Posts Tagged ‘Stumble Upon’

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.

Your Inbound Marketing Strategy for 2009 – Steps you can’t skip!

The vitals of success for inbound marketing are (1) well-written and relevant content, (2) in-bound links, and (3) fans, friends, and/or subscribers. The first two figures are largely covered by SEO, but once you throw blogging and social marketing networks into the mix you open up a whole new realm of possibilities. We already know that Google is looking more closely to see if your efforts incorporate all of these things, and so good marketing practices should incorporate all three.

We recommend using social networks like stumblepon.com, twitter.com, linkedin.com, facebook.com, etc. Stepping into the social media realm also means making yourself more public via the use of online videos, webinars (online video training or web seminar) and podcasts (like a radio broadcast), and don’t forget to go Mobile (stay tuned for more on this).

Social media really isn’t the next big thing anymore, but it’s not too late. Like with all good things it’s best to get started later in the game than not at all. What is new, however, is the way that it’s being used in conjunction with the tried and true search engine marketing practices.

Ever curious about what people are saying about your business? When you become part of these larger networking communities you’ll start to get more of a sense as to what is being said, and in the event that someone has a negative review about you (she said what?)… now you have a means by which you can counter and respectfully disagree. Of course you’ll also want to promote yourself in a more flattering way any chance that you get. And, don’t forget, all those fans and/or friends that you are gathering will help you promote your content as well.

Ultimately, you want to become more engaged with others, and in turn engage others in your community. Beside publishing good content you will want to monitor not only what people are saying about you but also what is being said about your field (hint: your key words). Sure you can use Google Alerts, but why not give Twitter a try. Hubspot recently published a good article on “how to use Twitter for marketing“… so use it. Through Twitter’s search application you can actually see what people are saying about things and/or you, and then you can subscribe to a feed for your query. It just might be your next lead!

As Twitter and other social media services evolve, they are becoming a key part of search engine optimization strategies. All of your efforts should work together; (1) SEO (plus PPC), (2) your blog, and (3) your social marketing network. These efforts, combined, help to increase the number of inbound links and spread your content through more and more channels … all of which makes for a highly efficient inbound marketing strategy as you head into the new year.

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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