Archive for the ‘Yahoo’ Category

Analysis of Some Common Link Building Strategies

As a website owner, chances are you already know that backlinks from external sources are important to achieving high rankings in search engines. The following is a brief breakdown of the major link building tactics that you can utilize for generating inbound links for your real estate marketing strategy.

1. Internal Links

Internal links occur within your website, and offer you two great advantages:  1) The ability to develop silos of authority within the hierarchy of a website, and 2) The ability to assist search engine spiders find new content.

Benefits: Internal links are most substantial low hanging fruit of link building, but this tactic is frequently overlooked by website owners. Effective Internal Links are blended seamlessly into web page and blog post text, are not navigational, and aren’t clustered at the end of content.

2. SEO Directories

Essentially, web directories are the telephone book pages of the Internet. There is generally no relevance, ranking, or human input with the listings. They have in the past been an integral part of real estate SEO strategies, as it was believed that having inbound links from these directories was not only valuable for your website’s credibility in the eyes of the Search Engines, but it also validated your links so that Search Engines didn’t have to. However, now it’s important to hone in your focus on the big players in directories, and do your research as to which ones are relevant to you.

Benefits: With the exception of Yahoo, DMOZ, Google Places, and Yelp, many directories can potentially be a waste of time and resources. They’re basically a paid link that passes rank.

 

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3. .Edu/.Gov Extensions

These websites are legitimate sites of authority, and getting your website placed on sites like these that are relevant to your business is great news for your real estate SEO campaign.

Benefits: Your URL placement on these websites will have a massive impact on your website’s keyword rankings. If you have “political connections”, these can go a long way, but a campaign dedicated only to obtaining these links may not be the best use of your time.

4. Social Media

Social media marketing has always been a great channel for spreading the word about your website through link sharing: the top dogs here are Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube. Just remember to not become a Twitter spam Robot by posting only links to your site over and over again!

Benefits: There are tremendous ancillary benefits to social media link building: one tweet can generate dozens of high-quality backlinks across the blogosphere.

5. Link Baiting

Link baiting is the process of creating incoming links through the generation of engaging content and tools. If you are considering link bait, follow one simple rule: make your content something an audience will want to share with others.  There is also no risk level: Matt Cutts of Google has even encouraged link baiting. Famous examples of link baiting include Office Max’s “Elf Yourself.”

Benefits: Excellent. Link baiting is one of the most reliable long-term real estate SEO strategy for developing a high performance domain in search engines.

real estate seo

6. Press Release Links

Press Release links requires using a press release firm such as PR Web or PR Newswire to generate incoming links. This is a great strategy if the press release is both useful and relevant to your content. Tip: Check over your site content: determine the most relevant page to link to, and be sure to link deep, if possible.

Benefits: When appropriate to your business and website, releases can quickly drive quality backlinks from reputable news sources.

Link building is a constantly growing and changing process. One of the favorites of link building strategies is link baiting is because it’s creative, fun, and users want to share them with their friends. Take time to find something you enjoy creating and see if you can use it as a method to drive incoming links. Not only will this be something you enjoy participating in every day, but it will also encourage your  link building to a part of your daily real estate SEO routine, and thus make your website an SEO success!

Microsoft and Yahoo! vs. Google, Microhoo SEO?

What the new deal between Microsoft and Yahoo! means for Google.

It’s amazing what happens when a dynamic goes from three players to two. This is the crux of the result of what this deal will mean for Google and SEO.

First of all, SEOs everywhere will not need to work quite as hard. We used to have to worry about building pages that work with all 3 algorithms. Of course, Google has the most market share. So, most SEOs, whether they focus on real estate or not, are going to try to get you ranking in Google before worrying about the other search engines.3-search-engines1

That said, Yahoo! always had about 25 percent of the market and Microsoft about 10 percent – these numbers fluctuate of course. So, when you’d done a lot in Google, you move on to Yahoo!, then MSN. Well, that’s going to change and the argument for splitting your time gets a little stronger. Google, with double the Yahoo searches was the obvious first choice, and Yahoo a distant second. Now, there’s an argument for splitting effort 2/3 to Google and 1/3 to the combined Yahoo!/Bing platform.

Of course, we won’t be changing our tactics just yet. Yahoo’s search technology isn’t integrated with Microsoft’s yet. It actually sounds, according to early news, like the Bing algorithms are going to replace Yahoo’s search formulas. So, when that’s put into place, SEOs will then change their techniques and their focus. You might see your rankings change at some point to look a lot like they do in the Bing results.

Alternatively, personalization of results is the new vogue. Ranking, while still important, means less and less. What really matters, as we’ve written about numerous times, are results. Search results for me might be different from search results for you.This might mean that results will still vary in MSN vs. Yahoo! depending on how well they know you and how much you use your Yahoo! account or your MSN account. In fact, I’d count on that.

OK, that’s about it for today. Rest assured, we’ll be talking about this more soon. Thanks.

Where did Real Estate SEO come from? Part 2

This post about the origins of Real Estate SEO is part of a series. I highly recommend you read this post first about the origins of direct marketing and SEO.

To summarize part 1:
First there was print, then there was the telephone and then radio and TV. Then, maybe 50 years later, along came the internet and search engines like Google and Yahoo. The search engine companies invented PPC platforms like Adwords and Overture. Placing a dollar value on search engine referral traffic (PPC) created a market for SEO services.

Now, let’s talk about real estate.

When the internet went public in ’93, not everyone jumped on the band wagon. Lots of industries were slow to adopt, but within a few years, the dot-bomb bubble was raging. Around the same time, the real estate bubble was forming. Real estate agents were doing a lot of transactions. They hadn’t really adopted technology yet, but they were making lots of money. As the old saying goes, if it aint broke, don’t fix it.

Well, we all know that didn’t last. The Real Estate bubble did burst about 3 years ago. You couldn’t just put a property into MLS anymore and expect 3 offers at the first open house. So, realtors suddenly had to start to innovate.

Now, there were some early adopters in the real estate market. In fact, you can bet that in just about every major market there’s some broker or agent who bought [cityname].com in 1993. But since the market wasn’t spending on real estate technology, there wasn’t a whole lot of innovation.

Meanwhile, as real estate agents were making a lot of money and not using technology all that much, buyers were already turning to the internet. Really, there wasn’t a lot to find yet. Pretty soon over 90% of buyers were starting their search on the web. And we all know where we go to search, yup, Google, Yahoo, and the other search engines. If buyers are starting there, then I better be there to, reasoned the real estate brokers and they were/are right.

Well, while we were sleeping and making money without technology things really changed. So, about 4 years ago, Realtors discovered PPC in droves. I can tell you this because the calls started coming in and we were doing a lot of PPC work. Then, about 2 years ago, the Real Estate SEO market got hot. Real Estate SEO is still the rage, but Social Media is making a big push for the community’s attention.

Technology is being adopted by realtors at light speed (well, at least for this industry it is). The economy is pushing that shift. Why? Because the go-go bubble days are over and the real estate brokers and agents are realizing that they need to spend wisely and efficiently. They know that the best real estate marketing medium is the web and real estate seo is crucial. Of course, social media is cost effective and goes hand-in-hand with SEO. That’s why they’re both popular at the same time.

So, what’s next? Well, stay tuned.

Thanks for reading. If you have questions, just jot a comment and we’ll reply shortly.

10 ways to get quality links

We are all pretty much on the same page when we say that SEO is organic and that you want to naturally receive traffic from search engines. But how do we get those inbound links? When do they start flowing in? Do I get them myself? Where do I get them? Do I pay for them? Help….

Don’t fret. Here are a few tips that will hopefully put your mind at ease:

  1. Links will and should come naturally. Organic links  are when someone likes your content enough to link to it.
  2. Quality content naturally draws quality links. The more quality content the more those links will come in. Keep writing.
  3. Create viral content (aka. link bait), often this will be free or offered without having to sign up for it… something helpful to your readers.
  4. Don’t always be too serious, offer something fun or cool (as relevant to your business).
  5. Have a tool on your site or a widget of sorts that will inspire others to share that information.
  6. Have your partners, supporters or other networks link to you (not necessarily always in exchange but because they want to help promote you).
  7. Create quality profiles. Don’t just create accounts that never get used, but set up profiles where you will actually be and remain active in a community.
  8. Add yourself to quality directories like the Yahoo! Directory and DMOZ.org (a few times when it will be okay to have paid links)
  9. …which reminds me, don’t pay someone to get you a ton of links and don’t add your site to link farms.
  10. Actively share your content and that of others, links will flow naturally from there as well.

Rethinking SEO – Are you following the right metrics?

Many people out there may have a hard time thinking of SEO as anything other than being the business of ranking. For years that was the measure by which you assessed the strength of your online marketing presence. Well, at this point you’ve probably heard it before…ranking is not the be-all and end-all it once was.

Search engine algorithms are (the formula by which search engines like Google, MSN and Yahoo! qualify and display relevant search results – by the way algorithms vary from search engine to search engine – it’s like grandma’s secret sauce!) ever changing. While at one point it may have been enough to only add and occasionally update “meta data”, there are many more factors that take the stage these days. Some are more obvious than others, and then again some are debatable. (Little secret: if you are not already, you should be following Google Guru, now Head of Webspam, Matt Cutts.)

SEO

A few key items that come into play: page meta title and description, SERP friendly URLs, H1 and H2 tags, quality/relevant content, keyword usage and variation (on and off page), a good internal linking structure, proper HTML coding, your domain age (strength lies in older domains), number of quality inbound links, user data (number of visits, time spent on page etc), and overall good housekeeping aka. keeping the site alive and current (or “fresh” as I like to call it).

SEO involves ongoing work, tweaking, and sharing, and once you’ve done that – you do it again. All of this time and work, though I’m not saying it’s guess work just because search algorithms are not publicly shared, will play out and make your site and its content highly relevant for both search engines and searchers, which means more traffic.

Measuring success…

It’s not to say that successful search marketing doesn’t help a site gain top positioning for relevant words and phrases. It does. We know that. However, rankings alone do not equal traffic. While a search engine presence is essential in order to generate user traffic, a successful SEO campaign is measured by the increase in search engine traffic and the rate at which that traffic performs the desired actions on your site (i.e. sales leads, purchases, sign-ups etc). My advice to you (whether you are a do-it-yourselfer or a SEO professional) measure and track your site’s increase in traffic over time, follow where traffic is coming from and where its going, and make sure you track conversions/leads. That’s the goal!

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