SEO Tactics 2016 Real Estate  

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  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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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: Bing: Facebook: Twitter:

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.


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.


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.


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!


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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.

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 - Market Pages and SEO
  • More Listings = More Indexing

    In Part 2 of this series, we talked about creating and optimizing Market pages, 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.

    Refer to the type of account you're using below to learn about your options, and how to put them to work on your site.

    Optima Express (IDX for WordPress) & OmniPress IDX Websites

    Shortcodes With a few clicks, you can add IDX listings to pages or posts. Add thumbnail galleries in widget areas, directly embed Markets (saved searches) into pages or posts, add animated slider galleries, and more.

    Learn how >

    Markets Create saved searches to display as pages, embedded in pages or posts or displayed in widget areas.

    Plans with MarketBoost:

    Learn how >

    Plans without MarketBoost:

    Learn how >

    Community Pages (Power plans and above) Quickly populate a "Communities" menu full of search results pages.

    Learn how >

    SEO City Links (Power plans and above) Add a list of indexable listings to a widget area.

    Learn how >

    Optimize your IDX pages 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 Market Report pages (saved searches), you can use them in title tags of other types of IDX pages.

    Learn how >

    Optima IDX (IDX for custom websites, Wix and Squarespace)

    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. 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.

    Note: Some website platforms will require that you use framing (iframes) to incorporate IDX pages from your iHomefinder account. In this case, you will not have the option to pursue the above.

    Market Reports Add stand-alone search results pages optimized for search engine indexing.

    Optima IDX with MarketBoost:

    Learn how >

    Optima IDX without MarketBoost:

    Learn how >

    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.

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.

Markets and SEO

Markets are saved searches you create in your account control panel. Once created, these pages can be displayed on your site in 2 ways:

  • Embed directly in custom pages or posts - this an option only in Optima Express (IDX plugin for WordPress) and OmniPress websites.
  • Link directly to a Market page - this option is available in all account plans

Embedding Market Pages in Custom Pages and Posts

Embedding a Market page in a custom page or post provides more SEO options to help your page rank. Custom pages support custom content such as copy, images and videos which search engines love. These elements can also increase engagement (time spent on page) which also helps your page rank.

After creating a Market in your account control panel, you can embed a Market report page in a WordPress page or post with the Listing Gallery Shortcode. Learn how >

Linking Directly to Market Pages

This option is available on WordPress and non-WordPress websites. When linking directly to Market pages, you can incorporate your targeted keywords to help you SEO efforts.

Once you're familiar with creating Markets (saved searches) in your IDX Control Panel, refer to the information below for your account type.

Optima Express and OmniPress Websites

  • The name you use for a Market 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 Market pages, so it includes a keyword of your choice. Just go to Optima Express > IDX Pages in your WordPress dashboard, then locate "Market Report" 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.