So, this a very good question. You would think the answer is quite simple, but it isn’t.
Using Google’s Keyword tool to estimate the number of searches conducted monthly, it tells us that:
“Townhouse” is searched the most per month at an estimate of 9900 times/mo with “Townhomes” trailing in second with 8100 estimated searches a month. So, the singular version of the phrase is sought after more than the plural version of the competing phrase. But if you compare the plural versions of the two, you’ll find that “Townhomes” beats “Townhouses” or “Town houses” (8100 vs. 2400/mo or 590/mo for the split version of the house version of the phrase).
And in terms of real estate SEO, you’ll probably want to get credit for BOTH the singular and plural versions of what people are looking for. If you label it as “Townhomes”, you can get credit for both “Townhome” and Townhomes” searches. Whereas, if you’re labeling it simply as “Townhome”, you might decrease your changes for both. However, google’s trying to figure out how to give you the proper credit if you deserve both. The only problem is that google hasn’t figured everything out despite them being a monolith of a company with many well paid and happy employees.
However, what if we place a modifier into the phrase? Let’s say you’re targeting “luxury townhomes” or “townhouses” – what’s the best phrase to use to get more credit in terms of SEO? This one is a little simpler, it appears since “luxury townhomes” gets the most per month at 320/mo (est). At the same time, you still have the small funny dynamics of the singular version of the phrase “luxury townhouse” beating “luxury townhome” (46 vs. 28/mo). Then again, maybe Google’s just poor at estimating? 🙂
There are a number of other dynamics at play and so this is why many people hire us to do the difficult lifting of thinking through this problem properly. However, if you want to do the heavy lifting yourself, here are the numbers for you to crunch and figure out all the possibilities and reasons why you do name your page or site one or the other:
|Keyword||US Searches/Mo (Est)|
|luxury town homes||16|
|luxury town houses||0|