Category Archives: SEO & Blogging

guide book

The Real Estate Guide to Keywords

It’s one thing to think you know what others are searching for on the web, but it’s another thing to KNOW what they’re searching for!? Creating content that shows up on page one of the Google search results pages (SERPS) is usually the main focus and goal.

Understanding all the components of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be overwhelming and really confusing for most people, especially if you’re busy just trying to run a business and help people buy and sell homes? This explains why so many procrastinate.

What the heck is SEO, SERPS, long tails, short tails etc. anyways? Geez!?!

So if you can’t find a person to take on the role of “SEO KING/QUEEN” and “Keyword Manager” for your company or small business, then looking for a shortcut to this knowledge and the “how-to” is the next best thing right?

Here’s a slide deck the gives you just enough content to understand how it all works, but also provides some concentrated information and details that will help you down the “Keyword” & “Best Phrases” road to success.

While great content is, and always should be the main focus, having the right keywords and phrases do go hand in hand with helping to be found and get discovered in the search engines.
Glory Hole

What Blog Content Works

What Type of Blog Content Works? Great question with no right or wrong answer.

Over the past 10 years I have written more than 1000 articles here. My intention was to simply create a library of content, a place where I could archive all my discoveries and knowledge regarding technology, social media, apps, websites, and online tools etc. The sole purpose of this site was to share my findings with others.

At one point I was using this site as my own resource so I could find and recall all the different things I had discovered. I still do to this day and it’s been a huge value for that reason alone. When I look back and ask myself if creating a website and blog was worth it, the answer is definitely “YES” without a doubt and with no regrets.

TrafficOne never knows when creating a site like this what will become of it?  What will people find when searching the web? What will they like, what will they not like, what will they share and what will keep them coming back? The answer will  remain a mystery until you actually do it, track it, break it down, analyze it and see for yourself?

These are the top articles in the “most viewed” and “most shared” categories.

Coolest Websites and Online Tools 2012

A compilation of the best free websites and online tools and services available on the Internet.  Started January 1st and ended on December 31st 2012. A guaranteed pleaser and a little something for everyone.

The Glory Hole in Lake Berryessa

The ONLY recorded video and story of the amazing Morning Glory (known as the Glory Hole) in Lake Berryessa located in Napa County California. Seeing the video is nothing like seeing it in real life!

Glory HoleTop Mobile Picks for 2013

Nearly every human that walks the earth now owns a mobile device. While many of these links and apps are directed to the iUser, you’ll find them or a comparable app for your specific device as well. Worth a peek for sure.

FREE Image & Graphic Generators

The most socially shared and best resource for accessing and using free images, graphics, and online generators to create the best images, logos, buttons, and graphics etc for your websites and blogs.

Top 50 Google Tools for Business

The title completely covers the reason this one made Top 10. Google has a plethora of tools and services they offer for free that cover a variety of Business and personal needs. Go ahead and count them if in doubt.

Coolest500 Ways To Say Happy Birthday

There are so many ways to say Happy Birthday, Hallmark cards has proved that for sure. This is 500+ people who wished someone happy birthday over a popular social network and still gets the most views today.

Creating Hotspot Links on Pictures

Creating a link or hotspot on a graphic or image may seem very technical and challenging but in this article you’ll see how simple it is and even get instructions to create your own. It’s not as hard as you may think.

Best Websites and Online Tools 2013

Just like the 2012 article above, this one shares all new Free sites and services along the same lines but for 2013.  There’s many great sites, services and tools online today, this is just a smidgen of what’s out there.

Mobile 100Free Photo & Graphic Editing Sites

Fixing photos, images, and editing graphics etc doesn’t take a degree in design or cost a fortune buying software.  You won’t even need to take a class or go to night school to use these free sites.

Enter Contest To Win a FREE House

This article obviously received a ton of attention, views, shares etc. Who wouldn’t want a new house… for FREE? While the contest and sweepstake is now over, this article is still one of the most visited on the site.

So at the end of the day, what type of blogging content works?

As you can see from above, there are a variety of articles covering many different topics. They have excelled beyond the others here based entirely on people’s choices. They have risen to the creme of the crop due to the crowd-sourcing power provided by the Internet.

Whatever you’re truly passionate about writing and sharing with others is great content! It will work and resonate with others but ONLY with those who have similar interests. Now if they decide to go beyond reading and commenting on your stuff, that’s the power.  It’s the sharing, linking to, and others promoting your content etc. that indicates your articles and posts are working! 🙂

Free and Safe Google Images

Using Free and Safe Google Images

Are you looking for images and pictures for your blog? The best bet is to always take and use your own. Just because you can “right-click” on an Internet image and save it to your computer for later use, doesn’t mean that you should, in fact,  I very strongly encourage against it.

95% of people search the Internet for images, pictures, and graphics and they start their search on Google, just like you and I do. The problem is that not all pictures and images are free to use, are available under a creative-commons law, and most are copyright protected.  So now what?

Here is my recommendation for those who want to use Google for images and pictures.

1. Do your Google search as you normally would:

Beautiful Houses

2. Now, use the “advanced” search tool that Google provides over on the right:

Advanced Search Tool

3.  Very Important:
Choose the usage rights that have “Free To Use Share or Modify” and click advanced search button

Google Free and Safe Images

 

4.  Viola! Free and safe images for you to use on your blogs and websites.

Google Free Images and Pics

If you must search the web to find and use that perfect image or picture for your blog, make sure it’s a free and safe image or picture, and that you are doing all you can to protect yourself and abide by all the copyright rules, laws, and regulations.

Even the steps above can’t, won’t, and don’t fully protect you from lawyers and the court of law, but it’s much better and safer than the way you’re currently doing it, wouldn’t you agree…or you wouldn’t be here now right? 🙂

Related & Useful Articles:
Free Photos, and Graphics, and Clip-Art Oh My
Free Photos, Images, Music and More
Free Image, Graphics and Photo Sites
Free Image and Graphic Generators

Google Search

TOP 10 Free SEO Internet Webtools

These are SEO web-tools for the blogger, the website builder, the technology enthusiast, the computer geek, and the beginner through advanced DIY individual who wants to get the most out of their Internet presence building experience.

Each of these sites and tools offer a variety of products and services that will help you find your way through the SEO maze. Rather than create some long winded document explaining each one of these, I kept it short so you could just explore.   Trust me, there is more here about SEO than you will ever need to know or use and I don’t think you’ll find an easier way or resource to get what you need.

TOP SEO Sites and Tools:


Google Keyword Tool
– Keywords and phrases most used that get you best SERP’s.

SEO Mofo – The Google SERP Optimization Tool, see it to believe it.

SEOptimize – 10 Free SEO Tools EVERYONE should Know and Use.

SEO Tool Set – A FREE SEO Toolbox and SEO Playground.

 SEOBook – Variety of free and paid SEO tools for pros and DIY webmasters.

ScrubbTheWeb – Advanced and ethical SEO Tools and SEO Myth Busters.

SEOMOZ -SEO and Social monitoring Made Simple.Free and Paid Services.

VRank – A Nifty little site checker that provides valuable information.

Google Webmaster Tools – A Complete Help Center for SEO and Site Analysis

Search Engine Genie – Unbelievable! 100 Free SEO and Webtools.

SEO Company – Saving the absolute Best for Last!
Over 140 SEO Beginner to Advanced Webtools. A Complete SEO Link Goldmine.

Search Engine Land – Lastly, A Complete SEO Educational Virtual University for SEO.

While no one really knows or understands how search engines, indexing spiders, and algorithm robots work, (except for the employees and developers of company’s who create them) these SEO tools will at least give you some guidance and direction that will make your SEO journey easier to understand, a bit more enjoyable, and much more effective.

Great quality content with value added service combined with an extremely user friendly and fun consumer experience is truly the key to any successful site, but SEO and showing up on page one of the Search engines has never been known to hurt a company or business.  That is of course unless the article or document on page one wasn’t something really bad and just happened to have really great SEO! :-O 

One last important thought about SEO: NOBODY GOES TO PAGE TWO ON GOOGLE?!?

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101 Landing Page Improvement Tips

Over the years, I have been helping many of my colleagues and associates within the real estate industry setup websites, blogs, squeeze pages and landing pages for their business’s.

While much of what I have learned and shared comes from trial and error, a great deal of information I have acquired has come from deep searches and inconceivable amounts of time spent finding resources on the web.

Here’s 101 ways you can improve the conversion potential of your digital marketing. I found this deck to be very informative with some great tips for your landing pages, splash pages and squeeze pages if you’re creating these types of things for your online business, products, tools, or services.

“Landing pages are a crucial part of any online marketing campaign. They can be used to more effectively communicate your marketing message and as a result, increase the conversion rate of your campaigns.”

While these tips will provide a great amount of detailed tips and information, the real key to any successful website, landing page or online presence is that it has the ability to cultivate returning traffic, provide great value and content, and have the ability and components to capture prospect for real world conversion.

Google Penguin

Google’s New Algorithm Penguin Attacks

Google has changed some of their SEO and SERP results due to a new algorithm update being referred to as Penguin.  When did all this happen?  Was your site hit?  Has your page(s) gone down in the search engine results?


How can you tell if you were a victim of Google’s Penguin and what can you or should you do if you were?  This is an interesting topic and will definitely leave you with a better understanding of how Google is ranking and indexing websites and pages and how the Penguin plays into it all.

Does keyword density really matter?  Do meta-tags, titles, and back links really even make a difference anymore?  What if you don’t use keywords, links, SEO techniques, or any other technical traditions of the SEO underworld, will you still show up in Google?

If you’re like me, then you’ll want to know?!?

Google is getting much smarter, much better, and much more efficient at finding ways and implementing tools and programs that keep the SEO Gods trying and guessing. My advice is to forget all that “gaming & black hat SEO stuff” and just provide your readers and subscribers with great value-added and useful content.

Here’s the Google Penguin explanation video if you’re interested.

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Wordpress Plugins

Top 10 WordPress Plugins for Blogs

These are of course my top suggested and favorite plugins for WordPress blogs.  I’m sure that after you review them, you’ll see why. Most of you will either already agree, or begin exploring to decide or find out for yourself.  I am currently using each of these plugins, they are all activated and running on this blog.

The ActiveRain ImporterZeek Interactive
This plugin allows you to import all your ActiveRain blog post content into WordPress fairly seamlessly. Get the ActiveRain Importer PluginWatch a Video first
 

ALL IN ONE SEO PACKMichael Torbert
This is an obvious plugin you’ll need and want if SEO is part of your online strategy. There is a FREE and PRO Version available.  This is one of the first plugins for WordPress I installed.
Get the All In One SEO Pack Plugin here – Downloaded: 9,979,884 times

dsIDXpressDiverse Solutions
This plugin allows WordPress to embed live real estate data from an MLS directly into a blog. You MUST have a dsIDXpress account to use this plugin.  See a “live” demo
Get Your dsIDXpress Plugin here

Google Analytics for WordPressJoost de Valk
Adding Google Analytics to your WordPress blog provides stats and tracking you won’t find in WordPress. Knowing and understanding your target audience vs your actual traffic is monumental.
Get the Google Analytics for WordPress Plugin here

Google XML SitemapsArne Brachhold
This plugin will generate a custom XML sitemap which helps search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog.  Don’t leave your blog without it!
Get the Google XML Sitemap plugin here

Local Market ExplorerAndrew Mattie & Jonathan Mabe
This plugin allows WordPress to load data from a number of real estate and neighborhood APIs to be presented all within a single page in WordPress.  By far, one of my favorites, you’ll see why.
Get the Local Market Explorer plugin here

Shareaholic – Email, Bookmark & ShareShareaholic
This is that cool set of icons (sexy bookmarks) that pop-up at the bottom of a Blog post that let you email, bookmarks, and share on other platforms with a single click.  Another favorite in my plugin toolbox. Get the Shareaholic plugin here

Share and FollowAndy Killen
This is a simple plugin to manage sharing and following for social networking.  This is a great addition as well as an alternative to social sharing using some of the other similar plugin types.
Get the Share and Follow plugin here

Slick Social Share ButtonsLee Chestnutt
This is the floating share button yo see along the left side of my Blog posts here.  This allows you to add a customized selection of social media and bookmarking platforms of your choice.
Get this Slick Social Share Button plugin here

Smooth SliderInternet Techies
The Smooth Slider is a plugin that adds a “smooth content and image slideshow” which is completely  customizable and can be added to any area or location of your blog.  A 5 star rating for “cool!” Get the Smooth Slider plugin here

Social ConnectBrent Shepherd
This allows your viewers and readers to comment, log-in, and register with their Twitter, Facebook, Google, Yahoo or WordPress.com accounts.  Great for simplifying engagement.
Get the Social Connect plugin here

WPtouchBraveNewCode Inc
An absolute must for mobile user accessibility.  This plugin formats your site with a mobile theme for visitors on Apple iPhone / iPod touch, Google Android, Blackberry Storm and Torch, Palm Pre and other touch-based smartphones.  Get the WPtouch plugin here

WP Super CacheDonncha O Caoimh
Does your blog or page load slow?  It will with all these plugins, (lol) this plugin does the trick for caching your blog and speeding up the load speed for your visitors.  An Awesome plugin, but a lot of options. Get the WP Super Cache plugin here

WordPress ImporterWordPressdotorg
This plugin allows you to import posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, tags and more from a WordPress export file.  Move all your WordPress Blogs into one!
Get your WordPress Importer plugin here

Needing some Real Estate Specific Plugins?  These should keep you busy, I have not tested them.

I’m still testing out about 10-15 others including the new Jetpack, Page-Peel, WP-Topbar and others.  We’ll see if they make the next cut for Top WordPress plugins. Here’s a great plugin resource for finding and downloading WordPress plugins for your Blogs.

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Squeeze & Landing Page Checklist

There are a few key elements needed required when creating a powerful and effective squeeze or landing page.  Squeeze and landing pages that will inspire and motivate your viewers to provide the necessary content and information you’re seeking to convert them to a life long client.  This is so important for Internet marketers and advertisers to thoroughly understand.

Lets review a few “key ingredients” for your splash/squeeze landing pages.

The four key areas are:

  • Urgency
  • Value
  • Credibility
  • Trust

What makes you want to enter YOUR information when landing on a website, blog, or squeeze page?  What type of information lures you in, grabs your attention, then leaves you with a call to action that is not only tempting but irresistible?  That’s easy~  All the parts and components that create urgency, prove value, earn credibility, and establish trust within a matter of seconds.

This landing page checklist will help break down these four key elements. This landing page tutorial and checklist guide below will be helpful in sharing some samples and examples of what this actually looks like and how it should be used in building YOUR squeeze and landing pages.


Special thanks and shout-out to Social Media Add for finding and sharing this on their site.
cloudcamp-300x300

RECloudCamp for Real Estate

RECloudCamp for Real Estate is the Real Deal!

Many real estate Industry professionals have been to REBarCamp events all across the US.  REBarCamps started in San Francisco a few years back and became one of the more popular One-Day Real Estate events to attend if you’re in the business.  They were coined as the unconference.   A place where industry professionals could gather to learn and share new technologies, social media skills, and the newest and best ways to do business to better serve clients.


RECloudCamp is really no different except for the following:

  • No airline ticket required
  • No taxi, bus, or train ground transportation
  • No Rental Cars
  • No Hotel/Motel fees
  • No Traffic, Bridge Toll, or Commute
  • No Weather Storms or Road Rage
  • No Parking Fees
  • No Admission Fees, it’s FREE

The entire event is online and takes place in a Virtual world right on your computer and it’s FREE.

All you need is an internet connection, an iPad or notepad to take notes, and an empty cup upstairs to fill with knowledge and wisdom shared from these “Great Topics!”  Joining RECloudCamp is easy,  navigating around the 3D world is even easier and fun, but most of all, the learning opportunities and networking potential will be huge!

SIGN UP NOW AND GET
MORE INFORMATION HERE


The Virtual Visitor in The Virtual Conference

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3 Top Keyword Tools for Bloggers

Search engines like Google focus on returning the best quality and “Best AvailableSERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages)  It’s all based on what “Keywords” or phrases are being typed into the Search box.  Search engines simply want to return the best available matching content based on both short-tail and long-tail keyword searches.

The two things people search most are: the item, the person, the company, the thing or service, and then a geographic or what many are referring to as a hyper-local location.  Having this knowledge about search engines and keywords stands to reason why we all want to remove the guessing game of…

“What are people looking for and typing in the search box of search engines?”


No pun intended (well, maybe a little) search no more!
  While we can never really be 100% certain of what people are searching and the exact keywords or terms they’re using, these keyword tools will help you not only define what IS being searched on the web, but how and what keywords to be using when creating and refining your blog titles and blog content.

Introducing Google’s Keyword Tool:


In the “Keyword Search” we typed “Real Estate in San Francisco” which seem like a pretty reasonable search that most web surfers would type if Interested in looking at Real Estate in San Francisco.  Interestingly the “Keyword Tool” came back showing that there is a larger percentage of people searching San Francisco Apartments which stands to reason considering the demographic of San Francisco.


Maybe creating a Blog post with the Title “San Francisco Apartments” and then provide content on how those living in “San Francisco Apartments” could qualify for a great loan, with great rates, and possibly become first time buyers and first time homeowners would be a worthy option and idea worth trying?  This is just a sample of how you can use these Keyword tools to better your content, your traffic, and hopefully your business.

How should I use the Keyword Tool for keyword ideas?

Search for specific keyword ideas that are related to your business, product, or service.  Or you can search a URL containing content relative to your specific niche, business, or service.  You can also go straight to filtering out specific keyword categories.  Use one or the other or both of them together; the keyword tool is very flexible and intuitive depending on how you’d choose to use it.  Go ahead and try this:

  • Use the Advanced options to refine your search, for example, by county, city, or neighborhood.
  • Check or Un-check  the keyword match type check boxes to refine your search.
  • Select the Columns button above the results table to customize the columns you see in the results.

Give the Google Keyword Tool a TryCheck out the other Google Keyword Toolbox

Soovle Is Another Great Keyword Tool


Soovle.com search multiple sites and returns most searched results
on multiple platforms of your choosing.  You can select from up to 15 sites at one time to get the most poplar searched “Keywords” or related “Phrases” on those individual sites.  Here are the results as we started typing the words “Real Estate” and then realized that if we suddenly stopped typing, the Soovle tool kicked in and started solving…


Now this may seem a little biased and shameless since I do work for the Zillow-Yahoo! Real Estate Network, but I was personally pretty excited to see that on the Yahoo site, “Zillow Real Estate” was a pretty popular search by consumers and Internet surfers. (I’ll expand on that at a later date and time)

SEOBOOK Keyword Suggestion Tools


SEOBOOKS Keyword suggestion tool cross-references
Wordtracker.com, Google, and others.  It displays links to related search results, semantically related phrases, and offers a new CVS exporting option which rocks! This combined with Google Insights will provide you with a wealth of FREE data and information to set you well on your way using “Keywords” in your online marketing, advertising, and blogging endeavors going forward.

“The objective of a business website is to attract potential buyers and convert them into paying customers. Keywords can help. Use appropriate keywords on your site and you’ll attract visitors who want to buy the types of products you offer.”  Wordtracker

Click Here for More FREE Online Keyword Tools and SitesHover your mouse above for a Hidden Message