Internet Marketing for Real Estate Professionals

Thursday, August 30, 2007

 

Traffic Generating Keywords vs. Conversion Keywords

As you are continuing to practice your SEO skills through development of content and use of tools like WordTracker to find the most often searched words, sometimes we lose track of which words are the ones generating traffic and which ones are actually leading to conversions.
The high volume search phrases "myarea real estate" are usually the most competitive and many strive to show up on the first page of Google so you can get those customers, but are they converting for you? It very well may, but before you spend more time writing up pages and garnering those coveted back links take a look at which words are really working for you. Here is a small sample from one of our websites. This is a snapshot from Google Analytics of some terms that are providing traffic to our Long Beach Condos website.


(the first column next to the keywords is the number of visitors, 2nd column is # of pages visited, and the last column is the average time spent on the website)

Now, note the same portion of the report, but we have a view of the word phrases that are converting.
(the column next to the words is the number of conversions for that phrase)

Hmmm, they aren't the same! This is important as you are working on your website as you may want to add content, create PPC ads, or put up some BLOG posts for the words that are converting.

Now, dig in your reporting tool deep so you can find out what is going on. We looked and found that the plural version of one the phrases we listed above "long beach lofts" is converting so we added some more content and kept our ads running for that so we can continue get contacts from our website.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

 

Save Money on Your Domain Names Today!

Often times we purchase domain names and then we realize that we could have saved money by buying it somewhere else. What is available to you is the ability to transfer your domain name to another company. Now let's be clear that you really want to save money on renewal fees because those can add up and it is an easy way to save.

You can transfer your domain to a company like www.TopAgentDomains.com. This site has a transfer feature and even shows you in a chart how much you can save from some of the other major domain programs out there. Go to their Transfer Page and it shows you the comparison of what you can save. They have tech support that can walk you through everything to get things all settled. We have our domain names from them and hosting from them as well.

Good luck and we hope this helps you save money on your domain name purchases and hosting as well.

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Buy Website Domains for Less!

Top Agent Domains

As real estate professionals we are always looking for ways to continue to add leads for our business. As most of us have more than 1 domain, it is important that we save where we can on our purchase of domain names.
In order to save money while creating more websites and getting additional Domain names, we have partnered with GoDaddy to save money on the purchases of Domain names. Check out our website where you save over $1.00 for each domain you purchase!

http://www.topagentdomains.com/

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Friday, August 24, 2007

 

Widgets Add FREE Functionality to your Website

Widgets are small applications that can be put on your website using simple HTML. It's a wonderful way to add functionality to your website without being a heavy programmer. There have been some great posts on ActiveRain speaking about some of the widgets related to real estate.

Now, you may be asking, why would I want to use a widget? Here are some reasons you may want to emply a widget.
  • They are FREE!
  • Widgets can provide functionality in your website like a newsfeed that keeps your site up to date and differentiates you from the competition
  • You don't have to be a developer to use them!

So...where do you get them? There are many great sites out there to find widgets, but we thought we would point out a couple of sites where you can find some widgets. Try out one on your website so you can see how your visitors like the new functionality.

Widgets are going to be developed more and more so keep an eye out for these to become more popular.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

 

6 Top Ideas from KW Tech Camp

We hope that everyone who is back now in there offices checks this blog out so they can see what the latest happenings in technology are and what should be done to increase their web presence and most importantly the number of leads that you get so you can increase your bottom line. We thought we would put together our Top 6 best ideas from Tech Camp!

  1. You have to start blogging - Dustin, from http://www.raincityguide.com/, gave a fantastic presentation on the how and why of blogging. We hope everyone got from it that you really do have to blog and hopefully daily.
  2. Post your listings on the KWLS - the KWLS system pushes listings to so many different partner sites you are doing yourself and your sellers and injustice by not doing it.
  3. Put video on your website - I don't know how many times we had to hear that we needed video on our website. We were in the process of doing it anyway but now we really have to get on it. Give users the kind of experience they are looking for.
  4. Take advantage of FREE Websites - You can e-mail kw@trulia.com for the presentation done by the COO of trulia. There are hundreds of FREE websites to post things on so make sure you pick a few that work for you.
  5. Just get started - As with all things sometimes it can feel overwhelming but just get started with a small piece here and there and put a goal on your 4-1-1 and get going.
  6. Visit www.OnlineRealEstateSuccess.com - ok you are already here so you know that but make sure that your friends, associates, and officemates know about this site so they can keep up to date on things.

So there you have our Top 6 Ideas from Tech Camp. We would love to hear what your favorite ideas were so let us know!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

 

Real Estate Marketing Online - Mega Tech Camp Bound!

For two days we will be at Mega Tech Camp in Austin with 3,000+ Agents sharing with the real estate community more about how to deal with marketing online for your real estate business. We will be on two panels covering the following topics:

  • Lead Conversion - Joe will be on this panel where they will be discussing how to handle the volume of leads that can be derived from real estate marketing online. They may not have a chance to deal with scripts, but that can make some of the largest impact on your business when getting all of those great leads.
  • Lead Generation - Jamey will be on this panel where they will be discussing taking your website from just a presence to an online lead generating machine! Most of the topic points will be focused on low cost ways to get traffic to your website so you can grow your monthly lead count to any number that you desire!

If you are going to be there, please stop by after the panels and say hi as we are always happy to share.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

 

Google Changes its Ad Formula & Why you need to know

If you have a Google (R) adwords account we hope that you have logged in to it in the last several days. What you noticed is a message announcing a change to how Google will determine which ads appear above the search results. So what did they do and most importantly how will this affect you and your ads.
  1. The maximum price you are willing to pay for a click will now count! - This is known as Max CPC. Prior to this change your Max CPC did not affect (directly) where you were in the placement. It related only in comparison with your competitors. So the higher you are willing to pay for a click will now add greater weight to were you are placed. You will still only pay more than the person below you and won't necessarily pay your max. You will also never be charged more than your Max CPC.
  2. Quality Score still matters the most - This is the secret Google formula. They determine a quality score for your ad. Hint though the better your CTR (Click Through Rate) the better your quality score is going to be. So even if you are willing to outspend all of your competitors if you can't write a quality ad you still will not be placed above them.

So now you can have better control to get the top spot. Now just because you can get the top spot doesn't always mean you should get it. Remember you have a greater likely hood to get more clicks at the top although sometimes it isn't the quality that you would want. There are many times where spot 3-6 are 50% less or more than the top spot and generate you quality traffic and more important customers who are willing to purchase. Keep that in mind as you make changes to your Google Adwords accounts. Good luck and may you achieve your results!

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

 

Find the Long Tail and Get more Visitors!

As real estate agents and other professionals working on real estate internet marketing have been coming online, a major focus has been on keywords and concentrating on those most popular keywords that people are typing. What about the keywords and phrases that don't show up in many of the word research tools?

The theory of "Long Tail" search is the following. It states that "the sum of the searches on all the low volume terms = the sum of the traffic on all the high volume terms.". What does this mean?
  • The lead keywords of the search curve are the most competitive (i.e. real estate, or real estate marketing"
  • Keywords at the tail of the search curve are less competitive

If the keywords at the end of the tail are less competitive then it gives you an opportunity to take advantage of those keywords! In fact, in a post by Eric Enge at Search Engine Watch on May 21st, they stated: "At Google's Universal Search announcement, Udi Manber put up a slide that stated that 20% to 25% of the search queries Google sees every day are search queries it has never seen before." WOW. That means you don't have to compete on the largest terms if you don't want to, because you can take advantage of the less competitive unique queries!

If you want to do more research on the Long Tail, SEOmoz has some wonderful posts to read more. One of the posts,, written by Hamlet Batista, Uncovering the Invisble Tail, is really helpful to learning more. Look for more of our posts here at OnlineRealEstateSuccess on ways to take advantage of that invisble tail!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

 

Top Real Estate Contact Management Software

As real estate professionals we want to select a Real Estate Contact Management software that makes our lives as easy as possible. Our business is not to be a technology expert but to make sure that we can do real estate. So with that in mind we thought we would cover several real estate contact manage software packages and let everyone know what we think and what we recommend as our top selection.
  • Act! For Real Estate - Now this is available from sage software and can be found at www.Act.com. So what do we like about this product? We previously had our entire team on this software. It was relavtively affordable for software and you didn't have to pay monthly for it. It was fairly easy to use and keep things straight. What we didn't like is synching all of our data among our team. If we weren't a team it would be fairly easy to use. We didn't like having to install the software ourselves and trouble shooting problems. The cost for the real estate version is almost $370. The non real estate version is the one our team used and worked well. You may not need to upgrade this product every year which does provide some costs savings.
  • Top Producer - We like this software as our TOP choice for Real Estate Contact Management Software. We put together video tutorials on this project at www.OnlineRealEstateSuccess.com in the resources section. This product is about $35.00 per month for the basic package which is what we run. The yearly cost is $420 so it is more expensive than Act but we believe it is worth it. The solution is hosted online so you don't have to be your own IT staff. Tech support is 100% free and they have tremendous up time. Having FREE tech support for your real estate contact management software is amazing! We recommend them highly and receive nothing for it!
  • Agent Office - This product is used by many real estate professionals. They have 30 days of free tech support and it is available for $329. This product is available online for download. You can get more information at Agent Office. It's benefit is it works with the BlackBerry without additonal fees. A nice product but not our top choice.

Remember when you are looking for a real estate contact management software that you need to make sure that you understand the software and that it works for you. So take the free trials and see which one you like best!

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Free Real Estate BLOG - Active Rain

Active Rain is a real estate BLOG community where you can learn from your fellow agents across the country. At the time of this post there are almost 43,000 members across the country. The website is easy to use and it helps you to demonstrate your expertise in an area.

Localism
Localism is the consumer side of Active Rain. The big benefit here is you can write about your local area. Some of the items you may want to write on would be:
  • New Construction in your area
  • Home Sales in your neighborhood
  • New Home Loans that are available

Every post that you put up can reference going back to your website for additional information. This way you can provide great FREE information on your BLOG and encourage visitors to dig deeper by going to your website.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

 

5 tips on how you can increase the time a user spends on your website

Increasing the time that a visitor stays on your website, increases the likely hood that they will contact you! This metric has been focused on a great deal by companies that run e-commerce websites, but we should be focusing on it as well. Here are 5 tips on how you can increase the time a user spends on your website.

  • Pay Per Click Campaigns - Ensure that when you a user visits the landing page, it is what was advertised in the advertisement. For example, if you are advertising "Get a Free Foreclosure List" in your ad, and then the ad takes them to your "Home Page", it is unlikely you will get that user sticking around on your website!
  • Links on Every Page - The navigation menus that you have on your website should not be the only way to navigate through your website. Within every page of content you should be linking to other areas WITHIN your website that can provide additional value. This way a user can stay on your website to learn more and see that you are the expert!
  • Quality Content - Getting content from your title officer or the library of sources from your template provider is nice, but it is not unique! Concentrate on writing up content about your area from the perspective that only you can provide. Help people learn about neighborhoods, condos, homes, and more through your eyes!
  • Calls to Action - Providing great content is essential, but you must also give them a reason to contact you. Make appropriate calls to action like "If you like this neighborhood, get the FREE list of Homes available" or "With lovely tree lined streets here in Bixby Knolls, use our FREE Long Beach MLS to see what is available".
  • Multi Media - Sounds obvious, but enrich your pages with pictures, videos, or sound. Great products, like Instant Audio, allow you to put sound on your website for Testimonials or just explaining about your area.

Concentrating on these aspects of your web presence will increase a visitors time on your website and get you more contacts out of the same number of visitors! Our websites have increased by over 1 minute per visitor in just the past month, just by updating some of our Pay Per Click campaigns! :)

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