Posts Tagged ‘Linked In’

Time = Money = SEOb

We’re in a recession, most of us have less money, does that mean that we can’t afford SEO?

Au Contraire!

When cash capital is scarce, human capital is abundant. It’s a great time to invest your human capital in SEO and social media. In this post, I wanted to mention some great ways to get the most bang out of your time.

Great blog posts take time and effort
A great blog post is more likely to be read, linked to, and syndicated. This is the essence of great SEO. If you’re a real estate agent and you spend some real time and effort creating a great post about the real estate market conditions in your town, it’s going to get read. I mean real quality. Make some graphs, give real stats, include photos of listings that characterize the points that you make. A great post goes a long way. A weak post will only take you so far.

Video
Did that word scare you? Creating video is getting easier by the day. There’s lots of free video software out there. You could use a camera or just do a screen capture. If you’re reading this post on a computer with a built in camera, then you have no excuse. Videos are highly engaging, users watch them, and you can post them on other sites – like YouTube and Facebook – and folks will see your material there too. FYI, the Obama campaign put up hundreds of videos on YouTube. By the end of the campaign, they’d been watched a combined total of 77 Million times!

Update your profiles on Facebook, Linked In, Twitter…
Take the time to make sure your profile on Linked In is up to date. Same goes for Facebook and Twitter and the other sites that you use to promote yourself. Make sure your blog is syndicating to those spots too. There are easy instructions on how to do that on each of those sites. If you don’t think people look at those sites to check you out, you’re wrong. Referrals have always been a big part of real estate client generation. Now, in the social media age, potential clients are going to check you out before they meet you. If you haven’t had someone tell you, upon meeting you, that they read your profile on one of the sites I’ve mentioned here, they day can’t be far off. This happens to me all the time. My profile proceeds me.

Establish partnerships
Let’s go back to our premise. We can’t increase our SEO budget. Maybe you’re cutting the budget in other places like print ads (smart move). It’s also time to take a few notes from the business 101 playbook. Partner with other real estate firms and real estate agents. They’ll probably be eager to partner with you too. Talk to folks in neighboring cities and towns. Remember to exchange links on your websites so that you get the link juice. Also, become friends on Facebook and follow them on twitter. Do everything for them that you want them to do for you and they’ll do it in return. Then go do the same with 10 other great real estate agents.

Get the most for your time/money/SEO
Finally, I mentioned this in a post the other day. I’m going to assume that you’re investing in some professional SEO services. If you’re also following some of what I’ve written in this post, your SEO marketing team will be able to take these contributions and make them go even farther into the reaches of the web. This is the most efficient way to invest your time and money into SEO. As I’ve mentioned before, you’ll see a multiplicative effect. Very soon.

Thanks for reading.

Campaign results are what really matter

I think everyone reading this blog would agree that, at the end of the day, results are what really matter. You could be performing real estate SEO and appearing at the top of the search engine results, but if you’re not getting good leads and closing deals from them, then all that SEO effort is probably a waste. What matters are results.

I’m going to tell you all something that may shock you. Yes, this blog has good search engine ranking and high placement in the SERPs, but (here’s the shocker) search engines are not our largest source of inbound traffic. Believe it or not, social media sites are our biggest traffic source. I’m talking about Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Digg, Reddit, Technorati, Stumble Upon, the list goes on. When you aggregate the visitor traffic that these sites generate for us, it adds up to more than either the search engine traffic or direct traffic that we receive, which are our other largest sources.

Now, it’s critical that you understand which traffic sources are effectively converting for you and which are not. Also, it’s very important that you have a good lead follow up system. Your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is as important as your SEO, if not more important, in improving your close rate. All that said, I’m not going to follow this tangent in this post. Boston Logic, our parent company, offers great real estate CRM and lead management tools, check out the ONE Lead Management System, but I’m not here to advertise.

So, let’s get back to our premise. Yes, SEO is bringing us traffic, but we must notice and nurture the opportunities that social media sites can bring us. Every effective online marketing campaign should include heavy engagement with social media. SEO is crucial, but a holistic approach, which includes Real Estate SEO, social media, email marketing, and other online media, is going to bring you the best ROI every time.

Here is some supporting evidence:

  • We’ve written before on this blog about how SEO is a lot like voting. Search engine algorithms take into account link counts, clicks on their results pages, keyword density on a page, and many other factors. All of these can be paralleled to voting. Social media sites work in much the same way. For example, the more people who Digg a page, the more popular it becomes and the more visitor traffic it will receive.
  • Similarly, Twitter is all about followers and popularity. If your real estate blog has 1,000 followers on twitter then every time you post, they’ll be notified. That will mean a steady flow of traffic to your site.
  • Also, let’s not forget about the opt-in advantage. When a person chooses to follow you on Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, etc, it’s their choice. They’re virtually raising their hand and telling you that they’re interested in what you’re doing and what you have to say. If we could always identify parties who are interested in what we do, marketing would be a lot easier.
  • Using social media will help you gather inbound links to your site. This will help your search engine placement and your referral traffic.
  • Similar to SEO, you need to produce good, relevant, unique content in order to get noticed and gain popularity and traffic on social media sites. Smart online marketers know that this is a requirement for good SEO and to achieve search engine ranking. So, while you’re working on your SEO campaign and generating good content, your efforts can be at least twice as valuable when they also contribute to your social media presence.

The goals when performing SEO and Social Media marketing are the same: Get noticed. Generate relevant traffic. Do more business. Come to think of it, these are the goals for most marketing efforts. My point is, with all of these similarities and benefits, you can generate traffic through SEO and through the use of social media at the same time. You can also analyze the traffic and the ROI of your effort using similar tools and methods. It’s a win, no mater how you slice it.

If you’re not leveraging social media as part of your marketing campaign and would like some help, or if you are, but you’re not seeing the results, drop us a note. We’re here to help.

Social media, a “historical” perspective

Just to give you some perspective on what I’ve seen.

When I started in the online marketing biz 5 years ago, Friendster was all the rage. Lots of people were finding old friends and I even reconnected with one of my oldest friends. We’re still close today. Absolutely everyone was on Friendster. Still, no one talked about it as an online marketing media. Well, at least not to me. Pay Per Click was the big talk back then and SEO wasn’t really all that popular yet.
I think I got my linked-in account around this time. I also got accounts on inwyk.com (It’s Not What You Know) and orkut.com (google’s Friendster).

Then came MySpace. For a while there, Myspace was getting a million signups every Monday (that fact is from late 05 or early 06) and a few million more throughout the rest of the week. Myspace was the hot thing. These days, I hear a lot less about Myspace. Still, they have millions and millions of users and the music industry loves myspace. I think that myspace grew, in part, because you could customize the page extensively. Also, it offered free photo sharing at a time when other sites where charging or limiting your storage. At least, they were the first popular site providing this for free!

Social bookmarking sites…I think I learned about those next. Digg, Reddit, etc. I remember them really starting to have a measurable impact in 06. I knew they were around before that, but they hadn’t gained critical mass yet. These days there are hundreds of social bookmarking sites.

Along came Facebook. Facebook was moderately popular. Then they started letting folks write their own applications and opened the system to anyone, not just folks with a .edu email address. That’s when it exploded, they turned down a $1.6 B offer from Yahoo and that was a good decision since the site’s worth a whole lot more than that now, just a few years later. Still, I think the Facebook hype is calming down now. The users are very active, but it’s been around for a while and what’s hot is elsewhere.

All the while, Linked-In was around. Sometime in 07-08 they really kicked into gear. They now have over 30 million users and they’re making money. Since Linked-In is known as a professional networking website, rather than just social networking, they charge a LOT to post a job. As much as monster. So, they’re making money in a way that the other sites aren’t.

Twitter is all the rage as I type this. I heard a 70 year old guy talking about twitter a couple of months ago. He was a millionaire and he was eying twitter as the next big thing. I’ve yet to see real value from Twitter in my life. I’m a pretty connected guy and I’m still waiting to see the benefit. Rebecca, on the other had, thinks twitter is the best thing since sliced bread and has come up with a list of business benefits. Check out what she had to say about Twitter.

What’s next? Let us know what you think?

Real Estate Blog Tips

Blogging is great from a marketing perspective. You’ll be leveraging the shift from outbound to inbound marketing and interacting with your clients and potential clients in a new way. A blog lets you meet your clients/customers more directly than sending out brochures or newsletters. It provides visitors with something to interact with and come back to. As a Realtor you have everything it takes to maintain a successful Real Estate Blog, because being effective in real estate blogging requires focus on your expertise – the Real Estate Market.

Thinking about putting together a blog? We recommend the following best practices for your Real Estate Blog:

· Update your Real Estate Blog with consistent and relevant Real Estate information. Incorporate statistics, relevant neighborhood, and town or city news. Focus on bits of information that will leverage your expertise in the area. And remember, keep it exciting to both you and your readers.

· Incorporating “keywords” is a good idea. Use them in your Title or Subject line and links if possible. But use them wisely, in a way that still makes your text enjoyable to read.

· Focus on similar topics, and use the same tags if at all possible. This is where the use of your keywords comes in handy. Nothing says expertise like writing multiple times on the same topic.

· Tell people about your blog. Get accounts with social networking sites like blogcatalog.com, linkedin.com, delicious.com, technorati.com, digg.com, stumbleupon.com, and spread the word. All of these will help you generate inbound links. They also rate and share your relevant blog posts.

· Find other Real Estate Professional Blogs and blog on their sites about exciting and leveraging, but real estate relevant topics. It will make people curious.

· Your blog should be updated on a regular basis. Weekly is enough.

· Feeling intimidated? Don’t be! Remember, things take time to catch on, so don’t get discouraged! The worst you can do is not getting started at all.

· Visit Boston Logic for more information on how we can help you leverage your web presence.

· Check out some great examples of well maintained, and professional Real Estate Blogs, Warren Residential Group Blog, and The Boston Home Team Blog.

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