Archive for the ‘Blog designs’ Category

Blog Post Formatting

While working with one of our real estate marketing clients earlier this week, we were trying to get them on a consistent blogging schedule. As a brokerage, the contact I was working with was going to assign agents to blog for the main company at least twice a week – which is exactly what we recommend for new real estate SEO clients.

real estate seo

In doing this, the client wanted to pass along information on blogging without overwhelming the agents. She was wondering if there was some sort of “blogging format” to follow while writing, and I composed one for her and thought it made great content for a blog post of our own!

Blogging is easy to do, but if you are not experienced with it, it can be helpful to have some sort of simple structure to follow as you get started. I’ve made this outline that you can reference for the next time you blog for your company: and for you veteran bloggers, it may be helpful to check this out and make sure you are following these blogging best-practices!

Simple Blog Post Format

1. Title of Blog Post. This should be accurately reflecting the text to follow, and you should try to use one of your SEO keywords if possible.

2. Intro Paragraph. This is where you introduce the topic of your post. If you are writing about an article you’ve read, cite the reference here, write the reason you are writing the post, or why the content is relevant to your expertise or market.

3. Blog Content: 2-3 Paragraphs. This is the meat of your blog post. Here is where you elaborate more about the topic that you’ve introduced with your blog title and intro paragraph. Optimize the content with your  SEO keywords wherever possible, create internal links to other places on your website, and include relevant information and facts to assert yourself an expert in your field of real estate. Also include links if your reader needs to go somewhere else to read more information, such as an MLS listing on your website to read more.


Important:
DO NOT copy and paste anything from the internet! Google punishes duplicate content on websites – you must re-purpose the content to make it unique in your blog post. Wikipedia articles are not your friend.

real estate seo blog4. Add an image to break up your text. All blog posts should contain at least one image to help break up your text content and make it appealing to readers. Pull an image related to your text: for example, if you are writing about a featured property, pull an attractive picture from its MLS listing. It is also great for SEO to optimize your images: place keywords in the image title, alt text, and description of your image – bonus points if you can make the image a clickable link to a relevant page on your website.

5.    Conclusion. Here is where you add a personal note of conclusion to the content you have written. Here is a great place to write your opinion on your topic…why did you write this blog post? What does the reader have to learn from it? How does this content relate back to you and your business?


6.    Call-To-Action
. Now that you have written this great blog post and have credited yourself as an expert in your field, give yourself the credit and include your contact information. Back to the featured property blog post example, a sample call to action would be: “Interested in finding your next home in Boston, Massachusetts? Contact John Smith of Boston Logic Realty today!” Here you can include a link to your direct email address so that potential leads may contact you.

And that’s it!

Ready for a sample call-to-action?

As a real estate web design and online internet marketing company, Boston Logic can assist you in all aspects of running and maintaining your real estate business. Contact Boston Logic today to find out how to make the most out of your online presence with our real estate SEO services and cutting-edge real estate website technology.

Boston Logic Client Nominated for Best Real Estate Blog!

Late last week, Boston Logic received word that one of our SEO clients, Warren Residential, was nominated the for the Zillow People’s Choice Award for Best Blog in Boston! We were so pleased to hear that the client’s work collaborated with  our real estate website design,  blog design, real estate SEO work, and content creation was recognized in a best blog nomination.

We are asking readers to please join us in daily voting from now until November 24th for the Warren Residential blog. Anyone can vote once per day by clicking this link: Best Real Estate Blog in Boston!

If Warren Residential wins the title, the Warren Residential website will be linked from Zillow’s Boston home values page. In addition, they will also receive a badge for their blog’s website indicating that Warren Residential is Boston’s best real estate blogger, as voted by the people!

Once again, here is the Zillow link to please click and vote every day until November 24th.

We wish Warren Residential the best of luck in the next few days of voting!

Simple SEO for Your Blog

Optimizing your blog for search engines is similar to optimizing your website.  With a little planning and effort, your blog will give your SEO efforts a big boost!  It will take some time to establish yourself as a reliable information source in the blogosphere, and the more relevant blogs you post with valuable content, the sooner this will happen.  We try to encourage clients to blog twice each week.

SEO your blogHOW TO START:

You want each blog post (or web page) to focus on one subject or topic.  Your topic should be fairly focused because you want to keep your readers engaged and make sure you leave yourself topics to cover in future blogs, too!  This will also help you determine which keywords each blog post should try to incorporate.

Much like writing a research paper in school, you should develop an ‘Introduction’, ‘Body’, and a ‘Conclusion’ or ‘Call to Action’ to get the reader to engage in your site further, and become a Lead.

Read our blog on developing subjects to blog about if you’re stumped on what to write about.

KEYWORD STRATEGY:

If you want to optimize your blog, you’re most likely also optimizing your website as well, and you are using your blog as a way to increase traffic to your website and get new leads.  When developing your website/ blog optimization strategy, you need to determine your list of ‘keywords’ (or phrases) that you will focus your optimization campaign around.

Your keywords will be terms you think potential clients you’d like to reach would type into a search engine while looking for your services.  For example, if you are a broker focusing on student apartments in the Fenway neighborhood, you might choose a keyword like ‘Fenway apartments’ or ‘Fenway student apartments’.

There are a variety of free online tools you can use to learn about the popularity of the terms you are considering using and also to get suggestions for new terms.  You can also view the presentation from our Logic Classroom about Long Tail Keywords and Keyword Strategy to learn more.

I’VE GOT MY KEYWORD LIST, NOW WHAT?

It’s important to try to keep these terms in mind when writing your blogs, and develop blog topics that incorporate these words to help improve your site’s organic search engine ranking for them.  As a result, more visitors interested in what you’re selling (Fenway student apartments) will find your blog, and therefore your services, more easily.

You want to use your keywords in as many places as possible, such as in the URL of the page, in the Title of the Page, in the Header, etc. without being ‘spammy.’  If you want to learn more about keyword placement on your website, please read this blog about optimizing your website with keywords.

PRACTICAL TIPS FROM THE PROS:

Meta Titles:  It’s always good to add your company name to the end of your Meta Titles, such as ‘Extremely Relevant Meta Title Here | My Company Name’ to help increase your brand awareness.  You always want the Meta Title to be in ‘Title Case’ (instead of all lower case) so it looks good to a reader because they do see your Meta Titles in search engine results and at the top of the page in the browser tab.  Search Engines typically only index the first 65-70 characters or so (including spaces) of your title, so make sure the important keywords are towards the beginning.

Meta Descriptions should also include your keywords.  Your descriptions should be a brief summary (approx. 160 characters) of what your blog post or page is about.  You should write it using proper punctuation and grammar because the descriptions are seen by visitors using search engines and by search engines to understand what your page is about.  Here is an example of a description I might use for this blog post:

“Learn how to optimize your blog using these helpful tips on keyword strategy, meta data, and more to help increase your website traffic and capture more leads.”

A screen shot of search engine results for keywords

Links: When you add a Hyperlink leading to another page from your blog, especially in the beginning or middle of your blog post, I prefer to have the link open a new window or tab in the visitor’s browser instead of replacing the page they are on (your extremely interesting and informative blog).  This is easy to do with a Boston Logic Sequoia real estate website.

When you create your hyperlink, be sure to click onto the ‘Target’ tab when you are entering the Link information in the Link popup window.  This tab will allow you to choose if you want the link to appear in a new window, and also provides the opportunity to name the link- which is great for SEO.  I’ve attached screen shots to help walk you through it.  Making the links bold is a good idea, too, because search engines know to considered words in bold to be highly relevant to the content of the page.  Just don’t go making everything bold or it will lose its effectiveness (and annoy readers).

It is better for your SEO (and human visitors) if the links are using relevant keywords, not just ‘click here’, and if the link leads to a page that has those words or something similar in the URL and page title.  For example, if you were writing a blog about the amenities of the Fenway neighborhood you could mention ‘ living in an apartment in Fenway’ and make ‘apartment in Fenway’ an internal link to your ‘Fenway Apartments’ Town Page.

Categories: Blog categories are not as important to SEO as some of the other elements mentioned, but they are VERY important to your visitor’s experience.  If you have relevant blog categories that are well-organized (you can have ‘parent’ and ‘sub’ categories) and make it easy for readers to find what they are looking for, they will be more likely to read several of your blog posts and return for more information in the future.

You want to make sure you make a category for each of your keywords, and that you are putting blog posts into every category they are related to.  Visitors will see and use these categories when searching your blog, so don’t just add your posts to categories for the sake of trying to increase ranking on certain keywords because it will actually hurt your SEO if visitors are regularly bouncing from your blog when they find that it’s unrelated to the keywords they typed into their search engine.

Meta Tags, again, are not as important to SEO as the content, Titles, Descriptions, and Links, but they are still worth putting effort into.  You want to make sure you’re not wasting your meta tag space with extremely broad, single word keywords such as ‘luxury’ or ‘Boston’, however, because they will not help your SEO.  Instead, try to be creative and use more targeted keywords, such as ‘Boston luxury apartment’.  You want to make your tags as specific and relevant to the post/ page as possible.

Also, be careful with where you place the commas in your list of meta keywords.  For example, if you entered ‘Mandarin, Oriental’ into your keyword list, that’s actually telling the search engines that you are using the two words separately ‘mandarin’ and ‘oriental’.  Instead, you should keep the name of a building as one key-phrase by not putting a comma between the words you want to be seen as together, like ‘Mandarin Oriental’.

Calls to Action improve user conversionCalls to Action: One final suggestion is to leave the reader with some sort of internal link and a call to action to keep them engaged.  Each blog should strive to do this in some way, even just ‘Contact a trusted advisor for more information’ with a link to the blogger’s email or a link to the Contact Page.

IN CONCLUSION:

Having a blog is a great way to add fresh and informative content to your website to help potential clients find your website and see that you are a knowledgeable leader in your industry.  You need to create a list of relevant keywords (or phrases) to help you focus and organize your blogging strategy and bring you the type of readers you are hoping to find and convert to leads.

If you take the effort and time to optimize your blog, and consistently blog at least twice each week, you will begin to see an increase in your search engine ranking and site traffic as a result.

If you have any questions regarding optimizing your website and blog, or wish to learn more about the services we provide, please feel free to contact the Boston Logic Marketing Department.

Real Estate Branding Secrets Revealed

The topic of last month’s LogicClassroom Webinar was on Personal Branding and SEM. Maybe you’ve taken time since then to consider your personal brand: but have you taken any steps toward realizing an end result?
Your real estate brand is more than just a logo on your business card or a custom real estate theme website. You also don’t need to be a superpower like Apple to make an impression. We thought we’d break down some steps you can do RIGHT NOW to start branding effectively for yourself. And to give you an extra push, we are also going to give an excuse before we show you how easy it is to get started.

Excuse: Branding Is Hard

Branding is not difficult. You simply must hone in on what exactly it is that you want your business to stand out for and to whom. You also must make the commitment to this message through every company message. Creating and maintaining your brand is simply a matter of assuring that your message is consistent and clear. If you are branding an office, make sure that all employees and partners are able to verbalize your message.
brandExcuse: Branding Is Expensive
You can work with any budget to create an effective brand. The key is not cash, but more about defining the specific target audience that you want to receive your message, and to make sure you have identified their needs and offered a solution to be delivered through your brand.
While your brand is reflected in your business logo, it is often more in that. The other extreme when considering branding is Apple, as they have an overwhelming brand presence and budget to back it up. However, creating a consistent and clear message, identifying a target audience to brand to, and sponsoring what you can afford, such as those 2 or 3 highly targeted events will prove to be a very effective means of marketing.
You can also pull back and live your brand through everyday business practices. For example, your company’s message on your voicemail, or signature on every outgoing email. Do these reflect your brand, and the message that your company (or you) stand for?
Excuse: Branding Isn’t THAT Important

Ever hear about those private equity firms that buy brands for millions to acquire the loyal customer base? Brand equity is a substantial piece of your business identity. You can also see this when customers purchase an outfit for 3x as much at Express instead of the Gap. Your brand, if effective, can potentially translate into bottom-line sales.
A strong foundation and targeted message are important. Eventually, your brand will guide all other company marketing decisions to grow, including your product’s price points and who to partner with.
Excuse: I Can’t Find the Right Designer To Express my Brand
While you can create your own brand and brand strategy, it may be worth investing in a designer to create the best execution of your brand’s vision as possible. The best place to start? Your  real estate website design.

Sequoia especially specializes in custom real estate website design. It’s essential that you communicate the right message visually, and our developers can make that happen with customized themes and templates for website design. Good designers will create a theme that will convey the message of your company effectively, and is absolutely worth the investment.
Excuse: Branding Doesn’t Work Immediately
While this is true, there is a huge difference between direct-response marketing and branding. Your customers need to experience your brand several times before it becomes memorable. Branding is also about “mindshare”, which is the space in your target market’s mind when they see your logo or hear your name. And that takes time to build up.
While it’s important to revitalize your brand and keep it updated, try to avoid changing your branding every quarter in order to raise sales. You’ll make slight tweaks to your brand, but you’ve already put in the thought and effort, remember?
You also need to give your customers a chance to respond to your brand. While things may be quiet the first three months, many potential leads haven’t heard your message through the noise of your industry.
Bottom line: Put in the effort and research, stick to it, be consistent and patient. In due time, your brand will pay off!

Source Article: Shattering Branding Myths

LogicClassroom Session 2 on Effective Blogging

We had a great turnout for this LogicClassroom session on effective blogging both in the office and on the phone. We explored the benefits of blogging for your business, including how to optimize your posts for SEO and how to turn a blog into a traffic and lead generation tool for your company.

I want to thank everyone who was able to attend. Don’t worry if you missed this LogicClassroom session, you can view the slides below at your convenience. Enjoy!

Our next LogicClassroom will be on 1/12/10. Learn how agents and brokers can leverage free social media to generate leads and a loyal client following. Please email Katrina if you would like to attend.

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