Category Archives for "SEO"

Real Estate Blogging: 14 Profound Ideas to Increase Links to Your Blog

Linkbait. Just sounds evil.

But it’s not. It’s nothing more than a label for a content-rich, useful blog content…a blog post that people not only love to read, but more importantly, share.

“Once a great site, great application or trendy post is written about somewhere, it gets picked up and dragged across the web. Social tagging and popularity ranking sites (like the aforementioned Digg & help to give the document massive visibility to hundreds of sheep-like content creators, who’ll happily link to you.” Linkbaiting for Fun and Profit

In the end, linkbaiting is a beautiful thing. It bring you traffic. Attention. Subscribers. Prospects. And ultimately clients.

So, just launch just one of these linkbait ideas on your blog a month for a year…and there’s a good chance you’ll develop a large following.

Web 2.0 Applications

While mashups, maps and community-like apps tend to be shoe-ins for easy link bait, there’s a hitch. Not for the faint of heart. You must be–or must know–a software engineer. Greg Swann is the king here on this.

Collaborate on Blog Posts

Connect with some other bloggers to create content that’s useful, unique, urgent and ultra-specific. With multiple authors, you tend to get links from their sites to your site, thus drawing their audience to your site.

Expose Wicked Deeds

Uncovering a scandal is sensational. Somewhat suspect. At times, down right dirty. But oh so loved by everyone. Now, having said that, please…be professional. Expose the deed. And don’t make a judgement call. In fact, ask your audience what they think.

Top 10 Lists

Think David Letterman. Numbered lists with tips, advice and steps are great for drawing traffic and links. And it doesn’t have to be 10. It can be 100. Or even 1,000.

Real Estate Related Humor

Everyone–even the top-notch serious–need to bust a rib every once in awhile. But as with “Exposing Wicked Deeds” make sure you use your noggin’ here. Common sense should tell you NOT to use stereotypes or crude language.

Reviews of Events

Reviews of pubcrawls, conferences, product launches, speeches or seminars are exceptional examples of linkbait.

Interviews with Insiders

In today’s globally connected world, emailing an insider is a cinch. Frankly, you don’t have an excuse not to do this. It’s that easy. My recommendation: Email about five people. You raise your chances of getting a response from at least one. And if all five respond–you’ve just got yourself a series.

Surveys or Collections of Data

Survey Monkey makes collecting data child’s play. Simply whip up the survey and post the link. Within days you’ll have a smidgen of data you can build a good post around.

Film or Animation

This is a stretch…but worth a thought since videos tend to be easy targets for going viral. Make it real estate related, and you’re liable to wind up on a high-caliber web site. That’s a promise.

Charts, Graphs or Spreadsheets

For those closest Excel addicts, this is your chance. But don’t forget: you must examine and analyze the data. A summary is imperative.  Otherwise you come across as a numbers snob.

High Profile Criticism

Target someone or something that’s in the spotlight–and do a good, honest job of it–and you’re likely to draw links out of the woodwork.

Contests, Giveaways and Competitions

This may smack of coupon cutting (that is, low brow), but numbers and research are not on your side if you resist this idea: Contests, giveaways and competitions draw people. An insane amount of people.


There’s an art to trend setting. Or a science. Whatever you think it is, the bottom line is that it takes time. But picking up on a story before everyone else–even if it’s not identified at first–will make you a star. Just ask Matt Drudge.

Advice from Multiple Experts

If you’re creating an article that offers advice, pulling opinions from the well-known experts in the industry is a great way to make sure links flow your way. The experts themselves will often be inclined to link.

Did you find this article helpful? If so, leave a comment or subscribe to the real estate marketing blog.

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The 3 Reasons You Don’t Convert Online Visitors to Leads

The 3 Reasons Why You Don’t Convert Online Visitors to Leads

Let me start by asking you a question: How many holes are in your bucket?

I use the leaky bucket metaphor for a site that doesn’t successfully convert visitors into leads. Traffic fills the bucket but leaks out of holes.

Deal is, you need to plug as many of these holes as possible.

How many holes are in your bucket?

Great question to ask yourself as you lie awake at night worrying about when the next lead is going to come in.

There are many reasons websites don’t generate the anticipated amount of business. Below are three of the most basic, easiest to address and often overlooked issues.

No One Can Find It

Sorry to be so blunt: If you built a site but did not optimize it before submitting to search engines, don’t expect to be found.

Okay, you may be found for your name. But not for the important keywords that searchers will typically use when looking to buy or sell homes.

And how often does someone go looking for real estate by typing in your name? Unless they know you. But I bet you’ve fatigued that list out already.

You need new leads.

Now, not being found on the search engines may not be important to you if you have a big marketing budget and actively conduct campaigns to promote your site.

But the majority of agents aren’t in this position.

Most are seeking lower cost options for promoting their sites. Most are struggling to stay afloat. If this describes your situation, it’s time to seriously look into search engine optimization, especially local search.

It works, and it can be done with a limited budget AND it can provide a high return on investment.

Does it still pay to optimize for search engines? Both with your time and talent?

Yes. But take a balanced view. Sweat the small stuff and don’t sweat the small stuff. You’ll see what I mean.

Your Call to Action Is Missing or Buried in Your Site

What do you ultimately want your visitors to do? You’ve got to make that crystal clear. Watch a video? Sign up for your mailing list? Search for homes? Take some other actions?

This is especially important: Can visitors take these actions on or within one click of your home page?

Include a call to action on your Home page and at appropriate points throughout your site.

And I’m not talking about an implied sales message, but a clear and direct call to action. Take a hint from The Real Estate Tomato, RSS Pieces, Russell Shaw or Craig Forte.

Visit these websites and see if you can find their call to action quickly.

Many people shy away from using bold, clear call to actions because they don’t want to appear too aggressive.

The reality is your visitors want you to make your call to action clear to them. They want to know from the start what they can accomplish on your site.

I’m not suggesting that you include pushy sales pitches. But I am saying you need to pro-actively invite your visitors to order, request, subscribe, sign-up, click or visit.

Find a tone that is appropriate for your site and add at least one specific call to action to your site today.

Tip: Read this article from hubspot to help you create strong call to actions.

You Stink at Lead Follow-Up

Having a well defined strategy to follow up on any leads generated from your site is key to converting visitors to leads. But we all know this is easier said then done–especially if you have a tight budget.

When you are short on cash, dig deeper into your creativity. I suggest you use your creativity to find cost effective ways to follow up on your leads.

Our browse Bill Rice’s list of Top 100 Tips for Lead Management and Sales Success.

This is also priceless [kind of]: read this case study by MarketingSherpa on How to Use Auto-responders to Convert Skeptical Visitors [paid subscription, but 7 day free trial to read the article. It’s worth it. Trust me.].

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the real estate marketing blog.

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7 Concrete Steps to Improve Your Local Search Results

It’s old news that 84% of buyer’s start there search online [wink wink, nudge nudge], that offline advertising places are losing revenue that, that real estate blogging is hot as ever.

All of this begs the question of managing your online presence, winning the local search engine results war.

But it requires a proactive strategy.

What exactly is your marketing strategy for local search?

What Is Local Real Estate Search? And Why Should I Care?

If you live in Nashua, New Hampshire, for instance, and someone types in “Real estate Nashua New Hampshire,” that’s a local search.It doesn’t matter if they live in South Florida or West Washington or smack dab in Nashua. You want to dominate the search engine results page for those “local” keywords.

Here are seven concrete steps you can take to improve your local organic search results.

1. Make sure that you have a crawler friendly web site

The first step in improving your business performance in local search engines is to make sure that the search engines can easily crawl your site, and identify your business keywords.

This means you minimize the use of tables, and avoid deeply nested tables. Make sure that your business name and address are featured prominently on the page as text [in fact, make sure your business appears twice on every page] and not hidden from the crawlers in an image file.

Your page title should include your business name, address and key words. Place an “H1” header near the top of the page that also has your business name, address, and key words.

2. Add 10 pages of content to your website.
Any website that adds 10 pages of relevant content will get a boost in search engine visibility. It’s one of the easiest steps in an SEO campaign. Search engines love content. The more tightly focused, keyword rich [read: focused on your local market or markets] content you have on your website, the easier it is for search engines to understand what your website is about and categorize it appropriately.

A blog is a great way to add content to your site.

3. Use videos to supplement your search engine rankings

Great to see agents already seeing real world success with this strategy.

4. Take charge of your local listings

Yahoo! local search will give you a free 5-page Web site just for listing your company with their service.

Google’s local search service is more like a classified directory, but you still have direct control over how your listing appears.

But don’t stop with their Web listings. Take charge of the Yahoo! Mobile and Google Mobile services, too. People are increasingly using their cell phones to search the Internet.

5. Check out your competition

Do a local search for your business keywords (for example: houses, San Francisco, CA) and see who your competition is.

Find out who is linking to your competitors and investigate whether you can get the same sites to link to your business.

The links can be determined by going to Yahoo and typing “linkdomain:” and then your competitor’s web site (i.e. Click on “inlinks” in the results page.

Check inlinks for your site as well, and see who is linking to you. Make sure that the information on those sites is correct, and contact them if it isn’t.

6. Get your business rated

Ask your satisfied customers to write reviews and rate your business at Google, Yahoo, and MSN. More importantly, try to get them to use the same keywords that you use in the business description and on your web site as part of their review. Don’t add too many reviews over a short period of time, and make sure that the reviews are unique.

7. Solicit local links

Find the web directories that are local to your area, and ask them to link to your web site. Contact your local chambers of commerce and ask them to link to your business from their web site.


Of course there is much more you can do. And this only includes your organic search: I didn’t touch on paid online searches. But this is a great way to boost your local rankings if you haven’t done so yet.

I’d love to hear what you think.

Do You Understand the Importance of Outbound Links?

[Editor’s note: In the scheme of our flagship content, anytime we talk about SEO, blogging or social media we are talking about marketing and prospecting.]

In terms of SEO you may know there is a lot of emphasis placed on the importance of inbound links.

But do you understand the importance of outbound links from your website or blog to other sites?


One of the common pieces of advice that SEO types give is that relevant outbound links to quality sites can actually help your own performance in the search engines.

I’m no SEO expert but all I can really say on this is that some SEOs that I know and respect argue good cases for this. That is something that I’ve always done with this blog. I don’t know how much of an impact that it has had on this site…but it does tend to do well in search engines.

My suspicion is that search engines have hundreds of factors that they rank a site by and that outbound links is probably one of them – although not one of the ones that they give most weight to (read: it’s not as important as your title tags or the inbound links pointing at your blog).

The only guidelines that I’d recommend in outbound links from a purely SEO perspective (and there are others to consider below) are:

1. Not too many links (apparently too many outbound links can be frowned upon by SE’s)

2. Keep them relevant (link to other sites/pages that are on a similar topic to you)

3. Use appropriate keywords as anchor text (the words you use as the link can help both you and the site you’re linking to with SEs)

4. High ranking sites (some SEOs argue that if you link to highly ranking sites for the keywords that you’re after that it will have more impact).

Of course these tips are purely speaking from an SEO perspective.

My own approach with SEO is to know the principles but not let them dominate my blogging. As a result, the only two principles from these four that I do regularly are 2 and 3 because I can do them without impacting the ultimate goals for my blog.

The SEO benefits of outbound links are something I believe in but they are also something I don’t get to worked up about.

Reader Satisfaction

The impact that links have upon readers is more important to me than SEO.

I link to a lot of other sites. The main reason that I link out so much is purely that I want to give my readership as much quality information on my topic as I can.

If I see something that someone’s written on my topic that says something useful then the chances are that I’ll link to it.

Some argue that linking out to other sites isn’t worth doing because you drive people away from your blog. My theory is that if I send them to useful content often enough that they’ll keep coming back for more. And don’t forget about the Bikini Concept.

And also, keep in mind also that too many links can actually decrease reader satisfaction…if they are not relevant or useful links.

Other Reasons to Link

There are other reasons that it can be useful to link out from your blog including these two:

  • Building relationships with other bloggers. Linking out and sending traffic to other sites is one way to get on the radar of their owner
  • Perceived expertise. Showing your readers that you have your finger on the pulse of a niche by showing what other sites are doing can increase their perception of you as someone who knows what they’re talking about.

Let me here from you: do you have any other reasons why you’d link out from your blog?

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