Posts Tagged ‘Inbound Marketing’
After reading a great – and true – blog post on “7 Reasons Your Blog Sucks (and What to Do About It)”, I had to comment and share my thoughts. Blogging about real estate can often be frustrating: trying to generate interesting, consistent, and good-quality content frequently can be a daunting task. What’s more, that in the real estate industry, readers aren’t exactly actively engaging with blogs or becoming loyal fans and followers.
That’s not to say that this isn’t possible. Usually the problem is either lame content and not being consistent with your content. Don’t forget, it takes more than the bare minimum of just throwing content once a week up on your blog: you are competing for your readers – and potential customers – online attention. And if we know anything about browsing the web, the online reader isn’t a patient one.
Here are some top mistakes that we see non-real estate SEO clients make every day, and some tips on how you can think about blogging differently to overcome them.
1.) No content strategy goals
You either don’t have a goal, or are all over the place. Take a minute to think about where you are trying to go with your blog and what statement you want to make. Are you writing to build a brand, build influence, or increase your leads? Your goals will shape your blogging strategy, and you need to make sure this message is conveyed accurately internally.
2.) Internal resources aren’t organized
Who writes your content and manages your social media profiles? My guess is, you’ve got one person for your company that you hope is blogging at least once a week. Identify who this person or team will be, whether its a requirement of all your agents to post once a day, or you and an intern writing once a week. If you don’t have a blog yet, start small and test-run a Sequoia real estate website with blog feature for 6 months to see how your business benefits. Create a solid team, and compile data to have a common ownership of the blog within your company.
3.) Real Estate niche is undefined
As with businesses in general, its so much better to have a specialized niche. The same applies to your blog: the less your posts are all over the place, the less targeted your message and your audience will be. Think about your target market and what they want – now how can you solve their problems? What are they concerned about?
4.) Not listening to your audience or clients
We tell clients that blogging is the best way to assert yourself as an expert in your field of real estate. But how can you position your company as an educator if you don’t know what your clients’ problems are? There are great “listening” tools like Google Alerts or Radian6 that you can employ to be on top of the latest news and issues of your market. From here, you can generate blog material in reaction to what you read.
5.) Your blog is boring
Here is where we have to be honest. Many real estate agents and brokers are not really writers, and the content your blog pushes out reflects that. It may be worth bringing in some fresh perspective with younger interns or agents that have expressed interest in writing to help stimulate interesting blog ideas to give you different angles to pursue.
Try and be the journalist that attracts your readers’ attention. Stories are everywhere, from interacting with clients to your kid’s dentist appointments. You can also tie in a recent news event or real estate market development: and the faster you are with these, the better. Have a defined, committed point of view – and finish it off with a great headline, like a “How-To” post or “Are You Paying Too Much To Sell Your Home?”
6.) Lack of authentic material
People don’t care about press releases. Sorry. They want to talk and leave comments for actual people, not droning company robots. Here’s where speaking about your personal experiences really comes into play – “I just met with this seller, and ran screaming from the house…” These are memorable, and make people connect to what you are writing about. And, clients prefer to work with “real” people.
7.) No publishing system
We emphasize constantly that consistent blogging is horribly important. However, there is a system that should be put into place. It starts by monitoring relevant and trending topics, aggregating the “noise” into relevant topics, creative writing and editing, and ends with measurement with Google Analytics. You need to have this process in a calendar to make sure you meet deadlines consistently, and over time you will become more efficient as blogging becomes part of you or your team’s routine.
8.) No “BOOM!” Ending
Remember in high school when your teacher told you to write a captivating conclusion that leaves the reader in reflection of what they just wrote? Don’t leave your readers hanging. Pull it all together, and throw some punch in there. Also don’t forget to continue the momentum with a strong call-to-action.
So go forth and make your blog the best it can be. Social media sites move quickly, and every reader that bounces of your blog is another opportunity lost. Don’t be overwhelmed by this list: tackle one issue at a time, and over the upcoming weeks your blog will be back on track.
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!
In a recent research webinar presentation from Hubspot on Inbound Marketing, one of the most impressive data revelations was the amount of leads that corresponded to the amount of blogging the company did.
As you can see from the graph below, the numbers are quite impressive – those who blog daily receive 89% more leads than those who only blog once a month (49% customer acquisition). These numbers also happen to back up what we always tell our real estate SEO clients: blog consistently and regularly! It can sometimes be difficult to get clients to blog at least once a week, but when you blog once a month, not only does it not impress the visitors that come to your site, but you will also get less leads. And we know that leads for real estate brokers and agents is extremely important.
This also begs the question, “But HOW can we blog multiple times per day?” It’s really a matter of getting into routine and a mindset. Make a time commitment to blog as soon as you wake up, or to blog when you get home from work – and make it fun. You’re the expert: blog about what you think your clients want to read about while assuring your expertise as a real estate agent or brokerage.
Blogs also don’t have to be lengthy books of content and text: in fact, users prefer smaller blogs which contain helpful information for them. Being in real estate, consider the amount of questions you get from buyers and sellers: if these are in email form, you can literally copy and paste their question and response into your blog – done!
Blogging and real estate SEO are as easy as ever with our Sequoia real estate websites and integrated WordPress blogging system. If you are interested in a new real estate website or wish to inquire about our SEO services for your real estate website or blog, contact Boston Logic today!
Graph Source: The 2011 State of Inbound Marketing, Hubspot
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!