Apr 9
2012

Bookmarking on Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon

Written by Chris Adams | posted in Online Marketing, Social Media | 0 Comments

How to Submit a Bookmark to Digg

  • Go to digg.com and login
  • Copy the entire URL you want to bookmark
  • Paste the URL in the “Submit a link” box near the top of the page
  • A new drop down will appear with the details of the URL
  • Edit any of these details if you want, but it’s not required
  • “Choose a Topic”
  • Click the “Digg it” button
  • Want to make it even easier? Install the AddThis Firefox Add-on (click here)

How to Submit a Bookmark to Reddit

  • Go to Reddit.com and login
  • Click the “Submit a link” button on the right sidebar
  • Copy the entire URL you want to bookmark
  • Paste the URL in the “url” field
  • Click the “suggest title” button
  • Select any tags, if needed
  • Enter the captcha
  • Click the “submit” button
  • Want to make it even easier? Install the AddThis Firefox Add-on (click here)

How to Submit a Bookmark to StumbleUpon

  • Go to Stumbleupon.com and login
  • Click the “Favorites” tab near the top of the page
  • Click the “Add a site” button (on the right)
  • Paste the URL in the “Url” field
  • Add one or more tags in the “Review” field
  • Click “Add a site >” button
  • Want to make it even easier? Install the official StumbleUpon Firefox Add-on (click here)

Apr 2
2012

DIY REALTOR SEO Guide #5: Article Directories

Written by Chris Adams | posted in DIY SEO Guide, SEO | 0 Comments

Action Steps

  • 1. Setup Accounts on These Article Directories: on EzineArticles.com, ArticleDashboard.com, and GoArticles.com.
  • 2. Deciding What to Write & Writing It: identify 6 real estate related topics and write an article about each.
  • 3a. Posting the Articles: post 1 article to an article directory (i.e. EzineArticles.com, ArticleDashboard.com, GoArticles.com) every week for 6 weeks.
  • 3b. Add Links to Each Article: add 2 links to each article in the Author’s Bio section, each link should point to a different page on your website.
  • 4. Apply Content Promotion Strategies to the article once it’s been accepted, click here to learn more.

Action Steps EXPLAINED

1. Setup Accounts on these Article Directories

2. Decide What to Write & Write It

  • Put together a list of 6 article topics
  • Having trouble thinking up topics? Click here to download this list of 175+ real estate related topics.
  • Write 6 articles, 1 for each of the next 6 weeks
  • Can this be outsourced? YES! The entire process, or just the writing. Click here to find out how to outsource and where to outsource.

3a. Post the Articles

  • Week 1: post 1 article to EzineArticles.com
  • Week 2: post 1 article to GoArticles.com
  • Week 3: post 1 article to ArticleDashboard.com
  • Week 4: post 1 article to EzineArticles.com
  • Week 5: post 1 article to GoArticles.com
  • Week 6: post 1 article to ArticleDashboard.com
  • The standard article review turnaround is 7-14 days. This is from the time you submit the article to the time the editors of each article directory approve your article.

3b. Add Links to Each Article

  • Don’t forget: The whole reason you’re posting these articles are for the backlinks (and a little bit of traffic) so don’t forget to include links to your website in each article you submit.
  • Each article directory allows you to include 2 links back to your website in the “Author Bio” section. Have 1 link point to the homepage, and 1 link point to an interior page of your website.
  • The anchor text for each link should be one of your keywords.
  • You may be wondering, ‘Why not just post all my articles to one site?’ Because the key to a good link-building campaign is diversity of links. Having links from these three different sites helps to accomplish link diversity.

4. Apply Content Promotion Strategies

Extra Credit

Take it up a notch and have 12 articles written for you (i.e. outsource it), instead of writing six for yourself. Rotate the postings of the articles between the three article directories.

Awesome Tools

For those of you who are extremely short on time or are looking to do some more outsourcing, check out DistributeYourArticles.com. The service is a little pricey but allows articles to be scheduled in advance and have them reviewed by their editors prior to submission.

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Mar 26
2012

DIY REALTOR SEO Guide #4: Social Media Profiles

Written by Chris Adams | posted in DIY SEO Guide, SEO | 0 Comments

Another easy and inexpensive way to build backlinks to your website is through social media profiles

Not only does this method work, but it also has the added benefit of controlling your brand in the search engines. This is important since you don’t want to leave those search engine results up to chance because leave those search engine results up to chance because it leaves you vulnerable to unknown negative damage. When someone types in your name or your brand name, what kind of results show up – or do any results show up at all.

Action Steps

  • 1. Identify Your Brand Name
  • 2. Create a Twitter Account: based on your brand (not a personal account).
  • 3. Create a Facebook Business Page: click here to get started
  • 4. Create accounts on the following sites: Activerain, Realtown, Linkedin, YouTube, Trulia, and Zillow
  • 5. Cross-Link Accounts: when possible link each social media account to each other
  • 6. Link Accounts to Your Website: make sure each account has a link back to your website
  • 7. Add Badges to Your Website: Choose the top 3 social media profiles you plan on interacting the most with and add the badges (or buttons) to your website

Action Steps EXPLAINED

1. Identify Your Brand Name

2. Create a Twitter Account

  • Go to Twitter.com (click here)
  • What if you already have a Twitter account? If it’s your personal twitter account then create a new one based on your business – and make sure to mention in the bio section what business the Twitter account is focused on
  • What about name length limits? Twitter has some stringent limits on the length of your name which means you’ll have to get creative in abbreviating words. So instead of your user name being completely brand-able, just make sure your brand name is located in the bio and the username is as close to what you want as possible

3. Create a Facebook Business Page

  • Click here to get started
  • We’re guessing you already have a personal Facebook account, but you need to go a step further and create a business page (or fan page as they used to be known)
  • If you already have a Facebook Business Page for your business/brand then there is no need to create a second Business Page (so long as the two businesses are in the same industry, i.e.

4. Create accounts on the following sites

Many of you may already have accounts on some of these platforms, but if those accounts are for personal use then create a new account focused on your brand and business.

5. Cross-Link Accounts

  • Why? Doing so will help each individual social media profile to rank – and rank quicker for your brand name
  • When possible link each social media account to each other
  • With some accounts like Twitter cross-linking won’t be possible but that’s ok
  • The Info tab on your Facebook business page is an excellent place to add links to the rest of your social media profiles

6. Link Accounts to Your Website

  • Make sure each account has a link to your website, especially your Twitter account and Facebook Business Page. Otherwise it defeats the purpose of these Action Steps.
  • Quick Tip: Every time you post a video to Youtube, make sure you start the description of the video with a link back to your website

7. Add Badges to Your Website

  • Choose the top 3 social media profiles you plan on interacting the most with (Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin will be the most common – but any of them work)
  • Add the badges or buttons to your website in the sidebar or footer area
  • Finding badges and buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Youtube should be straightforward, but Trulia and Zillow might require some searching
  • If you’re unable to find a suitable badge/button, then use standard text links

Extra Credit

As you’ve probably noticed, all the sites you signed up for fall under the “social media” designation. There is nothing wrong with building a network of followers on each of the websites. In fact it’s a great idea if you have the extra time because it will help expand your brand and bring in traffic to your site.

Awesome Tools

If you have some money to burn or maybe you’re super psyched about branding your name all over the Internet. If so, then head over to knowem.com. They have an awesome service that can register your brand on a slew (over 250) social media websites. Doing so is going to be a bit drastic for most real estate agents, but you could consider having them register 10-20 on your behalf if you are short on time.

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Mar 19
2012

DIY REALTOR SEO Guide #3: Website Directories

Written by Chris Adams | posted in DIY SEO Guide, SEO | 0 Comments

Website directories are great because they require minimal effort and can provide very nice dividends and can even be the end-all SEO solution for some websites (but not many).

One VERY IMPORTANT fact to keep in mind: as with many SEO strategies you need portion control. Having 1000 backlinks from directories all over the world isn’t going to help at all – if anything it will be a negative. In other words, you shouldn’t sign up for more than a few website directories.

A website directory is the same concept as a blog directory with one exception: the best website directories often cost money. Some directories are better than others, for instance websites with a higher PageRank (PR) and relevant to your industry (i.e. real estate) are going to be your better choices.

Action Steps

  • 1. Gather the Necessities: which includes your website URL, title of your website, tags for your website, description of your website, and a logo or image of you.
  • 2. Submit Your Website to Dmoz.org
  • 3. Submit Your Website to PegasusDirectory.com

Action Steps EXPLAINED

1. Gather the Necessities

Before actually submitting your blog to the directories there are a few items you’ll need to gather first.

  • Your website URL
  • Title for the website
  • Tags for your blog
  • Description of your blog (1-2 sentences, what’s your blog about?)
  • Have a logo or image of yourself ready to post along with your blog

2. Submit Your Website to Dmoz.org

  • Dmoz is very picky about which sites they let into the directory, but getting in can be very valuable. The most important thing to keep in mind is to narrow down to the deepest possible category for submission. For example, if you’re a real estate agent in Scottsdale, Arizona, then don’t try to submit your website to the “Arizona” category, instead submit it to the “Scottsdale Residential Agents” category.
  • Click here to get started

3. Submit Your Website to PegasusDirectory.com

  • Choose “Regular Link”
  • Don’t Choose “Regular Link with Reciprocal”
  • Click here to get started

Extra Credit

If you have some extra money to spare, consider submitting your website to the following directories:

Printable Guide

DIY REALTOR SEO GUIDE: Website Directories (Printable Guide)

Mar 12
2012

DIY REALTOR SEO Guide #2: Making Your Site Google Friendly

Written by Chris Adams | posted in DIY SEO Guide, SEO | 0 Comments

To make your site Google friendly, you have to start at the lowest common denominator, which are the pages that make up your website.

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes per page of your website
  • Projected Exprenses: $0
  • Click here to download the printable check list

Make each page Google friendly and now you’ve got a website that’s Google friendly. Being Google friendly is just another way of saying it’s easy for search engine spider robots to ‘crawl’ the page and understand what the page is focused on.

2 Commonly Asked Questions

  • Will these steps only work with Google? These rules will help you in every search engine, Google, Bing, or any of the international engines.
  • Is on-site optimization really that important? Correct utilization of website elements can do wonders for your rankings, especially if you’re going after the low-competition keywords. We’ve seen our sites ranking in the top three by nothing more than making the website Google friendly.

Action Steps

We can give you a list of variables to include in each page, and talk about ‘H tags’ and ‘alt tags’ but the easiest thing to do is show you how a google friendly web page looks. Click here to see a perfectly optimized page

  • 1. Know Which Keywords you will be Targeting: target 1-2 keywords per page max
  • 2. Make Sure Your Keyword(s) Appears in the Following Locations: the title tag, the URL, once (or twice) in the H1 and H2 tags, in the main paragraphs of the page at least 2 or more times and that one instance is Bolded” at least once on the page, at least once in the meta-description tag and the meta-keyword tag
  • 3. Add an Image to Each Page: and place your keyword once in the image name and alt tag
  • 4. Make Sure of the Following: that you site isn’t built on Adobe Flash, doesn’t use javascript or iframes unless it truly needs to

Action Steps EXPLAINED

We can give you a list of variables to include in each page, and talk about ‘H tags’ and ‘alt tags’ but the easiest thing to do is show you how a google friendly web page looks. Click here to see a perfectly optimized page

1. Know Which Keywords you will be Targeting

  • Know which keyword(s) you will be targeting on each page, and don’t target all your keywords on one page
  • Realistically, you should only be targeting 1-2 keywords per page

2. Make Sure Your Keyword(s) Appears in the Following Locations:

  • Once or twice in the title tag
  • Once in the URL
  • Once or twice in the H1 and H2 tags
  • In the main paragraphs of the page at least 2 or more times, but don’t overdo it!
  • Bolded” at least once on the page
  • Once in the meta-description tag and the meta-keyword tag

3. Add an Image to Each Page

  • Place your keyword once in the alt tag
  • Place your keyword once in the image name as well (i.e. phoenix-homes.jpg)

4. Make Sure of the Following:

  • That you site isn’t completely built off of Adobe Flash
  • That your page doesn’t use iFrames unless there is no other way
  • That your page uses limited javascript, especially in the navigational parts of the page
  • Are these really that bad? Read the blog post on it here.

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Mar 5
2012

DIY REALTOR SEO Guide #1: How to Pick the Right Keywords

Written by Chris Adams | posted in DIY SEO Guide, SEO | 1 Comment

Don’t be fooled, keyword research may sound boring it is VERY critical. Getting this right will make all your future SEO efforts much easier to plan and implement. But if you get this wrong you’ll realize 6-months down the road you need to start all over.

Are there such a thing as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ keywords? Well, not in the sense of good vs. evil, but you can certainly make good decisions and bad decisions when it comes to keyword selection.

  • A ‘good’ keyword is one that brings in transactional traffic, that is to say it brings in traffic that results in a higher rate of conversions, leads, clients, customers, etc.
  • A ‘bad’ keyword is one that brings in research traffic, that is to say traffic that isn’t interested in making a transaction but is still in the research phase.

Action Steps

  • 1. Brainstorm: create a list of keywords you think people might use to find your website
  • 2. Get the Spreadsheet Ready: compile all of your data into a spreadsheet
  • 3. Run the Numbers: estimate the traffic for each keyword using Google’s Traffic Estimator Tool
  • 4. Filter Your Data: rearrange your keywords to those with the highest ‘Estimated Global Search Volume’ and cut the keywords that fall under the 100 searches per month mark

Action Steps EXPLAINED

1. Brainstorm

  • Using a pad of paper, whiteboard, or Excel spreadsheet create a giant list of keywords you think people might use to find your website. By giant we mean more than 100 keywords.
  • Include short-tail and long-tail keywords, for example: “Phoenix real estate” “Luxury Phoenix real estate in the Biltmore district”
  • If you’re having trouble thinking up keywords then try out Google’s keyword tool (click here)

A few things to remember:

  • Don’t shoot down any keyword ideas until you’ve ran some numbers (see Action Step 3)
  • Rearrange your keywords for new keywords (i.e. “phoenix real estate” is NOT the same as “real estate in phoenix”)
  • Don’t be afraid of long-tail keywords (i.e. keywords with more than 4 words in them) like “real estate agent in Phoenix AZ”
  • It’s tempting to want to rank for a term like “real estate” but for 99.99% of real estate agents that would be a great waste of resources
  • Don’t forget to geo-locate your keywords as well – often these have higher conversion rates (i.e. become clients/leads), and are easy to rank for, one examples would be “Realtor in Scottsdale AZ”
  • It’s not a bad idea to use adjectives in your keywords like “best Realtor in Phoenix AZ”

2. Get the Spreadsheet Ready

3. Run the Numbers

  • Once you’ve compiled your list of potential keywords, click here head over to Google’s Traffic Estimator Tool (You might need to log in to Google first; if you don’t have an account, click here to set one up)
  • Copy and paste your keywords from your spreadsheet into the first box “Word or phrase” – enter the “Captcha” code – then click “Estimate”
  • Once the data populates below you want to copy down the following number, ‘Global Monthly Searches’ and place that number under the ‘Estimated Global Search Volume’ column in the spreadsheet
  • Chances are high that many of your keywords won’t have any corresponding monthly search volume, instead it’s just a dash (-) mark or it says “no data”. When you see this that’s Google’s way of saying “more or less 0” searches occur every month for that keyword

Why does it say ‘estimated’ ?

  • It would be nice to think that these numbers are 100% accurate – but they’re not and even Google admits that. So take these numbers with a grain of salt.
  • In our experience we’ve found the numbers to be good approximations, roughly +/-30%
  • How can the numbers can be so off? Part of that question has to be answered by Google but one reason might be due to seasonality (i.e. Certain keywords are searched more often during certain times of the year).

4. Filter Your Data

  • Rearrange your keywords to those with the highest ‘Estimated Global Search Volume’ and cut those that fall under 100 searches per month (unless you suspect the number is low due to seasonality or is a keyword you think will be highly searched in the future).

Extra Credit

Another way to find out if a keyword is worth targeting is to run a Pay per click (PPC) campaign because it will give you the most accurate search numbers possible. Once you’ve created the list of keywords, place them in a Google Adwords campaign. Because you’re just testing you only need your “average position” to be around 4 or 5. Which will mean you show up on the front page but aren’t clicked as often. This method will certainly cost you some money, but is the most accurate in telling you how many people truly search a certain term each month.

Awesome Tools

The methodologies and tools outlined above all fall under the “free” category which is great, but for those looking for more advanced tools check out the tools below.

  • SEMRUSH: There’s a keyword research tool called SEMRush (click here) that gives you some great insight to the keywords your competitors are ranking for – while this can be invaluable it can also lead you down a fruitless rabbit trail if your competitors are targeting the wrong keywords. Nonetheless this is a great tool to spy on your competition.
  • SEOMOZ: SEOmoz.org (click here) has a great tool as well called the “Keyword Difficulty” tool. It answers the question, “how hard will it be to rank for keyword-x?” by giving you score from 0-100, 100 being the hardest to rank for. In the real estate profession you’ll generally find that most keywords fall in the same difficulty level, but certain terms like “new york real estate” or “real estate” will be anything but easy to rank for.

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Feb 6
2012

Social Media Badges

Written by Chris Adams | posted in Branding, SEO | 0 Comments

Want to add some social media badges to your website and other web properties? Check out the list of free images, badges, and icons below.

ActiveRain

Realtown

LinkedIn

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Jan 6
2012

The Difference Between Title Tags and Meta Description Tags

Written by Chris Adams | posted in SEO | 0 Comments

Question

What should be the difference in content between the title tags and meta description tags in search engine optimization?

Answer

At a very basic level both the title tag and meta description tag should have your target keyword(s) in them. Although you don’t want to over do this, placing the keyword once (maybe twice) in each tag is plenty. Think of the title tag like your name, it’s succinct and identifies you. The meta description tag is like a mini-bio, quickly describing who you are.

Every webpage on your website has both tags, and it’s important that you fill out each for search engine optimization purposes. If you have a CMS like WordPress then this becomes very easy, but having to dig around in the HTML can be tedious, so if you are not on some type of CMS check into transitioning over to one.

The meta description tag should provide a short description of the web page, keep it under 150 characters – usually 2-3 sentences is good enough. Think of the meta description tag as your sales copy, persuade the user to click on your website link when they find it in Google.

The title tag is extremely important to your overall on-page SEO, and is something the search engines place a lot of value in. So make sure you have the appropriate keywords in the title tag, and keep it at 70 characters or less.

Dec 12
2011

The Most Important Thing On a Webpage for Search Engines

Written by Chris Adams | posted in SEO | 0 Comments

Question

What’s the most important thing on a webpage for search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo?

Answer

The most important element of a given webpage on a website is the title tag. The title tag is at the most general level, the title of the webpage. Search engines like Google place a high value on the title tag because it is hard to abuse or spam because of the limited real estate.

Search engines will only recognize a limited number of characters in a title tag. For example, Google will only read the first 60-70 characters of a title tag, including spaces. Because of this a website owner cannot stuff the title tag with a bunch of keywords, instead they must be very selective in their choices. In other words the title tag summarizes the focus of the page in 70 characters or less.

Nov 5
2011

Tech Tip Tuesday: Direct Messaging on Twitter

Written by Chris Adams | posted in Social Media, Tech Tip Tuesday | 0 Comments

Increasing your following on Twitter and engaging that following are not exactly easy tasks. One quick tip to engage all new followers is to personally respond to their following you with a direct message. The direct message should thank them for following you but should also give them some kind of call to action.

The CTA could be a link to your website, latest blog post, free ebook, or some other giveaway. Whatever your CTA is, you want to engage with them outside of Twitter as well. The only trick is to respond back to the new follower ASAP, and give them a call to action they will actually want to click on.

Step by Step

  • Person A follows you
  • Twitter automatically sends you an email notifying you of the new follower
  • You click the link to the new follower’s profile and click the direct message button
  • Write and send the message

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