Social Media for Real Estate – Ranking Test

October 3, 2014 1 comment

The recent announcement of the merger between Zillow and Trulia has a lot of real estate agents concerned. So I did a little research to see if real estate agents could compete post merger. The short answer is they can. You can find the long answer and ways how here.

While I was researching the guide, I decided to do a little test. Could I make a real estate listing post on a Facebook business page and have it show up in a Google search result? My hypothesis was it would get ranked. A few days ago I checked Google to find out. Here’s what I found.

fbserp

I was a little surprised this site showed up. I have feeds set so when I publish something to Facebook, it also goes to Twitter. My Twitter feed shows up here on my right sidebar.

real estate marketing

The entire Twitter post showed up as well. So did another page from this site. That one post on Facebook got three search results on Google.

fbserp2

But I haven’t found the Facebook post itself to be ranked…and it was the source for the content.

My takeaways from this experiment follow-

1. My hypothesis was the Facebook post would get ranked. It didn’t…yet. (I’ll provide an update if that changes.)

2. Social media posts do get ranked. Even if I had no followers on Twitter, a thoughtfully written tweet would get ranked.

3. There is so much power in syndication. I made one post that went multiple places and got ranked at least three times. Every serious online business should be doing this! It’s one of the reasons I said in my guide that every real estate agent should be using an IDX feed.

 

 

 

Utah Web Marketing Company Celebrates Five Years

September 29, 2014 Leave a comment

5 Year BlogiversaryTo be honest, this milestone would have passed me by if LinkedIn hadn’t sent me a notice. At first I thought, “Wow, I can’t believe it’s been that long!” Then I started thinking about the other things it means. It means this blog is five years old. It means I’m five years older. It means I’ve found a place for myself professionally.

When this business started, Utah was hit with the Great Recession. I wrote this blog for a month and then I started networking in person. That’s when I started getting business and this blog served as a resource to show people I knew what I was doing.

A lot has changed in online marketing over the past five years. Social media is a real thing now. Back then digital marketing practitioners had to persuade businesses to use social media. Now social media is just a given of any web marketing plan.

I became so convinced, I changed the name of the company from SEO by Swaby to Swaby Online Media. It was a move I believe reflected the diversity of what I did in online marketing.

I’ve been very blessed along the way to get help from different people. One early piece of advice I got was to be as specific as I could about who I wanted to work for. That’s difficult to do when you’re trying to keep up with the bills and any money that comes in seems to be the same. It’s not. Being specific about your client is probably the best advice I got. I tried to narrow things down, but it still isn’t narrow enough when your clients include a home builder, a doctor and a start-up designer blanket company.

So I’ve now decided I only want to work with service based businesses in finance and real estate. This makes my target client real estate agents and brokers, mortgage professionals and insurance offices. That’s still fairly broad, but much more focused. When you know who you want to work with, it becomes easier to find them!

Another lesson I learned is to network in person. As I said earlier, I spent my first month in business writing for this blog. Then I went out and networked. Networking got me business but it also got me some perspective. It’s lonely being a solopreneur. Networking got me out of the house, gave me fresh ideas, allowed me to speak in public and helped me establish myself as an expert.

Over the years, I did have regular employment in spurts. I had one gig that looked like regular employment, but they were still really a client. Another challenge in being self-employed is commitment. It’s easy to be committed when you have clients, but a lot more difficult when you don’t. One of the main reasons I started this business is I recognized the economy was changing. America is going to be filled with people who have their own businesses, consult or work multiple part-time jobs to make ends meet. This was research I had done 15 years ago, so I was committed to the idea of working for myself.

However, working for yourself isn’t idyllic. It means chasing new business. It means chasing checks. It means criticism. It means losing clients. It means it can be a wild and crazy ride.

My life is a lot different now and more ideally suited for self-employment. I’ve downsized financially so my overhead is low. I have a family commitment that makes my time precious. All my circumstances compel me to be self-employed and keep this business going, so that’s what I’m going to do. I have a new client from my focused target market and I will continue develop business in those industries.

It’s been a great ride so far and I’m looking forward to the next five years!

 

SEO Results

July 28, 2014 1 comment

You know you’re doing it right when…

saltlakeseo

Email Marketing Tactics – Drip vs. Blast

July 16, 2014 Leave a comment

email marketingEmail marketing is still a viable and effective strategy to get sales, referrals and stay in contact with clients. The key is to have a strategy and stick to it. There are two main types of email marketing – drip marketing and blast marketing. Let’s take a look at what they mean and how they can be used in your business.

Blast marketing is designed as a one off, or part of a small campaign to promote a product or service with the singular idea the recipient will take action because of the message. Think about retail sales emails as an example. Email blasts can be sent to your existing database, a purchased list or even a joint venture with another business.

Drip marketing is very different in its execution, but can have some of the same desirable effects of blast marketing. Drip emails are designed for prospects or clients as a stay in touch method. Ultimately drip emails are designed to increase sales, but before that happens, they can be used to generate referrals, build traffic to your website and grow your social media channels. Drip emails are designed to be sent to people who know you – clients, referrals, prospects. They also take more time to create and execute since you are NOT directly selling.

What most small business owners don’t realize is email marketing has to be multifaceted. The goals of email marketing are to:

  1. Get sales
  2. Acquire clients
  3. Get referrals
  4. Stay in touch with existing clients
  5. Increase traffic to your website
  6. Increase your social media channels
  7. Build your drip marketing list

Did you notice the last item on that list? How do you build your drip marketing database? The answer is to get more clients or customers and you do that by making more sales.

Here’s how:

  1. Make sure you ask your customers to join your list. You can do this at the point of sale or when you do post close follow up.
  2. Acquire databases for your list.
  3. Make sure you’re collecting emails and sending them something!
  4. Leverage your social channels to build your list.

Now that you understand the difference between blast marketing and drip marketing, you’ll be able to start utilizing them as part of your strategy. In a future article, I’ll dive deeper into drip marketing.

 

Images for SEO – 2014 Edition

July 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Images for SEODespite Google’s never ending algorithm changes…think Hummingbird and Panda…there are still search engine optimization tactics that continue to work. One of these is image optimization through tagging. Taking the small step of naming your images with your keywords used to have enormous benefit.

It still does. If you click on the image in this post, you’ll notice several things. First of all, I found this in reviewing my web stats. The photo is sending me traffic from Pinterest. Pinterest links to my article that contains the photo and it even shows other photos that are found on this blog.

Secondly, the photo was found on Google image search and then posted to Pinterest. What was the reason it was found on Google? I renamed the image with the keyword I was using for the article! So parts of the article title were repeated in the image and even four years later, the image is still ranked in the top five of Google images.

Now this is the part I find really interesting. The searched image was then pinned to Pinterest so it can be found using social media channels as well. I’m entirely convinced social media will decrease the influence search marketing has. However, examples like this show how complementary social and SEO can be. Social is impacting search in a major way. It’s up to online marketers to survey the landscape and make adjustments as necessary.

It seems to me image tagging is still an effective tactic for search and social.

Don’t Outsource Sales

September 5, 2013 2 comments

01_15_eset_robotI’ve said it before; the whole point of marketing is to get you, a.k.a. your sales team, in front of real, live decision makers. What happens if you outsource sales to technology or overseas? Here’s an example. My snarky additions are in parentheses.

Chat with: Visitor, Jeff
Jeff: Hello, thanks for contacting Preferred Law Team. My name is Jeff, may I have your name?
Visitor: Ben.
Jeff: Hi Ben
Jeff: How can I assist you?
Visitor: I was wondering who won the Alabama vs. Va. Tech game on Saturday? (A current event to assess who I’m really speaking with.)
Jeff: I see. Before we proceed, may I have your phone number and email to better assist you?
Visitor: Certainly.
Jeff: I see.
Visitor: Are you software or an outsourced, overseas agent? (When I first thought I wasn’t dealing with a human.)
Jeff: I am sorry as I am not allowed to disclose that information.
Jeff: Is there anything else I can help you with regarding our services?
Visitor: Are you human, or are you dancer? (Thanks Killers!)
Jeff: This is a real person
Visitor: So why didn’t you answer my first question?
Jeff: Our areas of practice include (but are not limited to) Real Estate, Finance, Civil Litigation, Mediation & Arbitration, Corporations, Partnerships, LLCs, Bankruptcy & Foreclosure, and Entertainment.
Jeff: Can you tell me a little about your case?
Visitor: Your response questions my belief in your humanity…
Jeff: I see. May I know about your legal matter?
Visitor: Can you answer my first question?
Jeff: I apologize, I don’t have access to that information
Visitor: It’s in the chat transcript. Hint…scroll up…
Jeff: Well, I’m not allowed to answer general questions. For more details you can also contact our office at: 801-727-4290.
Visitor: Can you help me with my delinquent mortgage?
Jeff: Would you mind explaining a bit more about your case?
Visitor: My mortgage is delinquent…and so is my child. Can you help with either?
Jeff: The attorney can help with this. Would you like to speak with someone on the phone?
Visitor: Why can’t you help Jeff?
Jeff: I’m sorry, I’m not an attorney and as such am not able to answer specific legal questions or give legal advice. May I have someone from our office contact you? They can assist further.
Visitor: So are you a lead gen bot?
Jeff: For more details you can also contact our office at: 801-727-4290. I’m sure one of our staff member will be happy to help you.
Jeff: Thank you for contacting Preferred Law Team.
System: The chat session has ended. (Way to hang up on your prospect!)

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Admittedly, I didn’t know a thing about this company except for an email they sent me. However, what they sent piqued my interest and I responded…only to get the proverbial phone hung up on me when I asked too many questions.

Would you trust your marketing budget to a technology based or overseas team?

2012 in Review

January 30, 2013 Leave a comment

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 24,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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