Monthly Archives: March 2014

Real Estate Marketing:Top Online Tools to Help Realtors

Technology is a gift to mankind.And of course,it has become a significant part of real estate agents. In the last few blogs,we discussed about different strategies that  boost your real estate online presence,and we BMConsulting are glad to receive an overwhelming real estate  onlinetoolsresponse from you all.

In this blog, I am going to take an overview of the online marketing tools for real estate agents.

Best Online Tools for Real Estate Agents

1.Google SketchUp

Google Sketch Up is powerful tool for generating, presenting and transforming 3D models.You can provide a 3D look to your properties and present it to your clients.An animated look of your properties will definitely attract your customers.Go and make your hands dirty with Google Sketchup Pro

2.Real Estate Websites

Guys,customers you are looking for are already hunting for real estate agents or houses on rent on websites like Trulia and Zillow.These are the best websites for listings,and you will get maximum exposure here.Apart from these websites,your prospective customers are  searching information like pricing,closed transactions and forecloseure on Realtor.com, Homes.com, Redfin, ZipRealty, MSN Real Estate, AOL Real Estate, Yahoo Real Estate, HGTV FronDoor, and Homefinder.

3.Videos to Showcase Properties

Video is an integral part of real estate online marketing. You need to learn a few skills to develop and edit videos.It is recommended that you make virtual tour for your real estate property.Such videos gives both interior and exterior view of your property.Make use of wide angles to capture awesome angles.I advise to make use of equipment like camera stabilizer, tripod, and slider.Make use of video softwares like  Sony Vegas or Adobe Premier Pro.

4.Karl’s Mortgage Calculator

This tool helps you to provide a good advise to your clients. It offers an in-depth analysis of loans and investments to help buyers and gain confidence in their purchases.

Apart from the above mentioned tools, it is important that you keep a track on social media tools like Facebook and Twitter.Also,not to forget about contact marketing tools like custom branded emails.These mails when targeted to prospective customers will drive traffic to your website, and hence conversions.

I Hope the tools I mentioned in this blog post,will help you in getting better sales and client satisfaction.

Useful Tips to Write SEO Friendly Content for Your Website

seo writingSearch Engine Optimization is a very dynamic game. No fixed rules. No fixed strategy. Whatever you read last year may not help you today to get good rankings in SERPs. If you are a self learner,and are easily adaptable to the changes (Remember,Google makes frequent changes to their algorithms!),you are most welcome to this challenging world of SEO.

“Content is the King”. This is all what we learn in our first class of SEO. Being into Search Engine Optimization field for last few years,I understand the value of a well researched SEO content.But,over last few years,it is observed that SEO’s are playing aggressively with the content and landing up into penalties like Panda and Penguin(There is lot of stuff to talk about these!! 🙁 ).

How to Write Quality SEO Friendly Content for your Website

1.Keyword Usage

It is important you do a proper keyword research before you start writing.I recommend,it is better to classify your keywords into sets like:a)Primary b)Secondary. Primary keywords are those,which you want to focus on.These are the keywords you expect to rank for.Whereas,secondary keywords are the surrounding or supportive keywords to your primary keywords.I suggest using related searches in google as your secondary keywords.Remember not to overuse the primary keyword in article.I advise using primary keyword once in title,description,the first paragraph,the middle paragraph and the concluding one. Of course,this distribution again depends upon the length of an article.This distribution is best suited for 400 words length article.If you plan to use this strategy for a shorter article,remember your article does not look spammy.

2.Engagement

Engagement is one of the ranking factors.Your article should serve the purpose of the reader.If your article is about “Home Loan Rates”,then,I as a reader would prefer having a EMI calculator that will help me in comparing different bank rates.More engaging your web page is,the less will be your bounce rate.Bounce rate is a measure of the effectiveness of a website in encouraging visitors to continue with their visit.

3.Links

Linking relevant pages or websites is a critical phase in article writing.It is important to brainstorm and then decide the relevant links in the article.Many SEO’s build links with improper anchor text,and hence face penalties.Link only when required,and link only to the relevant pages on website.If you are giving an external link,it is better to verify the website before you link.

If you are not an authority website,I recommend using citations at the end of the article.

4.Image Optimization

It is always appealing when you use relevant images and not text. This makes your article more interesting and attractive.Make sure you put ALT tag to every image and properly optimize the size of an image to save the load time.Load time has direct impact on SEO.

5.Page URLs

URLs play an important role in search engine optimization.Remember to make use of “-” (hypen)in URL structure and not underscore.It is important that your content matches with URL.If your page talks about home loans,and you have/personal-loans as an URL,then you are misleading both search engines and users too.This will harm your ranking prospects too.

6.Shareable Content

Once you are done with the article and after you proofread it . It is your duty to find out the ways to make it viral.Make sure you have all the social share buttons on your website. Shareable content too is a ranking signal for Google.

I hope,these tips to write SEO friendly  content for your website will prove useful.There are lots of tricks for to improve your search engine rankings for the article.But the above mentioned tips is the basic foundation for content writing.

Use Web Analytics Data to Trigger Right Audience

The purpose of writing this blog is to make sure you use Google analytics data to target right audience.

We are here to describe you how to use Google analytics to find your right target audience in just 2 simple steps.

Recent Google Analytics updates mentioned that you can see the users’ demographics (age, gender) and interests (affinity categories, other categories) details about your website visitors. The Google analytics data categorizes the audience report in two sections:

  • Demographics
    • Overview (overview of traffic by age and gender)
    • Age (traffic by age ranges)
    • Gender (traffic by gender) 

Demographics  Overview   Google Analytics

  • Interests
    • Overview (overview of traffic by affinity and other categories)
    • Affinity Categories (behavior by affinity categories)
    • In-Market Categories (behavior by in-market categories)
    • Other Categories (behavior by other interest categories)

Interests  Overview   Google Analytics

These wonderful reports let you see not only how many of your users visit over a date range, but also who those users are, and how their behavior varies by attribute (e.g., male vs. female), also you can visualize the goal completion from these audience.  We are attaching the screenshot of our Google analytics audience report with goal completion.

goal compeltion

This audience report is also available in custom reports (customization section – top menu link in analytics account), and you can use it as basis for segmentation, which lets you evaluate how your users’ behavior varies by demographics and interests; for example, do males interested in automobiles convert more frequently or read specific types of content more than females who are interested in athletic apparels.

Since these are the same demographics and interest categories that you use to target ads on the Google Display Network, you can build segments using these attributes, apply them to any of your analytics reports, and use that analysis to refine your campaign strategies.

Information for these new reports is derived from the DoubleClick third-party cookie. When that cookie is not associated with a user, analytics cannot conclude demographics and interest categories, and so these reports may represent only a subset of your users and not the overall composition of your site traffic.

To make data available in these reports, you need to:

  • Make a simple, one-line change to your tracking code (Get more information by submitting  the Free website analytics assessment)
  • Set the enabling options in Analytics

 You can simply fill the form and get free website analytics assessment.

Writing Effective PPC Ads:Tips for Writing Compelling Text Ads

In the last blog,I discussed important components needed for Google Adwords Search network campaign. Although,we discussed each component separately, It’s important to cover them in detail.In this post, I am going to discuss about writing compelling PPC Text Ads,that will give you winning results.

PPC Adcopy

HOW TO WRITE GOOD PPC TEXT ADS

Writing a Text Ad is one of the most crucial phase in campaign setup.I wonder,why many advertisers overlook this phase,and focus their analysis only on numbers/conversions.If you don’t have a catchy Ad,you cannot expect any conversions.Bill Gates, once said “Out of sight is out of mind”.Although,he made this statement with respect to search engine rankings,but,yes,this rule applies everywhere.If you are not presentable,no one will care about you.Even If you are wealthy,intelligent and wise,but still you are not able to showcase your talent/wealth to people,then what is the use?Now,talking with respect to Adwords, consider wealth as “bid” and intelligence as “quality score”.You are able to rank your ad in top position with these two factors.But,unless and until you have got a catchy Ad text,you would be able to attract only a few.

Steps for Writing Most Effective PPC Ads

1.Competitor Research

Competitor research is a very basic thing when you are working on a campaign setup.Try to study your competitor ads using all possible keywords you are interested to target.You can study competitor’s ad copies using the tools like Google Adwords Preview Tool,SEMRush,Spyfu. You can analyze their targeted keywords,and even understand how much they bid for specific keywords.

2.Ad Content

As,mentioned in my last post, It is recommended you brainstorm about ad copy with your content writer.Remember You have 25 characters for a headline and 35 characters for Ad description.So,All you have these 60-70 characters to showcase your business.Explain the content writer your goal,your required keywords and ask him/her to make a winning text ad for you.This is the strategy,we at BMConsulting ,have been doing for our huge client base.

I have seen many advertisers not making good use of display URL character limit.You have got  35 character limit,hence make sure you have an optimized display URL focused on landing page related keywords. Focus on Call to Action. By adding call-to-action phrases like “Sign up Now,” or “Buy Now,” “Get Now”,creates a more appealing impact to your customers.

You must keep a balance between writing a creative PPC text Ad as well as focusing on technical factors like quality score,CTR.

3.Landing Page

I get annoyed when my PPC guy tells me I will get “X” clicks in “$XYZ”.Goshhh!! Your client don’t care how much clicks/traffic you get him to his website.Sales is what matters!His conversions/leads will get your salary :).

It’s important to take prospective customers to an appropriate and relevant landing page that is directly related to keywords and ad copy. With the clear message in you Ad copy and a relevant landing page will definitely help you to close the deal. Additionally, grouping your keywords into closely related themes,that is creating a relevant adgroups with focused ads and related landing page will get you good conversions.

I recommend carrying A/B testing using atleast 3 different landing pages and then conclude the final one,depending upon performance.

4.Ad Testing

Remember,you may not get your ad copy right the first time,by testing different text messages and calls-to-action, you can determine what clicks your potential customers,keeping in mind CTR and other technical factors.

These tips for writing compelling text ads will definitely help you in creating a winning strategy for your clients.Hope my tips will help you in creating a good PPC ad copy henceforth.

Tips to Create an Effective Pay-Per-Click Campaign for Search Networks

Pay per clickPay-Per-Click  advertising is a nice way to drive traffic  to your website.It is often useful when your goal is focused on conversions and getting accurate leads.Many a times,I have heard customers complaining about PPC/paid advertisements, stating that it is too expensive and they are not making any  profit with the campaign.However,if you have got a focused strategy to work upon,Pay-Per-Click campaigns will definitely give you awesome results.Here are a few tips to create an effective Pay-per-Click campaign.

Useful Pay-Per-Click Strategies & Tactics to Run a Successful Campaign

Keyword Research : With the increasing trend in online marketing,there is a greater availability of Keyword Research tools in the market. Since,the keyword research is the base of running any successful campaign,it’s better you take maximum time in developing a quality keyword research for the campaign.Try to look out for the all possible keywords,through which a prospective customer may land on your page.Keyword Tools will definitely help you in getting an estimated traffic and an average cost per click,but don’t ignore much obvious keywords even if they the tool shows less traffic.I personally prefer to follow Google Suggest tool for my keywords research.Google AdWords Keyword ToolsMicrosoft Advertising Intelligence,SEMRush and keyword tools by Market Samurai are some of the well known keyword tools which I recommend.

Using negative keywords inside the campaign will create a good impact.

Negative keywords that you to choose will not trigger your ad. For example, if you are a used car dealer, placing the word “new” in your negative list ,won’t trigger the ad for new car dealer.

Moving further,many advertisers are confused about using keyword matching options.I would recommend to test all keyword matching options(Broad,Exact,Phrase,Broad Match Modifier) on your keywords,and then decide upon relevant strategy.In any campaign,it’s better to test all the possibilities to check out the results before drawing any conclusions.

Ad Groups

Ad Groups should be formed on the basis of topics.Every topic must be separated because the Ads you will be writing would be relevant to the Ad Group you create. To get relevant clicks on your ads,it is important that an ad written need to be inline with the Ad Group and ultimately the campaign.

Text Ads

Always write compelling ads,which people would like to click.Make sure that a potential customer when clicks on your ad should result into conversion.You should create a Call-to-Action kind of scenario in your ads.Try to understand the difference between “Save money on used sofa today” and “buy used sofa”.You have to showcase your business in 35 characters.So,it is better you brainstorm over your ad-copy with content writers.

Remember to enable site links too. Site links have a great scope to improve CTR,and may increase conversions too.In a survey carried by Google , it found that 70% of mobile searchers called a business directly from an ad in the search results. According to Google,it is estimated that around the world over 40 million calls are made from Google ads directly to advertisers each month.

Location Targeting

By making use of Google Adwords, you have got greater flexibility in targeting audience location wise. Therse are the following ways you can target audience location wise:

  • City, state, country, region
  • DMA (designated market area)
  • ZIP code
  • Radius around a point
  • Location extension targeting

Whenever you selecting the advanced setting “People in, searching for, or viewing pages about my targeted location” adwords will allow ads to be shown to audience who used the name of the location in their searches,viewed content about that location, or selected the name of location in their search settings.

Enhanced campaigns help you to make bid adjustments by location. This allows an increased or decreased bid in chosen locations,hence improves the performance.

Hope,these tips will help you to setup a search network campaign successfully.In the next session we will discuss about setting up display campaigns.

Social Media Marketing Tips for Real Estate Agents

In the last few blogs, we have been discussing about various digital marketing strategies required for realtors to enhance their internet marketing  campaigns. Today, I am going to discuss about the hottest trend in digital marketing, that is Social Media marketing for real estate.
social media for real estate

For a layman, Social media marketing is the process to gain traffic through social media sites.This may include Twitter,that helps people to “share” short  messages or even Facebook,that allows sharing or updating photos and creating or inviting for events. Social Media is obviously not limited to Twitter and Facebook only.With new Social Media applications and social networking websites making a buzz every two months, Digital Marketing professionals make their best to explore these newer avenues. FYI, Jelly is the new talk-of-the-town among social media experts.

Social Media Marketing Tips and Techniques for Real Estate Company

1.Listen

It is important, You first search on  Twitter for people talking about your real estate company or your competitors. Now,how would you know what people are talking about you. Keep a tap on what your customers search for. Being Search using words that your prospective customers would say as well. Say for Example,you can use keywords like “looking for real estate agent”, “3 BHK apartment in Florida” or “need a apartment on a rent” on Facebook or Twitter. Using this strategy,you can find out your prospective customers,and you can directly target them.

Remember, you add an hashtag to your tweets. This will help to improve visibility of your Tweets for example, if you wish to sell a property in Chicago,use the hashtags, #chicago #realestate.

Facebook is an excellent medium to share property listings using photos, videos, and related information . Always  add a link to your website for more information about these properties. This will help  in generating traffic  and from SEO perspective,it will generate a quality backlink.

2.Likes,Shares and Follows

As a Digital Marketing Professional,the most annoying thing for me is,when a client asks me how much do you charge for 5000 likes?or How much should i pay for “x” number of followers? Gosshhh!! This is indeed disgusting.  Any premier digital marketing consultancy  likes ours will not enter in such kind of business.Give your customers a reason to connect with your real estate agency page on social networks.Figure out the difference between “Likes” and “Talking about”.A Facebook “Like” means at some point, someone clicked the “like” button.This could be either when someone clicked a “like” on a Facebook page or on the website. From my perspective,TALKING ABOUT THIS“,need to be a prime focus area.This is the actual number that is engaged with your page.These are  people who return to your page after they “like” your page.

3.Contests and Surprises

You can successfully launch a facebook contest for real estate’s prospective clients.You can run a Facebook Timeline contest asking  your fans or followers to leave a comment about what their dream house is like,or which is their best place to retire?.Keep your Facebook Pages interesting by announcing various deals,quizzes,trivia.Say,You can keep discounted rates for first 50 customers who won the contest.For example, run a Poll Contest to ask your Fans what photo they like best from your latest listing.

4.YouTube

Always include an in-depth tour of available real estate properties.This is a great way to attract your potential buyers to make that “hot deal”.A voice over would definitely be an add on.

5.Pinterest

Pinterest  is a great tool to find, save and share beautiful pictures of homes that people want to buy. The interaction that occurs between Pinterest users is through ‘pins’. Whenever a photo is pinned,users and followers can ‘like’ the photo or ‘repin’ it to their own board. Popular and Good looking photos go viral and get pinned multiple times.

Real estate agents and sellers always use  websites for the new listings and the best pictures of properties. You can refer to Realtor.com, Trulia & Zillow, which offers the opportunity to build your profile with additional information and links to your website.

I hope,these social media strategy for realtors would help you to maximize your conversions. Do read my previous posts on digital marketing tips for real estate professionals.

Must Follow Search Engine Optimization Tips for Real Estate Pros

real estate_imgIn the last blog,we discussed about the essential digital marketing techniques required for real estate professionals to excel their online strategy.In the upcoming blogs,we will discuss each sphere of digital marketing individually.

 

Let’s focus on Search Engine Optimization Tips for Real Estate Websites.

Let’s start from basic,What is Search Engine Optimization?Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of gaining the visibility of your website insearch engine’s natural or organic results.In layman’s term,Higher your website appears in search engines for a related term or query,you will gain more visitors and hence maximize conversions. SEO is purely organic and not a paid listing.

Owning a good user friendly website is a basic requirement for any business website.SEO is important to a successful online presence for real estate agents because higher rankings can convert into bigger sales.As per National Association of Realtors, 90% of buyers start their real estate search online.

Real Estate SEO Strategies Explained

While doing an SEO of a real estate website,it is important that you focus on the following elements:

  • Local SEO and geo-targeting
  • Site performance and usability
  • Optimized Content meant for the reader
  • keyword research
  • Link building that will target only dedicated websites
  • Website Structure

Local SEO and Geo Targetting for Real Estate Websites

Geo-targeting is effective when you are working on a big niche like real estate .Geo Targetting helps in gaining additional exposure to your business online.Since,you will be able to target your local market,rate of conversions would be higher leading you to achieve a very cost effective business.

When you are working on Geo Targeting make sure,you follow the below guidelines:

  • If you are a real estate agent in Florida,It would be more beneficial if your website is hosted in Florida itself. Websites should be hosted in the same regions where you belong to.
  • Make use of geo-targeted keywords. For example,as a real estate businessman,you must  try including a city name with the search keyword, such as “real estate agents+ in Florida.”
  • Analyze and target long tail geo-targeted keywords.
  • Implement Google Places for businesses.

Website Usability and Structure for Real Estate Websites

Website Usability is an important factor for optimized websites.THE  Eyetracking visualizations shows that users often read Web pages in an F-shaped pattern.Following image will explain you in more detail.

f_reading_pattern_eyetracking

Remember that Users have got a lot of information available on internet.You must have a USP that you can provide to your readers. A study on reading habits reveal that people tend to read more precised content than the longer ones.Hence,try to provide core information in initial paragraphs itself

Shorter articles enhance readability.Photos,graphs and infographics are worth a thousand words. Visuals enhance readability .As a real estate agent,users will appreciate if you could add a real photographs of an apartment you look to sell.

Optimized Content for Real Estate Websites

It is always better if you could maximize use of keywords in your writing.Writing need to be natural.Excessive keyword usage leads to spamming and may invite penalties. Start writing  blogs that will focus particularly  buyers, sellers, short sales,foreclosures,first time home buyer individually.Short keyword phrases like “Florida  Real Estate” are very difficult to rank on Google.Combination of Long tail keywords usually bring qualified traffic. Google gives a priority to geographic search phrases.A well optimized Title tag is an important component for a website.Make sure you use phrases like “How to”, “Solutions”, “Tips”, “Reviews”, “Ways to”, and “Best” in your titles.Adding such phrases could  improve the chances of clicks since they are catchy to users.

Do not focus more on High search Volume keywords,since it is difficult to rank for a local business like yours.Google prefers fresh content.If there is something happening in real estate community,like may be about taxes,foreclosures,make sure you are the first in your community to write a page or post about it.

Link Building Strategies for Real Estate Websites

A backlink is an inbound link.It is a   link on another website that directs visitors back to your website. More the  links your website has from a quality website,the credibility and authenticity of a website will increase.

  • Write content for other websites, more particularly real estate blogs.Follow proper  guidelines of using proper anchor text and linking to the best landing pages on your website.
  •  Call, email, write newsletters to webmasters of related Real estate websites.

Trusted domains and websites having a decent pagerank  with high relevance to your real estate are the online source  you should  work on for link building.

Hope,these search engine optimization for real estate websites will enhance your online presence and lead into better connversions.

 

Essential Search Engine Optimization Tips for Small Business Website

Small business owners should be well accustomed to the latest SEO strategies to maximize traffic to their websites. This is a small write up about search engine optimization tips for  small business owners to get started with the basics of SEOsearch engine optimization tips

  • Ethical SEO :Search Engine Optimization helps you to get a good and quality traffic to  your website.It is important you target quality and important keywords in the article or blog.Many SEO’s involve themselves in unethical practices like keyword spamming,where they keep stuffing articles with th keywords they want to rank for. There is no particular rule about” keyword density” as such,but as long as an article looks natural to the reader,you can bring out variations in the keywords you want to target.Make maximum use of synonyms and related keywords,that can help you gain good visibility on search engines.Many SEO agencies indulge themselves in paid link building practices.Remember,such practices may land you in multiple penalties.
  • On Page & Off Page SEO Matters: Make sure the agency you have hired does both On Page and Off Page optimization of yur business website.You cannot stick to a single strategy when optimizing the website.It is important that an agency sends you a monthly analytics report,which must be result orientedThe longer you delay start doing SEO harder it is to rank higher. An SEO strategy that worked for someone else’s site isn’t may not work for yours because there are a lot many parameters in website analysis.
  • Analyze Your Competitors:Analayzing what your competitors are upto,will help you to make your website more result oriented.Proper research and focussed approach will help you to tackle your competitors well.Use tools like Google Keyword Planner,SEMRush,Spyfu for keywords and competitor research.
  • Cost & Time SEO will generate big results if you invest time in Quality research.”Content is King”.A good Content and building online relationships will increase your visibility. The results of SEO work done today might not become instant, and might not be credited by search engines, for weeks, or even months. It is all about build authority and trust, you should not expect competing with high ranking websites until you achieve authority.If you want to rank higher,you must keep your website updated with quality content.Hire a good SEO agency that can provide a content writer who has a domain expertise in your business niche.
  • Adapt Yourself to latest Algorithm updates. To attain and maintain rankings your SEO agency must adapt to latest SEO strategy as search engines evolve over time. And You can keep yourselves updated reading SEO blogs and even via Webmaster Guidelines and Webmaster Help Videos.Remember,a Google penalty may result in a significant, and often long-term, loss of visitors to your site. Low quality backlinks and low quality content on website can result in being penalised by search engines.Make sure your website does not have copied content.You may even be penalized for similar content on multiple pages
  • Multiply your traffic sources:Do not rely 100% on Google.You should put equal efforts in other sources like PPC,Social Media. . If you can afford to do both, then do both, as although PPC can be costly, you can get visitors to your site straight away for any keywords that you want.
  • Quality Content:As mentioned above,”Content is King”.So make sure your website has got an engaging content.The longer people will stay on your site, the less will be your bounce ratio, resulting in improvement in quality signals and improvements in rankings.Claim authorship to your content.Link your Google+ account to your content.This will improve authority of your content.Creating videos will improve on page time of your page,and also get you links from video shairing sites.People like to share statistics,Graphs and infographics than plain content.Last but not the least,make sure your website has presence on social network.

You should always keep SEO as important factor in digital marketing, following best practices. These Search Engine Optimization tips for small business will help you in maximizing revenue opportunities.