Archive for the ‘Wordpress’ Category
After reading a great – and true – blog post on “7 Reasons Your Blog Sucks (and What to Do About It)”, I had to comment and share my thoughts. Blogging about real estate can often be frustrating: trying to generate interesting, consistent, and good-quality content frequently can be a daunting task. What’s more, that in the real estate industry, readers aren’t exactly actively engaging with blogs or becoming loyal fans and followers.
That’s not to say that this isn’t possible. Usually the problem is either lame content and not being consistent with your content. Don’t forget, it takes more than the bare minimum of just throwing content once a week up on your blog: you are competing for your readers – and potential customers – online attention. And if we know anything about browsing the web, the online reader isn’t a patient one.
Here are some top mistakes that we see non-real estate SEO clients make every day, and some tips on how you can think about blogging differently to overcome them.
1.) No content strategy goals
You either don’t have a goal, or are all over the place. Take a minute to think about where you are trying to go with your blog and what statement you want to make. Are you writing to build a brand, build influence, or increase your leads? Your goals will shape your blogging strategy, and you need to make sure this message is conveyed accurately internally.
2.) Internal resources aren’t organized
Who writes your content and manages your social media profiles? My guess is, you’ve got one person for your company that you hope is blogging at least once a week. Identify who this person or team will be, whether its a requirement of all your agents to post once a day, or you and an intern writing once a week. If you don’t have a blog yet, start small and test-run a Sequoia real estate website with blog feature for 6 months to see how your business benefits. Create a solid team, and compile data to have a common ownership of the blog within your company.
3.) Real Estate niche is undefined
As with businesses in general, its so much better to have a specialized niche. The same applies to your blog: the less your posts are all over the place, the less targeted your message and your audience will be. Think about your target market and what they want – now how can you solve their problems? What are they concerned about?
4.) Not listening to your audience or clients
We tell clients that blogging is the best way to assert yourself as an expert in your field of real estate. But how can you position your company as an educator if you don’t know what your clients’ problems are? There are great “listening” tools like Google Alerts or Radian6 that you can employ to be on top of the latest news and issues of your market. From here, you can generate blog material in reaction to what you read.
5.) Your blog is boring
Here is where we have to be honest. Many real estate agents and brokers are not really writers, and the content your blog pushes out reflects that. It may be worth bringing in some fresh perspective with younger interns or agents that have expressed interest in writing to help stimulate interesting blog ideas to give you different angles to pursue.
Try and be the journalist that attracts your readers’ attention. Stories are everywhere, from interacting with clients to your kid’s dentist appointments. You can also tie in a recent news event or real estate market development: and the faster you are with these, the better. Have a defined, committed point of view – and finish it off with a great headline, like a “How-To” post or “Are You Paying Too Much To Sell Your Home?”
6.) Lack of authentic material
People don’t care about press releases. Sorry. They want to talk and leave comments for actual people, not droning company robots. Here’s where speaking about your personal experiences really comes into play – “I just met with this seller, and ran screaming from the house…” These are memorable, and make people connect to what you are writing about. And, clients prefer to work with “real” people.
7.) No publishing system
We emphasize constantly that consistent blogging is horribly important. However, there is a system that should be put into place. It starts by monitoring relevant and trending topics, aggregating the “noise” into relevant topics, creative writing and editing, and ends with measurement with Google Analytics. You need to have this process in a calendar to make sure you meet deadlines consistently, and over time you will become more efficient as blogging becomes part of you or your team’s routine.
8.) No “BOOM!” Ending
Remember in high school when your teacher told you to write a captivating conclusion that leaves the reader in reflection of what they just wrote? Don’t leave your readers hanging. Pull it all together, and throw some punch in there. Also don’t forget to continue the momentum with a strong call-to-action.
So go forth and make your blog the best it can be. Social media sites move quickly, and every reader that bounces of your blog is another opportunity lost. Don’t be overwhelmed by this list: tackle one issue at a time, and over the upcoming weeks your blog will be back on track.
Writing blogs consistently and often is a great way for your website to get noticed by search engines. We recommend, and place our clients on, the WordPress platform, which is an easy to use posting system that provides tons of great features for SEO. So how do you get started?
We break down the basics of publishing a post here:
1) From your WordPress Dashboard, select “Posts” from the far left sidebar, then “Add New”
2) Write Your Content. This is where you will write all of your content. It’s important for your to take your keywords that you’ve researched (or that Boston Logic has given you!) and use them in your title, and as bold and links to relevant pages on your website in your content.
3) Add and Image. Once you’ve written your blog content, it’s optimal to break up your content for readers with an image: optimizing images are also a great opportunity for optimization, as well!
Right above where you write the body of your content you’ll see “Upload / Insert”. To upload an image, click the 1st rectangle shape. From here, a box will pop up where you click the “Select” button to choose an image to upload from your computer. Once it’s uploaded, you can optimize your image by adding Alt. Text and a Description that contain your keywords that are descriptive of your text – it also helps to have keywords in your Image Title.
You can also add a URL so that when a user clicks the image, they will land on a page of your website. If you are doing a featured listing and have an image of the apartment located in Boston, you can place the URL of the listing here so they can click to read more.
4) Tag and Categorize your post. Now that you’ve got the body of your post written, time to Tag and Categorize it. You can find both the Categories and Post Tags section on the far right of your “Edit Post” dashboard.
Your categories should be based on your SEO keywords that you’d like to rank for – select the checkbox next to the appropriate categories that your blog post fits into. These are more broad, and you should only add another category when you have a whole new topic with multiple blog posts.
Tagging allows you to be a bit more descriptive with your posts. Here, you can take the level of detail to describe your post to the next level. For real estate SEO for example, let’s say that you’ve written a Featured Blog on one of your properties in Back Bay, Boston. Check off the “Back Bay Apartments”, “Back Bay 2 Bedrooms”, etc. Your “Post Tags” are located right beneath your “Categories”.
5) Fill out the SEO pack. Depending on what version of WordPress you have, the All in One SEO Pack may be available. This is a great SEO tool that WordPress uses for you to describe your own content: add a Title, Description, and Keywords – and be sure to include yout SEO keywords that you want to rank for in all three sections.
Blogging is an important aspect of your real estate online marketing strategy, and takes a lot of work. Sign up for Boston Logic’s real estate SEO services today to help you blog consistently for website success!
In a recent research webinar presentation from Hubspot on Inbound Marketing, one of the most impressive data revelations was the amount of leads that corresponded to the amount of blogging the company did.
As you can see from the graph below, the numbers are quite impressive – those who blog daily receive 89% more leads than those who only blog once a month (49% customer acquisition). These numbers also happen to back up what we always tell our real estate SEO clients: blog consistently and regularly! It can sometimes be difficult to get clients to blog at least once a week, but when you blog once a month, not only does it not impress the visitors that come to your site, but you will also get less leads. And we know that leads for real estate brokers and agents is extremely important.
This also begs the question, “But HOW can we blog multiple times per day?” It’s really a matter of getting into routine and a mindset. Make a time commitment to blog as soon as you wake up, or to blog when you get home from work – and make it fun. You’re the expert: blog about what you think your clients want to read about while assuring your expertise as a real estate agent or brokerage.
Blogs also don’t have to be lengthy books of content and text: in fact, users prefer smaller blogs which contain helpful information for them. Being in real estate, consider the amount of questions you get from buyers and sellers: if these are in email form, you can literally copy and paste their question and response into your blog – done!
Blogging and real estate SEO are as easy as ever with our Sequoia real estate websites and integrated WordPress blogging system. If you are interested in a new real estate website or wish to inquire about our SEO services for your real estate website or blog, contact Boston Logic today!
Graph Source: The 2011 State of Inbound Marketing, Hubspot
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.
Excuse: 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
Every year we notice a trend. Real Estate brokers and agents from back from their summer vacation with new knowledge. They’ve been reading, we say. They’ve been thinking, we say. The result is that we get score of you great folks asking us for the same things.
Almost without fail, it’s something that we’ve been telling you to invest in for at least a year or two. This year, what are people calling us about? You guessed it Real Estate SEO!
Now, this is not a great big ‘I told you so’ post. We’re not that kind of SEOs. I want to know why the real estate industry just woke up during the summer of 2009? Here are my theories.
Real Estate magazine published a cover story on Social Media. Yes, we got some calls about this, we’re even designing a class around it. But the ripple effect that this had was to send real estate professionals running to the web. There they noticed just how hard it was for consumers to find them. They reasoned that if they had better search engine placement, they’d sell more real estate. It’s not a tough conclusion to draw.
Here’s another theory: after a dismal spring, the real estate brokers realized that they needed to finally cut their print marketing budget and find a new horse to bet on. They’d heard of this thing called blogging and started to write. So, what do these realtors want to know? Why isn’t my blog ranking? Sometime we get, “My blog ranks, but my site doesn’t!?” Of course the answer to these folks is that their blog should be a part of their website. Blogging on blogger.com or WordPress.com is fine, but it’s going to bring the users to those sites and not to your website.
Here’s my final theory. Every fall, real estate brokers and agents realize that they didn’t take initiative in the spring. They were too busy selling homes. They woke up on the first of the year and said, “I’m going to invest in real estate seo this year.” But one thing led to another another and they didn’t get around to it. Now, it’s time to act.
That’s ok, 8 months isn’t so long…
But really, this means that the message got across a long time ago. You didn’t need us to remind you. You just needed to remember that you wanted more leads all along.
Last word: Stay tuned for the new BostonLogic.com launching soon! You heard it here first!