Archive for January, 2011
Leveraging social media is an important part of any real estate marketing campaign. Facebook is the most popular of all social media networks, and utilizing its features and applications will help you reach potential leads and get them to visit your real estate website.
You can read about all the benefits of marketing your real estate business on Facebook in this Sequoia Blog Post on Facebook Marketing. While this post is still informative with relevant data, Boston Logic knows that Facebook never stops updating its user interface – and you no doubt have noticed the recent Facebook visual upgrades for your user profile.
Thus, the steps in which you create your own Facebook Page – for a brokerage or individual real estate agent – has changed. Follow the steps below to create your own Facebook Page: it’s easy, we promise!
1. From your ‘Home’ Page of your Personal Profile, select the ‘Ads and Pages’ menu below your thumbnail photo.
2. From the ‘Pages You Admin’ screen, click the ‘+Create Page’ button at the top right corner of the page.
3. For most real estate agencies or real estate agents, you will select the “Local Business or Place of Interest” section.
4. Once you click this item, a form will pop up to prompt you to complete important information regarding your business.
Select ‘Real Estate’ from the drop-down menu, and fill out the relevant business information, like address and phone number. Check the box stating you have read the Facebook terms, then click “Get Started”.
Once you’ve created a page, Facebook provides you with helpful steps to help enhance your Page. You can begin by filling out your Information Tab, suggesting your friends and family become Fans by ‘Liking’ your Page (click the ‘Suggest to Friends’ link below your Fan Page Profile Image), and uploading Photos!
Looking for a new real estate website? Contact us for more info on our real estate web design, or to discuss our further real estate SEO services.
I love Jill Whalen’s newsletter; sometimes it gets me thinking. This article, in particular, got me thinking today. If you want to understand what I say below, please pause for a moment and read Jill’s article, then come back to this one.
I don’t have any reason or evidence with which to really disagree with Jill. I’m also not sure that I do, in fact, agree with what she said, and I want to propose another thought.
Jill’s premise is that Google may be keeping their page 1 search results informational so that the commercial search results have to be bought. I.E. Jill is arguing that Google keeps their search results inaccurate in order to sell more AdWords. Again, I’m not saying this is true or false. Here’s what I do know:
Google has little motivation to improve their results at this time. Why? Because they’re already the most popular search engine! They’ve already won your business. If Yahoo and Bing really make a comeback, then OK, there’s a reason to accelerate improvement. Some folks might even say Bing has done or is doing just that, taking Google’s market share. Perhaps this will motivate Google to start presenting ‘better’ results. For now, Google is getting billions of searches and even more page views, and lots of clicks which are paying them billions of dollars. Why change?
It’s a well documented sociological reality that if you want to know how someone is likely to act, you need to understand their motivations and incentives. Something would have to motivate Google to make big changes to their algorithm. Obviously, they haven’t had that motivation.
Now, Jill might be right in arguing that Google’s incentive (paid clicks) is driving them to produce a poorer algorithm. I would argue that I don’t think Google is actually trying to make a bad algorithm. I don’t think they’re trying to mislead us. I think they’ve got something that’s pretty good and it’s making them billionaires. So, why fix it?
Lastly, I’d love Jill to come up with a fix. I mean a real fix. She does present a 1 line suggestion. It’s not a bad suggestion, but I think the complexity of search engines is quite deep and to make changes to an application like Google ain’t no small task. it’s just not that easy. They have a lot of money and very good developers, but it’s very costly to build a better mousetrap. Google knows this and they’re probably trying to make their capital investment – or all past dev work into their search – stretch out into the future.
One more thing. Do you remember the web before Google? Trying to find stuff was next to impossible. Google came along and they made it possible to quickly search and find what you need. Then they made AdWords and PPC took off and a market for SEO was born, and now search is a huge paid medium for both ad buy and SEO services. All of this tells me that the world wants to be able to search the web – we want it to be fast, easy, accurate, and vastly comprehensive. We want portability and personalization, and we use these tools all the time. Google will continue to provide a quality system to do all of this – and most of us will keep using Google for a long time.
We have always recommended to our clients that they have Google Analytics installed on their real estate websites. We’ve even given great step-by-step instructions on how easy it is to set up Google Analytics on the Sequoia Real Estate Website platform. So let’s say that you’ve done it: now what?
In order to successfully interpret Google Analytics, you need to understand analytics terminology and language. Defining the information available to you is a great first step in understanding the effect of your web presence.
- Visits - the number of times a person interacted with your website, or the number of sessions on your site
- Bounce – the number of people who instantly left your site after visiting it
- Page Views - how many pages users clicked on and viewed in the total amount of visits
- Pages Per Visit - the total amount of pages in each specific visit
- Average Time on Site – how long people stayed engaged on your website
- % of New Visits - how many sessions or interactions were from first time visitors
Google Analytics Traffic Sources
Traffic to your real estate website comes from many different online sources. Direct traffic refers to the people who already knew about your website, and came to it by typing in your real estate website’s URL into their browser, or had your site bookmarked.
Referring Sites are other outside websites that are directing traffic to your website. The referral traffic can originate from blogs or affiliates that link to your site.
Search Engines, such as Google and Bing, are the online tools that allow users to search for any topic simply by typing in a word or phrase. When you are looking at the “search engine” category, note that this includes both organic and paid traffic. Organic Traffic is traffic coming from search engines: that is, the search engine combed your website and produced organic results to the user. Your Paid Traffic includes traffic from any online advertising campaigns that you are running, such as Google’s PPC, Adwords.
With this information, you can better understand what your web analytics tool is trying to tell you. Now, what do you do with it? How can you analyze this information so you can implement some of the data’s suggestions on your website?
- What are the trends that you notice in your website’s data?
- Where is recent growth coming from?
Similar to online survey data analysis, the key to implementing positive changes for your website that will help you continue to grow comes from asking the right questions and responding appropriately. The more that you practice using the analytics tools, you will continue to discover areas of improvement for your real estate website, and reacting to your data will become second nature.