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10 things you should know about blogging

Are you looking for ways to take your real estate blog to the next level? Over time we’ve written a lot about blogs and how to blog for your business. As a matter of fact, we consider it to be fundamental to a successful online marketing strategy. It’s a way to connect to and communicate with your readers and followers, generate leads, and improve your organic search results (and since you’re reading this, then I assume you are trying to achieve just that).

Without further ado, here are is our advice about blogging best practices:

  1. SEO 101 – How to SEO my Real Estate Blog
  2. SEO 101: Blogging Part 2
  3. Answers to common Real Estate blogging questions
  4. Starting a conversation
  5. SEO Army – A Real Estate office working together
  6. How long should my blog post be?
  7. Redesigning your blog? Keep SEO in mind
  8. Top 10 sites to submit your blog
  9. 10 ways to optimize your blog for Real Estate SEO
  10. Blogging instead of spending
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Have you seen this?

Here’s a little something I bet most Googlers probably don’t know about.

Conduct a search in Google…say for “real estate seo” then select “show options”. That will open an entire panel of goodies.

real-estate-seo-search

Within that left hand column, towards the bottom, is an option to choose search via the infamous “wonder wheel”. Select that! Now watch…this is really cool. To the right of the wonder wheel are still your search results for “real estate seo” and then you can choose any of the options the wheel presents; realtor marketing, real estate search engine optimization etc.

real-estate-seo-wonder-wheel

With each new choice your search results will update and allow you to quickly drill down to something new, maybe even something you had not thought of before.

Quick tip: this fun little tool can come in handy when doing keyword research.

Check it out and let us know what you think.

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You can have your very own customized blog

We recently featured a blog post on how to optimize your real estate blog for SEO in 10 steps. This is your personal tour inside Boston Logic’s ONE System—showing you how customizing your blog is essential to successful real estate marketing online.

Previously we took you inside WordPress as a blog platform. A platform that we highly recommend for blogging. The only thing better than WordPress for search engine optimization is a customized solution.  It just so happens that we offer such a platform. The blog is only one component of the Boston Logic ONE System, a comprehensive real estate website platform, but it is a crucial component for SEO.

It is important to customize your blog from head to toe to represent your business. Everything from the blog name, URL, titles, meta tags, images, content, links and categories should reflect how you want to have your business represented online. For example, this blog (Real Estate SEO by Boston Logic) talks about search engine optimization for real estate. The URL www.realestateseo1.com and title ‘Real Estate SEO, Our SEO blog for Real Estate Brokers, Agents, and Developers’ makes it clear you won’t be reading about dog haircuts. Notice also that you are reading a post about customizing your blog and how it’s the key to success in real estate online. All of these items reflect Boston Logic’s mission to provide market leading tools and services that enable real estate professionals to acquire, retain, and develop clients–go figure.

Here’s a bare bones example of what Boston Logic’s blog application offers (see image below). In addition to giving you all the great blogging features that a mainstream platform (like WordPress) provides, the ONE System makes it easy for your readers to find their way to the property search–the part of your website where you ultimately want all traffic to go. By having the option of a static “quick search” tool on each page of the site  (including your blog), you gently  guide visitors to your listings.

boston-logic-custom-blog

Cabot and Company, a Boston Real Estate company recently had their website redesigned by Boston Logic and are using our online marketing – SEO services. As part of our SEO services we recommended our customized blog platform and all it has to offer. Joseph Palermino, a managing partner at the company, is now a regular blogger and to his surprise, a really good and engaging writer.

sample-real-estate-blog
Our recommendation to Cabot and Company and others is–learn your blogging platform and use it well. Write as often as you can and have fun with it – or find someone to do it for you. Our clients consistently see increased traffic and visitor retention by writing new posts and keeping loyal readers coming back for more…and you can too!

PS: here are a few more Boston based real estate companies that use the Boston Logic blogging platform;

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10 ways to optimize your blog for Real Estate SEO

You may have wondered what you can do to optimize your WordPress blog for real estate seo…

If you are using WordPress for either your entire web presence or as a blog which is part of your larger website you will still want to make sure that it is fully optimized. Even if you already have an optimized website you still need to optimize my blog. Yes you do. What if you have the overall blog optimized, do you still need to optimize each page/post? Yes you do.

A great simple solution in WordPress that makes all of this much easier for you is the “All in one SEO pack” which you can install with one click through the “Plugins” section.

All In One SEO Pack

all-in-one-seo-pack

10 steps to optimizing your blog

1. Custom Permalinks: Permalinks, essentially your URLs, are now a basic part of WordPress that you can easily edit. Based on what your title is, your permalink will appear as such. My recommendation is to try to keep it short when possible and to have your keywords as they relate to your post included.

SEO permalink

optimized-url

2. Meta Titles: Your meta Title, or Page title as it’s also referred to, is another essential part. It’s what ends up being the text in the blue bar of your search browser and also the text that is the first line of your site in the search results. You want to make sure that it is clear and relevant to your post otherwise you may turn readers away without knowing it.

meta-titletitles

3. Meta Description: You meta description is another part that appears in search results as text below your page title that is in essence descriptive information about what your site holds in store. You are limited by 160 characters so be sure to be precise, informative and whenever possible don’t copy text directly from your content.

meta description
4. Titles and Subtitles: Aka Headers; H1 and H2 etc. An H1 Header is your primary header. Within WordPress your post title will always be your H1 header. This further helps shows your readers and search engines what you’ve written about. Headers also help establish a hierarchy of your content. Typically your H1 title will be the largest and increase in size from there on. Makes sense right…You can easily format the type of header you want by choosing a different “class” or within the code source/HTML enclosing your text within <h2> … </h2>.

subtitle
5. Content which includes your Real Estate SEO terms: I did not place this list within order of importance but more so order of flow from the top of a page to the bottom. If I had ordered it by importance “content” would probably have been first. Your content is extremely important because it sets you apart from all others (aka your competition). Your content should reflect your business, your services, goals etc. What you have to write about is precisely why people come to read your blog over and over again…you will establish loyal readers.

Once you’ve determined the focus of your blog, obviously something to do with “real estate” then you should stick to that. While you should have fun with it, please remember that you should incorporate your keywords in a natural way whenever possible. Incorporate news about neighborhoods in which you do business, your local involvement, featured properties, opinion pieces etc. People like to hear what you have to say and they certainly like knowing that they are getting the inside scoop from you (a trusted source) first.

6. Links: We have talked about getting inbound links for your real estate site before but this is about links within your blog. Including links like I have throughout this post, from a certain topic to a related topic/post within your blog or website is an important part of any site structure. You should also link out to other trusted sources/sites. This shows your readers and search engines that you get your information from trusted sources and share your information with those sources.

7. Images and ALT Tags: Really this should read “images must have ‘alt tags’”. Images are an important and rather engaging part of your blog post. Whether you include one or multiple images it’s a good practice to include unique images to help break things up visually. Since search engine robots (that crawl your site regularly in search of new or updated content) can’t see images, they need to have a “clue” of sorts…and that’s where “alt tags” (sometimes referred to as alt attributes or alt text) come into play. As you add new images WordPress will give you the option to optimize your “alternative text”…make use of that option and name your images according to what they are and not something like picture 1 and picture 2 etc.

8. Category Names: Categories are used to arrange more than one article into a common label. Similar to tags, they help organize content, both are used to label or name articles and arrange them. A good practice is to include broad keywords as part of your categories.

categories
9. Tags: Tags are descriptions that will associate an article to various topics. Typically one-word descriptions of the most important aspects of the article with the most prominent keywords or commonly recognizable words are used. It is the tags attributed to a post that lets visitors search your site and then find relevant posts.

tags
10. Call to action – pose a question: Similar to a sales pitch you want to have some kind of call to action in your articles. I recommend not using a “sales” approach where you try to sell your services by saying something like “if you need a realtor then contact xyz” because your content should be empowering enough so that readers will want to know more and either come back or contact you to learn more about how you can help them. You can’t twist someone’s arm and you should not beat them over the head with information. Instead you should close your posts by asking engaging questions. Remind your readers that you value their input and engagement.
Are you employing any of these strategies on your blog (even if it’s not WordPress)? What other kinds of things would you suggest to optimize that I may not have listed here?

Related Articles:

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Top reasons why you should have your own blog

Are you one of those that thinks having your own blog is too much work and, well, what do I get from it anyway?

Here’s a list of reasons why you should have your own blog:

  • It’s good for Real Estate SEO.
  • Your blog should be part of your real estate website i.e. http://www.domain.com/blog.
  • Blogs offer great link bait.
  • Blogs attract visitors.
  • Blogs will help generate leads.
  • Having your blog as part of your own website (rather than only ActiveRain or Trulia) will give your site credit for inbound links.
  • Inbound links are of a huge value in calculating Google’s PageRank.
  • Blog posts will help your website rank for terms.
  • Whether hosted through a blog platform or part of your website’s CMS each new blog post/article acts as a new page to your website, which means it’s new content added, and thus a new page to be crawled by search engines.
  • You can write content and safe drafts and thus publish at a later date.
  • You can have multiple people write for you, or someone else all together if writing is not your thing.

To sum it up, blogging = more fresh (optimized and relevant) content = more inbound links. All of which = more relevant traffic = more sharing, commenting and more links, and finally LEADS.  Remember: Anything that you put quality time into will give you quality results. Individuals now more than ever are jearning for trust and thus will do their research prior to buying…what a better way than through you blog to present yourself and/or your company.

Happy Blogging.

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