Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’
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.
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!
The argument that a digital identity is just as powerful as your true persona has some merit when it comes to social media. So how can you leverage social media for your real estate marketing campaign, and get more hits to your website?
Here are a few tips to help you navigate, protect, and capitalize on social media:
Don’t accept every person who friend-requests you. It is with it to do some digging around and try to identify the person if you don’t immediately recognize them. While your online networks are not always exclusive, they should still be monitored regularly. Facebook also has an option to create lists to help you further organize your growing number of “friends”, and you can even publish certain content to certain audiences. (To learn how to do this, check out our previous LogicClassroom slides on Leveraging Facebook for Your Business.)
Additionally, Facebook is becoming more than just a social network — it can be a search engine too. According to some recent statistics, it is the #2 most visited site after Google, and some days even surpasses Google in total searches. By creating special interest pages on this social network, you can increase hits to your business’ profile or Web site. For example, Williams King created a “365 Road Warrior Marketing and Technology Tips” page, which now has more than 200 fans.
Which Social Media Site is Right For Me?
Well, take a look at your personality and what your strengths are. Are you a great writer? You should write engaging real estate blogs and witty tweets. Enjoy being photographed (and don’t we all)? Maybe you could give YouTube a try.
Now You’ve Got a Presence. How Do You Protect It?
(Click here for some resources on Social Media Liabilities by NAR.)
Consider how you’ll monitor your social media sites. Who gets access to them? How will you handle negative postings? It gets tricky when deciding whether to delete these comments or address them online. What will you do?
Sometimes a personal phone call to the party to discuss why they are upset can really help smooth things over . It can even motivate them to post something positive about your follow-up outreach.
Ready to Take the Plunge?
After all this data and through the online buzz about social media, and you still don’t think you need an online presence, you may want to reconsider. Social media will be one of the primary search tools for the next generation of real estate buyers and sellers. And if you want to get started and don’t know how, you can always ask a younger agent for some help, or contact us on how you can get started on some real estate SEO help and services offered. We’ll be happy to give you some guidance!
Source Article: The Right Way to Get Started in Social Media
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
So, like, feel free to ‘Like’ what you ‘Like’, like wherever and whenever you want, and share it however you like!
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!
In light of a recent query on how to optimize video, and a recent launch of some demo videos on YouTube, we wanted to shed some light on the topic. Especially considering that if YouTube was a Search Engine, it would easily be the second largest in the world after Google. If you are lacking some technical experience, resources, or budget to host your own video, creating it and uploading to YouTube is an excellent way to get great SEO results for your videos. We’ve written this post to make sure you do everything you can to maximize influence, ratings, and views.
When you upload a video onto YouTube, the algorithm that the site uses to sort results in a search is based on three criteria:
- Having Text in Descriptions and Titles
- Recent Trending and Total Number of Views
- Ratings for your video
So what can you do to optimize a video you have just uploaded? Here are some tips!
1. Optimize your Title Text. Did you know that you have 99 characters to optimize your title text? Use your keywords selected from your SEO campaign and any additional keywords or phrases you’d like to rank for when users conduct a search. Also remember to include your branding and additional descriptive text for your video. Lastly, check out the #1 spot for your keywords: aim initially for #2, as related videos can substantially boost your views.
2. Optimize your Description. After your title, you have another additional 5,000 characters. Use all this space to be as descriptive about your video as possible. As stated before, user ratings also influence ranking, invite others to rank your video and share the embed code.
3. Tag Optimzations. Again, using relevant keywords in your tags Useful for search terms you use in your title text and description, including names and branding.
When you upload a video, you are often prompted to select or deselect sharing options. Here’s how to make the most out of each!
Privacy – When you work on a video, it is understandable to put the video under a “private” setting. Don’t forget to switch this to “public” when you are ready to show the world!
Comments - It’s up to you whether you want to enable comments. Just remember: if you disable commenting, users will go elsewhere to talk about your video, your brand, or your message.
Video responses can also help boost your video’s views because they are linked to your video
Ratings directly impact your ratings, so make sure to select “yes”.
Embedding via social media and blogs can seriously boost views, in addition to get your message to users outside of YouTube, so we recommend that you keep this enabled.
Syndication also through social media to boost your views will help your video rank higher in Google and YouTube, so make sure to keep this enabled.
To Get Views:
Have a great “hook” After a user views the first 8 seconds of your video, YouTube considers this video “viewed”. Be sure to hook potential viewers to have them watch past this time, and ideally your whole video!
Embedding video on product pages or in your blog can encourage discovery of your website and boost video views.
Distribute the links to your videos in your company’s online press releases and embed them into your social media releases.
Promote more views of your video by purchasing Google AdWords.
Use Playlists to chunk your videos into smaller segments and then link them all together.
Rank your own video. We promise we won’t tell.
Encourage others to rank your video by including the request within your video or its description.
Video may be a valuable tool to consider when evaluating your real estate search engine marketing mix. If you have succeeded with uploading a video, let us know! Be sure to check out our YouTube video channel, where we have more helpful tips and tricks for real estate SEO and other assistance with real estate websites.