Posts Tagged ‘Google’
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.
So 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
- 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.