Solutions By Dave Digital Marketing and SEO Search Engine Optimization
Likes, Plus Ones Social Media and Actual Engagement SEO Signals for Real Estate Agents

Likes, Plus Ones Social Media and Actual Engagement SEO Signals for Real Estate Agents

Likes and plus ones are a game by-in-large but have you looked at the Search Engine Optimization section of Google Analytics lately?

There’s an entire section that measures traffic coming in from “Social” and that “Social” is very broad ranging from Disqus to Linkedin to of course, G+.

What is being reported and measured is traffic that engages by clicking through the social media curtain to your website. That is a challenge most people don’t like and don’t want to take on, but the rewards I have found to be high for that very reason.

If you’ve seen my SEO experiment on Google Plus, Most of what I have done has involved attracting people to visit the website.  Social isn’t the end all but ignore it at your peril. It’s a strong signal when people are actually finding value in what you offer.

SEO Experiment on Google Plus

Google, Freshness And Your Business SEO

Google, Freshness And Your Business SEO

Set it and Forget it? Forget it!

One day soon, somewhere, someone will wake up and check on their local business listing and find it has disappeared. Google will have removed it without a trace and without fanfare. No, they didn’t take a punitive action against an offending product or behavior, but rather the lack of one.

One thing Google loves is freshness and change. Something new to offer its searching audience. The BSO (bright shiny object) is what people like and Google knows it. They want a steady stream of them to hand out on their portal. You could make a case for the different as a marketing strategy. There are lots of opportunities in niche content creation and page one, even #1 search results that would surprise you like: California business cash flow solutions

Keeping it Fresh for the Search Market is SEO in Action

what's new

Google wants you to keep up and keep it fresh. That simple. Take that places page you created last year. If you leave it alone, you may find that Google has decided that if it isn’t relevant enough to you to update it, it isn’t relevant to others either and they’ll go ahead and let if go with the purge that happens with any healthy data management system whether it is the human mind or a virtual system like Google. Memory and data get pruned, trimmed and purged routinely in human minds and in Google. What color was the car parked next to you in the parking lot this morning? If you do remember at all, what about yesterday? Eventually, information is purged and consolidated.

From the Google + TOS page: Google may, without notice, remove your Google+ Pages if they are dormant for more than nine months.

One thing you’ll want to do is keep up with your potentially most valuable online asset. A local listing that places above competitors goes a long way. SEO is becoming PR a little bit more every day. Keeping it fresh isn’t just an SEO tactic, it’s a necessary strategy and plan.

It may be convenient to set some processes in business and have to give minimal thought to them afterward but Google local and SEO in general aren’t among those set it and forget it processes.

SEO Case Study B & B Site

SEO Case Study B & B Site

I participate in a forum for SEO advice. Mine isn’t always in the professional vernacular but I focus on clearing up major issues fast for websites. Real estate websites are close neighbors of Bed and Breakfast websites so I thought I’d share some observations on this particular website just for people in real estate to gain some perspective into what should and shouldn’t be happening on their sites as well. I hope you gain some benefit from this review of a B&B website.

I have a client at http://www.shorecrestbedandbreakfast.com/ with a blog at http://www.shorecrestbedandbreakfast.com/blog/ I could use some advice on how to get this site up in rankings.

… I want SEO recommendations for both the blog and the main site. Thank you for your help in advance.

  

Answers

Hey, Dave Keys here again. We’ll just start out with the main website then I’ll touch on the blog and how to leverage it.

I have some initial observations that don’t require much formal “analysis” at all. The site is on page one for its title, “Long Island bed and breakfast.” Nice. You’re ahead of a lot of competitors in organic search but your owner needs to get their focus squarely on the social factors starting with Google reviews. They have two and one is a negative review so they need to start soliciting reviews. They can even ask people who are willing to do a review right there at checkout. Happy people will be happy to oblige and they need to fix whatever was wrong if anything that caused that negative one and then bury it deep under a bunch of positive reviews.

A little imagination can go a long way. You could even ask people to review the website after some design changes. Why design change? I’m known to frequently say ugly websites sell, (I don’t mean this one is ugly but that message and communication done right will outperform competition in nearly any design) but there are a few key things that people would like that would also keep them on the site longer, improving visitor metrics.

  1. Large format photos. What’s there now are almost thumbnails by today’s standards. People want to see everything large as life. It doesn’t have to be spectacular but get some size into the photo tour. Check out my website about everything atdavekeys.com and see what I’ve done with photography. If they can’t deal with site redesign, that’s fine, get an account on Smugmug and put the photos there so people can see large format views to their heart’s content. It has free account options and albums give killer layouts like this with full screen slideshows and embed codes for websites so there’s little excuse to leave it looking like the last site build was in 2004.
  2. Video. Get out the iPhone or the latest $189 HD Flip equivalent (Flip went out of business but you get the idea) and get some slow steady pans and get some video on the website. Talk in the video about what’s nice there. Attract the kind of customers you want by accentuation of what you like and what your best customers like.

Many competitors won’t bother to do video and especially frequent video updates. I have a feeling that a well optimized video might show up in organic search as well and help the marketing along.

More in a bit…

Posted by Dave-Keys 1 hour, 50 minutes ago

Comments

Let’s look at Google itself again. This is critical. Competitors are all over the top of the fold because their Google Places is preferred. Let’s review what makes it count.

Dave’s own educated philosophy on the matter:

Two important Google “properties” Places and Plus

Places

See? I used an H1 tag in the middle of a post because this is so important. The big G is relying heavily on its own validation schema now and a large part of that is Places and Plus combined.

101% completion of the Google places profile data. Every photo, every allowed character of description and narrative, every video, every description, everything Google will let you fill in, fill it all in and make sure the name address and phone match the website exactly. I can’t stress this enough. Make it complete and leave out nothing.

Be sure not to spam the Google Places with over-reaching keywords but describe the business completely. Don’t go into repetition, Don’t put the words bed and breakfast over and over but do some variations for sure. B&B, honeymoon suites if they have them, Weekend getaway. Describe the services and benefits in glowing details.

This gets results. I have a places result for real estate SEO expert no matter where in the country you look it up. The map with red pushpin, the mini sitemap, the address and phone, the whole shebang. It’s worth tweaking the places profile absolutely perfect.

Plus

The same goes for Google Plus and your Google profile. Get it waaaaayy completed. Everything. Use every bit of space to build this profile and then crosslink your site and Google Profile using the rel=”author” tag or rel=”me” tag. I like author best and it works well for me. Get it onto both the website and the blog and sooner or later Google will give you a thumbnail of the Author avatar in search results. See mine as an example A photo of a person is not mandatory but that always works well if there is an owner who is a central personality. My photo is in my logo but it shows up and blows away my competition no matter where I am in search. Get it done and reap the benefits. People click on results with that avatar image. It’s still a bit of a surprise and gets attention.

Posted by Dave-Keys 1 hour, 33 minutes ago

OK, while I’m on the layer of top level observations of the obvious, let’s switch over to the blog.

1 consideration of content is the title.

This blog’s title is “blog @ shorecrest bed and breakfast” That’s clever but it’s wrong. Nobody is going to search Google for that title except people who already know about it. Not a lead gen at all.

The description would be a far better title: A North Fork, New York Bed and Breakfast, but I’m thinking that may not be a well searched term either. I don’t know.

Remember, your title and description metas are what show up in Google and what tends to rank in search, so let’s presume they want to rank for “Long Island Bed and Breakfast” then your title and description should end up looking like this on Google:

Find new adventures Every Day | Long Island Bed and Breakfast Blog

Book with us and never forget how wonderful an enchanted getaway can be. Call 888-333-4545. Visit now. We serve Anne’s Famous Pies daily.

Next for the blog, turn it into a keyword and marketing machine that happens to be a lot of fun. Blog about the things people want in this B & B. Don’t be boring. The owner needs to figure out this one thing fast: Why should people choose this B & B above any and every other option available? Get that reason into every part of the website and blog. There should always be a call to action. Phone number. Call us. Book today. Reserve a week, etc.

These are all things that will increase your client’s bottom line without one single visitor more coming to the website.

I promise I’ll get to the technical SEO stuff but this is just as critical to succeeding in ranking as well as conversions.

Posted by Dave-Keys 1 hour, 16 minutes ago

SEO Observations techniques

That’s French for “what I just saw looking over your site.”

When you click the home link on the top menu the site goes tohttp://www.shorecrestbedandbreakfast.com/index.htm. That’s bad because you have aduplicate home page. Get rid of it. Everything should go tohttp://www.shorecrestbedandbreakfast.com

Look over all the page titles and get them in line with desired keywords.

Example: look at the rates page. The title is: Bed and Breakfast on Long Island: Shorecrest in North Fork

How many people are searching for “Long Island Bed and Breakfast rates” Hmmm? Get the keyword in the title. If the rates are really good then make the title say something like: Get best rates for Bed and Breakfast on Long Island: Shorecrest in North Fork

Same thing for the description which says: Shorecrest is a Bed and Breakfast in Long Island, New York. We have a bed and breakfast and a beach house on the North Fork.

Should be more like: Book now with Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast in Long Island, New York. Beautiful getaway in North Fork. Call now: 888-333-4444

Don’t repeat keywords the way they are now. Google knows it’s a bed and breakfast. You don’t need to say it twice in the same meta tag. Use the space for a better marketing message instead.

Posted by Dave-Keys 1 hour, 4 minutes ago

By the way, I want you to know I’m enjoying this because I love B&Bs. I just like mine to be in Maui
alt text

Quick break…

Posted by Dave-Keys 56 minutes ago

Links and a Warning

Since it’s a Long Island Bed and Breakfast and there are 880 phrase matched searches for that term and thousands of broad context searches (Google Adword Keyword Tool) and only two of your links to the site that I seen in Majestic’s or Moz’ site explorers, it wouldn’t hurt to have a few more links mentioning Long Island and B & B. etc.

WARNING. With Google’s latest strictness on overdoing anchors, don’t go crazy on this. Just a few can help a lot IF you get your site titles a little more aligned.

Posted by Dave-Keys 48 minutes ago

Your link profile is one of the more diverse and natural ones I’ve seen in some time, including some of my own clients’. Don’t go getting extreme. Keep links coming in from quality sources and incorporate some of the desired keywords in natural ways and slowly along with every thing else. Google is watching this so don’t let improvements in search results tempt you to go aggressive to get more faster. It won’t work.

Posted by Dave-Keys 46 minutes ago

The bloggity

The blog is doing very well for what is entered in it. Last post ranks #1 and #2 for its title.check it out.

Blog post #2 is a bit more competitive but is still on page 1 toward the bottom. It might do a little better if the word “vacation rentals” didn’t show up on the page 11 times in the many categories and the post tags, but nowhere in the actual post content.

Recommendation: Streamline posts to mean what they say and say what they mean. If post #2 is really about North Fork Long Island Vacation Rentals from Shorecrest BandB as the title says, then perhaps “North Fork Long Island Vacation Rentals should be in the post body as well but it isn’t. I think you’d do a lot better with the words in the content rather than only in the tags and categories.

Categories and Tags

Read Bruce Clay’s article on siloing.
The over-use of categories and tags on this blog is probably making it difficult to create silos of content. The claim seems to be that “This post is about everything I could think of.” This all amounts to keyword stuffing via the use of tags and categories. I would ease up on that a lot. The blog’s performance should improve if it’s a bit more focused on individual topics. If they have that many things to talk about then they should create posts for each topic individually.

Blogs are very powerful for exact match long tail topics. Get into the shoes and into the skin of your best potential clients. Think like someone who doesn’t know about your business and use titles that match the kind of searches they might use, even slightly less than completely logical ones. Think like someone might think when they’re not so familiar with search engine strategies. People will ask very direct questions in search. Example: “people my age who live in mountain lakes nj” That’s not exactly logical, but it is predictable. The type of person who would use this query would also be more responsive to a direct marketing message when they visit your website. The post for that result also ranks high for “ages of people who live in mountain lakes nj” a bit more logical and almost as likely to be a good lead. By the way, the red badge in the search result makes my result the likely candidate for a click. I’m competing in a vacuum. That’s why the Google profile is critically important now.

Posted by Dave-Keys 9 minutes ago

En résumé

You’ll notice I didn’t focus all that much on links. The link opportunity should be taken advantage of but the site is likely to perform far better with some focus on desired keywords. The blog should link back to the home page and use a lot less tags and categories. Use tags and categories to clearly define content and don’t use them to do keyword stuffing. The blog will perform wonders when it’s used as a well aimed rifle instead of as a shotgun. Geese, ducks and Google all hate shotguns so don’t use them. Geese and ducks may reward you if you’re looking for dead birds, but Google will more likely slap your shotgun and take away your hunting license so go to the website and blog and eliminate the excess keywords, get them focused on individual topics and primary goals and enjoy the results!

I hope I’ve helped you truly get better performance from the website and blog. If you have specific questions, please post them here and don’t forget to “accept.”

Thanks!

Dave Keys
Top of the game in Real Estate SEO

la fin de cette histoire

more about SEO for real estate search here

Google Boilerplate Anchor Text Over-Optimization Filters and Penalties

This article is syndicated from my real estate SEO blog and Activerain, but I wanted to add here that the website observed here has moved in and out of the top ten pages of SERPs. Today, it’s at the bottom of page four. It may yet recover but the obvious takeaway here is that at the very best, overoptimizing anchor text doesn’t help your cause.

In any SEO campaign, whether for real estate or anything else, best results correlate to best practices and what’s demonstrated here is poor practice indeed.

If you want to fall from Google page one to page five in search results, follow this example. Otherwise, follow some real estate SEO expert advice and avoid this practice like the plague. Google is getting better at finding poor SEO practices and discounting them. It may seem like a penalty, but it’s more like an equalizer. Google determines that if your one-trick-pony is your sole SEO strategy, your real estate website is probably not as valuable as other real estate websites and a downgrade is surely on the way for you.

Your real estate website is on Google’s radar all the time and the Boilerplate Anchor Text algorithm along with Panda and a host of other analyses of your on-page and off-page SEO is always ongoing. If you’ve been risking your website with poor SEO practices frowned on by Google then any short term gain you may have obtained is probably going to turn in to long term pain when the machines of Google’s 200+ algorithms catch up with you. Why not get the right kind of SEO strategy now? Contact Real Estate SEO expert Dave Keys at 714-222-7961.

Real Estate SEO Keyword Tracking Limited By Google

Real Estate SEO Keyword Tracking Limited By Google

Google Will Break A Lot of Tracking Tools and SEO Hearts With This One

Google eyes

October 18, 2011: Announcement on the Goog-O-Blahg-oh in the name of “Making search more secure”:

We will stop all third party tracking services in their tracks, or more mildly put, “we are encrypting search for signed in users and websites won’t be able to see the keywords that brought them there, but don’t worry, we’ll send you a summary if you register your site with our Webmaster Tools where we can control your behavior.”

Google will use SSL technology to further obscure the process by which people find your website, just in case you were trying to figure that out and optimize your content in any way to rank for a particular term, something Google kind of dislikes unless you’re a big brand name like Nike. Then you can rank for shoes. If you’re a shoe store selling shoes in Westbury you can go to SSL encryption purgatory. Sign up, let Google babysit your website and you’ll get a summary if they don’t come up with a penalty program for everyone selling anything or promoting anything they don’t pre-approve.

Do you ever get the feeling that Google is controlling a bit too much lately?

Could this tip the scales in the favor of Bing?

What does this mean for sites that receive clicks from Google search results? When you search from https://www.google.com, websites you visit from our organic search listings will still know that you came from Google, but won’t receive information about each individual query. They can also receive an aggregated list of the top 1,000 search queries that drove traffic to their site for each of the past 30 days through Google Webmaster Tools. This information helps webmasters keep more accurate statistics about their user traffic. If you choose to click on an ad appearing on our search results page, your browser will continue to send the relevant query over the network to enable advertisers to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns and to improve the ads and offers they present to you.

In the name of privacy, Google sweeps away more of the competition just by throwing a switch.

Qr code goofy

Short Sale Fail | All The King’s Horses and All the SEO in the World Can’t Help This

Short Sale Fail | All The King’s Horses and All the SEO in the World Can’t Help This

This is definitely not the way to market a short sale. I have passed this house for several months on my morning walks and said to myself, this house is going to go into foreclosure. Today was the day.

Failed short sale in Murrieta Too unfriendly

Every time I came by, that sign just nearly punched me in the face with “go away!” What this picture does not show is that for almost the entire time until about a week ago that this house was listed, the grass was 3 feet high and everything seemed to say, “Keep moving. Nothing to see here!”  it may have not been intended that way at all but that’s the impression that I always got, and I’m sure that many others got that impression too.

All the SEO in the world can’t fix poor marketing strategies. It seems to me like some agents just don’t really want the listings they have. Maybe I just have a different attitude of being a little more hungry for business even if my plate is full because I remember so many times when there wasn’t that much business. I couldn’t bear to have this listing without at least going to mow the yard when it needed it if I had to do it myself. And that appointment only sign?  What on earth could be the benefit of that? Obviously, this home as it was marketed did not attract enough qualified buyers to get past foreclosure, did it?

Murrieta short sale agents

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