Archive for the ‘Logic Classroom’ Category

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!

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.

Ready to take the social media plunge? Read this first!

The argument that  a digital identity is just as powerful as your true persona has some merit when it comes to social media. So how can you leverage social media for your real estate marketing campaign, and get more hits to your website?

Here are a few tips to help you navigate, protect, and capitalize on social media:

Facebook

Don’t accept every person who friend-requests you. It is with it to do some digging around and try to identify the person if you don’t immediately recognize them. While your online networks are not always exclusive, they should still be monitored regularly. Facebook also has an option to create lists to help you further organize your growing number of “friends”, and you can even publish certain content to certain audiences.  (To learn how to do this, check out our previous LogicClassroom slides on Leveraging Facebook for Your Business.)

Additionally, Facebook is becoming more than just a social network — it can be a search engine too. According to some recent statistics, it is the #2 most visited site after Google, and some days even surpasses Google in total searches. By creating special interest pages on this social network, you can increase hits to your business’ profile or Web site. For example, Williams King created a “365 Road Warrior Marketing and Technology Tips” page, which now has more than 200 fans.

Which Social Media Site is Right For Me?

Well, take a look at your personality and what your strengths are. Are you a great writer? You should write engaging real estate blogs and witty tweets. Enjoy being photographed (and don’t we all)? Maybe you could give YouTube a try.

seo-for-real-estate-blogsite-and-websites

Now You’ve Got a Presence. How Do You Protect It?

(Click here for some resources on Social Media Liabilities by NAR.)

Consider how you’ll monitor your social media sites. Who gets access to them? How will you handle negative postings? It gets tricky when deciding whether to delete these comments or address them online.  What will you do?

Sometimes a personal phone call to the party to discuss why they are upset can really help smooth things over . It can even motivate them to post something positive about your follow-up outreach.

Ready to Take the Plunge?

After all this data and through the online buzz about social media, and you still don’t think you need an online presence, you may want to reconsider. Social media will be one of the primary search tools for the next generation of real estate buyers and sellers. And if you want to get started and don’t know how, you can always ask a younger agent for some help, or contact us on how you can get started on some real estate SEO help and services offered. We’ll be happy to give you some guidance!

Source Article: The Right Way to Get Started in Social Media

Presentation from 6.8.10 Logic Classroom: Keeping Up with Facebook

Thanks to everyone who attended our Boston Logic Classroom last night for our ‘Keeping Up with Facebook’ presentation!  If you missed the class or need a review, you can view a slideshow of the presentation below:

UPDATED: Leveraging Facebook for your Business

View more presentations from Boston Logic.
During this class we talked about Facebook Fan Pages, including why they’re important for your business, how to create one, and how to get people to ‘Like’ your page and interact with it.  We also walked you through all the recent changes to the Facebook Privacy Settings, including how to create custom list to categorize your ‘friends’.  Once your employees have used these lists to customize their privacy settings, they will be more comfortable with ‘Liking’ your company Fan Page and interacting with it!
This presentation was created with businesses in mind, but is really helpful to anyone with a person Facebook profile, too!

Keeping Up with Facebook! Tomorrow’s Logic Classroom

Tomorrow at 5:00 pm we will have our Logic Classroom covering some of Facebook’s latest applications and updates.

Facebook is now more than ever an integral aspect of any real estate search engine marketing campaign. The popular social media site hasn’t stopped growing – and neither can you. Facebook’s recent upgrades to privacy settings make it easier for you to control what your viewers can see, and who sees what. We have had Facebook training sessions in the past, at which you have probably learned the basics: but in this Logic Classroom, we are going to take this knowledge to the next level.
facebook
Little time and discipline is required to fully utilize Facebook for your real estate social media business strategy. We’ll talk tomorrow night about how to formulate appropriate campaigns and methods, and how to more effectively streamline the content production effort required for your real estate internet marketing campaign.

For this classroom, you are more than welcome to attend at the Boston Logic office (view map), or to participate through an online webinar at your convenience. This is an excellent opportunity to learn real estate SEO best practices and other means of search engine marketing to further grow your business.

Contact Katrina at ksierant@bostonlogic.com or 617-266-9166 to attend. Please also specify if you will be attending in the office or online via webinar. See you there!

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