Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

How to Add a User to the New Google Webmaster Tools

Here  at Boston Logic we set up a LOT of new websites for our real estate clients. We also perform a lot of website-upgrades, switching existing website URLs over to our Sequoia platform and implementing 301 Redirects in order to help ensure a smooth SEO transition to your new real estate website.

In helping our clients switch to a new website, we often have to coach our new users through the process of adding a new user to their Google Webmaster Tools account, especially now that Google Webmaster Tools has recently upgraded it’s appearance.  So, I decided to write this step-by-step guide with screenshots to help our clients (and all of our readers) with the process.

How to Add a User to Your Existing Google Webmaster Tools Account

1.  Log into your Google Webmaster Tools account at:
www.google.com/webmasters/tools/

2.  See the “Home” screen on the left sidebar of your Dashboard.

Adding a User to Google Webmaster Tools

Your Webmaster Tools Dashboard

3.  Click on the drop-down arrow next to the ‘Manage Site’ button of the website you wish to add a new User to. (You may only have 1 site listed on your dashboard, or several like the example above.)

4.  This will bring you to the ‘Verification Details’ screen for that particular website. This screen shows the Verification Attempts history for the account, as well as listing the Verified Owners. Scroll to the bottom of this screen and click the ‘Add an Owner’ button in the lower left corner.

Verification Details Screen in Google Webmaster Tools

Verification Details Screen in Google Webmaster Tools

5.  Enter the email address of the User you would like to add, then click the ‘Continue’ button.
Enter the Email Address of the New User You Want to Add

Enter the Email Address of the New User You Want to Add

6.  The User you just added will now appear in the Verification History section.

New User will appear in Verification Attempts History

New User will appear in Verification Attempts History

If you want to remove a User, just return to this Verification Details screen, and click the ‘Unverify’ link next to that User’s email address on the list of Verified Owners.

I hope this was a helpful and useful guide to those who are new to navigating Google Webmaster Tools! Be sure to subscribe to this blog, along with our Sequoia System blog, for more hints, guides, and advice on how to better leverage your website platform.

 

 

When Is the Best Time to Publish a Blog Post?

We all know that publishing content on a  regular basis is an important aspect of your online marketing campaign. Boston Logic recommends that our real estate SEO clients blog at least once per week, and that those new sites try to blog twice per week to generate content faster so Search Engines crawl your blog sooner – when a site has 100 posts, that’s the magic number when the search engines start to pay attention.

Boston Logic real estate SEOSo you’ve been blogging once  a week since your site has launched. Things are going good. But when is the optimal time or day of the week for your blog post to be published? When will it be most likely to capture the most readers? Be more likely to be shared on Facebook or Twitter? Unfortunately, there are just as many answers as there are businesses. Each business has a different customers: so how do you go about finding out what works best for you?

1) Experiment. As David Friedman mentioned in his “What is an Online Marketer?” article, it’s all about tracking, making educated changes, and then measuring for success. If you have Google Analytics installed in your website, (which you should!) tracking is easy.

If you blog 0nce per week, take the next few weeks to conduct an experiment: try publishing on each weekday to see which generates the most interest or traffic. For example, blog next Monday. Then write a blog the next week on Tuesday. Keep going until you have a full week days’ worth of posting so you can measure your results. You’ll always have variables such as high-traffic topics, but it’s a good place to start.

Finding the day your blog is most trafficked is a good start – a more advanced experiment, and ideal for those who blog every day, would be to find out what time of day would be best for you to be blogging. If you’ve found the best week day already in the previous experiment, start the process over again by blogging once during each time of day and measuring the results.

2) Tips and Data. Experimenting to find out what’s best for your personal blog is the best way for you to get the most accurate results. However, there have been studies conducted to help point you in the right direction when it comes to days and times to blog. Thanks to our good friends at Hubspot,  we have some great findings to help point you in the right direction:

  • The best time of day to get shared on Facebook: 9am

  • The best day of the week to get shared on Facebook: Saturday

  • The best time to get your blog read: Morning

Also, take a look at this great image Hubspot created. Based on this data, we can see that most blog post views activity (people reading your blog) seems to take place in the late morning every day – Hubspot reported in a “When Do You Read Blogs?” survey that 80% of people who read blogs answered in the mornings. This also seems to be true for links to your blog and blogger comments.

Another interesting visual is that the most heavy commenting activity seems to take place on the weekend, and a bit on Mondays.

real estate SEO

Click to enlarge

If you take these tips as a starting point and then experiment to find out what works best for you, you will be able to improve your own real estate online marketing presence. Don’t have time to worry about blogging or real estate SEO for your website? Contact Boston Logic today to find out what we can do for you!

Jill rants on Google – I have some thoughts of my own

I love Jill Whalen’s newsletter; sometimes it gets me thinking. This article, in particular, got me thinking today. If you want to understand what I say below, please pause for a moment and read Jill’s article, then come back to this one.

I don’t have any reason or evidence with which to really disagree with Jill. I’m also not sure that I do, in fact, agree with what she said, and I want to propose another thought.

Jill’s premise is that Google may be keeping their page 1 search results informational so that the commercial search results have to be bought. I.E. Jill is arguing that Google keeps their search results inaccurate in order to sell more AdWords. Again, I’m not saying this is true or false.  Here’s what I do know:

Google has little motivation to improve their results at this time. Why? Because they’re already the most popular search engine! They’ve already won your business. If Yahoo and Bing really make a comeback, then OK, there’s a reason to accelerate improvement. Some folks might even say Bing has done or is doing just that, taking Google’s market share. Perhaps  this will motivate Google to start presenting ‘better’ results. For now, Google is getting billions of searches and even more page views, and lots of clicks which are paying them billions of dollars. Why change?

It’s a well documented sociological reality that if you want to know how someone is likely to act, you need to understand their motivations and incentives. Something would have to motivate Google to make big changes to their algorithm. Obviously, they haven’t had that motivation.

Now, Jill might be right in arguing that Google’s incentive (paid clicks) is driving them to produce a poorer algorithm. I would argue that I don’t think Google is actually trying to make a bad algorithm. I don’t think they’re trying to mislead us. I think they’ve got something that’s pretty good and it’s making them billionaires. So, why fix it?

Lastly, I’d love Jill to come up with a fix. I mean a real fix. She does present a 1 line suggestion. It’s not a bad suggestion, but I think the complexity of search engines is quite deep and to make changes to an application like Google ain’t no small task. it’s just not that easy. They have a lot of money and very good developers, but it’s very costly to build a better mousetrap. Google knows this and they’re probably trying to make their capital investment – or all past dev work into their search – stretch out into the future.

One more thing. Do you remember the web before Google? Trying to find stuff was next to impossible. Google came along and they made it possible to quickly search and find what you need. Then they made AdWords and PPC took off and a market for SEO was born, and now search is a huge paid medium for both ad buy and SEO services. All of this tells me that the world wants to be able to search the web – we want it to be fast, easy, accurate, and vastly comprehensive. We want portability and personalization, and we use these tools all the time. Google will continue to provide a quality system to do all of this – and most of us will keep using Google for a long time.

Understanding Your Google Analytics

We have always recommended to our clients that they have Google Analytics installed on their real estate websites. We’ve even given great step-by-step instructions on how easy it is to set up Google Analytics on the Sequoia Real Estate Website platform. So let’s say that you’ve done it: now what?

In order to successfully interpret Google Analytics, you need to understand analytics terminology and language. Defining the information available to you is a great first step in understanding the effect of your web presence.

  • Visits - the number of times a person interacted with your website, or the number of sessions on your site
  • Bounce – the number of people who instantly left your site after visiting it
  • Page Views - how many pages users clicked on and viewed in the total amount of visits
  • Pages Per Visit - the total amount of pages in each specific visit
  • Average Time on Site – how long people stayed engaged on your website
  • % of New Visits - how many sessions or interactions were from first time visitors

Google Analytics Traffic Sources

Traffic to your real estate website comes from many different online sources. Direct traffic refers to the people who already knew about your website, and came to it by typing in your real estate website’s URL into their browser, or had your site bookmarked.

real estate seo

Referring Sites are other outside websites that are directing traffic to your website. The referral traffic can originate from blogs or affiliates that link to your site.


Search Engines
, such as Google and Bing, are the online tools that allow users to search for any topic simply by typing in a word or phrase. When you are looking at the “search engine” category, note that this  includes both organic and paid traffic. Organic Traffic is traffic coming from search engines: that is, the search engine combed your website and produced organic results to the user. Your Paid Traffic includes traffic from any online advertising campaigns that you are running, such as Google’s PPC, Adwords.

Now That You Know…

With this information, you can better understand what your web analytics tool is trying to tell you. Now, what do you do with it? How can you analyze this information so you can implement some of the data’s suggestions on your website?

While these are fairly broad questions without specific answers, you can start to analyze the information provided with Google Analytics by asking yourself:

  • What are the trends that you notice in your website’s data?
  • Where is recent growth coming from?

Similar to online survey data analysis, the key to implementing positive changes for your website that will help you continue to grow comes from asking the right questions and responding appropriately. The more that you practice using the analytics tools, you will continue to discover areas of improvement for your real estate website, and reacting to your data will become second nature.

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.

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