Serendipitous Marketing Don’t Over Target Your Content

One of my principles of Serendipitous Marketing.   Don’t over target your content.

A paradox of targeted searches: “More is Less”   the more criteria you enter for a search, the more restrictive the results.

I once missed out on a great house because I had 2 full baths in my search criteria.   What I didn’t know.   A “full bath” had to have a tub to be “full”   The house I mention had two walkin showers and one bath with a tub.   Result: “One Full Bath”.

More is Less in Serendipitous Marketing

The House in the Canyon

The House in the Canyon

The more you target your content the fewer search results.   Here we encounter another paradox.   We want more qualified leads coming into our sites.   We don’t want a lot of traffic, for traffic sake.   Unless you are selling ads on your site, you want to narrow the results.

But a principle of Serendipitous Marketing is “It is serendipitous”.   They weren’t looking to buy or sell real estate in that search.   They were looking for something entirely different and found you by chance.   They could be a buyer or a seller, but that’s not why they are searching at the moment.

When they do find what they are looking for on your site and they are potential buyers or sellers do you really think this doesn’t click with them.   I bookmark sites all the time that provide me with information and a resource for future information based on other things I see there which interest me.   We are all participants in Serendipitous Marketing even if we have never noticed it or called it by that term.

How Do We Create Opportunities for Serendipitous Encounters

Broaden your content focus.

  • Write about things going on in your community, (events, trade shows, etc.)
  • Write about architecture, hiking, biking, photography, places of interest and things you are interested in.
  • Write about things you have run across that will save home owners money or enhance their home for a minimal expense.

Don’t over target your keywords

Keywords are supposed to be “keywords in the content”   Not:   The keywords I want to use so I can rank for them in Google”   It seems a lot of real estate bloggers don’t know the difference.   Actually it seems a lot of real estate bloggers don’t even know the keywords are supposed to be in the content.

When you assign keywords to individual posts they should be in that post.   At the very least they should be mentioned at least once.   But here is a little trick you can use to keep from putting them in just to “stuff” in the keyword.

Create your categories around the keywords associated with the topic of the content and then put the post in that category.   Ex.   I often write about local real estate news.   I don’t use the term real estate news in the post.   But I do put the post in the category “mytown real estate news”   I use a permalink structure that puts the category and post name in the permalink.

I have enough posts in that category that my site now shows up in Google searches for “MyTown News”

If you think you need permission to use more generalized keywords on your site here it is:   “You have permission to Serendipitously Market your content by using generalized keywords

And remember Less Is More in Serendipitous Marketing.   Less Targeting of your content mean More opportunities to connect with potential buyers and sellers.


  1. Hi Dave,
    You are right about the keywords and some mistaken that they are supposed to be google indexed. They are for search criteria. I think the title tag has more to do with google right? Are you saying that for added content to right on a real estate site about ie. biking, hiking, random things, etc… If so do you hide them in the archives or put them into the newest postings? Thanks

    Scott ´s last blog post..Search Hudson County MLS

  2. Amen, amen, amen! We had a construction business in Southern California and thought it would be a kind gesture to sponsor the little league my husband was coaching in. Well, we did the sponsor thing, and got our banner. To my (our) surprise, I cannot tell you how much business we received from parents going to watch their children play baseball, then writing down our information for current and/or future use.

    Fast forward several years. Now, with our real estate business we are doing the same thing. We’ll write Squidoo lenses, blog entries, and web pages on topics that are not real estate related to catch the visitors similar to those from our construction business days. We have scores (probably hundreds) of phrases we rank for that are not real estate related. I could provide examples, but how’s this: search ‘pasco school district’ Ya know how many folks are searching for school info prior to relocation! 😉

    Colleen ´s last blog post..Kennewick Homes For Sale | This One Rocks!

  3. @Colleen – Thank you for sharing your story. It continues to verify the principle of Sernedipitous Marketing.

    I’ve used the principle all my life. Not just for marketing but for life itself. I was doing the Pay It Forward decades before there was such a term. LOL

    It is amazing the things that can happen everyday in life if we look for opportunities to give, even if it is just a smile. 🙂


  4. @Scott – Yes, I’m saying add that right into all your regular content. If you are an agent in a local community trying to reach potential buyers and sellers then write about the entire community.

    You can check out my Tucson Real Estate Blog and see it is a total mix of content. The way it is filled is by Categories. Ex. Tucson Real Estate News, for news, Tucson Living, for posts related to living in Tucson etc.

  5. I agree with this post. It is amazing how much business can be generated from a well placed window cling….

  6. OK, I cop to it I am guilty. I have seen the light and will stop it.

    Keahi Pelayo ´s last blog post..View Honolulu House $815,000

  7. I think there has to be a balance of writing. Some specific to the real estate industry, some local topics or helpful advise. I’m guilty as well of getting carried away with real estate related phrases. Thanks for the awesome advice.

  8. I’ve written non-real estate blogs and have had great results. Especially popular with out of state buyers are blogs about local places of interest.

    Tina Fountain ´s last blog post..1513 Jones Road – Roswell Luxury Home

  9. GREAT advice. Seriously. Especially in Arizona where so many are moving from out of state. They can learn of things to do and the great culture the state has by reading about subjects that have to do with life after buying the house.

    Do you think serendipitous marketing can also be effective in press realeases? Such as submiting an article to

  10. @Brewer Caldwell – I know little of ezines. I know bloggers and especially RE bloggers use it as a way to get one way back-links. But I’ve never read an ezine article and never seen them come up in a search engine result.

    Since I have no good data on the audience for ezine articles themselves it is hard to say if serendipitous marketing would come into play. My guess, very little opportunity for it in that venue.

  11. Originally Posted By Dave Smith@Brewer Caldwell – I know little of ezines. I know bloggers and especially RE bloggers use it as a way to get one way back-links. But I’ve never read an ezine article and never seen them come up in a search engine result.

    Since I have no good data on the audience for ezine articles themselves it is hard to say if serendipitous marketing would come into play. My guess, very little opportunity for it in that venue.

    Actually, I know a few folks using article marketing to generate traffic. Here is an example. The search terms are generally longer-tail phrases, however, a smart article marketer will get two birds with one stone, – a relevant backlink(s) and some longtail traffic. 😉

    Colleen ´s last blog post..West Richland Homes For Sale

  12. I have used articles for marketing and they seemed to work fairly well. However, I am now getting a new web site setup and the programmer said I needed a blog. I have heard of the benefits but didn’t know really what I would write in mine when it goes live. This blog however gave me some great ideas and made me think about the structure of a blog, something I had not previously considered. Thanks.