Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Real Estate SEO, Getting to the Top of Google

Those of you that have been reading this blog know that I am using the search term Agents Online and the associated website AgentsOnline.Org to demonstrate in real time how to get your website to the top page of a search engine for a specific phrase.  For this specific example, I have chosen the phrase “Agents Online” and I am slowly moving the site up to the first page of google for that respective phrase.  

To provide an update on where we are on this experiment, I signed up the URL less than a month ago and created a basic website optimized for the term.  Next I added links from this blog and built a Squidoo page which in turn linked to the site.  I also created a twitter account dedicated to Agents Online.  Currently there are about 16 total sites that are indexed on the search engines and link to this site.  

Now for our progress on Google.  If you search for the term “Agents Online  in quotes, the page ranks as number seven among the entries on the first page of Google.  Not bad for having a site established for less than a month.  When you search on google for Agents Online  without the quotes, the page pop up as number 21 on Google which is at the top of the third page.  While this is not as significant, it does make the point that by building  a page optimized to a specific term, and using your target term as part of your URL, you can capture a premium place on the ranks of google very quickly.  

Now to move the site rank up from number 21 to within the top ten we just need to add some more high quality, high page rank links.   The can be achieved simply by posting comments on real estate related blogs, associated websites and forums.  

As you read through this post, you will no doubt realize that this is a very easy way to boost your web traffic without extensive Pay per click.  However,  as a word of caution, this process doesn’t always work.  For example our Real Estate Country site has yet to show up at an acceptable level for the term Real Estate Country.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lead Generation Program With Twitter

When I began working with this new technology I was very skeptical. I have had access to my twitter account which I used to promote our discount to the RedX listing lead generation system, but until recently have not spent much time using it. As a result, I am a little late to the game. However, now that I have a good grasp on the technology, I can see how real estate agents online should be utilizing this tool to attract leads.

Now what are the steps to incorporate Twitter into a campaign? Before we get started you need to understand that Twitter is only a single touch point for your prospective clients and that multiple touches are usually needed to attract a client. Also, understand that Twitter etiquette implies that when you follow someone’s tweets, they may in turn follow you.

With that background, what are the steps? The first step is to link your twitter account to any online page where you can be found. If you have a site, blog or online presence, add a “Follow me on Twitter” badge with a hyperlink to your twitter site.

To start using Twitter as a marketing tool, create an auto-responder on your twitter account so that when someone chooses to follow you, they will automatically receive a thank you with a call to action. I for my autoresponders. The message should thank the user for following, and include a call to action. Your may choose to make your call to action an offer for a free report, data, or some other offer that allows you to capture more information about your target lead. For example, my call to action is “Thanks for the Follow! Want a discount on listing leads from RedX? Visit me here for more info.”

The next step is to start tweeting. You should routinely tweet, but also be aware that there is a shortcut that you can use when you can’t post directly. If you have a blog that you update often, you can post the feed directly to your twitter account using TwitterFeed.

The next step in your twitter marketing should be to add followers. You can find followers who live in your area simply by doing a keyword search on the twitter user directory Twellow. Just search the twellow list for active tweeters that live in your area and follow those that fit the bill.

There are numerous other ways that you can include twitter as part of your marketing, including mobile messaging and even video. We won’t get into those details for this post, but may address them lager.

Finally, I did want to mention that we are still SEO-ing the term, AgentsOnline but it has not yet been indexed on Google. It should be soon.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Agents Online- Real Time Update and Google SEO

As previously stated, I am committed to demonstrating how you can use a long tail keyword and some very basic online tools to get your website, or at least its online landing page, to the top of google. To recap, I have chosen the search term Agents Online which receives about 11,000 searches per month according to google’s keyword tool. I have registered for the URL and last evening I spent about two hours on Dreamweaver creating a multi-page website. I copied much of the data from the failed Real Estate Country site, but optimized it for the search term Agents Online.

Because the web page is basically an experiment and essentially promotes the RedX expired listing lead system, I didn’t spend a lot of time on the format so it is pretty basic. However, I did employ some very basic SEO techniques including having different descriptions and tags for each page, parsing the data on multiple pages within the site, and including a privacy policy. Anyway, here is the site for agents online.

As we all know, having a website does not mean that traffic will just show up; even if you do have an appropriate URL. Therefore, the next step is getting backlinks and doing some online promotion. In that vein, early this morning I created a squidoo lens focused on the term Agents Online and bookmarked the page on StumbleUpon and, and registered for the Blogger Blog Real Estate Agents Online The reason for the lens and the blog on blogger is that both have a relatively high page rank out of the gate and both allow for “dofollow” links. Also, every time I post something to a blog, I run the URL through so that the search engines know that new content is available.

So this was the preliminary work for this project. Over the next few days, I will be posting links to the Agents Online site wherever I can. It may take two or three weeks for the site to actually get indexed by google, but these links give it a head start. In about ten days, you should be able to google the term “agents online” and at least one, probably more, of the links described above will appear on the first page. Shortly after that, the actual agents online website should appear.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Real Time Update on Getting to the Fist Page of Google

As I mentioned before, this blog thread is attempting to show you how you can get your site to the top of the search for a given long-tail keyword on google. I am little less confident in this post due to the challenges in getting to show up on the first page of google for the term real estate country. However, I think I will have more success with the term “agents online.”

Anyway, to provide an update, I registered the URL on Friday with The URL cost $14.00 which is an insignificant cost in comparison to the traffic that should be seen if this process works out. I have spent two hours today drafting the text that will appear on the agents online website and will be posting it over the next few days. If I have the time and things actually go according to plan this time, the site should show up under the term agents online within the next two weeks.

Keep in mind that the process that I am describing, if it works, should be easily duplicated for whatever long tail keyword you are trying to optimize. For example, if you are trying to optimize for REALTORS in Naples, this methodology should be relatively successful.

Friday, May 15, 2009

It's Reat Estate SEO Time Again with Agents Online

Okay, the fact of the matter is that sometimes your SEO plans work out and sometimes they don’t. For example, I published the real estate country website with intentions to get it on the first page of google for the search phrase “real estate country.” To date the page has not shown up in the top searches for Google, and is in fact very poorly ranked. I blame lack of planning on my part as United Country seems to have numerous high ranking pages that show up under the Real Estate Country Term.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. This afternoon I registered for another term that I feel will be better suited to demonstrate the SEO strategy that I have been sharing for the past while. This new term, Agents Online, gets between 11,000 and 18,000 searches on Google per month. Obviously the term targets real estate agents, I have been a member of the site for eight years, but there are very few competitive sites optimized for that term.

With this new term, here is the strategy: Use XSite Pro to create a website optimized to the term Agents Online. After that, establish backlinks to the site by posting comments on the many social networks and blogs that cater to the real estate segment. I also plan to the site on the few blogs that I manage myself. In fact, wherever there is the ability to place a dofollow link on a website, do so.

After that, it is a matter of reporting on the success. Hopefully I will have better luck demonstrating how to use this technique to search engine optimize your real estate lead generation pages than I did with Real Estate Country.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

REALTOR Marketing With Mobile Messaging

I attended an online seminar today the topic of mobile messaging. My purpose for attending was to look for ways to promote our expired listing lead service. The data presented was pretty compelling; especially if you have a list of prospects that you are challenged to stay in contact with. The technology has moved to the point that you can now offer your prospects a way to stay continually in touch with you and the services that you provide. The technology is not completely new. There have been online companies that provide listing data in response to a specific mobile text numbers that you can post on your listing. Unfortunately, these systems usually provide a one-off communication with your prospect, and some rudimentary contact information from which to follow up.

This approach which is well known to most real estate agents is completely different than what was presented. The example that was provided was a communication that was sent out from during a concert to those who had registered to receive mobile updates. The communication included a coupon code and an invitation to forward that coupon on to each of the recipient’s friends which essentially made the message viral. Now I know that you are not putting on large rock concerts, and probably don’t have that big of a budget; also, real estate is a completely different animal. However, the strategy remains the same.

As a marketer, here is how I would recommend real estate agents use this technology:

1) Getting leads: contract with a SMS text service provider so that you can put different text codes on different listing signs and advertisements that you place. There are a number that serve the real estate industry, but make sure that they have an autoresponder system so that after the first text is sent, the textee is sent a follow up requesting permission to provide additional updates. You want your list of leads to opt in to the communication.

2) Sending a list of listings may be trite, let’s face it, we all do it as a standard of practice with little differentiation. Instead, send out data that is both useful to your prospective customer and unique to you. If you tie the text numbers to a specific advertisement, you can at least assume some things about the individual who requested the data. From there, you can create follow-on texts that may suite the prospect’s interest. These may include new listings that are similar to what originally prompted the text. For differentiation and the viral spin, you may want to send local updated on local events. You may also go as far as approaching some of the advertisers in the local clipper magazines and mailers and request permission to forward their offer to your target list. Let’s face it, when was the last time you received a free pizza or 20% off dinner at your local Chinese restaurant from your Realtor?

Monday, May 04, 2009

Improving Keyword Search Traffic

My ideas building squeeze pages is not unique, and is in fact becoming a widely practiced technique for search engine optimization. As a reminder, a squeeze page is a search engine optimized keyword specific landing page to gather leads. An example of this would be my expired listing lead site,

Here is a link to a Marketing Sherpa article on how Jelly Belly has used this technique to grow their online customer acquisition and conversion by 200%. Now for many REALTORs, using an enterprise system to create 500 keyword specific pages is just not economically viable. However, I can tell you that similar results can be achieved with a simple WordPress blog, templates and a godaddy account.

Just to keep score on which of my links are currently getting first page exposure for a search term on Google, “Real Estate country” is still low on Google, but gaining rank. Expired Listing lead and Expired Listing Lead software is dominated by my links. For my wife, “Chewable Prenatal Vitamin” shows up on Google twice with a link to Bloom’en Nutrition, and I just registered so we shall see when it finally ranks after I get the pages loaded.