Archive for the ‘Boston Logic’ Category

How to Add a User to the New Google Webmaster Tools

Here  at Boston Logic we set up a LOT of new websites for our real estate clients. We also perform a lot of website-upgrades, switching existing website URLs over to our Sequoia platform and implementing 301 Redirects in order to help ensure a smooth SEO transition to your new real estate website.

In helping our clients switch to a new website, we often have to coach our new users through the process of adding a new user to their Google Webmaster Tools account, especially now that Google Webmaster Tools has recently upgraded it’s appearance.  So, I decided to write this step-by-step guide with screenshots to help our clients (and all of our readers) with the process.

How to Add a User to Your Existing Google Webmaster Tools Account

1.  Log into your Google Webmaster Tools account at:
www.google.com/webmasters/tools/

2.  See the “Home” screen on the left sidebar of your Dashboard.

Adding a User to Google Webmaster Tools

Your Webmaster Tools Dashboard

3.  Click on the drop-down arrow next to the ‘Manage Site’ button of the website you wish to add a new User to. (You may only have 1 site listed on your dashboard, or several like the example above.)

4.  This will bring you to the ‘Verification Details’ screen for that particular website. This screen shows the Verification Attempts history for the account, as well as listing the Verified Owners. Scroll to the bottom of this screen and click the ‘Add an Owner’ button in the lower left corner.

Verification Details Screen in Google Webmaster Tools

Verification Details Screen in Google Webmaster Tools

5.  Enter the email address of the User you would like to add, then click the ‘Continue’ button.
Enter the Email Address of the New User You Want to Add

Enter the Email Address of the New User You Want to Add

6.  The User you just added will now appear in the Verification History section.

New User will appear in Verification Attempts History

New User will appear in Verification Attempts History

If you want to remove a User, just return to this Verification Details screen, and click the ‘Unverify’ link next to that User’s email address on the list of Verified Owners.

I hope this was a helpful and useful guide to those who are new to navigating Google Webmaster Tools! Be sure to subscribe to this blog, along with our Sequoia System blog, for more hints, guides, and advice on how to better leverage your website platform.

 

 

8 Types of People to Connect With on LinkedIn

Chances are that when you first joined, only a few people in your “circle” were on LinkedIn- but it’s popularity has steadily increased creeping towards the popularity of Facebook. It’s become a pretty user-friendly interface with options to import your contacts and integrate your social media profiles as much (or as little) as you want. So if you haven’t done so already, take a morning off the Social Network to sync your circle with LinkedIn.

Two things to keep in mind before taking the plunge…

BE SELECTIVE with your professional network. Take the time to go through all your contacts before inviting them to connect. Don’t import people from your various accounts that may be detrimental to your image; like business ventures that didn’t go well, or that ex of yours you don’t talk to anymore, or that person from high school that posts inappropriate anecdotes to his Twitter Feed (which he has syndicated with LinkedIn). Your connections reflect upon who you are. While LinkedIn is becoming more ‘socialized’- leave the merely social to Facebook and be selective of your ‘professional network’.

BE CREATIVE with your network, too. Think outside the box! Your LinkedIn NetworReading List on LinkedIn Profilek should be a lot more than just the people you worked with at the last few jobs. Fill out your Reading List (by Amazon), join interesting Groups, write a unique Summary (with some of your resume keywords of course), and add impactful Experiences outside of your career track.

Here’s some suggestions to start widening your circle:

1. Teachers. Find and connect with teachers you had good relationships with in  school. Or, if you’re still in school- get it while it’s hot! It’s a great place to start with asking for Recommendations if you haven’t yet entered the workforce full time.

2. Fellow Students. If you had group projects, or were in a cooperative setting, having a classmate or two vouch that you’re a team player who can meet or beat expectations is something prospective employers will notice.

3. Successful Friends and Relatives (i.e. your “mentors”)- there’s a ‘friends’ option to request a connection on LinkedIn for a reason. It doesn’t matter what industry they’re in or what kind of job of they have- it’s always good to be connected to people with lots of connections! The six degrees of LinkedIn separation never cease to impress me. Oh, and the, “I saw on LinkedIn that you know so-and-so” makes for great office chit-chat or an ice-breaker on an interview!

4. Clients. Request a recommendation for your work on their accounts now, while it’s fresh in their mind and you’re fresh in theirs! Your company might even use it as a testimonial & it certainly reflects well on them too. It will also be a nice accumulation of recommendations over time naturally, instead of a mad-rush if you’re unemployed later.

5. Your ‘Freebies’. This is especially important for consultants, and often overlooked! Make sure to connect with the people you give your advice, support and/or guidance to (i.e. your “mentees”). Maybe it’s a local diner you love, or a charity group you volunteer for- whomever benefits from your knowledge (or simple ambition to be a good person) can repay the favor ten-fold with a recommendation on LinkedIn!

6. Co-workers. It doesn’t need to be an obvious swap- but pay attention to who you enjoy working with and why, and start giving recommendations. Link Karma will surely come your way.

7. Subcontractors, Vendors, Partnerships. If your company hired another company to do work, and you coordinated frequently with someone on their team, send them a ‘connect’ request! Provide or request a referral from them, depending what the relationship was. You never know when your NEW boss will ask you if you know someone that does ______; and it would be nice to say ‘Yes, I’ll email them now’.

8. People You Don’t Know…Yet. Under your profile Settings, set your privacy controls to be open. It’s beneficial to let anyone and everyone  browse and find you- you never know who might be looking. Also, be sure to carefully indicate who can contact you for what (i.e. reconnecting, business opportunities, consulting, job offers, etc.)- there is an unspoken rule of the acceptance of these intentions.

** Helpful Tip **

A lot of people aren’t sure what to write in their recommendation, even though they enjoyed working with you and are happy to give you one.  Maybe writing is just not their thing, so help them out. Instead of just sending the auto request, give them tips on what to write by saying things like:

“I was hoping you could write a recommendation for me based on the work I did for you on xyz project, particularly about ________ and how we handled ____________.”

OR, if your relationship is more casual, feel free to provide them with a list of bullet points to touch on (i.e. punctuality, organization, creativity, plays well with others, etc.)

Take a little time to get creative and connect. Continuously building your online reputation will establish you as a leader in your space, and as someone who is passionate about who you are and what you do. Chances are you will strengthen your current relationships and job prospects for the future, too.

Is there a group of people to connect with that I’m forgetting? Add them to the comments below!

Why Your Blog is Bad and How to Make it Better

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.
blogging for real estate
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?

social media real estate business accelerator!

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?”

blogging for real estate

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.

Contact Boston Logic today to inquire about our real estate SEO services, and to learn more about how you can optimize your website, blog, and social media profiles for success!

Source: 7 Reasons Your Blog Sucks (and What to Do About It)

When Is the Best Time to Publish a Blog Post?

We all know that publishing content on a  regular basis is an important aspect of your online marketing campaign. Boston Logic recommends that our real estate SEO clients blog at least once per week, and that those new sites try to blog twice per week to generate content faster so Search Engines crawl your blog sooner – when a site has 100 posts, that’s the magic number when the search engines start to pay attention.

Boston Logic real estate SEOSo you’ve been blogging once  a week since your site has launched. Things are going good. But when is the optimal time or day of the week for your blog post to be published? When will it be most likely to capture the most readers? Be more likely to be shared on Facebook or Twitter? Unfortunately, there are just as many answers as there are businesses. Each business has a different customers: so how do you go about finding out what works best for you?

1) Experiment. As David Friedman mentioned in his “What is an Online Marketer?” article, it’s all about tracking, making educated changes, and then measuring for success. If you have Google Analytics installed in your website, (which you should!) tracking is easy.

If you blog 0nce per week, take the next few weeks to conduct an experiment: try publishing on each weekday to see which generates the most interest or traffic. For example, blog next Monday. Then write a blog the next week on Tuesday. Keep going until you have a full week days’ worth of posting so you can measure your results. You’ll always have variables such as high-traffic topics, but it’s a good place to start.

Finding the day your blog is most trafficked is a good start – a more advanced experiment, and ideal for those who blog every day, would be to find out what time of day would be best for you to be blogging. If you’ve found the best week day already in the previous experiment, start the process over again by blogging once during each time of day and measuring the results.

2) Tips and Data. Experimenting to find out what’s best for your personal blog is the best way for you to get the most accurate results. However, there have been studies conducted to help point you in the right direction when it comes to days and times to blog. Thanks to our good friends at Hubspot,  we have some great findings to help point you in the right direction:

  • The best time of day to get shared on Facebook: 9am

  • The best day of the week to get shared on Facebook: Saturday

  • The best time to get your blog read: Morning

Also, take a look at this great image Hubspot created. Based on this data, we can see that most blog post views activity (people reading your blog) seems to take place in the late morning every day – Hubspot reported in a “When Do You Read Blogs?” survey that 80% of people who read blogs answered in the mornings. This also seems to be true for links to your blog and blogger comments.

Another interesting visual is that the most heavy commenting activity seems to take place on the weekend, and a bit on Mondays.

real estate SEO

Click to enlarge

If you take these tips as a starting point and then experiment to find out what works best for you, you will be able to improve your own real estate online marketing presence. Don’t have time to worry about blogging or real estate SEO for your website? Contact Boston Logic today to find out what we can do for you!

What is an Online Marketer?

I think there are a lot of people who think they know something about online marketing. The fact is, most of them really aren’t qualified to call themselves online marketing professionals.

As a side note, we’re trying to hire an online marketer right now. If you want to learn more about the position, please click here: Online Marketing Analyst. In fact, it’s the slew of resumes better used as kindling that we’ve received for this position that has inspired this post.

First, let’s start with the difference between marketing and advertising. I’ve written about this before on this blog. Advertising is salesmanship expressed through a different medium. Advertising is the practice of taking whatever you’re selling, and expressing its virtues through print, TV, radio, you name it. Advertising is the message.

What is a Marketing Analyst?Marketing, on the other had, is the practice of getting your advertising message in front of as large an audience of the right people as your budget will allow. So, once you have that message, you need to figure out how to put it in front of potential customers. You need to ask where your potential client spends their time? What media do they consume? Which websites do they visit? What keywords do they search on? How expensive is it to bid on those keywords or optimize my site to rank organically for those terms? What does an ad cost in a specific publication and how many people get that publication?

In short, marketing is a lot more than just advertising.

If you’ve never had a job that required you to be results accountable and measured the effectiveness of your marketing or advertising campaign (regardless of what you called it) then you haven’t been in marketing. You’ve been in advertising or copy writing or PR.

Often, Marketing and Product Management go hand-in-hand. Why? Well, a Product Manager is going to look at costs and what those costs get them. The cost of building a new feature and how many new customers that might satisfy or existing customer the new feature may help to retain. A marketer is going to look at an ad buy or the amount spent monthly on, say, SEO, and then look at what sales were produced by that component of their budget. Both are trying to maximize or optimize their budget to get the most positive effect on the business.

Marketing Analyst Job

If you want experience with marketing, but no one is going to give you the job, you can do this yourself – that is, if you’re in one of those non-marketing “marketing” jobs;

  1. Start by figuring out what you think is success: maybe it’s traffic to a website or the number of users who fill out a form on your website. Maybe it’s the number of people who open your email newsletter or the number of folks who click on a link in that newsletter.
  2. Now, take a benchmark. Look at a few newsletters and look at your open rate, look at your click-through rate, and write these metrics down. Next, ask yourself, what can I do to improve these numbers?
  3. Make an “Educated Guess” Change. If there are 12 things you could do, pick the one which you think will have the biggest impact and make only that change. Now, compare your numbers. You may have to do this several times to see a change.
  4. Benchmark and Repeat. Now, with your new benchmark, make another change. Repeat.

Now, you’re optimizing. Now, you’re a marketer. If you’ve made a measurable difference in the success rate of the campaign, now you have some experience that you can talk about when you interview for a real online marketing job.

Good luck.

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