Posts Tagged ‘keywords’

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.

 

link building strategies

 

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!

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.

Normalizing Search Engine Traffic Reporting

We’ve all known about Google Trends for a while. I’ve had a thought about using Google Trends to normalize our search engine optimization campaign reports. Let me explain.

If your campaign is producing 1000 visitors per month in month 1, then 1100 in month 2, then 1200, that’s great. Let’s say that the trend in month 4, 5, 6 then goes 1200, 1150, 1100. Well, that’s not so good, it was going up ~10% per month, now it’s falling about 5% each month. Well, if the site is optimized around a set of target search terms, and then other traffic comes from halo terms, then to assume that the SEO is providing more or less traffic is also to assume that search volume for this family of terms is constant.

If we used Google Trends to normalize, we might find that the number of times a term was searched on fell 15% during those down months. So, the 10%/month upward trend was actually sustained.

google-trends

Another way to look at this is to simply ask, what percentage of potential clicks did you get? If this percentage is trending up, then you’re in good shape. This means you’re taking more market share.

Another way to think of this is the following: Let’s say that you’re doing search engine optimization for a site that sells air conditioners. Let’s further assume that you start the SEO campaign on January 1st. Well, no one is really looking for AC units in January. Then, in April, you start to see an upward traffic trend, it goes higher and higher and peaks in August. Then, by mid September, you’re not seeing any traffic from the search engines. You start Googling around and see your site, but no visitors.

Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that people just aren’t buying air conditioners in October. So, you’d pretty much expect to see less traffic. In this case, the best way to judge if the SEO campaign is succeeding is to either look a target terms and catalog placement in search engine results pages, or to normalize your numbers. Take a benchmark at the beginning of the campaign, say a ratio of traffic to searches, then, each month you’d want that ratio to climb. This way, you’ll know if your SEO is working, regardless of market trends.

Blog Fear

Overcoming blogger’s block.

I’ve been working at Boston Logic now for 2 months, 2 days, 16 hours, and 57 minutes.  As an online marketer, blogging is a part of my job. I know I need to do it.  I know I can do it…but what should I write? There are over 171,476 words in the English language (I Googled it), and it feels like there is  no original combination left.Blog Fear

I know I’m not alone out there. There are real estate professionals all over saying, “yeah yeah I know I should start a  blog”‘ or “yeah yeah I know I need to blog more”, but what’s stopping us? We’re busy, we’re unsure, and maybe we’re afraid. I’m not talking Robert DeNiro on your houseboat fear, but maybe just fear of commitment.  Fear of needing to write something every week.

We talk a lot about WHY blogging is important for real estate online marketing and what to do to optimize our existing real estate blog.

But what about HOW? How do we get over that fear. My suggestion—let go.

Write from your phone when you’re on the bus. Write from Starbucks. Write whenever you’re thinking about something. This morning on the bus with my coffee I thought—gees why haven’t I blogged yet? And look…a blog post.

Write after you show a listing and talk about the questions asked. Write after you read an industry article that gets you thinking.

Don’t spend 2 months, 2 days, 16 hours, and 57 minutes worrying about HOW. Just do. Your keywords and links will find there way in if you write about what you know—your neighborhood,  your business, your industry.

We’re in this together, so let go and let me know what you think.

The Secret to Real Estate SEO, many terms

Hi all.

You know, one of the nice things about my job is that I communicate with folks about real estate seo all the time. So, I sometimes write answers to questions that I can re-use as Blog posts. Today, this happened. So, I’m re-purposing something that I wrote about real estate seo to share this story with you all. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy sharing it.

Here’s what I wrote. It’s an excerpt. So, sorry it starts rather abruptly.

SEO is about more than two or four terms. You have to focus on a larger number of terms in order to see true results. This is why we work with a minimum of 10 terms. Yes, the two terms that we’ve been discussing (Martha’s Vineyard real estate and Martha’s Vineyard real estate) may be the *Marquis* terms, but they’re not going to truly get you the traffic and leads that you’re looking for. For example, you wouldn’t want to rank for these terms while losing your ranking for the other terms for which you’re already on page 1. Also, a diversity of terms is far preferable to just a small number. The following story illustrates this:

We used to provide SEO services for a company who was ranking in second position for the term Boston Real Estate, at least under our SEO management they were. Yes, this is a good term and they were located in Boston and so we felt we were doing a good job for them. We were also helping them to rank for a number of additional terms. The result was that we doubled their organic search engine traffic over the course of about 6 months. They were seeing about 450 visitors per day to their site and 300 or so of them were coming from the organic search results.

Now, here’s the real point, only 10 percent of their search engine site traffic was coming from the term Boston Real Estate. Also, that term was not converting into leads as reliably as the term Boston Condo, for which they were also ranking quite well.

Lots of clients come to us thinking that 1 term is all they need. When, in fact, a list of terms is needed in order to see strong search engine and lead traffic.”

I hope that they got my point. We’ll see.

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