Category Archives: SEO

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.
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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How To Blog Real Estate Listings

Are you posting your clients listings on a Blog or Website?

How are you keeping it updated and current?  What happens to that post when the home is sold?  Does your post still show up in the SERPS? (Search Engine Results Page)  If so, how useful is that post to a consumer or potential prospect and client?  Thousands of properties are marketed on websites and blogs every day, but are agents maximizing the potential of these “Homes For Sale” articles and Listing posts?

There was a time way back when that I believed creating a single property blog post or page for a listing on your website was a great idea.  Today, I have a different opinion about how to “BLOG” about listings and your clients properties.  Take just a moment to ponder this concept…

To give a blog post some shelf life, and keep it alive for years to come, agents should blog about the neighborhood and community instead, and then just include the listing as part of their topic and post. This way when the home sells or gets taken off the market, the hyper-local information is still useful to consumers when found during a search, and doesn’t render your post useless just because that home is no longer available.  Also, consider adding an IDX link or plugin to search for homes, or a Real Estate Widget that continues to bring value to that article.

This technique is working great for many hyper-local real estate bloggers. Providing blog posts with a longer shelf life has been proven to bring much greater value to both the reader and the author. Consider the possibilities of creating neighborhood and community posts over just listing posts.  If you’re hesitant,  just read what some other agents all across the country are saying about this idea.

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 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 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.

pinterest logo

Pinterest – Social Cataloging Community

Pinterest is basically a social catalog.  It’s a community to share collections of things you love.  It’s similar to a “like” on Facebook, or “+1” on Google Plus, it’s even like “Digg” “Delicious” “StumbleUpon” and “ReTweeting” but the difference at Pinterest is that it’s all about “Pin” or pinning content.

According to TechCrunch, Pinterest hit 10 million US monthly uniques faster than any standalone site everAGBeat says that Pinterest now drives as much traffic as Twitter.  Pinterest members are by invitation only, so how do you get invited?

You can ask a friend, or you can also just request one like I did right from the site.  It took about three days, then an email invite arrived at my inbox.  I’ve setup a couple boards myself to see how it all works and to learn how to navigate around the site.  To be honest, I like the ease of use.  I can see the potential the site has and why it’s getting tons of attention.  It’s worth checking out, Pinterest has something for everyone for sure.

Some Quick Pinterest Etiquette:

Be Nice! Be Creative. The best pinboards mix products, art, recipes and images from all across the web. Try not to pin everything from a single source.  Give Credit. If you blog about an item you found on Pinterest, it’s nice to credit your fellow pinners by linking back to the original pin.

A Few Tips once you get started:

Make sure you Install the bookmarklet. It lets you add a pin from any website with just one click.

Be sure to follow others pinboards. You can use your Twitter and Facebook accounts to find other friends on Pinterest to follow as well as invite. Pinterest is as much about discovering new things as it is about sharing.

Pin carefully! Use big images, write thoughtful descriptions, and pin things you really love. Also, no nudity, sorry!  🙂
Oh yeah, and don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest too.


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!


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 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, 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

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Top Secret Tips for Long Tail Searches

Rand Fish of covers the long tail search and shares 13 Secrets with viewers wanting a better understanding of the Long Tail Keyword use and other metrics.

This is one of the best video presentations of SEO long tail you’ll see or find on the web. SEOmoz is a fantastic site and resource for SEO, tips, and complete guides to making sense and cents of SEO.