Archive for the ‘Leads’ Category

QR Codes for Real Estate: Tips and How-To

After such an overwhelming positive response to our October post on QR codes, we’ve decided to write a follow-up blog post on QR codes and their role with online real estate marketing and how to implement them.

To refresh your memory, a QR (Quick Response) code is  a machine-readable 2D image, similar to a barcode.  They can be read by scanners or by applications on smart phones, which then directs the user to any URL that the QR code owner desires. And in the world of real estate, QR codes are becoming increasingly popular as a fast and easy way to connect online initiatives with offline marketing.  These codes make it much easier for people to visit your real estate website or individual property listings directly from their smartphones. And using sophisticated Google Analytics software, which we at Boston Logic utilize for our real estate SEO client campaigns, you can for the first time track the effectiveness of a print campaign!

real estate online marketing with QR Codes

Here are a few ideas on how to incorporate QR codes into your real estate marketing strategy:

  • QR Codes On Sign Riders. Adding a Quick Response code to your sign rider can be a fast and convenient way for buyers to get additional information about the home while standing in front of property for sale. This makes the problem of running out of property flyers a thing of the past, as you can create QR codes that direct the user to a detailed website with photos, comprehensive descriptions, and even view documents on the property.
  • Property flyers. Property flyers themselves are a great tool to utilize a QR code. You can direct potential buyers back to your real estate website for more information, additional pictures, documents and even the virtual tour.
  • Event or Open House Information. Do you frequently blog about or feature on your website open houses for your available properties? You can make this content more available and drive more traffic to these web pages and posts by having a QR code direct to these pages on any of your marketing materials, such as post cards. – You can create a QR code to provide additional information about upcoming events or even directions and the date and time for an open house.

These are just 3 of the many ways to utilize QR codes to make real estate print advertising clickable. Not only do they direct users to the information they are looking for while browsing for properties, but it will also gain much appreciation from your sellers as a viable real estate online marketing tactic.

real estate seo with qr codes

Getting started with Quick Response codes for real estate is easy, and can be done in a matter of steps! Here’s the process to help you get started:

1) Get a QR Code generator. While there are many to choose from, we find that QRreateBuzz is highly recommended due to its superior tracking capabilities. For a quick start, you can also visit qrstuff.com.
2) Download QR Code Reader. To read the QR codes that you generate, you’ll need the QR code reader app on your smart phone. You can find the app by going to your iTunes account for download.
3) Get organized. Pick the properties you’d like to get started marketing with your QR codes. Make sure you have appropriate landing pages, then generate the code accordingly.

Have you utilized the power of QR code real estate online marketing? We are always eager to hear your results!

Create Facebook Pages for Your Real Estate Business

Leveraging social media is an important part of any real estate marketing campaign. Facebook is the most popular of all social media networks, and utilizing its features and applications will help you reach potential leads and get them to visit your real estate website.

You can read about all the benefits of marketing your real estate business on Facebook in this Sequoia Blog Post on Facebook Marketing. While this post is still informative with relevant data, Boston Logic knows that Facebook never stops updating its user interface – and you no doubt have noticed the recent Facebook visual upgrades for your user profile.

Thus, the steps in which you create your own Facebook Page – for a brokerage or individual real estate agent – has changed. Follow the steps below to create your own Facebook Page: it’s easy, we promise!

1.      From your ‘Home’ Page of your Personal Profile, select the ‘Ads and Pages’ menu below your thumbnail photo.

Real estate internet marketing with Facebook

2. From the ‘Pages You Admin’ screen, click the ‘+Create Page’ button at the top right corner of the page.

3. For most real estate agencies or real estate agents, you will select the “Local Business or Place of Interest” section.

real estate online marketing with facebook

4.       Once you click this item, a form will pop up to prompt you to complete important information regarding your business.

Select ‘Real Estate’ from the drop-down menu, and fill out the relevant business information, like address and phone number. Check the box stating you have read the Facebook terms, then click “Get Started”.

Real estate online marketing with facebook fan pages5.       And you’re done!

Once you’ve created a page, Facebook provides you with helpful steps to help enhance your Page. You can begin by filling out your Information Tab, suggesting your friends and family become Fans by ‘Liking’ your Page (click the ‘Suggest to Friends’ link below your Fan Page Profile Image), and uploading Photos!

Good Luck!

Looking for a new real estate website? Contact us for more info on our real estate web design, or to discuss our further real estate SEO services.

Be the expert by blogging on the topic

Well, to quote Jeff:

The quickest way to establish yourself as an authority in your industry and to increase the sales of your products and
services fast is through the power of blogging!

If you are not using blogs as a key component in your marketing strategies, you are losing sales and working way
harder than you need to be.

And if you are using blogs in your marketing efforts, are you getting the
results you deserve?

I really couldn’t have said be better myself.

Even more interesting is this graph by the folks at Hubspot. It shows that through blogging, B2C businesses (yes, that means real estate) see an 88% increase in leads vs those do don’t blog. Do you need any more motivation than that?

Blogging's huge impact on lead generation!

Blogging increases your lead count dramatically!

I know the graph is a little fuzzy. Click to see it in full size!

Ok, we talk about blogging on this blog all the time. Most often, we’re talking about real estate blogging, but this graph isn’t just about real estate. It’s derived from data from many industries, including real estate. The data is just too strong to ignore. If you blog, you can position yourself as the expert. The blogging will in tern bring you more leads. It’s up to you to convert those leads into deals. We know you can do that!

QR Codes for Real Estate

With the increasing use of “instant” devices, it’s no surprise that yet another tool in line with IMs and texting has emerged. This new tool is the “Quick Response”, or QR code. We recently had a client incorporate QR codes into their listings on their real estate website design, and we wanted to write up a quick post on what exactly QR codes are, and how they can be applied to real estate marketing.

How do QR codes work? Currently, a person with a cellphone with QR enabled code-reader software can take a picture of a QR code on their phone, and will be taken to the website for that QR code. Pretty cool, huh?

In order to benefit from the codes, the target customer must have a web-enabled phone: a trend that is becoming more common and continues to increase as time passes. Then the user can take a picture of the QR code, and be brought to the specific cellphone-optimized web page that the company’s web marketer wants them to see. These codes can also be anywhere – they are in print ads, brochures, outdoor advertising, etc.

For a retail example, Ralph Lauren is using QR codes to direct their buyers to a website for taking clothing orders directly from their phones. That’s great, but how can we use this tool in real estate?

There’s actually some innovative marketing going on in the real estate field. One example is having QR Code Lawn Signs, which not only has a very high “cool factor”, but also give the potential lead easy access to a real estate website with color photos and full detail listing information. You also do not have to have the sign at the home for sale: you could place to code anywhere, such as in at a local home show or open house – and your website listing will get traffic .Remember, you can also have a code for your personal website as well by placing it in your advertisements or business cards.

So let’s put on our real estate internet marketing caps and think about the business potential.  The number of users that will have phones capable of using the codes will jump dramatically in the next year or so, and many businesses could see more targeted traffic to custom listing sites from the QR codes. Start to consider now whether creating a QR code plan would work best for you, your business, and your potentials.

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.

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