Archive for the ‘Real Estate SEM’ Category

International Targeting with Adwords: Real Estate SEM

For those of you who attended our last LogicClassroom – Intro to Google Adwords, we had a great real estate SEM question in regards to keywords that you utilize in your Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns:

If you are targeting users in another country for your business, do you use foreign language keywords?

For Google PPC Campaigns, one of the recommended strategies is to target users with whom you do your business – for many businesses, this may mean international targeting.

Languages with Google PPC

  • Keep it Consistent – You should target the language that your ad is written in. So if your ad is written in English, your PPC campaign should target English-speaking users. Google will not translate your ad for you.
  • Keep it Organized – If you want to target users that speak another language, create a separate PPC Ad Campaign for each language.
  • Keep it Focused – In addition to targeting by language, you can also pair this with location targeting. Users can potentially speak different languages in many different locations, and language targeting  gives you an great way to reach your users even if they’re located in non-native areas.
real estate SEMThink about it this way: if you are a company based in the England and want to target the English-speaking population of Italy, you can set your PPC country targeting to Italy and your language targeting to English. When Google detects that a certain user in Italy speaks English, your PPC ad can be shown.
If this situation applies to you, you should creating separate campaigns for each language-country pair. That way, wherever your potential customers are located, they will see your ads in their language

real estate sem

International Targeting

International targeting means that your PPC SEM campaign targets more than one location. Let’s say that a business might want to target several countries where customers speak the same language (such as targeting English-speaking users in the US, Canada, and Australia).

Again, setting up a separate campaign for each main location (such as each country) and selecting the relevant language for each campaign is your best option. By creating these separate geographic campaigns, it will be easier to manage your account and track each region’s ROI.

You can also create very targeted and customized campaigns by tailoring your keywords and ad text to each market. In response to our question, make sure that each keyword list and ad text for each ad group are in one language. This will show the ad in the same language in which the keyword was entered. So if a user enters a keyword in Spanish, the ad will appear in Spanish.

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.

Facebook has the Hot Potato- Foursquare’s Out!

Facebook Announces ‘Facebook Places’ and purchase of Hot Potato!

Facebook recently announced a new geolocation feature for its users, Facebook Places.  You may be familiar with other geolocation services, such as the start-ups Foursquare, Gowalla, or Hot Potato.  Hot Potato was recently acquired by Facebook, which has brought all eight Hot Potato employees on-board, presumably to expand and develop Facebook Places.

hot-potato-logoIn a statement released to Mashable.com, Facebook announced, “We’re excited to confirm that we recently acquired Hot Potato, a service that helps people socialize around live events and share what they’re doing with friends.  We’ve admired for some time how Hot Potato is tackling this space and look forward to working with them to bring Hot Potato innovations to Facebook.”

Will Facebook Places eliminate these other small geo-location services?  Only time will tell.  Foursquare and Gowalla offer fun game-like features with their services, and often work with business to offer discounts for users.  Facebook Places doesn’t offer any of these features yet.  One thing’s for certain, though- Facebook serves over 500 million users compared with Foursquare’s 3 million users, and Gowalla has even less.  Also worth noting is the strong relationship between Facebook and Yelp.  I can only imagine there will be more integration with Yelp and Facebook Places in the future.

But how does Facebook Places work?  How will this new feature be implemented and effect user privacy?  How can Business Owners capitalize on Facebook Places?

Facebook Places Basics:

Facebook Places is currently only available to some users in the united States and on the Facebook iPhone app.  Places will be available to other smart phones that support HTML 5 geolocation, such as the Droid, in the near future.

Facebook Places on the iPhone

Facebook Places on the iPhone

Places works by allowing Facebook users to ‘check in’ to the various locations they visit, such as restaurants and bars, your local library, a friend’s home, etc. by logging into Facebook Places from their phone application or via touch.facebook.com.

Upon checking in, Facebook will announce to your friends that you have arrived at this destination.  You can also ‘tag’ your friends that are with you, much like you would tag someone in a photo, and find out who else is currently ‘checked in’.  If you tag a friend that is not using Places, it’s just like mentioning their name in a status update.

If you tag someone who is already signed up for and using Facebook Places, it will mention it in their Newsfeed and add them to the ‘checked-in’ list as if they checked-in themselves.  The first time you are tagged, Facebook will send you a notice and give you the option of allowing your friends to check you into places or not.  You are always notified of when someone checks you into a location, and you can always selectively delete check-ins, much like you can delete a comment on your wall or a status update.

Privacy Concerns with Facebook Places:

Facebook learned a lot (the hard way) when it changed the structure of its Privacy Settings, automatically setting all users’ accounts to share EVERYTHING with EVERYONE as the default setting.  This time around they have made the automatic sharing settings much more conservative, with the default setting only sharing your location with the people on your Friends list.  However, what if you still want more privacy?  Maybe your boss is on your Friends list, or you have an ex you’re trying to avoid.

Don’t go deleting your Facebook profile yet!  You can customize, or even completely disable the Places feature!  Facebook has even made a helpful demo video for you to show exactly how to customize your privacy settings.

Facebook Places for Business:

Right now, Facebook Places is in it’s Beta version, so there’s not too much information about how business will be able to interact with it and use it to promote their business, although when Mark Zuckerberg announce Facebook Places he hinted that there is more to come.  If Places follows in the footsteps of Foursquare, business could start offering promotions to customers that check in a certain number of times, etc.

yelp-logoIn the meantime, if you’re a Business Owner, you should probably log into touch.facebook.com, add your business address, and check in!  There still aren’t a lot of businesses listed, and new users will be eager to test the software out and visit new places they find.  You should also make sure you have a business listing on Yelp, too.  Your clients/ customers can and will add your business to these listing services sooner or later, if they haven’t done so already.  It’s in your best interest to be an active member of these online market places.  By adding your business to Facebook Places, you are making your business easier for the 500+ million Facebook users- for FREE!

If you want to learn more about Facebook Places, visit the Facebook Blog.

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.

Like, What’s the Deal with All These Like Buttons?

Facebook’s new ‘Like’ buttons explained, in plain English.

By now you’ve probably heard that Facebook has done away with the idea of ‘Becoming a Fan’ of a Facebook Fan Page, and has instead replaced that function with a ‘Like’ button.  So now, you can ‘Like’ a friend’s photo or status update, and you can also ‘Like’ the Fan Page of your favorite businesses or products, such as Boston Logic or Dunkin Donuts.  When you ‘Like’ a Fan Page, it’s the same as ‘Becoming a Fan’ used to be in that you will now receive messages from these Fan Pages in your News Feeds (unless you ‘Hide’ them).  Most people have no trouble understanding this change; it’s more of a name change than anything else, right?  Right.

But what about the OTHER ‘Like’ buttons?  The new ‘Like’ buttons you’ve been noticing on several websites all over the internet, on sites like BostonLogic.com, Yelp.com, NHL.com, Levis.com, etc.  These new website ‘Like’ buttons were announced at the F8 conference this past April and are part of an expansion of Facebook to help you personalize your entire online experience. These new ‘Like’ buttons can be added to any website, even specific and multiple pages of your website.
levis Like buttons

So now, not only can you choose to ‘Like’ the Boston Logic Facebook Fan Page while on Facebook, but you can also choose to ‘Like’ our website, or our blog, or a specific blog post (like just this particular blog about ‘Like’ buttons), or even our listing on Yelp.com when you’re browsing the internet.  Basically, anytime you find one of these new ‘Like’ buttons somewhere on the web, you can click it to show that you ‘Like’ whatever content is on that web page, much like when you share something on Digg or Yahoo Buzz, etc.  But that’s not all!

Facebook Like Button is everywhere

If you’re already logged into Facebook (I know that I, for one, keep a browser page with Facebook up for most of my work day) clicking the ‘Like’ button will post a notice on your Personal Profile Wall (aka Mini-Feed) stating that you’ve ‘Liked’ whatever it is you’ve clicked on and provide a link to that website.  If you’re not logged in, a popup window will appear and prompt you to log into your account, and then a notice with a text link to what you’ve ‘Liked’ posts to your Profile Wall.  If you change your mind, you can click the ‘Like’ button again, and it disappears from your Profile Wall automatically.  You could also go manually delete it from your Wall, but that would not undo your click on the website, so your click would still count on the tally for that button; this difference is actually significant, here’s why:

That ‘Like’ button on the web doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with a Fan Page on Facebook, which is a good thing, because otherwise there’s be a Fan Page for every style of jeans Levis offers!  Instead, the webmaster (or owner) that installed the ‘Like’ button on the website you’re visiting is given an invisible back-end Admin Page (using their personal Facebook Profile ID Number), which actually functions much like any other Facebook Admin Page.

warren-like-admin

From this ‘secret’ Admin Page, the webmaster can see who has clicked on their various ‘Like’ buttons and send out notifications to each group of ‘Fans’ (anyone who clicked any ‘Like’ button) that will appear in each Fan’s Facebook Newsfeeds.  So, even if you never ‘Liked’ or ‘Became a Fan’ of the Levi Jeans Facebook Fan Page, you DID click the ‘Like’ button on the Levis.com website next to that wicked cute pair of shorts- essentially granting Levis permission to send you notifications regarding the shorts you liked or related items, promotions, etc. via your Facebook News Feeds.

facebook-admin-pages

Currently, the ‘Like’ buttons you click while browsing the web don’t show up in your friends’ Newsfeeds, only ‘Liking’ a Facebook Fan Page does.  This is good news for people with lots of interests/ ‘Likes’; you’re friends won’t hate you for spamming them with all your internet window shopping, but you are giving the companies, websites, and brands you’re interested in a quick way of reaching you with cool offers and such on your own terms.

If you DO want to share whatever it is you’ve found to ‘Like’ on the internet in your Friends’ News Feeds, many ‘Like’ buttons display the option to ‘Write a Comment’ once you’ve clicked it.  If you do this, it will broadcast your comment and a link to the page you were on to all your Friends.

i-like-free-seo-advice

So, like, feel free to ‘Like’ what you ‘Like’, like wherever and whenever you want, and share it however you like!

like-buttons-syndicate-to-facebook

To learn more about Facebook’s other new features that you can also utilize for your social media marketing campaign, visit the Facebook blog.  If all this new ‘Like’ button stuff sounds like something you want to implement, but you don’t have the time or know-how, let Boston Logic help you by signing up for an Online Marketing Campaign!

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