Archive for the ‘Budget’ Category

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.

Top Reasons That You Should Be Using Google Adwords

If you aren’t involved with Google Adwords already as an aspect of your real estate marketing campaign (agent or office), then read up on why you should.

Local Businesses thrive on online advertising.
89% of people in the US search online for services and products online before they make a purchasing decision. This is true – perhaps even more so – even when the potential service is available at a business in their area. And with such a geography-centered field as real estate, PPC is perfect. You can also use Google Adwords to  set your ads to show only to people in your area: so you can target your specific demographic in the city, state, or zip code that you specialize in!

Excellent SEO coupled with PPC ads can increase the ranking of your website.
You’ve diligently taken all of our LogicClassroom advice, read all about real estate seo best practices, and your website is now perfectly optimized after all of your hard work. So, your real estate business may already appear in the organic search results on the left side of the page. But run a quick test: Does your website appear on the first page of search results? 2nd? 10th? Does it come up for all possible search terms that your customers may be using when they are looking for what you have to offer? If  “yes”, that’s great, HOWEVER, studies have proven that search advertising can still increase traffic to your site. In fact, appearing in both organic and paid positions of the page at the same time increases the perceived relevance of your website and as a result even increases the number of free clicks you get to your website.

Paid Search compliments your SEO Campaignppc
SEO Campaigns take a great deal of diligence to see through, and takes time to see results. However, in addition to your real estate SEO campaign,  paid search has a few advantages: It is easier and quicker to setup, offers much more control over when and where your ads appear, and its impact is easier to measure through comprehensive analytics and reporting. It is recommended that website owners practice both effective SEO and advertising.

Online advertising can be customized to fit any budget

Consider PPC Advertising as an investment, not a cost. You only pay per each click that a user interested in your product clicks to learn more, so there is a direct return on however much or little you spend. And how much you are willing to spend is completely up to you. There’s no minimum spend requirement and you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. You can even set a maximum that you are willing to bid per click and you can start and stop your advertising at any time.

You don’t need to be an expert to set up your own campaign.

While it’s helpful to solicit the service of experts (ahem, Boston Logic!)  to manage your real estate sem,  getting started is easy. You don’t need to have the perfect keywords or ads immediately: you simply get started, see what works and what doesn’t, and make alterations. You can constantly fine tune and tweak your campaigns as they run, without having to check in on them everyday.

The automated feature allows you to let them run without checking in every day.

Real estate agents and brokers are busy. We get that. But once you have got your online ads up and running, the automated PPC feature doesn’t require that you check in with them everyday. Still don’t have time to get started? We can help you! Contact Boston Logic today about setting up your business’ online advertising campaign.

SEO for Video and YouTube

In light of a recent query on how to optimize video, and a recent launch of some demo videos on YouTube, we wanted to shed some light on the topic. Especially considering that if YouTube was a Search Engine, it would easily be the second largest in the world after Google. If you are lacking some technical experience, resources, or budget to host your own video, creating it and uploading to YouTube is an excellent way to get great SEO results for your videos. We’ve written this post to make sure you do everything you can to maximize influence, ratings, and views.

When you upload a video onto YouTube, the algorithm that the site uses to sort results in a search is based on three criteria:

  • Having Text in Descriptions and Titles
  • Recent Trending and Total Number of Views
  • Ratings for your video

So what can you do to optimize a video you have just uploaded? Here are some tips!

1. Optimize your Title Text. Did you know that you have 99 characters to optimize your title text? Use your keywords selected from your SEO campaign and any additional keywords or phrases you’d like to rank for when users conduct a search. Also remember to include your branding and additional descriptive text for your video. Lastly, check out the #1 spot for your keywords: aim initially for #2, as related videos can substantially boost your views.

2. Optimize your Description. After your title, you have another additional 5,000 characters. Use all this space to be as descriptive about your video as possible. As stated before, user ratings also influence ranking, invite others to rank your video and share the embed code.

3. Tag Optimzations.
Again, using relevant keywords in your tags Useful for search terms you use in your title text and description, including names and branding.

When you upload a video, you are often prompted to select or deselect sharing options. Here’s how to make the most out of each!

Privacy – When you work on a video, it is youtube_iconjpgunderstandable to put the video under a “private” setting. Don’t forget to switch this to “public” when you are ready to show the world!

Comments - It’s up to you whether you want to enable comments. Just remember: if you disable commenting, users will go elsewhere to talk about your video, your brand, or your message.

Video responses can also help boost your video’s  views because they are linked to your video

Ratings directly impact your ratings, so make sure to select “yes”.

Embedding via social media and blogs can seriously boost views, in addition to get your message to users outside of YouTube, so we recommend that you keep this enabled.

Syndication also through social media to boost your views will help your video rank higher in Google and YouTube,  so make sure to keep this enabled.

To Get Views:

Have a great “hook” After a user views the first 8 seconds of your video, YouTube considers this video “viewed”. Be sure to hook potential viewers to have them watch past this time, and ideally your whole video!

Embedding video on product pages or in your blog can encourage discovery of your website and boost video views.

Distribute the links to your videos in your company’s online press releases and embed them into your  social media releases.

Promote more views of your video by purchasing Google AdWords.

Use Playlists to chunk your videos into smaller segments and then link them all together.

Getting ratings:

Rank your own video. We promise we won’t tell.

Encourage others to rank your video by including the request within your video or its description.

Video may be a valuable tool to consider when evaluating your real estate search engine marketing mix. If you have succeeded with uploading a video, let us know! Be sure to check out our YouTube video channel, where we have more helpful tips and tricks for real estate SEO and other assistance with real estate websites.

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

Making a splash and getting noticed

Making a big move and getting noticed can have lasting effects.

Lots of folks take the slow approach to real estate seo and seo in general and, well, this does work. In fact, it’s what we talk about most often on this blog. It’s no secret that with a well optimized site and by producing good, new, optimized content on a regular basis for months on end you will see better search engine placement and traffic. Some attention to strategy and detail is required, of course, but this is a pretty sure fire way to see good results over time.

But what about seeing superior results and sooner? What does that take? Clients ask all the time, how can I get to the top of the search engines without paying for every click?

Well, the answer is to make a splash. Provide something that everyone else does not. Give potential customers a reason to visit your site. Even better, give them a reason to talk about your site, to tell their friends about your site, to blog about your site and link to your site. In short, stand out from the crowd.

Now, the questions become:

  1. How do you do this?
  2. What effect with this have on my SEO campaign.

Well, I’m going to answer these questions in reverse order.

First, if you create something great, people will come and use/view it. Think about viral videos, Facebook, youtube, ebay, heck even google! If someone produces content or features and functionality that brings in the masses, there’s a lot to be gained from this. If you have the best information in town on your site, first time home buyers will tell eachother about your site. People will blog about it. They’ll tweet about it and include links on their facebook status update. They’ll do all sorts of promotion for you. You’ll get lots of inbound links and visitors and the leads will follow. But it has to really be something that sets you apart.

Now, to the tough question: How do you do this? How do you create something that gets noticed?

You have to either get very creative OR make a more significant investment in technology and functionality. Let’s look at these methods separately:

  • Traffic through Creativity – People will consume awesome content. Great videos, good educational presentations, funny songs, well thought out lectures…we’ve all gotten an email to check out something cool, informative, even mind-blowing. You’ve probably even forwarded something like this on to a friend or family member. Put your energy into creating that and people will find you.
  • Traffic from Innovation – Do you have the most innovative property search in your market? Is your website the most advanced? Does it have a design that puts it far above the crowd? If you’re hoping to take a $100/month site and make a splash, stop hoping, it just aint gonna happen. You’ll need to work with a skilled team of designers and technologists to produce something superior. Marquis examples of this are the guys at zillow and/or trulia. They made splashes 5 years ago and continue to ride the wave.But let me put this another way. If you have a $50,000 annual SEO budget, or even a $20,000 annual budget, consider setting aside a big piece of that budget to make a splash. Take $20k and build something that will be a huge leg up over the competition. Then, promote the heck out of it. This promotion will help drive and direct your content creation. People will take notice and they will come and use the tool you now own.

If this strikes home with you, if you’ve been looking for a way to have a coming out party, give us a call. We love doing these kinds of projects. Thanks.

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