Posts Tagged ‘blog’

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.

Ready to take the social media plunge? Read this first!

The argument that  a digital identity is just as powerful as your true persona has some merit when it comes to social media. So how can you leverage social media for your real estate marketing campaign, and get more hits to your website?

Here are a few tips to help you navigate, protect, and capitalize on social media:

Facebook

Don’t accept every person who friend-requests you. It is with it to do some digging around and try to identify the person if you don’t immediately recognize them. While your online networks are not always exclusive, they should still be monitored regularly. Facebook also has an option to create lists to help you further organize your growing number of “friends”, and you can even publish certain content to certain audiences.  (To learn how to do this, check out our previous LogicClassroom slides on Leveraging Facebook for Your Business.)

Additionally, Facebook is becoming more than just a social network — it can be a search engine too. According to some recent statistics, it is the #2 most visited site after Google, and some days even surpasses Google in total searches. By creating special interest pages on this social network, you can increase hits to your business’ profile or Web site. For example, Williams King created a “365 Road Warrior Marketing and Technology Tips” page, which now has more than 200 fans.

Which Social Media Site is Right For Me?

Well, take a look at your personality and what your strengths are. Are you a great writer? You should write engaging real estate blogs and witty tweets. Enjoy being photographed (and don’t we all)? Maybe you could give YouTube a try.

seo-for-real-estate-blogsite-and-websites

Now You’ve Got a Presence. How Do You Protect It?

(Click here for some resources on Social Media Liabilities by NAR.)

Consider how you’ll monitor your social media sites. Who gets access to them? How will you handle negative postings? It gets tricky when deciding whether to delete these comments or address them online.  What will you do?

Sometimes a personal phone call to the party to discuss why they are upset can really help smooth things over . It can even motivate them to post something positive about your follow-up outreach.

Ready to Take the Plunge?

After all this data and through the online buzz about social media, and you still don’t think you need an online presence, you may want to reconsider. Social media will be one of the primary search tools for the next generation of real estate buyers and sellers. And if you want to get started and don’t know how, you can always ask a younger agent for some help, or contact us on how you can get started on some real estate SEO help and services offered. We’ll be happy to give you some guidance!

Source Article: The Right Way to Get Started in Social Media

Stumped for new blog topics? Here are some ideas!

blogging

We’ve all been there. We get a new website, new blog, and get inspired with new business growth and possibilities that we cannot contain our blogging excitement.

Then a month goes by. Then six. And we can get disenchanted with the idea of consistent blogging.

It’s okay.

To get back on track, here are some blogging ideas to get re-inspired and to keep blogging on a regular basis again – which will lead to fresh content, optimized pages, search-engine friendly pages and ultimately more leads to your website. Which is exciting.

  1. Talk about the future of real estate by commenting on current developments within the industry.
  2. Explain why it’s important for everyone to care about real estate.
  3. List online resources for fellow real estate agents.
  4. Make a list of the top myths about buying or renting a home through an agency and debunk them.
  5. Attend real estate conventions or networking events and report on them.
  6. Do real estate market comparisons for your area, the national market, and abroad.
  7. Occasionally go off topic and link an issue from your life back to your business, i.e.“10 Reasons Real Estate is like A Box of Chocolates”.
  8. Pose this question to your followers: “What would you like to change in [insert your product or service here]?”
  9. Speak with other leaders in real estate and guest blog for each other.
  10. Write a book review dealing with your topic that depicts thinking about real estate in an outside-of-the-box way.
  11. Create short video to change things up – this can be fun, or you speaking about your business.
  12. Take a common issue many people care about and explain how it relates to your business.
  13. See which blog post received a lot of hits or attention and write a follow-up.
  14. Look into social media sites (if you haven’t already) like Digg, StumbleUpon or Technorati and find out what’s trending right now and put a property-spin to it.
  15. Tweet a question and blog about your favorite answers.

Blog away!

Source article and more ideas here.

LogicClassroom Session 2 on Effective Blogging

We had a great turnout for this LogicClassroom session on effective blogging both in the office and on the phone. We explored the benefits of blogging for your business, including how to optimize your posts for SEO and how to turn a blog into a traffic and lead generation tool for your company.

I want to thank everyone who was able to attend. Don’t worry if you missed this LogicClassroom session, you can view the slides below at your convenience. Enjoy!

Our next LogicClassroom will be on 1/12/10. Learn how agents and brokers can leverage free social media to generate leads and a loyal client following. Please email Katrina if you would like to attend.

Boston Logic – Top 1% for Twitter Followers

If you’re one of the hundreds of people who follow us on Twitter, know that you’re not alone. Based on statistics just published yesterday, Boston Logic is among the most followed on twitter. Fewer than 1% of Twitter users have more than 500 followers. If you’re reading this on Twitter, you’re one of more than 1700 and counting!

http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/10/05/twitter-data-analysis-an-investors-perspective/ This is a great article by Robert Moore.

Like most web applications, a large percentage of Twitter’s users don’t do anything. Lots of them don’t follow anyone and don’t tweet at all. Less than 25% of twitter’s users make up probably 99% of the activity on the site.Twitter for real estate

But that’s OK. Twitter has over 50,000,000 users. The laws of large numbers tell us that a small piece of a big pie is still a lot of pie! So, if you can get out there and grab some more followers, the odds are some percentage of them will be active.

In fact, I’m going to assume that only 10 or 20% of our followers will actually read this blog post when it’s syndicated as a tweet (this happens automatically via rss). But that still means that over 300 people will read the tweet and a few of them will click to this post and read more. The tweet will only be 140 characters.  So, this very sentence will not find it’s way onto twitter. Only the first 2 or 3 sentences of this post will. Some of our growing follower base will then click through. And that’s all we want.

If you found us through twitter, let us know!

Also, we’re hiring: http://www.bostonlogic.com/careers

Thanks!

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