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Does SEO Work for Small Real Estate Markets? [Whiteboard]

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SEO for Real Estate | Does It Work for Small Markets?


Hey, guys and gals. This is Trevor with Carrot, coming at you with another series of Carrot strategy sketches. Today, we’re gonna be talking about small market versus big market.

But, before I do, I want to throw a shout-out to one of our long-time clients and good friends of mine, Doug Faith, representing the Legacy Capital shirt you sent me a little bit ago. Man, I really appreciate you … Me, as a client, and you, as a client as ours, here at Carrot. Thanks, man. I’m gonna represent Legacy Capital. If you’re in Pennsylvania and you guys need capital to flip houses, go to Doug at

Does SEO Work for Small Real Estate Markets?

Are you in a small market and you’re kind of wondering, hey, does Search Engine Optimization actually work for my market? Now, we get that question all the time here at Carrot. Is, shoot, can I, should I invest in Search Engine Optimization if I’m in a market of 30,000 people, 100,000 people, of a quarter million people, versus a large market, like Dallas or some other large market like that?

Well, my short answer is 100% yes. Do not get discouraged because you’re in a small market. Now, the dynamics are gonna be a little bit different. I’m gonna walk you through what you should do and kind of how to set your mindset there.

Then, we have other resources here at Carrot, other strategy sketches, coaching calls that we do for our clients, content pro members are above every single week. We have our three lead per day training, as well, that dives in deep on the specific strategies of SEO.

Large Real Estate Market Versus Small Real Estate Market SEO

The large market versus the small market. Here we go. The first thing is what qualifies as a large market or a small market? Well, there are lots of different definitions that we can kind of follow here, but I’m gonna follow this right there.

  • Are you less than 100,000 people?
  • Are you between 100,000 and 500,000 people population in your market area?
  • Or, are you 500,000 and above?

That’s population in your primary market area, okay? As an example, I live in a town called Roseburg, Oregon, where we’re here right now in our studio at the loft in Roseburg. It’s a small town. It’s a town of between 20 and 30,000 people, so would we be able to flip five, ten houses a month in Roseburg just using SEO? 100% no.

So, one of the first things we need to do is we need to set our expectations, first of all.

You need to set those expectations for what your market is going to be able to handle. If you have these dreams of flipping 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 houses a year in Roseburg with SEO, you probably better reset those expectations and, then, implement what I’m about to teach you, okay?

If you’re in a large market and you’re looking to flip two, four, five, ten houses a month, a market like a Houston or a Dallas or many other markets, is that realistic? 100% yes. But you’ve got to go after and implement the strategy I’m gonna lay out, okay?

The first thing right here, if you’re in a smaller market like we are here in Roseburg or you’re in a town, like Medford, Oregon, which is around 80 to 100,000 people.

SEO in Smaller Markets

What we’re gonna do here is we’re going to expand our strategy. Because we can’t just go after the main keyword phrases for house-sellers like we buy houses or sell my house fast or cash home buyers, in that one city and think that we’re gonna get enough leads to fuel a two, four, five, ten deal a month business.

So what we want to do is we want to expand our keywords and we want to expand our markets. By expanding our keywords, what I mean is, you can’t just go after the one or two primary keywords in that market for sellers or for buyers or whatever you’re going after.

Go after those ones because that’s probably gonna be 60 to 80% of your overall traffic for sellers in that market.

But then expand them out. Go after more niche down phrases, like your probate phrases, like I’m selling a house in divorce or lots of different phrases and reasons why someone would sell their house.

If you’re going after cash buyers, go after phrases, like handyman properties or fixer-upper properties in insert city. Discount properties, cheap properties, cheap real estate, investment real estate, buying investment properties. Expand your keywords out in that market.

Targeting Different Markets

The next thing we’re gonna do is target other markets around ours, okay? We have a client here in Oregon and he mainly operates in rural parts of Oregon.

He really doesn’t operate in the main part where the main population is in Northern Oregon where Portland is. Now, he does have great rankings there, but his main thing is rural.

If he were to focus just on Roseburg or just on Medford or Grants Pass or any one of those cities, he wouldn’t be getting the deal volume he is right now.

But he has a massive band assigned strategy and his SEO and PPC is all based around expanding the markets. He’s in about 10 to 20 different markets right now, doing between 5 and 15 deals a month.

does seo work for small real estate markets

Expand your keywords and expand your markets if you’re in a smaller area, that’s gonna take care of your lead volume. You cannot stay just focusing on that one market with one or two keywords and have the deal volume that’s gonna sustain you.

Very similar strategy for 100,000 – 500,000. The thing is, you’re just gonna be getting more leads when you get those rankings, get the traffic coming in. So you might need to expand it into fewer markets or to fewer keywords because the population’s larger, but you are still going to need to expand.

Once again, going back to an example that is type of that city, like a Eugene, Oregon. Now, I’m using Oregon because I’m familiar with the area … Or Bend, which is around 100,000 plus mark.

You’re probably not gonna fuel a 5 to 10 deal a month business in just one of those cities, but if you tackle both of them and maybe six or seven other cities around that … Redmond and Prineville, and go down into Klamath Falls and come over to Roseburg. Then, tool up your business to be able to serve those markets.

Then, you’re gonna be able to really build a really, really consistent and stable platform in your house flipping business. Or if you’re doing another type of business, I always use the plumbing example.

If you’re in a tiny, tiny market and you want to grow a bigger business, expand it out to other service areas, and make sure you’ve set up your business to do so.

Expanding Into a Large Real Estate Market

seo for large real estate markets

Last, if you’re in a larger market. 500,000 isn’t that large of a market. A lot of the larger metro areas are a million plus, a million, 1.5 million, whatever it is. You can completely go deep in that market. If you’re in a Dallas and a Houston, in a large city in Florida, you can keep on going on down that list.

You can completely sustain your business in that large market. Portland, Oregon, as an example. One of our clients, Joe Taylor, which we’re gonna be doing a CarrotCast with him, is the largest home buyer in that area. Buys tons of homes and he’s just in that area. He has a very, very big business because he’s going deep.

He’s going deep on his direct mail net market, he’s going deep on his other marketing strategies, and he’s going really deep on his SEO, targeting multiple websites in that same market. Also, doing some PPC, I believe, don’t quote me on that. But, then, go deep in that market even further to capture it.

Go deep there, get the top two to three keywords, focus on those in that market first, and, then, expand out to more niche down, longer tail keyword phrases, like selling a house without a real estate agent in Portland, as an example. Then, from there, you start to hit the suburbs around that. You’ve got your Sherwood’s, you’ve got your Tigard, Tualatin, and Gresham, that kind of thing. So, that’s how you expand there.

Long-Term SEO Thinking

A couple other tips here really quick. Think long-term. Anything with SEO, we’ve talked about so many times, anything with SEO, you’ve got to be a long-term thinker in there. If you’re not, you should probably hang up your gloves right now and go try something else because long term is exactly what SEO is, and if you don’t think long-term, you might as well burn your money, all right?

Next is small markets are great, so don’t get discouraged because you’re in a small market. We have a lot of clients in small markets that are doing very, very well. We just have to go back up to tip number one with setting expectations and, then, making sure that you know your expectations in that market.

If you’re in a market, like Roseburg, of 30,000 people, you’re probably only gonna get, if you rank number one in Google for the main keyword phrases, you’re probably only gonna get between 2 and 10 leads per month from that.

Then, you add on some PPC and, then, you add on some other keywords. You’re probably not gonna get more than 10 to 15 motivated house sellers coming in, in that market. Max. That’s if you’re going after that.

So, you hit up the five or ten other cities around you, expand deeper there, then, that’s how you start to get your 20, 30, 40, 50 plus leads a month.

Are you going after a small market strategy? Sweet. Stack ’em up and expand. If you’re going after a big market strategy, dive deep.

Go After It!

Go after it, hit us up with your progress on that. Email us at and let us know if you need any help. If you’re a Carrot client, we have our weekly coaching calls every single week where you can ask those questions. We can dive in and help you craft a plan for SEO or PPC or getting your website conversion up.

If you’re not a customer, go try us out. Go to, join. You have a 30-day trial to give us a try and see if it’s a fit for you. I think you’ll really, really like it, but know you’ve got to work your butt out, you’ve got to either invest your time or money, but also know we’re here for you. We are the best. We’re gonna help you get that result.

All right. Take it easy. Check out the other whiteboard strategy sketches on our YouTube channel and subscribe here in this video, so you can get first updates to all of them that come out.

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