Posts Tagged ‘website’

Understanding Your Google Analytics

We have always recommended to our clients that they have Google Analytics installed on their real estate websites. We’ve even given great step-by-step instructions on how easy it is to set up Google Analytics on the Sequoia Real Estate Website platform. So let’s say that you’ve done it: now what?

In order to successfully interpret Google Analytics, you need to understand analytics terminology and language. Defining the information available to you is a great first step in understanding the effect of your web presence.

  • Visits - the number of times a person interacted with your website, or the number of sessions on your site
  • Bounce – the number of people who instantly left your site after visiting it
  • Page Views - how many pages users clicked on and viewed in the total amount of visits
  • Pages Per Visit - the total amount of pages in each specific visit
  • Average Time on Site – how long people stayed engaged on your website
  • % of New Visits - how many sessions or interactions were from first time visitors

Google Analytics Traffic Sources

Traffic to your real estate website comes from many different online sources. Direct traffic refers to the people who already knew about your website, and came to it by typing in your real estate website’s URL into their browser, or had your site bookmarked.

real estate seo

Referring Sites are other outside websites that are directing traffic to your website. The referral traffic can originate from blogs or affiliates that link to your site.


Search Engines
, such as Google and Bing, are the online tools that allow users to search for any topic simply by typing in a word or phrase. When you are looking at the “search engine” category, note that this  includes both organic and paid traffic. Organic Traffic is traffic coming from search engines: that is, the search engine combed your website and produced organic results to the user. Your Paid Traffic includes traffic from any online advertising campaigns that you are running, such as Google’s PPC, Adwords.

Now That You Know…

With this information, you can better understand what your web analytics tool is trying to tell you. Now, what do you do with it? How can you analyze this information so you can implement some of the data’s suggestions on your website?

While these are fairly broad questions without specific answers, you can start to analyze the information provided with Google Analytics by asking yourself:

  • What are the trends that you notice in your website’s data?
  • Where is recent growth coming from?

Similar to online survey data analysis, the key to implementing positive changes for your website that will help you continue to grow comes from asking the right questions and responding appropriately. The more that you practice using the analytics tools, you will continue to discover areas of improvement for your real estate website, and reacting to your data will become second nature.

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!

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.

SEO for Video and YouTube

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 youtube_iconjpgunderstandable 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.

Getting ratings:

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.

Stumped for new blog topics? Here are some ideas!

blogging

We’ve all been there. We get a new website, new blog, and get inspired with new business growth and possibilities that we cannot contain our blogging excitement.

Then a month goes by. Then six. And we can get disenchanted with the idea of consistent blogging.

It’s okay.

To get back on track, here are some blogging ideas to get re-inspired and to keep blogging on a regular basis again – which will lead to fresh content, optimized pages, search-engine friendly pages and ultimately more leads to your website. Which is exciting.

  1. Talk about the future of real estate by commenting on current developments within the industry.
  2. Explain why it’s important for everyone to care about real estate.
  3. List online resources for fellow real estate agents.
  4. Make a list of the top myths about buying or renting a home through an agency and debunk them.
  5. Attend real estate conventions or networking events and report on them.
  6. Do real estate market comparisons for your area, the national market, and abroad.
  7. Occasionally go off topic and link an issue from your life back to your business, i.e.“10 Reasons Real Estate is like A Box of Chocolates”.
  8. Pose this question to your followers: “What would you like to change in [insert your product or service here]?”
  9. Speak with other leaders in real estate and guest blog for each other.
  10. Write a book review dealing with your topic that depicts thinking about real estate in an outside-of-the-box way.
  11. Create short video to change things up – this can be fun, or you speaking about your business.
  12. Take a common issue many people care about and explain how it relates to your business.
  13. See which blog post received a lot of hits or attention and write a follow-up.
  14. Look into social media sites (if you haven’t already) like Digg, StumbleUpon or Technorati and find out what’s trending right now and put a property-spin to it.
  15. Tweet a question and blog about your favorite answers.

Blog away!

Source article and more ideas here.

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