Archive for the ‘Real Estate Leads’ Category
Rolled out of a 4 part blog edition, we’d like to breakdown what SEO really means and entails for Real Estate professionals trying to stay ahead of the game. Served up as digestible nuggets of information and tactics to employ, we’ll cover what we think should be top of mind as you consider an SEO strategy, the technology behind it, and the content production involved- all with end goal of increasing your web presence and remaining competitive online!
Let’s Start with the “What” & “Why”
Search Engines are the single biggest source of traffic for most websites. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be simply defined as the process of getting found on search engine sites like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! On the technical level, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms typed into a search bar, and which searches are preferred by your targeted audience.
Why is it Important?
Well, here are the facts: According to NAR’s 2010 “Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers”, 89% of home buyers searched the internet ‘frequently’ for a home in 2010. And the share of home buyers who found their home on the internet jumped from 8% in 2001 to 37% 2010. Not surprisingly, these numbers are continuing to grow.What Does it Get Me?
The next logical question is, “what exactly does SEO get me?” It gets you LEADS. And not just any leads…but qualified leads. These are the buyers or renters searching for specific types of properties in specific markets – and when they do search you want to be found right at the top of the search engine results.
Finally, SEO is a rare marketing medium. For most marketing media, consistent investment will get you consistent, flat returns. This is much like renting a home. You pay a fixed rent and you get a place to live. When you invest in SEO, you’re constantly building on your earlier investments. This is like buying a home instead of renting. Your dollars build equity. A well implemented SEO campaign sees better and better results as time goes on. Your website traffic and lead count goes up and up and up!
Stay tuned for the next edition, and we’ll talk STRATEGY.
In a recent research webinar presentation from Hubspot on Inbound Marketing, one of the most impressive data revelations was the amount of leads that corresponded to the amount of blogging the company did.
As you can see from the graph below, the numbers are quite impressive – those who blog daily receive 89% more leads than those who only blog once a month (49% customer acquisition). These numbers also happen to back up what we always tell our real estate SEO clients: blog consistently and regularly! It can sometimes be difficult to get clients to blog at least once a week, but when you blog once a month, not only does it not impress the visitors that come to your site, but you will also get less leads. And we know that leads for real estate brokers and agents is extremely important.
This also begs the question, “But HOW can we blog multiple times per day?” It’s really a matter of getting into routine and a mindset. Make a time commitment to blog as soon as you wake up, or to blog when you get home from work – and make it fun. You’re the expert: blog about what you think your clients want to read about while assuring your expertise as a real estate agent or brokerage.
Blogs also don’t have to be lengthy books of content and text: in fact, users prefer smaller blogs which contain helpful information for them. Being in real estate, consider the amount of questions you get from buyers and sellers: if these are in email form, you can literally copy and paste their question and response into your blog – done!
Blogging and real estate SEO are as easy as ever with our Sequoia real estate websites and integrated WordPress blogging system. If you are interested in a new real estate website or wish to inquire about our SEO services for your real estate website or blog, contact Boston Logic today!
Graph Source: The 2011 State of Inbound Marketing, Hubspot
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.
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.
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”.
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!
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.
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.”
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: 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.
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.