyword is, let me  explain that first. A long tail keyword is simply a longer segment of keywords or phrases that is very specific. In other words, it's a set of words or a phrase that narrows the scope of a search. Rather than simply saying Homes in Northeast Columbia, SC, the scope is narrowed by additional keywords, like new construction. Then further narrowed by adding under $400,000. A long tail keyword simply lasers in on an exact search.

 So why do you care, well because they are easier for you to target than a more broad search term. Also, they have far less competition as Zillow and other large companies will simply skip over them. Not to mention that almost no one will use these terms in PPC ads on Google or Yahoo. People skip over them because they are not high volume search terms. So again, if real estate is a numbers game and these are not high volume search terms, why should you use them? Because they are high conversion terms.

New COnstruction Homes in Northeast Columbia, SC  You see the people that use these terms have started to figure out exactly what they want. That means less time spent nurturing each lead as they are closer to the end of the process and ready to buy.

  The snippet at the top of this post in fact is a Google Search I did earlier to check the results of a post that I wrote today on Active Rain. In less than an couple hours I was able to write the post, put it online, and it placed #1 in a Google Search for that Long Tail Keyword search. The fact of the matter is that this exact term will only be used a few times a month, but a few times a month I can guarantee that someone looking specifically for a new construction home in Northeast Columbia, SC under $400,000 will see that post and possibly find my website and of course myself as a result. Not too bad for 15 minutes worth of work. And though it may not draw thousands of clicks each month, it will draw high quality clicks. If you can narrow the scope, you can find more promising prospects and save time as well.

 The fact of the matter is that pay per click ads on Google can and will get you a lot of leads. Some agents are very good at nurturing these leads and make a great living doing so. As for me, rather than chase 200 leads that are just getting started and may or may not buy in 6 months, I like to try and cut in line a little closer to the finish line. You don't need a ton of leads if you are getting the right leads. Of and by the way, this was done for free, so it's hard to beat the price.




JL Boney, III - Columbia, SC Realtor - Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

 I specialize in Columbia, SC real estate and the surrounding areas, including Blythewood, SC, Kershaw County, Fairfield County, and Lexington, SC. If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in Columbia, SC or any of the surrounding areas, I would love the opportunity to speak with to see how I can help. Thanks for reading and feel free to contact me if I can be of service to you.

Office- 803-788-1450     Cell- 803-730-9601     Email- James_Boney@Yahoo.com

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Comment balloon 28 commentsJL Boney, III • March 22 2018 08:26PM


I remember when I first learned about long tail keywords.  It was a lightbulb moment.  Did the same thing as you.  Wrote a post for a specific long tail search and that same day, BOOM!  Top of Google search.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) 12 months ago

Thanks for the education JL Boney, III I have not tried this approach. Great idea.

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor (Ward County Notary Services) 12 months ago

JL, thanks for the information on Key Words.  I welcome your input on tag words that help in Google search engine placement too. 

Posted by Susan Hale, Re/Max Northwest Ohio Realtor (Re/Max Realty of Defiance,Inc.) 12 months ago

This is an excellent example of using long tail keywords and the importance of doing so.  It will be helpful to many agents, I feel sure.

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) 12 months ago

Thanks for the reminder, JL. This is the way to title our blogs - but only if we want them to be found. Lol. :) 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) 12 months ago

Thanks for this post regarding how to use long tail keywords -  always a good reminder to drill down our titles to reflect how our target / consumers will search.

Posted by Michele Cadogan-Cell 917-861-9166, Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker - (Fillmore Real Estate 2990 Av U, Bklyn , NY 11229) 12 months ago

Very helpful. This could be the post that brings me back to the Rain...

Posted by Geoff 12 months ago

J.L. - another excellent and feature-worthy post!  If we learn to put ourselves in our clients' shoes we can learn how they search. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 12 months ago

There are several websites that compile the most searched for keywords. They can be quite useful when writing a blog. Thank you for sharing!

Posted by Corey Martin, Real Estate and Management Solutions (Martin Presence Group) 12 months ago

I definitely need to pay more attention to these keywords. Thanks for the primer.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) 12 months ago

Good morning JL Boney, III ,

Congratulations on a well deserved featured post! Great advice and like you said trying it..can't be the price..FREE!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) 12 months ago

This is such great advice.  I need to go back through some of my other blogs and see if I did this, or if I went for the same results as the big guys.  I love the cost - FREE!

Posted by Brenda J. Andrew, Professional Realtor in Corpus Christi, TX (ULTIMA REAL ESTATE) 12 months ago

Long tail keywords have been a long sustaining source of leads for me and those I train to use them effectively.

Posted by faye schubert, technology and marketing specialist 12 months ago

Now we just need to teach people to search for what they really want and not choose the first suggestion that pops up on Google while they type. 

Posted by Matt Brady, Lending With Competence And Character (Skyline Home Loans) 12 months ago

Don't make enough use of these, and now understand more of the market reports and their titles. Thanks, glad this was featured.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) 12 months ago

Good morning JL. Thanks for the explanation. I never heard this expression before.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) 12 months ago

Thanks for the search info.  Great input for all of us that setup searched..

Posted by John Oman 12 months ago

I love it when members post information that helps me focus my marketing.

Your post did a great job.


Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA (Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty) 12 months ago

Long tail keywords are a real blessing to us little folks. Trying to  compete with the buy guys is a waste of time and money. I see results doing this as well.

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) 12 months ago

You're speaking my bread and butter :)  As a guy that works full time as an engineer and full time as an agent (yeah, there's not a lot of free time in there), what I don't really have the time for is months and months of nurturing.  So our niche is long tail central, and fairly regularly what I get is callers that are ready to act (or will be soon).  Hopefully they don't already have an agent and we're in business.  Bill

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) 12 months ago

Hi JL-- very smart post.  Thankfully, I still have the ability to learn.  Quite thankfully. 


Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 12 months ago

Good post to encourage agents here to write these but for the long tail term you are suggesting gets 0 searches a month. A better long tail keyword would be "new homes for sale in northeast columbia sc" which gets on average about 10 searches a month. If you are using google keyword planner tool, the data is skewed. Furthermore your content performance is very low to compete with any future posts which might compete with yours.

Posted by Peter Mark SEO Services, Full Time SEO (PeterMarkSEO) 12 months ago

I am with you JL Boney, III, before active rain I had no clue what they were or what they meant. After a few clogs an dsome great advice, the new leads started pouring in. That was 7 years ago and still pour in today  

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) 12 months ago

This is very educational information about keywords, JL.  I feel I learned something new today!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) 12 months ago

Great advise I get it thanks.

Posted by Steven Nickens, R(S)GRI ABR, Maui Real Estate Hawaii (Elite Pacific Properties Maui) 12 months ago

True info here. Building a blog full of these posts can be a very long process but it does work. 

Posted by Steven Beam, Parker Colorado Real Estate (RE/MAX Alliance - Parker Colorado Real Estate.) 12 months ago


This is a well-deserving feature with great information for those who are not knowledgeable about keywords, especially long tail, and how they work. Thinking about how consumers might search, or putting ourselves in their shoes, can help us use the right keywords in our blogging.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) 12 months ago

Great post!  I also find the longtail keywords to be very effective. My market area (Greater Houston) is very competitive and I can use every edge I can get.

Posted by Kate McQueen, Tailored service for your real estate needs! (CB&A Realtors) 11 months ago