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SEO Tactics You Can Put To Use Immediately

SEO Tactics 2016 Real Estate  

Share this Image On Your Site

  Our Learning Center Series session on November 18 provided proven SEO tactics you can use to bring more buyers and sellers to your website. iHomefinder's Shaw Taylor was joined by Tyler Zey of Easy Agent Pro to present the following content:
  • SEO basics & how it can help your business
  • The importance of keywords in SEO and how to put them to work
  • How and where to add lead capture elements to convert site traffic
  • Case studies focusing on best practices
  • Putting concepts to work using the iHomefinder SEO worksheet

Webinar Recording

You can watch a recording of the webinar at any time using the following link: Watch the webinar recording >>

iHomefinder SEO Worksheet

by Easy Agent Pro The SEO worksheet that was used for a portion of the session is available for your own use. Watch the webinar recording to understand how this worksheet can be put to use for your own SEO effort. Click the link below and select "Make a copy..." under the File menu. Go to the worksheet and make a copy >

Have questions?

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How to Generate Real Estate Leads

HowToGeneratLead-2   Consumers now have many options for exploring real estate listings online. To compete in this market and acquire new leads, it’s critical to have an effective lead acquisition and nurturing strategy. In this article, we’ll review methods for acquiring new real estate leads to help you grow your business. Some of these methods are simple while others will require more planning and follow-through, but they can all help you acquire more leads. We’ll talk about best practices for nurturing your leads in a future article.

Website Optimization

Does your website need an overhaul? An optimized website will engage buyers and sellers and convert more of your visitors to leads. Website optimizations will generally fall into two categories: aesthetics and content.

Website Aesthetics

Consumers form an opinion about your website in a fraction of a second. The following key points can make a dramatic improvement in how well your site engages consumers:
  • Professional, uncluttered look and feel
  • Quick loading time
  • Friendly user experience with simple navigation
Ask your family, friends and colleagues for their honest assessment and make adjustments if needed. Your business depends on it!

Website Content

Here are some considerations for content on your website that will help make your site sticky and convert more visitors to leads.
> Unrestricted Property Search
Allow consumers to search and explore listings without prompts for registration. Or consider allowing a number of searches and property views before asking for registration. The simpler your default property search form is the better. Consider offering a separate advanced search option so users don’t have to face lots of options they don’t need.
> Listings Pages and Galleries
Make it easy to access and browse listings organized by local communities, neighborhoods or even specialized categories such as water view, golf course, distressed, etc. These can also help your SEO (discussed in the Seach Engine section below).
> Email Alerts
Make sure you prominently feature an option to sign up for new listing email alerts. These emails provide your leads with listing links to your site for new or updated listings that match their search criteria. Consider adding an eye-catching graphic to your site that points out the benefits of Email Alerts with a link to the sign up form.
> Hyper Local Focus & Unique Content
Your website is your opportunity to present yourself as a local expert – something the large portal sites can’t provide! It’s also your opportunity to differentiate from other sites that simply have listings with no other useful information. Consider adding helpful community information, links to resources, and pictures. Search engines will index this content, bringing you more opportunities for free traffic from search engine results pages.
> Value Proposition
Put yourself in the shoes of your site visitors. Why should they consider working with you? If you don’t clearly answer this on your website, you can expect fewer registrations from your site visitors. Include some brief bullets on your site that point out how your services, experience, and knowledge will help them with their next transaction. Featuring testimonials from satisfied clients can help build trust with new visitors and influence how many register on your website.

PPC (Pay-per-Click) Online Ad Channels

Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Bing can all deliver advertisements to consumers using demographic criteria, time of day settings, and more. Each service will let you track your ad performance and modify your campaigns accordingly. Get Started with PPC: Google: https://www.google.com/adwords/ Bing: http://advertise.bingads.microsoft.com/en-us/home Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/business/products/ads Twitter: https://biz.twitter.com/ad-products

Social Media

Social media is an essential component of lead generation. There are several different platforms, each with their own benefits and tactics. We’ll discuss social media strategies in more detail in future articles.
  • Facebook – This is the most common network and building a strong presence here can really boost your lead generation. . Start by including a lot of facts about neighborhoods and properties to show off your local knowledge. Use lots of pictures and encourage people to share them. Don’t flood the newsfeed with your listings, though. You’re on a social network to attract and engage new followers with content .
  • Twitter – This is a quick and simple way to get people thinking about moving and buying homes. You can link to important resources on your website and use hashtags to get in on the active conversations.
  • Pinterest – This network is all about the best looking pictures. Create your own boards and fill them with pictures of the homes and yards as well as interesting images of the neighborhood and city. Make sure you have a good description of each image that is short and to the point.
  • YouTube – This is the #2 rated search engine! Maximize your exposure by creating a channel and posting virtual tours or consider even simple slideshow videos using listing images.

Email

A lot of people think that email is no longer an effective marketing technique but studies continue to show that this is one of the best ways to get a response from potential clients. In addition to automated new listing email alerts, you can send email newsletters with tips on finding homes, local community news, market information or any other content your leads might find helpful.

Search Engines

When someone finds you through a search engine, it’s safe to assume that this is a lead that definitely has home buying or selling in mind. When they search for general terms like new homes in a specific area, you'll obviously want your website to appear as high as possible in the results. Establishing an SEO strategy that brings you more search engine traffic takes time and effort and is definitely a marathon rather than a sprint. You can either consult professionals to build a strategy for your site or take a look at the wealth of content available online to get familiar with best practices. The SEO Starter Guide from Google below is just one example of the many online resources available and is a great starting point. Download the free "SEO Starter Guide" from Google >>

Events & Conventions

Out-of-town real estate conventions are a great way to contact agents from other locations and let them know that you’re open to referrals. You can establish yourself as a trustworthy agent so they’ll be willing to send you clients who are looking for something in your area. This is where you can also make contacts with other professionals such as lawyers, lenders, bankers, and insurance agents might all have relationships with potential real estate leads.

Direct Mailers

Postcards are simple and eye-catching and you can send them to people in specific locations. You can include information about listings or just focus on getting them to your website where you can invite them to contact you or sign up for new listing Email Alerts.

Referrals

Happy clients are the best place to look for new leads. If your past clients had a good experience with you, they’ve probably already shared the story with friends and family. In your next email blast, consider asking them about anyone they know who is interested in buying a home.

Nurturing

Don’t assume that a lead who isn’t quite ready to buy or sell is a dead end. The vast majority of your new leads will probably fit in this category. Once you have a new lead, you can send personalized mailers, set them up with new listing email alerts and send newsletters to keep them engaged and remind them of your services until they’re ready for a transaction. What do you do to generate leads? Is there something we missed? Let us know or share your thoughts!

Questions?

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Announcing Optima IDX With Responsive Design

oidx_dvcs Clients using Optima IDX for custom websites can now provide a fully responsive IDX website that will adapt to any device and screen size. With this update to Optima IDX, all iHomefinder products are now fully responsive. View the press release >>

Explore the New Features

  • Responsive design - A single, user-friendly design works on any device or screen size, eliminating the need for a separate mobile website.
  • Large, retina-quality photos on details pages (where available).
  • Larger photos on search results pages.
  • New, improved search user interface.
  • Auto-suggest text search on available advanced search fields.
  • Widgets - Quick Search with 3 layouts, Address Search, Listing ID Search, Contact Us, More Info Request (for property details pages).
  • Built with Bootstrap - Sleek, fast and more customizable than ever.

See a Live Demo

Check it out on our live demo site >>

Make the Switch to Responsive

If you currently use Optima IDX, our step-by-step guide will assist you or your web developer with switching to the responsive version of Optima IDX.

Indexable IDX for SEO Part 3 – Add More Listings

This is the third and final post in this series of posts covering iHomefinder indexable IDX and SEO. Here are the first two parts if you'd like to review them: Part 1 - Keyword Strategy & Resources for SEO Best Practices Part 2 - Saved Search Pages

More Listings = More Indexing

Link to Saved Search In Part 2 of this series, we talked about creating and optimizing Saved Searches, so these listings will be indexed by search engines on your site. There are even more options for adding indexable IDX listings to your site. Just look below under the type of account you're using to learn about your options, and how to put them to work on your site.
Optima Express - IDX for WordPress & OmniPress IDX Websites
Shortcodes Add a variety of IDX listing gallery options to pages or posts. These include thumbnail galleries in widget areas, embedded Saved Searches, animated slider galleries, and more. Learn How: Optima Express | OmniPress Websites Saved Searches Use as stand-alone search results pages or include these listings in different gallery options. Learn How: Optima Express | OmniPress Websites Community Pages (Power plans and above) Quickly populate a "Communities" menu full of search results pages. Learn How: Optima Express | OmniPress Websites SEO City Links (Power plans and above) Add a list of indexable listings to a widget area. Learn How: Optima Express | OmniPress Websites SEO boost for your keywords! As we discussed in Part one of this series, page title tags play an important role in SEO. In addition to using keywords in titles of Saved Searches, you can use them in title tags of other types of IDX pages. Learn How: Optima Express | OmniPress Websites
Optima IDX - IDX Integration for Websites
To get listings indexed on your own domain in Optima IDX, you should apply HTML branding to your IDX pages, rather than framing the IDX pages on your site. Although search engine spiders will often index framed pages, this can be unpredictable. You'll also need to request a custom domain for your IDX pages (a free option). IDX listings will be indexed on your domain once you've added them to your site using the features below. Saved Searches Add stand-alone search results pages optimized for search engine indexing. Learn How: Saved Searches Sidebar Galleries Add attractive thumbnail galleries using the 950 pixel IDX page size. Learn How: Sidebar widgets
Questions? Contact Us! If you are a current client, please contact our support team.

Indexable IDX for SEO Part 2 – Site Content

This is the second of three posts discussing how your iHomefinder IDX account can benefit your SEO strategy. If you missed the first post that talked about keyword strategy and optimization, you can view it here.
Saved Search Pages & SEO
Let's look at an example where the Avalon Heights neighborhood in the city of Concord is targeted as a keyword. You can add a Saved Search page on your site that is optimized for this keyword, and the IDX listings will automatically update with your board's MLS® System. The benefits of this are two-fold: 1) Visitors will immediately access listings related to their search term 2) The page will contibute more to your SEO with its dynamically updating listings, rather than a than a static page. Make sure your site provides links to Saved Search pages, which allow search engines to index the content when crawling your site. Link to Saved Search
Creating Saved Searches
It's easy to create Saved Searches and add them to your site. You can use the links below that correspond with your account to learn how to create Saved Searches. Optima Express and OmniPress Websites Creating Saved Searches - Optima Express Creating Saved Searches - OmniPress Websites You can customize title and meta description tags for Saved Search Pages. Learn how >> Using the Listing Gallery feature, you can add Saved Searches to custom pages you build. The IDX listings are not framed, so search engines will index the listings under the title and meta tags of your pages. Listing Gallery Shortcode - Optima Express Listing Gallery Shortcode - OmniPress Websites Optima IDX Creating Saved Searches
Optimizing Saved Search Pages
Your keywords can be leveraged in Saved Searches to further boost your SEO. Once you're familiar with creating Saved Searches, refer to the information below for optimizing your Saved Searches for your targeted keywords.
Optima Express and OmniPress Websites
  • The name you use for a Saved Search page will be used as the title tag for the page. Make sure the name closely relates to the content of the page, and use your keyword at the beginning or close to the beginning of the name.
  • Use keywords in the "Short Description" field - this is added to the page content and indexed by search engines.
  • You can customize a portion of the permalink (URL) used by all Saved Search pages, so it includes a keyword of your choice. Just go to Optima Express > IDX Pages in your WordPress dashboard, then locate "Saved Search Page" and select Edit next to the Permalink.
Optima IDX Use keywords in the "Intro Text" field - this is added to the page content and indexed by search engines.
Part 3
View Part 3 of this series to learn more ways of adding IDX listings to your site for search engines to index.

Indexable IDX for SEO Part 1 – The Basics

Indexable IDX and SEOAll iHomefinder accounts provide an indexable IDX solution, allowing search engines to discover and index IDX listings on your domain: Optima Express - Indexable IDX plugin for WordPress OmniPress Websites - Hosted WordPress websites with indexable IDX Optima IDX - Indexable IDX integration for custom websites We thought we'd share some tips on how your account with indexable IDX listings can best contribute to your larger SEO strategy, bringing you more organic search engine traffic and potential leads. This is the first of three posts on this subject, so be sure to watch for the second and third posts.
Google's SEO Starter Guide
If you're new to building and managing an SEO strategy for your website, you can learn more about SEO and best practices in the Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide from Google. Understanding these concepts is critical to building a successful SEO strategy. To learn more about Google site crawling and indexing in particular, go to this article from Google.
Keywords - Targeting Your Traffic
It's important to understand the role of keywords in SEO. A large part of search engine optimization is matching your site content with the search terms (keywords) your target traffic is using, and taking steps to improve your ranking for these (also known as "optimizing"). Here are some examples of keyword phrases related to real estate that consumers would be likely to use: "Asheville property listings " "Torrence real estate" "homes for sale in Providence" "condos in Concord"
Keyword Selection & Ranking
When choosing keyword phrases to target, you need to consider how competitive a keyword is and where your site will realistically rank in search engine results pages (SERPs). Large companies spend LOTS of money on SEO in most markets to secure premium rankings, so the competition can be tight. Fortunately there is a strategic alternative! Rather than targeting "catch-all" keywords that are difficult to rank for (such as "Atlanta real estate"), consider optimizing your site for keyword phrases that include more specific terms, known as "long tail" terms. These expose more information about what the searcher wants, such as a type of property or a neighborhood, which means you have a greater chance of converting them by providing exactly what they are looking for when they reach your site. Additionally, you'll have an easier time gaining ranking position for these more specific terms. Here are some examples to illustrate the difference: "Concord real estate" - broad term (competitive) "Concord condo listings" - long tail term (less competitive - easier to rank) "Concord golf course real estate" - long tail term (less competitive - easier to rank)
Keyword Research
It's a good idea to know how many searches are conducted using the keywords you are considering. Google's AdWords Keyword Tool is a good beginner keyword research tool that can provide this information. It's also useful for providing additional keyword ideas. Just set up an AdWords account (no payment is required), then access the Keyword Planner inside your AdWords account. By setting up an AdWords account, you are not committed to starting an AdWords campaign. You'll just have access to some very handy keyword research tools!
Content Optimization for Keywords
After deciding on your keywords to bring the right traffic to your site, using them in the following locations will have the most impact on SEO: Title tag This is displayed as the page title in search results. Keep the number of words to 6 or so, and use the keyword at or near the beginning. Learn about iHomefinder IDX title tag features > Meta Description tag This is the description of your page content that's displayed in search results. This should be written to entice people to click through to your site. Learn about iHomefinder IDX meta description tag features > URL If you're using a keyword in your page content, use the same keyword within the page URL. Anchor text Where possible, links to your site from other sites should include your keywords in the anchor text. Headings tags If the page content includes a keyword, including it in a heading tag can provide added benefit. Keyword density in page content Use the keyword or variations of it at least a few times in your page content.
Part 2
Go to Part 2 of this series to learn how to fully take advantage of Saved Searches and their SEO features.