Posts Tagged ‘Real Estate Leads’

QR Codes for Real Estate: Tips and How-To

After such an overwhelming positive response to our October post on QR codes, we’ve decided to write a follow-up blog post on QR codes and their role with online real estate marketing and how to implement them.

To refresh your memory, a QR (Quick Response) code is  a machine-readable 2D image, similar to a barcode.  They can be read by scanners or by applications on smart phones, which then directs the user to any URL that the QR code owner desires. And in the world of real estate, QR codes are becoming increasingly popular as a fast and easy way to connect online initiatives with offline marketing.  These codes make it much easier for people to visit your real estate website or individual property listings directly from their smartphones. And using sophisticated Google Analytics software, which we at Boston Logic utilize for our real estate SEO client campaigns, you can for the first time track the effectiveness of a print campaign!

real estate online marketing with QR Codes

Here are a few ideas on how to incorporate QR codes into your real estate marketing strategy:

  • QR Codes On Sign Riders. Adding a Quick Response code to your sign rider can be a fast and convenient way for buyers to get additional information about the home while standing in front of property for sale. This makes the problem of running out of property flyers a thing of the past, as you can create QR codes that direct the user to a detailed website with photos, comprehensive descriptions, and even view documents on the property.
  • Property flyers. Property flyers themselves are a great tool to utilize a QR code. You can direct potential buyers back to your real estate website for more information, additional pictures, documents and even the virtual tour.
  • Event or Open House Information. Do you frequently blog about or feature on your website open houses for your available properties? You can make this content more available and drive more traffic to these web pages and posts by having a QR code direct to these pages on any of your marketing materials, such as post cards. – You can create a QR code to provide additional information about upcoming events or even directions and the date and time for an open house.

These are just 3 of the many ways to utilize QR codes to make real estate print advertising clickable. Not only do they direct users to the information they are looking for while browsing for properties, but it will also gain much appreciation from your sellers as a viable real estate online marketing tactic.

real estate seo with qr codes

Getting started with Quick Response codes for real estate is easy, and can be done in a matter of steps! Here’s the process to help you get started:

1) Get a QR Code generator. While there are many to choose from, we find that QRreateBuzz is highly recommended due to its superior tracking capabilities. For a quick start, you can also visit qrstuff.com.
2) Download QR Code Reader. To read the QR codes that you generate, you’ll need the QR code reader app on your smart phone. You can find the app by going to your iTunes account for download.
3) Get organized. Pick the properties you’d like to get started marketing with your QR codes. Make sure you have appropriate landing pages, then generate the code accordingly.

Have you utilized the power of QR code real estate online marketing? We are always eager to hear your results!

Boston Logic Client Nominated for Best Real Estate Blog!

Late last week, Boston Logic received word that one of our SEO clients, Warren Residential, was nominated the for the Zillow People’s Choice Award for Best Blog in Boston! We were so pleased to hear that the client’s work collaborated with  our real estate website design,  blog design, real estate SEO work, and content creation was recognized in a best blog nomination.

We are asking readers to please join us in daily voting from now until November 24th for the Warren Residential blog. Anyone can vote once per day by clicking this link: Best Real Estate Blog in Boston!

If Warren Residential wins the title, the Warren Residential website will be linked from Zillow’s Boston home values page. In addition, they will also receive a badge for their blog’s website indicating that Warren Residential is Boston’s best real estate blogger, as voted by the people!

Once again, here is the Zillow link to please click and vote every day until November 24th.

We wish Warren Residential the best of luck in the next few days of voting!

QR Codes for Real Estate

With the increasing use of “instant” devices, it’s no surprise that yet another tool in line with IMs and texting has emerged. This new tool is the “Quick Response”, or QR code. We recently had a client incorporate QR codes into their listings on their real estate website design, and we wanted to write up a quick post on what exactly QR codes are, and how they can be applied to real estate marketing.

How do QR codes work? Currently, a person with a cellphone with QR enabled code-reader software can take a picture of a QR code on their phone, and will be taken to the website for that QR code. Pretty cool, huh?

In order to benefit from the codes, the target customer must have a web-enabled phone: a trend that is becoming more common and continues to increase as time passes. Then the user can take a picture of the QR code, and be brought to the specific cellphone-optimized web page that the company’s web marketer wants them to see. These codes can also be anywhere – they are in print ads, brochures, outdoor advertising, etc.

For a retail example, Ralph Lauren is using QR codes to direct their buyers to a website for taking clothing orders directly from their phones. That’s great, but how can we use this tool in real estate?

There’s actually some innovative marketing going on in the real estate field. One example is having QR Code Lawn Signs, which not only has a very high “cool factor”, but also give the potential lead easy access to a real estate website with color photos and full detail listing information. You also do not have to have the sign at the home for sale: you could place to code anywhere, such as in at a local home show or open house – and your website listing will get traffic .Remember, you can also have a code for your personal website as well by placing it in your advertisements or business cards.

So let’s put on our real estate internet marketing caps and think about the business potential.  The number of users that will have phones capable of using the codes will jump dramatically in the next year or so, and many businesses could see more targeted traffic to custom listing sites from the QR codes. Start to consider now whether creating a QR code plan would work best for you, your business, and your potentials.

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.

Like, What’s the Deal with All These Like Buttons?

Facebook’s new ‘Like’ buttons explained, in plain English.

By now you’ve probably heard that Facebook has done away with the idea of ‘Becoming a Fan’ of a Facebook Fan Page, and has instead replaced that function with a ‘Like’ button.  So now, you can ‘Like’ a friend’s photo or status update, and you can also ‘Like’ the Fan Page of your favorite businesses or products, such as Boston Logic or Dunkin Donuts.  When you ‘Like’ a Fan Page, it’s the same as ‘Becoming a Fan’ used to be in that you will now receive messages from these Fan Pages in your News Feeds (unless you ‘Hide’ them).  Most people have no trouble understanding this change; it’s more of a name change than anything else, right?  Right.

But what about the OTHER ‘Like’ buttons?  The new ‘Like’ buttons you’ve been noticing on several websites all over the internet, on sites like BostonLogic.com, Yelp.com, NHL.com, Levis.com, etc.  These new website ‘Like’ buttons were announced at the F8 conference this past April and are part of an expansion of Facebook to help you personalize your entire online experience. These new ‘Like’ buttons can be added to any website, even specific and multiple pages of your website.
levis Like buttons

So now, not only can you choose to ‘Like’ the Boston Logic Facebook Fan Page while on Facebook, but you can also choose to ‘Like’ our website, or our blog, or a specific blog post (like just this particular blog about ‘Like’ buttons), or even our listing on Yelp.com when you’re browsing the internet.  Basically, anytime you find one of these new ‘Like’ buttons somewhere on the web, you can click it to show that you ‘Like’ whatever content is on that web page, much like when you share something on Digg or Yahoo Buzz, etc.  But that’s not all!

Facebook Like Button is everywhere

If you’re already logged into Facebook (I know that I, for one, keep a browser page with Facebook up for most of my work day) clicking the ‘Like’ button will post a notice on your Personal Profile Wall (aka Mini-Feed) stating that you’ve ‘Liked’ whatever it is you’ve clicked on and provide a link to that website.  If you’re not logged in, a popup window will appear and prompt you to log into your account, and then a notice with a text link to what you’ve ‘Liked’ posts to your Profile Wall.  If you change your mind, you can click the ‘Like’ button again, and it disappears from your Profile Wall automatically.  You could also go manually delete it from your Wall, but that would not undo your click on the website, so your click would still count on the tally for that button; this difference is actually significant, here’s why:

That ‘Like’ button on the web doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with a Fan Page on Facebook, which is a good thing, because otherwise there’s be a Fan Page for every style of jeans Levis offers!  Instead, the webmaster (or owner) that installed the ‘Like’ button on the website you’re visiting is given an invisible back-end Admin Page (using their personal Facebook Profile ID Number), which actually functions much like any other Facebook Admin Page.

warren-like-admin

From this ‘secret’ Admin Page, the webmaster can see who has clicked on their various ‘Like’ buttons and send out notifications to each group of ‘Fans’ (anyone who clicked any ‘Like’ button) that will appear in each Fan’s Facebook Newsfeeds.  So, even if you never ‘Liked’ or ‘Became a Fan’ of the Levi Jeans Facebook Fan Page, you DID click the ‘Like’ button on the Levis.com website next to that wicked cute pair of shorts- essentially granting Levis permission to send you notifications regarding the shorts you liked or related items, promotions, etc. via your Facebook News Feeds.

facebook-admin-pages

Currently, the ‘Like’ buttons you click while browsing the web don’t show up in your friends’ Newsfeeds, only ‘Liking’ a Facebook Fan Page does.  This is good news for people with lots of interests/ ‘Likes’; you’re friends won’t hate you for spamming them with all your internet window shopping, but you are giving the companies, websites, and brands you’re interested in a quick way of reaching you with cool offers and such on your own terms.

If you DO want to share whatever it is you’ve found to ‘Like’ on the internet in your Friends’ News Feeds, many ‘Like’ buttons display the option to ‘Write a Comment’ once you’ve clicked it.  If you do this, it will broadcast your comment and a link to the page you were on to all your Friends.

i-like-free-seo-advice

So, like, feel free to ‘Like’ what you ‘Like’, like wherever and whenever you want, and share it however you like!

like-buttons-syndicate-to-facebook

To learn more about Facebook’s other new features that you can also utilize for your social media marketing campaign, visit the Facebook blog.  If all this new ‘Like’ button stuff sounds like something you want to implement, but you don’t have the time or know-how, let Boston Logic help you by signing up for an Online Marketing Campaign!

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