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SEO and Content: The Perfect 'It' Couple
Just like Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, Lois Lane and Clark Kent, or spaghetti and meatballs, some couples are a natural fit. The same holds true for search engine optimization (SEO) and content. For people who are new to online marketing strategies, they might assume SEO and content exclude one another. That could not be farther from the truth.
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Just SEO Will Starve Your Real Estate Website
You're working hard at SEO, Search Engine Optimization, for your real estate website, so why can't you get on that first page of Google results for any of your major keyword phrases? You can't quit on the SEO, but you can add some SEO related activities to boost your positioning and traffic to your site. There is also one strategy you can use to boost your search engine positioning, so let's talk about it first.
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How to Use Google My Business to Boost Local Awareness
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The Online Real Estate SEO Maze Simplified
SEO as practiced by most real estate professionals for their website hasn't really evolved much. There is still a lot of emphasis on keywords and key phrases, how much repetition, and where to place them. Then there's the inbound linking and internal linking stuff you have to weave into your content. Let's face it--there's just a whole lot of stuff to try to weave into a page about how to price a home for sale, and getting it all in there usually results in something your website visitors don't want to read. Is there a better way to deal with real estate SEO? Put a simple-to-follow, step-by-step plan into place that won't drive you crazy and should improve your results.
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Referrals as an SEO Strategy: Backlinks
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Creating SEO-Friendly Content for Real Estate
Once you've put in the time to assess and update your website with SEO in mind, the second piece of the puzzle is creating content that can drive traffic to your site. One of the best ways to do this is to have a blog component built into your site, with plugins, such as Yoast, that make posting SEO-friendly content easy. Once you've got the capability on your site for blogging, the key is to regularly post content that people want to read and see. Luckily, most real estate pros are neighborhood experts and creating local content is one of the best ways to reinforce your knowledge and credibility while also cornering the market on your chosen keywords.
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SEO for Real Estate: Does It Still Matter?
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Natural Language Processing for Real Estate
Natural Language Processing (NLP), as a subcategory of artificial intelligence, has continued to grow in its practice by the real estate industry. This growth is evident as seen by the proliferation of chatbots on real estate websites and new innovative products like Homebot, which won the 2018 Realogy FWD Innovation Award. Let's dip into Natural Language Processing and how to use it for SEO in real estate blog articles.
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Resources for Your Real Estate SEO Toolbox
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Google Flags Websites that Are Not HTTPS as Not Secure
It's for your clients. It's for your security. It's for Google. Our team heard "rumblings" as early as two years ago from Google strongly "advocating" website owners move to HTTPS encryption to make the Internet secure and protect the privacy of your users. If you have not yet acquired an SSL certificate, you may have already noticed Google has flagged your website as "Not Secure" in Chrome.
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Why Was My IDX Real Estate Website Delisted From Google?
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Real Estate News Curation for Your Website
Which two different audiences have a common interest that can make real estate news very important for your website? Your prospects and Google is the answer, and here's why. Google can index your website, and every now and then their bots will drop by to see if there's anything new. If Google begins to see regular new content, their bots will increase the frequency of their visits and you'll pick up some SEO clout. As for your prospective buyers and sellers, a great many of them will appreciate one place to get relevant real estate news, especially when it's localized as well as national. Active buyers, sellers, and investors want to know what's happening that can influence their next sale, purchase, or investment. The good news is that there is an easy and free way to have fresh content news delivered to your website regularly.
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6 Tips to Improve Real Estate SEO
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Google Isn't Dead! Why Real Estate Searches Are Surging
We've got three words for you: Google. Isn't. Dead. With the rise of third-party real estate apps, there's some question about whether Google is still the go-to for buyers and sellers. Sure, Google drives 100 billion website visits each month — but is any of that actually real estate related?
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Talking Your Way to Better Real Estate SEO
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5 Black Hat SEO Tactics You Should Avoid
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most powerful, essential tools for growing your real estate business online, and it's also a big business in its own right. Many SEO providers offer reputable, white hat SEO services that help grow your business without damaging your reputation, relying on their in-depth knowledge of how search engines work and what Google's algorithms want to see from high-ranked websites. However, you'll also want to be aware of marketers who try to cheat the system by using black hat SEO tactics, which are ultimately bad for business. Let's take a closer look at five black hat SEO tactics to avoid as you grow your real estate business online.
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Link Building 101: Learn How to Earn Quality Backlinks for Your Website
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How Google's New SEO Updates will Affect Your Business
Google has once again updated their SEO protocols. Page speed has been important to desktop searches for some time, but now page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile devices, too. Read on to learn how this will affect you and what steps you can take to improve your website's SEO ranking. How will this affect me?
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Two Big Changes to Google Impacting Real Estate Brokerages
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SEO Tips for Optimizing YouTube Real Estate Videos
Struggling with real estate video SEO? We've got the information you need to tap into YouTube's masses. The second largest search engine by volume (after Google), a winning marketing strategy for optimizing your content via YouTube search is one of the easiest ways to maximize ROI from your video marketing campaign. Simple, Effective Tactics for Optimizing YouTube Real Estate Video SEO:
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What Are the Benefits of Google My Business?
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Tips and Tools to Boost Your Firm's Website Traffic
By Dane O'Leary In 2018, just about everyone has a website. While this means there's incredible amount of real estate information available online, it inevitably means a lot of competition. Is there anything you can do to draw more attention — and traffic — to your real estate website? Fortunately, there is. Whether you're running a website with local listings for a brokerage or you're spearheading a real estate blog, there are a number of things you can do to help your website stand-out from the crowd. In fact, we've compiled four tips and tools that you can use right now to boost traffic to your site.
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What Changes in Video SEO Means for Real Estate
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Google Loves Video – Are You Leveraging That Love?
On the fence about real estate video marketing? You could be missing out on an advertising goldmine. In online search results, top U.S. search engine Google gives preference to websites with video content, listing sites with video higher in page rankings. What's more, sites with video have lower bounce rates, keeping potential clientele right where you want them – with you. Used the right way, video can be a game changer, improving SEO, boosting website rankings and steering customers to your site. Six Ways to Target Your Audience
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3 Tips to Generate More Website Traffic
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[Infographic] How to Optimize Your Business for Better SEO
One of the best ways to draw more buyers and sellers to your website is by improving your position in search rankings. On a recent webinar, Kelly Shelton, SEO Expert and VP of Marketing at Boostability, shared his advice to bring more (and better) leads to your website. Check out the infographic below and then catch the full webinar for more tips!
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SEO vs. PPC: Which is best for you?
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Trust and Time: The Two Ts of SEO
You've probably heard the saying, "Anything worth doing is worth doing correctly." This is true when it comes to implementing a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy for your real estate business. With the proper strategy in place, you will see your business reach new heights by making its way to the first page of any search engine. However, there is no quick and easy shortcut to real results. If you want to get to the first page of search results, you have to be prepared for the long ride ahead. Why does SEO take so long?
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404 Errors: Do They Affect Your SEO?
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What the Heck Are Google Sitelinks and Why Do I Need Them?
When your site is the no. 1 search result, you have a chance at having Google sitelinks appear below your listing. This is what they look like: Sitelinks are shortcuts or a table of contents meant to help users navigate your site quickly, as opposed to having to load the homepage first. Google analyzes the structure of your website to find the most popular and useful content, and presents them as the shortcuts that appear below your search result. What Benefit Are Google Sitelinks?
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How to Optimize Your Video Strategy for SEO
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How Blog Posts Provide Top Placement for Wardley Real Estate
Creating a blog for your real estate website is one of the best things you can do to attract leads to your business because it allows you to: Demonstrate your real estate expertise to the right audience, Keep your business top-of-mind with prospects by consistently sharing content to your social media pages that is appealing to your audience, and Drive traffic to your website. Since most people today are using the Internet to house hunt, it only seems natural to use online marketing strategies to keep interested parties coming back to your real estate business for more—and that's exactly what blogging can do for you.
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3 Real Estate SEO Myths to Avoid
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25 Ways to Up Your SEO Game and Drive Traffic to Your Real Estate Brokerage's Website
A Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is needed to increase your web presence and allow you to be found by prospective clients. An unplanned approach to putting content on your website will not rank you first on Google. Chris Grozdon of Dash-SEO recently wrote a great article on SEO tips for real estate. From his article, we have picked 25 tips that will help your brokerage's website get found in search engines and in front of prospective home owners and sellers!
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How REMAX Results Boosted Website Search Traffic by 25 Percent
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7 SEO Tips to Drive Traffic and Leads to Your Real Estate Website
It's one of the most stressful purchases anyone can ever make. Home ownership can be a confusing, overwhelming and exacerbating experience for so many. Having a real estate professional next to them can help ease some of these pressures throughout the entire process. At some point in the hunt for a home, almost every single buyer will turn to the internet for some guidance. In fact, the very first step nearly half of home buyers take when starting their search for a new home is searching online – that's before they even contact a real estate agent for help. They want to see what's available and possibly even get an idea of what their current home may be worth. Don't miss the opportunity to be their guide on the pathway towards their next home. Use these seven SEO boosting tips to help drive more traffic and leads to your real estate website, so you can build your business and help ease the stresses of this gigantic purchase. Seven SEO tips to implement today:
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Local Prospecting with Search Engine Optimization
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[Infographic] Do You Know Where You're Showing Up in Search Results?
Is your website showing up in search results when a new buyer or seller goes online? If you're not getting the results you want, do you know what it takes to move your website's placement in search results? Check out this infographic to discover the who, what, where, why, and how questions you should be asking to improve your search results.
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5 Things Learned from Launching a New Website
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4 Actionable SEO Tips for Real Estate Pros
If you can believe it, we're halfway through the year. If you're the go-getter type, you may have asked yourself, "Where am I on my goals?" If you haven't gotten very far on generating more leads, growing sales or increasing website traffic, don't worry — we've got your back! It's not too late to crush your goals and make this year the best yet, by stepping up your SEO (search engine optimization) game. Just what is SEO, and can it really help me? Simply put, SEO is a process of getting FREE traffic from search engine results. It's a tool that helps those in need find what they're looking for. So, when users ask a question on search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, SEO gives you the opportunity to provide the solution in the form of content. If you're still wondering what SEO gets you, it attracts potential clients to your website which could = new business! Specifically for real estate professionals, online search has become an increasingly important part of lead generation, with 44 percent of recent buyers ranking online search as their first step in the buying process. So, when it comes to your website, you want to make sure that you're nailing it with SEO best practices. We'll spare you tips on decoding the Google algorithm, and instead provide you with four actionable real estate SEO hacks that you can easily implement today:
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How to Optimize Tags as Keywords to Boost Search Rankings
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How to Optimize Tags as Keywords to Boost Search Rankings
Seeing lackluster results from video usage in real estate marketing? It may be tag optimization issues. Does that sound Greek to you? No worries. We'll cover it here. What are Tags? The term 'tag' can be confusing, because it refers to two types: 1. Public tagging. This is how viewers label, organize, and manage their YouTube content. 'Crafts,' 'Recipes,' 'Workouts,' or 'Homes to See,' for example. (Viewers create their own.)
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6 Tips on Optimizing Your Real Estate Video for Local Searches
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Why Every Real Estate Website Needs SEO
Imagine building the biggest, most impressive house you can think of, and then choosing to plop it down in the middle of nowhere. This is a house that any buyer would fall head over heels for, except that it's located far from any roads, with lost hikers and woodland creatures the only foot traffic for miles. Building a beautiful, functional real estate website and skipping search engine optimization (SEO) is like building that impressive home in the middle of nowhere. No matter how much valuable content and inspired design your website contains, it can't benefit your business unless people know how to find it. Real Estate Marketing Must-Haves: SEO for Real Estate Websites Even if you're new to SEO for real estate, you probably have a pretty good idea of how valuable search engines are for finding what you need, when you need it. When you need directions, want to find something fun to do, or wish to research a neighborhood, where do you go first? If you answered Google, then you're on the right track. Real estate clients search for homes, agencies, and REALTORS® the same way, so SEO is really a way to help your target audience find you. Earning a consistent position on the first page of search results is one of the best ways to grow your real estate business online.
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SEO or Search Marketing For Brokers
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How to Successfully Add SEO to Your Real Estate Website
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important components of an effective online marketing plan because it makes it easier for prospects and clients to find your business online. Most search engine users don't bother with links beyond the first page of search results and the competition for position on that first page of results is intense. Our team has some tips, tactics and advice to help turn your real estate website into an SEO powerhouse. The Most Important SEO Tactics for Your Real Estate Website The most convenient time to update your SEO is when you are building a new website or working your way through a website redesign. Even if you don't plan on making major changes to your site, there are still plenty of smaller steps that you can institute right now to give your SEO a welcome boost. Create Content – Your website visitors want to see your expertise and search engines do, too. Creating custom content is a huge part of effective online marketing and provides a perfect place to integrate other SEO mainstays like targeted keyword phrases, social engagement, video content and appealing images. Mobile Browsing – If your website isn't optimized for mobile audiences, then you're missing out on a huge chunk of your audience. A mobile-friendly website is good for SEO and a must-have for marketing purposes. Keyword Research – Understanding the terms that people use to search for real estate in your area allows you to integrate popular keyword phrases naturally into your website and real estate content. Keyword research should always be an ongoing process because the most popular phrases evolve over time.
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The Who, What, Where, Why, and How of SEO for Real Estate
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Why Does Real Estate Blogging Work?
With real estate blogging, when someone asks, "Does it work?" they mean, "Does it generate business?" It does. Here's why You build trust and earn new clients through reliable counsel. Your potential clients have questions. You have the answers. Your blog is the vehicle that delivers the answers to your potential clients. It delivers them through Google. It delivers them through email. It delivers them through social media. You build trust and earn new clients through reliable counsel. The formula is simple For Google: The more you create >> the more you are "spidered" >> the more you are "indexed" >> the more you're found >> the more you're read >> the more you're trusted >> the more new business you generate. For Social Media: The more you create >> the more you are shared >> the more you're found >> the more you're read >> the more you're trusted >> the more new business you generate.
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Why SEO Is So Important to Brokerages
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Google My Business: What Every Real Estate Pro Needs to Know
You may know you're open for business, but have you told your clients and prospects? Google My Business offers a simple way to boost the online visibility of your business. Read on to learn about the benefits of Google My Business and how to get started using it. What is Google My Business? A 2014 study by Conductor showed that 64 percent of website visitors came from organic search. This means potenial clients searching for your business in Google should be able to find it quickly and easily. That's where Google My Business comes in handy. Never again will your clients and prospects have to hunt for your business URL among random search results. They can simply search for your business through Google search or Google Maps. There, they will find a consolidated listing of information relevant to your business. This includes the essentials like your business name, address, phone number, hours and directions. But it also includes extras like your rating among customer reviewers.
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5 Real Estate SEO Hacks
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SEO 101: Using Social Networking to Boost Website Traffic
On its own, writing stellar content for your real estate site isn't going to make any money for you. You'll need to figure out a way to attract potential clients to your website, who can be converted into dollars. This should be the ultimate goal of every business. SEO stands for search engine optimization and it's exactly what it sounds like. It's how optimized your blog or your website is for the search engines that are crawling it when someone types in a search query. It's a huge factor in making sure you get traffic to your site and, more specifically, that it's the right kind of traffic—people who are looking for you to solve their problems. If your real estate website isn't generating a profit, then you need to ask yourself some hard questions – what benefit does it really have for your business? No need to panic if you are still waiting for a breakthrough. I'll cover some of the most important SEO factors and some hands-on techniques that you can put to use right away to increase the traffic to your website. Promotion Is King One way to promote your website is by paying for online ads in hope of snatching a client once they land on your page. This model can be a huge money pit. But as soon as you stop paying for online ads, usually the traffic to your site drops like a rock. Frustratingly, it cost me more to lure people to my website than the revenue that they brought in. This was the time when I decided that I was done with paying for traffic and that I wanted people to be organically interested in my website. My favorite and most rewarding solution to paid marketing is content marketing or blogging. While it is easier said than done to "just create great content," it's possible to build on that concept. The truth is that there is way more to SEO than just writing content. One piece of the puzzle is that you'll need to get others' attention by proactively positioning your articles to be seen by them. It's really no different from dating. You can be the best looking person with all sorts of positive attributes. But if you never leave your home, it's going to be hard to meet other people for a date!
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How Long Should a Real Estate Blog Post Be?
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BHHS Homesale Realty Hits Bullseye with Technology
Executive Summary Homesale Realty is a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices franchise serving the markets of Northern Maryland and Central Pennsylvania. The company was ranked 24th in 2015 with 12,694 sides and $2.38 billion in volume. In 2016, they grew to 13,500 sides and $2.6 billion in volume. The company has over 27 offices and 1,200 sales associates. The WAV Group encountered Homesale through a blind assessment of the top 100 real estate firms that revealed an impressive technology offering. Homesale Realty has conquered comprehensive real estate technology integration, driving their increasing success. The company's growth is striking, given that they underwent a franchise brand shift from Prudential to Berkshire Hathaway. Such realignment typically causes significant website setbacks, but for Homesale the conversion has been well executed, and the company continues to experience online and sales growth. This demonstrates that companies can successfully transition franchises without taking a major business hit. The core of Homesale Realty's technology footprint is served by Delta Media Group. Delta Media Group provides their broker website, co-branded agent websites, direct feeds to syndication websites, intranet, and single sign-on to applications like DotLoop for transaction management. In addition, Delta Media Group delivers strategies for mobile, social media, and search marketing. The company operates this technology footprint on top of five disparate multiple listing services and their vendors are merging data to power all of the tools for the agents through one seamless platform. In this case study, we review the technology footprint of Homesale to illustrate how this broker is executing many of the most important online marketing trends today. Our methodology focused on interviews with the company's Director of IT, Sandra Trocccoli, and Chief Financial Officer, Rod Messick, as well as Delta Media Group Chief Executive Officer, Mike Minard. We found that there is a tight working relationship between the management of Homesale and Delta Media Group as exemplified by weekly management calls.
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Using Local SEO to Get More Leads for Your Real Estate Business
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How Google Search Results Work for Real Estate
When a potential client wants to learn more about your real estate business, research the communities where you sell homes, or browse the latest listings, their favorite search engine will often be their first stop. And Google is far and away the most popular search engine, with little meaningful competition on the horizon. So, what does that mean for your real estate business? Put simply, showing up in prime position in Google's search results is critical to generating qualified leads online, and search engine optimization is a must-have tool for growing your business. While you likely have experience using Google yourself, you may not be familiar with the details of why search results appear how they do. The team at Delta Media Group has you covered, with a guide to the terms and tactics you need to understand for successful SEO. Searching for Answers: A Guide to Google Real Estate Search Results The basics of Google's search results layout will likely be familiar to most readers. After you type your query and click "Google Search," you're led to a page of ordered search results. The most prominent results, featured in the left column, are known as "organic" results, a term we'll cover ahead. There are ten organic results on each page, along with paid search results, which can appear on the top and bottom. Organic Search Results An organic search result essentially depends on what Google's algorithms identify as the best match for your search query, without taking paid advertising into account. There are ten organic results on each page, and search users are much more likely to click links that make it onto the first page of search results. Even within the first page, users are more likely to click links at the top of the page than the bottom.
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The Death of Desktop
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Can Your Clients Find You Online? (7/21)
Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 9:00 AM PDT Back in 1986 (30 years ago), if a past client wanted to find your contact information, chances are they used a phone book to look up your information. Today, when a customer wants to find you, they go online, but a recent poll of our readers found over 75% of real estate professionals don't have a strategy for getting found by their customers online! For those lacking an online search strategy, they are essentially forgotten by their customers because they aren't showing up in searches. Getting found by your customers requires an Online Search Strategy. Join us on Thursday's free training on tips and simple, effective strategies to get on Google and the most popular search engines. Here's what you will learn: How to get on the first page of Google Search and impress people who find you online How to get your site or landing pages to show up on the first page of search results for highly specific, neighborhood searches. Easy ways to improve your presence (and look professional and competent) ... even if you don't have a website! How to get your listings to show up on the first page of search results when someone searches for them In typical Paperless Agent fashion, you'll get real examples, actionable tips, and proven practices for getting better results Valuable insights from a live Q&A session with two industry experts where you can get your most pressing real estate marketing questions answered! Register now!
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Real Estate SEO Do's and Don'ts
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Tips for Getting Leads for Your Real Estate Website
Do you want your real estate website to generate more qualified leads for your business? Of course you do! Even if your website is running like a well-oiled machine, there's always room for improvement. Generating more leads through your website depends in part on the stuff you see – social media links, content marketing, search engine optimization – but also on some of the less visible aspects of online marketing. Of course, quality is just as important as quantity, so you also want to make sure that you're generating leads who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. Looking for More Leads? It All Starts with an Optimized Website! Ahead, we'll cover some simple tips to help make sure that your website is generating leads to its fullest potential. The team at Delta Media Group has extensive experience in real estate marketing, and we're happy to share our knowledge with you to help grow your business. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – If you want potential leads to find your website, you need to show up where they're most likely to be looking. Search engines are major drivers of online traffic, so ranking well for local real estate searches is a huge part of marketing and lead generation. SEO also allows you to lock on to the region that you serve, so that you won't be competing for attention with real estate businesses outside of your area. Social Media Integration – Social media is an excellent place to find qualified leads because you can learn so much about a person from their social profile. Make it easy for tech-savvy prospects to find your website by maintaining a social media presence, and linking your website content back to your social media pages. That way a prospect can either contact you directly through social, or find your website easily.
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Ready, Set, Keyword: Writing Effective Content for SEO (6/29)
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What Questions You Should Ask to Help Drive Your Real Estate Marketing Plan
Online marketing is a vital tool for success in today's connected real estate market, but it's easy to feel a bit overwhelmed if you're just starting out with your online marketing plan. There are acronyms galore, new terms to learn, and tools to discover, so it's important to pick a marketing team that keeps you informed. Developing effective online real estate marketing strategies and choosing the right team to implement them starts with asking the right questions. We've put together a collection of questions that will help you pick the right marketing strategies for your agency. We'll cover some of the key basics, but be sure to add your own questions to the list, too! Who is my target audience? Choosing the right marketing tools starts with understanding your audience, so your real estate experience gives you a head start with this question. If you cater to high-end, luxury home buyers, you'll want your online marketing to strike a different tone than you'd use to catch the eye of bargain hunters. A general idea of your audience is perfectly fine to get started, because online marketing is adaptable. You can always get more specific as you learn which tools work best for your business. What is search engine optimization (SEO), and do I need it? SEO is one of the most important online marketing tools, but it can also be one of the most intimidating for those new to online marketing. The basic idea is that your marketing team will optimize your website, blog, and marketing materials to ensure a high ranking in search results. Landing on the first page of Google search results is key to reaching a wide audience, so SEO is one online marketing tool that every real estate agency needs.
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How to Create an Online Reputation That Gives Clients Confidence! (6/9)
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Why Local SEO Is Important for the Real Estate Industry
Real estate is ultimately a local business. You sell homes in a specific geographic area, even if your clients come from all over the map. And those clients will use search engines to find the best properties and real estate agencies in your area. So for real estate agents, few marketing tools make a bigger difference than local search engine optimization (SEO). Ahead, we'll take a closer look at what local real estate SEO is, how it works, and why it's an especially good fit for real estate marketing. Let Business Find You: Local SEO for Real Estate Agents Local SEO – like any type of SEO – is designed to improve your visibility in search results, and a first-page search ranking is key to finding new clients online. Landing at the top of the first page is even better. The challenge is that other real estate businesses in your area want that prime search position as well, so reaching the top requires effort, and a plan. Local real estate SEO leverages the knowledge of how real estate shoppers use search engines to anticipate the client's needs, optimize your website for the most popular search terms, and bring new business to your digital door. Real estate is a natural fit for local real estate SEO because geography is part of nearly every search query related to real estate listings. Local SEO helps you connect with shoppers at different points of the purchasing cycle, from early, general research on your city to locking in on specific homes in specific neighborhoods. When a prospect searches "homes in [your town]," you want them to land on your content, real estate listings, and social media pages. By connecting with shoppers in the midst of their research, you get an opportunity to show why your real estate agency is the right choice for their needs. Since these are people who have already demonstrated some interest in homes in your area, leads from local SEO are better qualified than most.
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How SEO Can Help Recruit New Agents
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4 Ways to Monitor the Competition Online
Admit it--you've Googled yourself. At some point, most of us have. As a business person, this is actually a great idea. It allows you to monitor your online reputation, gauge the success of your SEO efforts, and even do a little damage control, if necessary. But here's a question--have you Googled your competition? If you haven't, they may rank higher in search engines than you and you won't even know it. (And if that's the case, you can bet consumers are calling them instead of you because they're easier to find.) Search engine rankings are only one way to monitor other agents in your market. All day long, people are tweeting, posting, and sharing things with each other on social media and other places on the web. By "listening" in on your competition, you can get a better idea of who they're doing business with, how they're marketing themselves, and what others are saying about them. If you want to keep your sleuthing on the down low, there are plenty of easy ways to do that. Here are four: 1. Use Facebook Interest Lists Facebook is an important marketing channel, so you'll want to keep an eye on what others are doing in this space. If you don't want others to know whose real estate business pages you're watching, there's an alternative to "liking" a page. Simply create an Interest List and add any pages you want to keep an eye on to that list. Since you're not actually liking the page, it won't show up on your profile. Create an Interest List of any competitors whose pages you want to monitor. Facebook will automatically update you on activity on your list. To view all recent posts from list members, simply click the list's name. You can find it on the left sidebar on Facebook's main page under the subhead "Interests." This is the first of two "undercover" Facebook strategies (see #4 for the other).
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The RIGHT Way to Build Your SEO
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Is Your Brokerage Wasting Your Real Estate Leads and Face Time?
We talk a lot about how to drive more real estate leads and more visibility. One question you might be facing right now is whether you really are taking advantage of the leads and visibility that you currently have. Let's say you are currently getting leads from Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com or another real estate portal or network. You also get leads from your sphere of influence or referral base. You may even do some pay-per-click or have some naturally-generated leads on your website. The question is, what real conversion rate are you seeing right now and where are your inefficiencies? If you are busy tracking leads in your email and on scraps of paper, the typical conversion rate runs about one-half of 1%. The trick to taking advantage of the leads you have, as well as driving more conversion out of new leads, is all about well-placed automation and strict tracking. There are four things you should have in place in order to achieve the highest conversion rates on current and new leads. 1. Complete Real Estate Lead-Generation Strategy This seems like a total no-brainer in a lot of ways. There are, however, many brokerages who look at their strategies and realize they have been relying on only one or a couple lead sources, but only one channel. The reality of real estate lead generation is you need to make sure you have the right channels and that you are getting high enough quality to drive your bottom line.
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A Look Inside Google’s Page Quality Rating
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How Do You Rank? 5 Tips for Real Estate SEO Success
When it comes to real estate lead generation strategies, many agents seem to have a love/hate relationship with search engine optimization (SEO). At times it can feel like you're chasing an elusive dream. "What does Google want?" Outside of the algorithm-developing nerve center, no one may ever completely know. What we do know is, we all want to reap the reward of having qualified leads delivered to us via organic search, and when our tried-and-true efforts stop producing, our instinct is to jump ship and seek out the next promising opportunity. But here's where most real estate professionals get it wrong. Experienced SEO wranglers have learned that it takes patience to tame the beast. And patience does pay off, especially when it comes to Google. According to NAR, 90% of home searches begin online, and over the past 4 years, real estate-related Google searches have grown 253%. So, what does that mean for you? In a nutshell, leads. SEO leads are 8 times more likely to close than outbound leads and cost around 61% less. Think about it like this: investing in SEO is like buying a home instead vs. renting. You're building equity on a previous investment instead of paying a fixed rent for a place to live, with nothing to show for it when you leave. The key is knowing which methods to apply — and which to abandon — to improve your results. With that being said, here are some SEO best practices to consider when implementing your next online marketing campaign. Conduct frequent keyword research The competition for keywords is fierce so tightly target your keywords on a specific area. 69% of home shoppers begin their research with a local keyword phrase, like "Phoenix realtor." Use Google's Keyword Planner to gain an overall picture of what target keywords should drive the most traffic to your site, and how tough it will be to rank well for those keywords.
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The Mobilegeddon Effect
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Adding Quality Content to Your Website
In a recent series of articles, Homes.com's VP of Search Marketing, Grant Simmons explained Why the Future of SEO is "UnOptimized." If you want more conversions on your real estate website, you don't just need more traffic, you need "more better" traffic. The key is to attract visitors that have come to your website because of specific triggers and/or tickles that have prompted them to enter the real estate transaction funnel. Simmons explains that "it's all about the user: their needs, wants, desires, and the ability to satisfy those needs through effective and targeted content that considers both the intent and context of the query they type in a search box." So what kind of content should you be adding to your website? First, it is important to consider the likely triggers or tickles that would start your ideal consumers down the sales funnel. According to Simmons, triggers are the needs that force or prompt a consumer to act, while tickles are tactics and content that you create in order to entice a consumer to want to do something. With these two paths to action in mind, the next step is to ask yourself what is your niche or area of expertise? Identifying this will lead you to discover which needs you can solve and which desires you can tickle.
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5 Ways Your Local Landing Pages Can Boost SEO
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Easy Website Tips to Make Google Happy
Question: When prospective home buyers and sellers search online for listings in your area, does your website appear in search results? How about when you Google your company's name? Do you come up on the first page? (Go ahead, Google away. We'll wait.) If you're not getting the search engine placement you want, you're not alone. While the algorithms that search engines use to determine search results change all the time, there are a few things you can do to make sure your website isn't actively working against itself. Here are 5 website tips that will help you secure a higher ranking: 1. Go mobile-friendly or bust! As of last April, Google made a huge change to its algorithm. Basically, for your website to even appear in search results when prospects search from a phone or tablet, your website has to be mobile-friendly. 2. Use words wisely. Keywords, of course. The days of keyword-stuffing may be long gone, but you should still optimize different pages of your website for different keywords, so people looking for the information you offer will be able to find it.
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Have You Been Crawled Lately?
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5 Ways to Use Local Information to Power Solutions
Local information can make your business more efficient and create a better experience for your future customers. Here are five ways local information can help you power your solutions: Boost ranking in search engines Local landing pages can help reinforce geographic keywords (keywords based on location). What that means is when someone searches "insurance" or "home insurance" along with a geography like city (Phoenix), state (Minnesota) or neighborhood (Upper West Side), your brand will move up higher in the search engine because of all the local pages you've created. As you build out localized landing pages, you can reinforce and replicate those geographic keywords on potentially million of pages. They'll be in titles, descriptors, and throughout the copy on the page. Build out landing pages to create an edge over the competition in organic search ranking. Capture leads for your clients Tools that provide estimates on a property's value, often called Automated Valuation Models, are a great way to provide value to visitors in exchange for their contact information. By incorporating a tool like this into your application or software, you can effectively capture leads for your clients. The valuation tools are easy to implement and extremely effective in lead capture.
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Optimizing Local Landing Pages for Google
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Content is King, Queen and the Joker in the Deck
You can find the "content is king" quote all over the Web in articles about SEO simply because it's true. As Google and the other engines have evolved, they have become much more effective in gleaning the meaning of page content, how it relates to the overall site subject matter, and how visitors perceive its value. How does Google know what visitors think about your content? If you're using Google Analytics, which is a great way for you to know what your visitors are doing on your site, Google definitely knows how long they stay on a page and where they go from there. If they stay on a page a while, then the assumption is that content of value is there and visitors are reading it. If they take links from that page to other pages on your site, the assumption is that you're helping the visitor learn more about what they came there to see. Even if you're not using Analytics, you can bet that Google knows what they're doing anyway after they arrive from a Google search. Google's algorithms are highly secret and very complex, but we do know that Google is learning a lot about individual user preferences and Web activities and applying that knowledge to large groups of users based on common destinations and surfing activities. The more complex the algorithms and analytics measurements, the more detailed the profile of your site and content. It's no longer about packing keywords into a page over and over again. In fact, you'll get penalized very quickly for "keyword stuffing" these days. Google has made giant leaps in understanding what constitutes valuable content for the site visitor. One of the newer and very powerful content analysis tools used by Google is LSI, Latent Semantic Indexing.
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Realtor.com's Open Letter to Their Broker Partners
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Mobilegeddon: Google Set to Release Algorithm Update
In just a few days, Google is about to unveil a new algorithm update, one that's getting a lot of attention for good reason. It's suppose to be the one of the biggest changes yet and will impact more sites than Panda or Penguin ever did. This time it's targeting mobile. The "mobilegeddon" update (to which it's become referred) is intended to help users easily find relevant, high quality websites that are optimized for viewing when on a mobile device. Starting April 21st, Google will begin to use "mobile-friendliness" as a ranking signal for mobile searches. Websites that aren't mobile-friendly could see a dramatic decline in mobile traffic. On a panel at SMX Munich, Google's Zineb Ait Bahajji stated that this will not impact desktop searches. Even if your site isn't ready for mobile, you shouldn't see a decline in desktop search traffic. (Breathe a small sigh of relief!) However, this update is just the beginning. Cindy Krum, from MobileMoxie, predicts "Google will be launching a new mobile crawler (probably with an Android user-agent) that can do a better job of crawling single-page web apps, Android apps, and maybe even Deep Links in iOS apps." There is a strong possibility that Google will be able to rank sites higher if the user already has the site's app, or if an app has strong ratings and/or a lot of downloads.
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Now more than ever, it’s critical that you have outstanding mobile presence
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Tips: Improve Your Site’s Page Ranking
Your business website is the main hub of your online presence. More than likely, this is the best way to drive leads in your area, especially if you're not paying for any form of internet advertising. Problem is, your real estate website can get buried on search engine sites, stopping from people from finding you and your business. Scroll down for some tips to help get your website higher on search results. Make Videos Videos rank higher in most search engine sites, so when people are looking for homes in your area, video is often the first thing they will see. Because of the high camera quality on most cell phones, creating videos can be cheap to produce and easy to make. You can even edit them right from your phone with some free apps. After you make a video, make sure to upload it to your website, blog, YouTube, Vimeo, and all social media accounts. This approach is like a shotgun, allowing your video to hit potential clients anywhere they are. Let the Search Engines Know You can't get leads to find your website if it can't be found in major search engines. If your site is new, you may have to let the large search engines, Google, Yahoo, etc., know that your website exists! These engines will pick up your site eventually, but this can take awhile. Cut out the waiting and submit your business URL manually. Submit your URL to Google Submit your URL to Yahoo
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Optimizing Real Estate Lead Generation through Search
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How Can SEO Boost Your Real Estate Clientele?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO in short, is a strange business. Certain practices of SEO can render your site as spam, placing you, your site and your brand on Google's naughty list. Other practices, when properly instituted, can help bring your rankings and your potential clientele through the roof. Learning the ins and outs of this intricate web of Internet-trolling spiders and robots can be somewhat confusing, and disheartening to any real estate professional that wants to get with the 21st century. However, starting with a basic foundational knowledge can be the key to opening up your world to a myriad of professional possibilities. Here's a brief starter guide to SEO: What is SEO? Search engine optimization is the process of building a website so that it becomes one of the top results of a search engine's yield for particular keywords. When you type keywords into Google's search box, thousands of pages of results will appear. Most users of Google hardly go beyond the first page of results, making your presence on that first page absolutely critical. How does SEO work? Understanding how SEO works starts with understanding how search engines work in general. Search engines such as Google operate essentially as answer machines. How do they come up with answers to all the questions of the world? Intricate research.
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Cut the Middle Man Out
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Google’s Push for a More Mobile Internet
I'll admit that I don't particularly like to use social media myself for my own business purposes, but it is often a necessary avenue for many. Much like for my own day to day purposes, I don't have a great deal of personal need to rank well in Google (most of the Gordon Wallaces in the world appear to be either footballers or Physicists). But while I don't have a particular need to benefit from these myself, I do have to be aware of changing trends and popular topics as they flare up in order to properly assist the direction of our own products as well as answer client questions or concerns. So, let's talk a little bit about Google's (seemingly) new push for a more mobile-friendly internet. Whenever I talk about Google, I always feel the need to preface things by reiterating to the audience that they are a business, and as a business need to generate a profit. They still primarily do this through their ad revenue (more on that topic here if you like). Though they are currently experimenting with a subscription based model to replace Adwords on certain participating sites, with the volume of traffic they receive to Google.com you're not going to see that revenue mix changing dramatically any time soon. So, how do they keep the traffic flowing to Google.com and keep their revenue up? Keep a positive user experience going – and on mobile that means highlighting sites as "mobile friendly" before you click through.
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Two Content Tricks for Keeping Google Happy
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Real Estate SEO – It's Better than the "Good Old Days"
Taking a trip back in Internet SEO time, it's easy to think fondly of how we attacked Search Engine Optimization in the earlier days of development of Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft (before it was Bing). You just had to use the same keyword phrases over and over (and over), and you could get a URL onto the first page of search results. We didn't worry so much about the site visitor stumbling over that "MyTown real estate" phrase every few sentences, as we had accomplished our goal to get them to the site. That didn't last long, as black hat SEO practitioners used all kinds of tricks and hidden text to hijack our position. Unfortunately, many of those hijackers were grabbing off our leads and selling them back to us or our competitors. But, Google and the other search engines are very competitive, and their goal is to take searchers to highly relevant content that meets their information or buying needs. So, they just kept developing their algorithms, and this brings us to why things really are better today. Service and Information, Not Selling First, let's recognize that we're in a service business much more than sales. Start tracking your time and customer involvement in each deal that makes you money and you'll see that you're spending very little time selling and lots of time explaining, answering questions, and delivering information to get the deal closed successfully. Now, translate this knowledge to our websites, and we have the key to today's SEO approach. Sure, we still need to use keywords and phrases, particularly those that relate to our location, as our real estate isn't moving around. Visit Google's page about promoting a local business to get some valuable instruction in how to make Google aware of your location and help your site to climb in results for local searches, particularly those done from mobile devices. There is also information there about setting up your URLs and a sitemap to help Google to index your site and send you more focused traffic.
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5 Tips to Improve the Bounce Rate of Your Real Estate Website
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Three Easy Ways Social Media Can Improve Your SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is what helps your website and listings appear higher on a Google search. One simple way to improve your visibility is to strategically share content, and network on social media. Follow the three tips below to expand your online presence. 1.) Build a Google+ page for your business: Since Google+ is a Google product, when you "+1," online content, it serves as a social endorsement to your Google+ network. Below are some easy tips to use Google+ to boost your SEO: Create your brand's page. This is the easiest step! It is a basic, but an important building block to building your online identity. Keep your page visually compelling and post fresh content several times a week. Build your Google+ network. The larger your network, the greater the effect on your site's traffic and rankings. The more content you add to your Google+ feed, the more Google can index your posts and include in search results, improving your Google rankings. 2.) Build your business Pinterest page: Create a Pinterest page for your business to share your listings, blog content, business history, agent bios, news feed, or any other content that links back to your website. The more links that point back to your site from Pinterest, the better your search results will be. Make sure these images are visually compelling, so they have a higher chance of being repinned.
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SEO Insights: Sowing the Seeds of Content Keywords
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7 Tips for Writing Meta Descriptions for Your Website
1. Determine the benefit the end user will get from visiting the page People generally start a search with a specific question they want answered or a void they need filled. So to get the best result, you should keep this in mind. Read the page you are creating the meta description for and determine what answers this page is providing, or what needs the product or service on this page will satisfy. Then determine what features should be highlighted. How does this page benefit the user more than the other pages in the search results? This will be the foundation for your meta description. 2. Make sure your description is keyword rich Since you have already determined the benefit of the page, you will know what questions need to be answered or what voids need to be filled. This will make it easy to determine a list of words and combinations of these words that an average person will use to search for a page. These are your keywords. Remember to write the meta description carefully, replacing the words that will not be searched as often with the appropriate words from your keyword list, keeping in mind that it still needs to make sense to the end user. * Tip: make sure the same keywords have been used on the page itself where appropriate, being careful not to "keyword stuff." 3. Don't try to trick the user Your description of the page should not oversell it. This will only end in the user being disappointed and backing out of the page. If you feel that your page does not offer the value needed to bring more benefit to the end user than the other pages in the same search results, it would be best to first take the time to enhance the page.
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SEO and Marketing Tips From the Pros - Part 4
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SEO and Marketing Tips From the Pros - Part 3
This is the third article in a series on the value of SEO (read Part 1 and Part 2). Today, we're continuing the series with the second of three case studies that explores how top performing brokers leverage SEO for success in real estate. LIV Real Estate Sheldon Johnston – Broker/OwnerSara Mac Lennan – Director of MarketingEdmonton, ABhttp://www.edmontonrealestate.prohttp://www.livrealestate.ca This Edmonton, Alberta company was founded in 1975 by Ken Johnston as a small family owned and operated real estate firm. By 1985, the brokerage had grown to become one of the largest independent real estate brokerages in Edmonton. In 1993, headed by Ken's son Sheldon Johnston, the firm joined an international franchise, a relationship that lasted nearly 20 years. In 2005, Sara MacLennan joined the team to establish the brokerage's online marketing and is now the firm's marketing director. In 2012, the franchised brand was no longer a good fit for the personality of the brokerage. So Sheldon and Sara repositioned the firm, developed its brand strategy, and created its new identity: Liv Real Estate. People Are The Brand Sheldon and Sara love living in Edmonton and feel one of the reasons Liv Real Estate is so successful is because they truly embrace the great changes they see in their city. They feel that energy and spirit is very similar to their company. Sara explained, "The way I see it, every person in our company is an extension of our brand. We recruit agents that share the same values and come to work with the same energy and enthusiasm that Sheldon and I have. It's contagious." When I visited the Liv Real Estate website, I actually commented to Sara on their agents and the fact that the team looks so energized and happy. You can definitely feel the vibe on their website, which is a great marketing tool.
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SEO and Marketing Tips From the Pros - Part 2
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SEO and Marketing Tips From the Pros - Part 1
Search Engine Optimization It takes a lot of work – The days of building a website and thinking that you are going to get great leads from it, without doing anything else, are over. If you want to drive leads into your business from the web, you need to commit a significant amount of energy to its success. It requires an investment – SEO and PPC (pay-per-click) are not cheap, whether you do it all in-house or whether you pay someone to help manage the process for you. When you do it well, be assured, it will pay for itself many times over. If you are serious about building online leads, SEO and PPC should be line items in your budget every month. Good SEO is way more than your website – Look at any of the true SEO kings and queens and you will see certain things they all have in common. They have a broad marketing strategy, with multiple nets into their market to capture attention, brand recognition and leads. They almost always have professional help with SEO and/or PPC They put out great content, all the time. The content is meaningful and truly helpful. They blog and use social media to increase the readership and they build their online authority by being referenced by other reputable sites. They also build real connections in their communities in addition to online connections. Each helps to support the other. These connections don't just happen. Look behind these success stories and you will see well thought out strategies that work hand in hand with their website strategy.
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SEO Insights: Google, Algorithm Changes, and Article Lengths
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Google Doesn’t Love You Anymore
Google's long term motto is: "Do no evil" That may be all very well, but Google might as well claim that all's fair in love and war, right? Because every time they change their algorithm, some business or other crashes and burns. The latest casualty is RetailMeNot. Shares plunged 19% on news that their search page results were hammered by the new Panda 4 update. That's been an all too familiar story after almost every change Google has made. Unfortunately, if you have a business that relies on organic search results, even if you are currently doing well from it ... in the long run, it's not a sustainable business. For real estate agents, this is especially hard to swallow when the portals (Zillow, Realtor.com, etc.) dominate the results, followed closely by the paper brokerages (Movoto, Estately, etc.). The truth is that they all have bigger SEO and programming budgets that even a large brokerage can't match.
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Four Things That Every Real Estate Pro Should Know About SEO
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Leveraging SEO for Website Traffic and Lead Generation
Home buyers have an unprecedented amount of information at their fingertips. Computers, tablets, and mobile devices all make home listings instantly available. With such access, search engine optimization (SEO) is an increasingly vital strategy for cultivating qualified leads with a high conversion potential. Currently, 90% of home buyers rely on the internet as their primary source of information. More than half of home buyers will research online before seeking any other sources of information, and this research is driven by search engines. Real estate related web searches on Google grew 253% over the past 4 years according to a study by the National Association of REALTORS, while real estate searches on mobile devices have jumped 120% in just the past year. To maximize traffic opportunities, and therefore lead generation opportunities, real estate professionals need to implement a thorough SEO strategy. This process involves adapting your site so that it is likely to receive a higher ranking from the search engines and thus receive more attention from consumers. A page that is ranked #1 on a Google search receives 33% of clicks. The second position receives only 18%, and the numbers continue to fall from there. If a website is positioned after the first results page, 95% of searchers will never see it. The success of a webpage in driving leads is so strongly tied with its search engine rankings that SEO must be a priority for real estate professionals. There are countless factors that affect the search engine rankings each website receives. Some are easier to optimize than others, but there are some that can't be ignored and are fairly easy to implement.
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