Archive for the ‘SEM’ Category

Real Estate SEO and Content Development, the Never Ending Struggle

Real Estate SEO and Real Estate Marketing present content development challenges. Let’s face them head on.

We’ve written about 100 posts on real estate SEO, how content is king and how this can help your real estate marketing campaign online. I’m not going to tell you again, how important it is. You know by now.

We’re also aware that we’re presenting what can be a daunting SEO task. It’s not always easy to come up with original stuff. But we don’t want to push this challenge under the rug. Instead, we’re going to help you overcome the obstacle. In fact, it’s not an obstacle at all.Content writing for SEO doesn't have to be daunting

If you’re running a good online real estate marketing campaign, you’re not just looking for ranking, you’re leveraging social media, you’re using email marketing, you’re probably investing in real estate SEO and probably real estate SEM too. Now, here’s the big secret. All of these will help you generate content.

Let’s examine each:

Social Media
Effectively leveraging social media requires a few things. First of all, your profile should be up to date. This might prompt you to also update your bio on your website. Freshening up the pages of your site on a regular basis will help maintain, if not improve, your SEO placement. Also, if you tweet, then you blog and this content can go right into your blog. You can also setup your blog to syndicate to Twitter via RSS.

Email Marketing
By definition, when you broadcast an email newsletter, you’re going to have to write some content. eNewsletters are an essential component of any real estate marketing campaign. So, make sure you’re writing them. When you do, take the content and post it on your site, maybe just make it a blog post. You’ve already done the hard work.

Leverage your team
Your team should already be motivated to work on your online marketing campaign. If you all pitch in, the work gets easier. I’m talking about more than just dividing up the work of writing new content, though this is a great idea. I’m talking about leveraging your SEO Army. Everyone in your office should be updating their profile, twittering, using Facebook, and yes, sometimes generating a blog post or two.

PPC/SEM Ads
Believe it or not, the content in your PPC ads can be repurposed. The headlines and those 35 character ads are selling points. If you’re managing your own SEM, then think about expanding on what those attractive headlines actually mean to your business and especially your customer. If you wrote that content to attract users to click, you can use it in your site too. It makes for great headlines, call-outs, bullets, and more.

OK, I hope you’ve learned something. You are probably already generating the content you need to achieve great real estate SEO and boost your real estate marketing campaign. Now, all you need to do is put this all into practice.

If you have some ideas that I haven’t mentioned, pleasse leave a comment to share with our other readers. Thanks.

SEO at NAR Meeting in DC?

In case you were under a rock, the Nation Association of Realtors mid-year convention is happening right now down in DC. I’m not there, for a few reasons which I’ll explain below,  but I decided to look into how the convention is helping real estate agents and brokers market their services and listings using SEO, SEM, or really online advertising media at all. Or, to ask a broader question, how important does the NAR think this is?

So, I looked at the schedule for the conference, which spans 5 days.  Most events in the calender are 1 – 2 hours long and there are about 50 events each day. So, how many of these events are about SEO? As far as I can tell, none! Now, I didn’t read the description of every event, for example I didn’t read what’s going to be discussed at the South Dakota Customized Hill Briefing, but I think it’s safe to assume that SEO isn’t on the agenda.

Yes ladies and gents, that’s it. Search Engine marketing doesn’t seem to be a priority. It’s not on the agenda. There are a few (5) sessions that seem to have something to do with online marketing. Here’s a snippet from one of the session descriptions:

“Identify which online ads outperformed the competition including: foreclosure ads, luxury home marketing, and landing pages that cause a consumer to give up their contact information. Discover which brokers are getting the best results and see what they changed to drive in more leads.”

Whomever wrote this description isn’t an online marketing professional, or I should say, isn’t a very good one. If you were going to compare online ads, then you should be talking PPC and, if you’re really looking to waste money, PPM, but I don’t think this session will get to that level of education.

I’ve been to enough of these conferences to know. What’s going on is a beginners course, or really, the NAR has invited some members, Realtors just like the rest of the conference attendees, who have taken initiative and started to leverage online marketing, to sit on a panel and talk about their relative succes. No one is going to leave these sessions with anything really actionable. Oh, well maybe if you go to one of the sponsored sessions by a big vendor selling cheap useless solutions, you’ll have an “actionable” ordering form.

Here’s my recommendation: Don’t go to NAR. Spend 5 days of your time and the grand or two of your GCI that the trip is costing you working on your business including your website, your blog, working your network, and signing some listing agreements. It’ll serve you a lot better. In short, don’t waste your time.

Lastly, why aren’t we down at NAR, because the big guys who attend NAR aren’t spending, they’re going bankrupt. The middle market, are spending, and they’re not there. I did hear on NPR that 1000 realtors showed up to hear Alan Greenspan speak yesterday – since he did such a bang up job keeping interest rates low and precipitating the sub prime mortgage crisis. I wonder if anyone threw rotten fruit at him?

Oh and here is my favorite session (Said with my tongue pressed against my cheek): The Power of You: Professional Development Forum - This is a self defense class, taught by an expert, on how to prepare and protect yourself from the hazards of showings, open houses, and unruly mortgage brokers. Good thing that you flew to DC to take a $20 course that they offer at the YMCA.

Thanks for reading.

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Who’s got Talent

Boston Logic is looking to bring on two additional members to our already strong team. As you may know, Boston Logic is a technology and marketing consultancy providing online marketing (including Real Estate SEO), web development, and IT consulting.We are a fast growing company with clients throughout the country. Our culture has a fun, energetic feel, but we are intensely busy and maintain a professional, dedicated working environment. Our employees embody an entrepreneurial, passionate nature and a work hard/play hard attitude.

A little bit more about the two positions we are looking to fill immediately:

Ruby Developer

Strong technical and coding skills are essential for this job. You should have experience interacting with clients and effectively communicating with several parties to achieve results. Knowledge of online marketing and how the web can be used to drive business is key. Demonstration of superior client interaction, communication, and time management capabilities are a important for success in this position.

We will also be looking for the following abilities and qualifications:
•Communicating with clients to understand their needs and mapping business requirements to technical specifications
•Working with a team to strategically design and implement solutions
•Plan and execute internal company projects and contribute to long term company direction
•Write software in Ruby, PHP, Javascript, HTML, and CSS. (.Net, a plus)
•Linux server administration
•Knowledge of the real estate industry is a plus.

Online Marketer

We are looking to expand our Online Marketing team with a self-motivated, talented, and driven individual to serve as our Online Marketing Associate. The position requires 2+ years of work experience, a fair understanding of Web 2.0, strong writing skills, a contagious enthusiasm and a willingness to learn and get involved in all levels of our marketing programs (experience in Real Estate SEO, SEM, PPC and email marketing preferred).

We will also be looking for the following abilities and qualifications:
•Excellent written and interpersonal communication skills
•A strong understanding of existing online marketing tactics and a demonstrated history of creative, out of the box thinking
•Proven ability to take on several projects simultaneously from different groups; ability to delegate and manage tasks accordingly
•Familiarity with Email Marketing Tools such as Constant Contact
•A strong grasp and understanding of company branding
•Understanding of the real estate market
•Ability to work in a fast paced, fun and entrepreneurial environment
•A self-starter mentality and ability to work independently, as well as within a small team

If you match either of these descriptions or know of someone who does then please refer to BostonLogic.com/jobs
for more details about the position and how to apply.

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SEM for Real Estate vs boston.com

A client of ours decided to invest in a tile ad on boston.com. For those of you who don’t know, Boston.com is the website of the Boston Globe, which is, in my opinion, the best newspaper in Boston. Every once in a while, a member of the sales team at boston.com or nytimes.com or some local newspaper calls one of our clients directly and convinces them to commit to a banner, tower, or tile ad on their website. Usually, it’s in the real estate section, which, of course, sounds like a good idea.  It’s an easy expenditure to explain and to get your boss to approve. If you’re the boss and you’re reading this post, DON’T APPROVE THIS EXPENDITURE.

boston.com real estate page

Now, if you haven’t heard, the Boston Globe is under the threat of being shut down. The paper is owned by the NY Times company and they’re loosing money. So, the management over at the NY Times is threatening to only offer the online version of the paper if the Globe can’t cut expenses. The unions are fighting back and it’s getting ugly. If you read the globe, it’s a page 1 story just about every day.

Now, our clients get called by folks selling ad space on their sites all the time. We’re used to this happening and we often advise our clients against buying banner and tower ads alltogether. Every once in a while, they do it anyway and we have new evidence to show folks why it’s a bad idea.

Here’s an image of the page. On the right, you’ll see, outlined in red the placement of the ad that our clients decided to pay for. How much? They paid $1200/month to be on this page. Now this is the main real estate page on the site boston.com/realestate. It would stand to reason that this is the best page to be on for our clients.

The results
This ad brought a little less than 100 visitors to our client’s website during the month of April.  You only need a middle school education to know that they’re paying about $12 per click. If you’re familiar with CPC prices, you know this is extremely high.

For those of you who are not PPC or SEM experts. Here’s some more information. We are managing an SEM campaign for this client. We’re using Google AdWords and the client is paying for Google search traffic at $0.75 per click. That’s the average CPC (Cost per click) of the PPC campaign for the month of April. So, this means that our client is paying 16 times more for each visitor they get from boston.com than they are for visitors from Google who clicked on their paid placement.

SEM is by far more cost efficient than tile placement. This is pretty much always true. We’ve been preaching this for years. SEO can make your campaign even more cost effective, but the numbers, when you’re dealing with SEO, aren’t quite as concrete and quantifiable. Besides, this is the most recent direct comparable data that we have to show you. We literally pulled it down today.

In case you’re wondering, we used good ole Google Analytics to gather this data. It’s pretty clear that paying for advertising space in the real estate section of a newspaper’s website, unless it’s PPC, is a bad marketing investment. We see it time and again.

If anyone at the Globe wants to rebut these facts, I’m happy to talk.

Open call – Where are you investing?

Hello faithful readers of RealEstateSEO1.com. I have a question for you, please answer by comment below. Thanks.

Q: How are you investing in order to grow your Real Estate business in 2009?

We want to know what investments you are considering? How your budget allocations are changing? What are you doing to beat a tough market?

Sometimes we can get caught in our own world of SEO and SEM. With a list of clients who are dedicated to technology and online marketing, it’s important for us to reach out to everyone to understand your investment strategy and your plans for growth so that we can help you the most.

We’ll share what we learn with the group and give you honest feedback on your answers.

Thanks – The Real Estate SEO team at Boston Logic.

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