Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.techwyse.com
Your website is one of the most prominent faces of your business and therefore plays a key role in guiding your customers towards conversion. It’s important that your website represents you and your company but it must also be a pleasing virtual space for customers to visit. Here are a few quick and easy ways to refresh your website for 2017 and to help improve visitor traffic.
Be careful not to overwhelm visitors with a busy looking website. Limit your design to between one and three colours. Here are a few suggestions for improving your colour palette:
Here are some great free colour palette resources to help you choose the right colours. They even have explore sections that have pre-made colour palettes based on themes.
When choosing fonts for your site, your first priority should be legibility. Make sure your font size is between 14-24 points so the reader will be able to easily read the content. Google Fonts has a wide range of fonts to choose from that are compatible on various platforms.
You should also avoid overwhelming the reader by using too many font styles. Stick with two fonts styles for the entire website, one for headers and one for the body copy. If the font you selected has a large font family (thin, regular, medium, bold, etc) you can use these various weights within the font family and create a hierarchy within these weights. Just remember to stay consistent — if you use bold font in 20 points for subheads, use this same font across all subheads on the site.
If you’re having trouble selecting a pair of fonts that go well together, try these websites:
The imagery you choose allows the visitor to connect with your company and your services on an emotional level. Taking images yourself adds more value and gives your visitors a glimpse into your company. Include images of your location’s interior and exterior, product shots or of people interacting. Readers rely on images to feel that your company is trustworthy and genuine.
Things to avoid when using your own imagery:
Less is more when it comes to laying out your content. If you have heavy copy going across the page, try separating it into 2-4 columns. For example, if you have four services, separate each one and describe each in brief paragraphs.
Use bullet points to explain key points on your homepage, you need the reader to be able to quickly skim the page and know what you do.
Break up long sections of content with imagery to give the reader’s eyes interest to keep reading.
Here are some examples:
Call-To-Action(CTA) buttons can be in various shapes, sizes and colours but the end goal is the same for all, to complete a conversion. If you notice that you are not getting as many conversions as you would like or you’ve been wanting to change your buttons for A/B testing, then try these tricks.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: searchengineland.com
It’s no secret that Google is in a constant state of change. The “ten blue links” that used to comprise a search engine results page (SERP) are diminishing in importance, and new features are becoming more essential with every passing month. From image results and local packs to site links and knowledge panels, Google is reshaping search marketing.
Clearly, focusing only on your website is no longer effective. Ranking higher than your competitor in Google’s organic rankings is less meaningful if that competitor is displayed in, say, an answer box. The current name of the SEO game is acquiring as much page real estate on the SERPs as possible.
For example, a best-case scenario for search would be to do well in AdWords results, land a featured snippet, get a spot in a local pack and rank high in the organic listings. It also helps to have a presence in the Knowledge Graph and be seen in video snippets, images and news feeds that show up on Google.
To really create a competitive edge in this changing SEO landscape, don’t hesitate to get a little help from some friends — and by friends, I mean tools that help you leverage SERP features.
Here are a few such tools that can sharpen your SEO sword:
Do you work in e-commerce? If so, you’ll definitely want to look into Yotpo, which focuses on integrating reviews into your website for greater SERP visibility. Its helpful, SERP-enhacing features include:
Structured data is one element that really revs up today’s SEO. Because it labels a website’s data to make the website look better to Google, structured data boosts visibility and helps skyrocket traffic. Although Google doesn’t consider it mandatory for high ranking, using structured data is certainly recommended.
Are you using structured data effectively? Are there any errors that need to be fixed in your schema markup? The good news is that you don’t even have to ask these questions. Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool will tell you if anything is out of place, making it easy for you to fix any issues.
Want to learn more? Here’s a useful guide.
This ultra-handy webmaster tool “teaches” Google about how you structure your website’s data. It lets you quickly and easily tag your site’s data fields so Google can better display your website in as many SERP features as possible.
To really make your SEO activities much easier, do yourself a favor and take advantage of the many free WordPress themes with schema markup built right in. There are schema-friendly themes for many kinds of industries, formats and blog platforms. When creating a blog, compare blog sites to know the best fit for you.
Also, as you may have suspected, several schema markup plugins are available. A few of them include:
Moz offers an excellent tool to help you stay aware of the vast SERP feature environment. They market their Advanced SERP Feature Tracking tool as containing the most comprehensive data set on the market.
This tool provides analysis of featured snippets, image packs, in-depth articles, local packs, knowledge cards and knowledge panels, site links and more.
Rank Ranger’s SERP Features Tool tracks the presences of various SERP features over time. How often is a particular feature appearing? Is its presence within the SERPs generally increasing or decreasing?
According to Range Ranker:
This free research tool can be used to benchmark and explore the presence and trending of Knowledge Graphs, Ads, Images, Local Pack, News Pack, Related Search and Organic Results counts, plus special page indicators (e.g., breadcrumbs, events, HTTPs, ratings, notable online, image and video thumbnails, search box, sitelinks, Twitter pack, etc.)
Rank Ranger also provides a helpful guide to all the existing Google SERP features, including visual examples of each, here.
This is an excellent tool for discovering if any of your keywords trigger SERP features such as answer boxes. STAT tracks 20,000 websites and 218,000 consumer products daily.
SEMrush is useful when you need competitive data. Use it to find out if the keywords your competitors rank for trigger any SERP features like featured snippets, local packs, Knowledge Graph panels, Google News and so on.
Effective marketing has always been a complex endeavor, and Google’s constant innovations don’t make things any easier. But with change and innovation comes progress.Scott Lazerson
Staying current with SEO best practices will only give you a competitive advantage, and that’s where these tools come into play.
To be the best SEO practitioner, always be on the lookout for valuable tools that can make you more proficient. Experiment every day, use the apps that work for you, and know when to abandon the ones that aren’t improving your processes. Just like a good mentor, new tools can help you reach higher levels of success.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.bruceclay.com
When house hunting, 90 percent of buyers use the internet. In fact, 53 percent of buyers start their search online, according to “The Digital House Hunt,” an extensive report on real estate consumer trends conducted by Google and the National Association of Realtors.
More than ever, people head online when it comes to looking for homes and finding Realtors®. According to the 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 86 percent of home buyers consider real estate websites the most useful source of information when buying a home. The very first step that 44 percent of home buyers make when house hunting is to look online.
Between 2008 and 2012, real estate-related searches increased by 253 percent. With so much opportunity online, realtors can’t afford to miss out on this valuable traffic; for professionals in real estate, SEO is more important than ever.
When it comes to capturing traffic for terms related to real estate, SEO efforts begin with local keyword targets on a personal website.
SEO expert and author Bruce Clay’s advice? You have to carve out a niche for yourself — think locally, and then expand.
Read on to discover how you can leverage a real estate website to capture traffic (and leads). Here’s how to optimize your real estate website:
Sixty-nine percent of home shoppers begin their research with a local keyword phrase, like “Glendale realtor.”
Most realtors service multiple cities and regions. However, when you start your website, focus on the main city you do business in first. From there, build out silos that target other areas.
Optimize your website for search terms such as:
These words can appear on pages throughout your site. For example, a site focusing on just Glendale realty might be organized like this:
Throughout these pages, incorporate the local keyword targets, working them into content that is useful to a prospective home buyer.
Clay explained that you should make your website a resource. On a page like “Living in Glendale,” provide information on school districts, crime rates, median income, public transportation, and statistics on the average homeowner.
Really focus on capturing local traffic. You have a much better chance to rank for, let’s say, “Glendale realtor” than “Southern California realtor” — as you build your site and traffic, you can eventually target more competitive terms like “Southern California realtor,” but not right out of the gate. You’ll have more success if you take a more targeted approach.
It’s common practice for realtors and brokers to use IDX (Internet Data Exchange) to render real estate listings. While this is great for users, it usually does little to influence rankings on search engines because these MLS listings are usually rendered with jQuery, in an iFrame or on a subdomain that appears off of the main site — meaning Google won’t index the content as part of the site. That’s why it’s important to add additional unique content to the listings page, such as:
A real estate agent can represent hundreds of listings at a time, there are no doubt a few key properties that the realtor is particularly motivated to sell. One way to secure traffic to your site for those specific properties is to write blog posts. Each blog post should target a specific property’s address, which perspective home buyers will be searching for using Google. The address becomes the keyword — follow all SEO best practices such as using the keyword in:
As for the content itself, come up with 200 words of unique content describing the home’s features in addition to the standard description — and in this case, you don’t have to worry about duplicate content.
Google expects to see those descriptions of homes appear across the web. You won’t be penalized for including standard listing information. However, if you want to rank for the address as a keyword, you’ll have to include unique content, as well.
Photos and videos are key engagement objects on all websites, but this is especially true of a real estate site. Home buyers love seeing a video tour of the inside of their prospective new homes. In addition to video tours, consider capturing testimonials on video, too.
Whenever you sell a home, get a testimonial. If you have a video camera, a steady hand and good lighting, try to get that testimonial recorded on the spot. A home buyer is ecstatic right after getting their keys. That’s a great time to ask for a review.
An Australian real estate group reported seeing 403 percent more inquiries for listings with video than those without video, and studies have shown adding a video to a page triples the amount of inbound link.
The statistics are in and they show that home buyers are searching for real estate on mobile devices. “The Digital House Hunt” report referenced earlier also found:
The report found that home buyers are apt to use mobile real estate sites while at home, at work, while waiting in line, at restaurants and in other people’s homes. Home buyers visit real estate websites to:
With these statistics in mind, it’s clear that making your website mobile is an important factor in real estate SEO. We recommend using responsive design, which is Google’s preferred mobile configuration (read more on responsive design).
Real Estate SEO: Beyond Your Website
In addition to optimizing your personal website for traffic, there are steps you can take off-site to entice prospective clients, as well, such as optimizing your bio page on your real estate agency’s website, getting listed in directories and using social media strategically.
Real estate agent directories get a lot of traffic, so it’s worth your while to get listed in them. Each of the following highly trafficked real estate sites have directories available to realtors:
Zillow alone had 498 million page views in a single month and Trulia had 277 million. There’s a lot of potential traffic to be captured by getting listed in the right real estate directory.
If you’re a realtor working with an agency, your brokerage house more than likely hosts a web page for each realtor. While it is unlikely that this sub-domain can rank for a local keyword target, this is a great page to optimize for your name. People will Google your name, so it’s something you should optimize for.
Clay recommended including your full name in the title tag and meta description. This might be challenging, however, because on the broker site, you’re operating on a domain that you don’t have full control over. Find out what you can and cannot change — if you can alter the meta data, optimize those fields for your name.
In addition to ranking for your name, you can also use the bio page to provide contact information and link to your personal website. For additional tips on ranking for your name, check out “Rank for Your Name,” which has more insights on why and how to use your name as a keyword.
When it comes to client relations, social media is a great way to start relationships or strengthen existing ones. A realtor with an active social media presence is able to interact with clients where they are every day: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and/or Instagram. Do your research and find out where your target clients are most active socially.
Real estate is all about relationships — any record you can build on social media that shows your expertise is important. When people vet you and discover a healthy, professional social media presence, it’s going to signal trust.
Because photos and videos are key components in real estate sales, Pinterest and Instagram are particularly useful platforms for realtors. On Facebook, consider joining location-based groups and on Google+, get active in local communities. Across all platforms, use social media strategically, employing hashtags like #realestate or #listing. For more tips on leveraging each of these networks, read “Social Media for Business.”
Sourced through Scoop.it from: realtrends.com
When it comes to creating a perfectly optimized SEO page for your real estate brokerage, you must first cover some fundamentals that will ensure you are taking the right steps toward optimizing your website to its full potential. Below are four steps to take when creating a new page on your website.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: realtybiznews.com
Although street names and neighborhoods can make or break a property’s desirability – and, therefore, sell-ability – perhaps the most important location feature of all is where your listings rank on internet search results.The Dawning of Digital Real Estate Shopping
Real estate SEO is becoming increasingly important, particularly as the volume of mobile web searches continues to expand. According to a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 43% of real estate shoppers in 2014 started their search online first, while a whopping 88% of buyers visited a real estate website at some point during their search. And these numbers continue to rise as the digital age unabatingly dictates our actions, including the way buyers find properties.
It is this increasing reliance on the internet that makes SEO for real estate an unavoidable necessity. Nowadays, to get your listings in front of the right prospects, it’s all about discovering the same combination of real estate keywords your prospects are using to find you, and then broadcasting those keywords on every digital outlet for maximum online searchability.Top Real Estate Keywords that Trigger Buyers
The real estate industry presents a unique opportunity for SEO, specifically in the fact that its audience is highly local. That said, you should focus your efforts on ranking high in local SEO, that is, appearing when prospects search for properties in the area you serve.
And while each property listing needs to be unique, you should include a few basic keywords when crafting your real estate SEO formula:
Are you selling a house or condo? Are you leasing an apartment or duplex? The real estate industry is an expansive one, so make sure you specify what exactly is your specialty. Also, consider the different terminology prospects might use when searching for your listings, like homes for sale vs. houses for sale. Try to cater to each variation as much as possible.
Over 69% percent of online real estate searches start with local keywords. Emphasize the specific markets you serve to make it easy for buyers searching in those areas, such as (City) Realtors or Rental Homes in (City, State).
If you serve a well-known neighborhood or area of town, include that information on your website and in your listing description, such as Homes For Sale in (Community).
Waterfront home? Gated community? Swimming pool? Five acres of land? If these things matter to the right buyers, they will include them in their online search, which means you should include them in your listings.
Website visitors may automatically assume your role as agent or broker, but that does not mean the search engines will. Buyers searching for Find a Realtor in (Area) or Real Estate Agents in (City) can find you easily if you include your full job title in your website profile or bio.
Of course, your prospects don’t simply search for realtors or waterfront homes. For narrower targeting, combine any of the above keywords and make them as specific as possible, like New Homes For Sale in (City). Or, consider highly specific copy like Home For Sale 3 Miles from Downtown (City) for individual listings.Going Beyond Keyword Discovery
Determining the real estate keywords and phrases prospects use to find you provides a challenge in itself, but it doesn’t stop there.
To get the best results, implement keywords and phrases throughout your website, not just your individual listings. You can add keywords in your About Us web page, home page, and other landing pages that feature specific services. Make sure you use each keyword multiple times in your web copy, but only as long as the copy reads well without sounding like keyword stuffing.
Once you begin actively pursuing better SEO tactics, tools like Google Analytics can help you determine which keywords and phrases are driving web traffic so you can continue to optimize your website and listings.
SEO may seem like a constant work-in-progress, and truthfully, it is. But with enough practice and planning, you can upgrade every web page and listing to move-in ready status and prepare them for their new location at the top of your prospect’s search results.