Posts Tagged ‘Reddit’

Real Estate SEO and Social Media, working together

How many ways do you think Social Media can contribute to good real estate SEO? Jot down a list and then compare it to mine. If I left off any major ones, please let me know. Here goes:

  1. Blogs are social media. Blogs only get read when there’s new content. New content helps your search engine placement.
  2. You can syndicate your content (let’s say from your blog) to social media sites. You could even feed your real estate listings, by RSS to your twitter and Facebook profiles.
  3. Many social media site pages are public. These pages are bound to have links back to your site. Linking will improve your SEO.
  4. Social bookmarking links on your site will produce back links from those sites (Digg, Reddit, Stumble, etc.) to your site. Again, these links will improve your SEO, your rank, and bring you more traffic and more leads. Remember real estate buyer and seller leads are the goal, not just ranking!
  5. Users spend a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, and many other social media sites. The referral traffic will help you gain more visitors, more clients and sell more real estate.
  6. Promotions have more power with social media. Post a promotion on your site, edit your PPC ads accordingly to drive clicks, broadcast the promotion to your Twitter followers, Facebook friends, and LinkedIn connections and watch your traffic spike.
  7. Remember that real estate SEO is about leads and customers. What you care about isn’t always ranking but leads and real estate transactions that come from those leads. Use your analytics system, like Google analytics,  to look at the social media sites that are driving traffic and leads to your site. My money says that you’ll see a good conversion rate on this traffic.
  8. Chatter on Facebook and Twitter can fuel your blog. Look at what the people are saying about your real estate market, your real estate business, even you as a real estate agent. You’re likely to get inspired and find a topic to blog about. Also, here’s another post about blogging inspiration that could be helpful.
  9. Social media is all about linking and showing the world what you’re up to. As a result, your friends and followers are likely to check out the stuff that you’re pointing them to. So, engage your community, send them to your site – full of great resources and information – and they’ll convert into leads.

Ok, that about exhausts my list of how Social Media can improve your Real Estate SEO. I’m sure there are many others that I forgot, but I have to get back to SEOing a couple of sites today. I look forward to your additions to my list. Leave them as comments please. Thanks.

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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.

Real Estate SEO – Blogging instead of spending

About a month ago, Rebecca composed a great post called “Real Estate marketing during tough economic times.” Apropos indeed, a client of ours called me the other day. He mentioned that the current real estate market was going to make him less lazy. He realized that he was going to need to be conservative and spend less. He’d have to dedicate his time rather than his cash.

The way to make this work in a real estate SEO campaign is obvious. Blogging is the answer. You can buy almost as many paid clicks as your budget will allow, but what happens when your budget shrinks? How do you keep those search engine visitors coming to your site? How do you keep your leads coming?

If you’re dedicated to blogging, you can replace those paid clicks with organic search engine traffic. No, you can’t flick the PPC switch off on Monday and turn on the organic SEO visitor stream on Tuesday, but you can start blogging regularly now and see the traffic in a month or two.

Also, start using social media. Twitter, Facebook, social bookmarking sites like Stumble, Reddit, and Digg, they’ll all bring you visitors. One of the largest traffic sources for this site is Twitter. Also, we post on Sphinn all the time since it’s highly applicable to our blog’s topic, real estate marketing and real estate seo. This brings us traffic too. Sure, the search engines are our main traffic source, but there are lots of others and we don’t pay for any of the traffic that comes to this blog, not out of pocket anyway.

Now, we’re not narrow minded. We know that time is money and if you’re going to invest your time into writing blog posts and using social media, one could argue that there’s still a cost. I couldn’t agree more. SEO is not free in any way. What I’m saying here is that SEO is an investment. Virtually all investments take time to mature and we have to invest with what we have. If we have cash, we can invest those funds in paid clicks. If we have time, SEO allows us to invest that time in order to achieve better search engine placement. This, in turn brings future users to your site, some of whom will turn into customers at a later date and bring you a pay check one day. It all started with your investment of time.

I’ve saved the best for last. This is time you have. I sometimes blog when I’m watching TV. I blog on weekends. I Digg at the end of the day when I’m too tired to be productive at much else. You can passively make this happen and invest yours in between time. So, even if you are busy, you still can invest in real estate seo. It’s not hard to keep a real estate blog going, it’s just a few minutes a day, if you’re a quick typer. This blog post took me about 15 minutes.

Lastly, we love to hear from you. So, please tell us, how are you saving money in your marketing these days? Also, if you have a question about whether or not you’re spending wisely, we’ll be happy to answer it.

Happy Blogging and Happy New Year.

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?

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