How do I make myself search engine optimized? SEO tips and tricks

One of the most frequently asked questions and reasons that people make appointments with me is the desire to improve their search engine optimization. SEO seems like an elusive concept but there are some very simple and easy strategies to as I like to say, ‘be googleable’.
1) Keywords in your first paragraph of copy

The first paragraph on any website you have is one of the main things that search engines index. Therefore the most common mistake people make on websites is to not include their first and last name in that first few sentences of text. Other keywords would be the words people would put in conjunction with your name if they didn’t find you right away or perhaps didn’t know your first and/or last name. Make a list of what you think people would use to find you and those are the words you want to incorporate into your text. I.E. Barbara Kleban, Coldwell Banker, Chicago, North Shore IL, Winnetka, Glencoe, Lincoln Square, Lincoln Park, Marketing, Social media …you get the idea. Once you have this first paragraph be sure that you use this search engine optimized paragraph on all of your sites…zillow, trulia, realtor.com, facebook, linkedin, twitter (limited character count but you could get a few words in)and so on.
2) Purchase your own domain name and forward with masking adding in SEO words to the tags, description , and keywords sectionsYou should, if at all possible, own yourname.com, if for no other reason than that someone else can’t. But it will help you come up in searches of your name. If you can’t get that then do something else with a keyword i.e. Barbarasellsglenview.com or barbaramarketing.com . I recommend purchasing from godaddy and using their domain forwarding to add in the tags keywords and more. For instructions on how to do this watch this video


3) Social Networking and Video
videos and social networking sites are incredibly strong in google. If you want to cover your bases have a facebook personal, business, linkedin, twitter, google plus, google profile, and youtube channel where you regularly post short videos with your name always in the title. I will do an ideas for video blog soon but they could be of the homes you sell, your tips and tricks, you describing your business, or best for SEO are how to’s. I.e. “How do I buy my first house” “How do I qualify for a mortgage” “How do I light my pilot light” “How do I stage a living room” . “how do I’s” as I call them are the most popular videos on youtube. It’s Gen Y’s magic answer box.

4) Be Active and Drive Your Own Traffic
Especially your website and social media shouldn’t be secret pages. Promote them on your email signature, link them to your other websites, tell your contacts about them, offer promotions or advertise events on them- get people going there. The more views you get the stronger all of your sites are and the better your SEO becomes. With social media, be active. Comment, like, share, tweet, retweet, spend 5-10 min a day minimally interacting on the internet and being a presence. Don’t have stagnant boring pages. Be the cool, energetic, friendly, and engaging you!

If you have used other methods for free SEO feel free to comment and share below!

Adding Market info or Reviews to Your Real Estate Facebook Page

I’m all about more tabs on your facebook as long as they are helpful to your consumers. Here’s the scenario: I don’t know you. But I do know Suzie. And Suzie shared one of your recent interesting posts to her facebook – it then showed up in my newsfeed. I thought ‘hmmm who is this John Smith Realtor that posted something this cool?’ ‘I happen to be looking to relocate to that area maybe there’s more on the site that would help me’. I click on your page name and see the rest of your wall , I see the tab that says ‘my listings’ and look at your inventory. Still interested…. I read your profile….lots of information, check. Now I’m in the prime headspace to also learn about the market or read reviews about people’s experience working with you. But wait…there’s no tab for either of those options.
Not so anymore! Zillow now has easy to install market reports and feeds from your reviews on zillow that look great on your facebook page.
How do I set it up?
Go to http://www.zillow.com/webtools/facebook-apps/
Select Reviews tab or Local info tab depending on which you would like to do first. On the right it says look up your facebook page Follow the prompts. When you get the screen below you should have another window open to sign into facebook- search the app and add to your page. Remember that you can’t just do what they ask you to do within zillow’s site you have to do this additional step on facebook’s site to complete.

Follow the same instructions under the reviews section with the original link and you will have two new useful tabs! If you have additional tips – or you had problems doing this and want to help others not make the same mistakes please comment on this post with any helpful hints. Thanks!

” I downloaded icloud and lost my apps Help!” Here’s the answer….

I was anxiously awaiting the icloud release and couldn’t wait to sync up all of my devices with this new innovation. I plugged in my ipad to my mac book air and felt like a kid at christmas, fevorishly waiting to see what it would do to my ipad: how it would change the look, what would be better, and how much quicker things would be. I finished the whole long (and it was long) process and put in my new password. Then to my dismay most of my purchased apps had disappeared!!!! As had many of my playlists on itunes. I was on the verge of a mini meltdown. BUT thankfully apple already had a solution to this problem. To save you all from the enjoyable spoken menu and wait on hold time I will tell you how to fix this problem if it happens to you.

On any device (mac computer a bit faster though probably) go into your itunes account where you see your library, apps, music etc all on the left and click on itunes store.
Once in the itunes store – on the right hand side of the main screen you will see “Quick links” – select the option that says “purchased” it also has a big orange sign next to that that says ‘new’ (I wonder why 😉 ) Then go through each tab your music, tv, apps, and books and at the bottom right hand corner of the screen you will see “download all” select that on each one of your tabs.

Then all you have left is to do is sync your other devices and whalah you have your fabulous apps that you can’t live without back.

I hope this saves all of you this panic moment that I had. Enjoy the icloud!

To learn more about icloud visit http://www.apple.com/icloud/

Facebook for Business : Top 5 Tips

Facebook can be a great tool for your business but you have to know how to use it effectively. The best facebook pages are fun, social, vary content, and focus on the client and their lifestyle. Whether you are using your page for real estate or another type of business the below are 5 tips to counteract the most common mistakes that business owners make that send people running away from their page.

1) Don’t Sell
Facebook is social. When you are being social do you want to be sold something? Of course not. The most common mistake I see, is a Realtor that sets up their page and then has their assistant fill the wall every week with listings and open houses. People could get this on Trulia, Zillow, Realtor etc. Provide them with interesting content that reminds them that you are there and always their most valuable real estate and community resource.

2) Market to Your Demographics
Many people will post info that is very one-sided. Who are your demographics? What do you find they like the most? If you don’t know- do your homework. For example: if Gen Y is a big demographic for you on Facebook then google some Gen Y research to tell you how to reach them effectively.

3) Comment, Like and Share
Don’t be a facebook voyeur. Go to Account- Use facebook as page- and switch- those commands then allow you to use facebook and the entire Internet as your business page. Anything you like, share, comment on will be attached to that page and put your business out there. For example: do something as simple as wishing a client Happy Birthday on their wall as your business. Then many of their friends (AKA potential referrals) will see your business name and have the opportunity to click your link.

4) Strategically Post
It drives me nuts to see that a business has randomly posted 4 new posts at midnight on Sunday night. A) if you do so many at one time you are inhibiting the ability to have each one separately appear in newsfeeds B) that is a terrible time to post – again do your homework. Facebook highest traffic times research are readily available on many websites. If you can’t post at those recommended times use hootsuite or another social dashboard to schedule your posts. Your 1st goal is to have the highest number of people see your post in their newsfeed.

5) Content is King
Your 2nd goal after getting your post seen is that it is interesting enough that hopefully those people will click share, and share it with their 400 friends you don’t even know …yet! For real estate: I love wsjonline, nytimes real estate , chicago trib real estate, trulia blogs, youtube videos, and Coldwell Banker Blue Matter Blog. Local community newspapers online are great too for community info. If you have an ipad get the free apps Pulse and FWIX – they will help you get instant news to post to your pages.

Looking for help on the logistics of how to post and drive traffic? Check out this short video guide “I have a facebook business page now what?” http://www.youtube.com/thebarbarakleban#p/u/3/PT77dTyB-04

This just in: Trulia follows suit with Zillow and adds recommendations!

New reccomendation function on Trulia profiles

Hello all!
This just in: trulia now has recommendations as well. My suggestion is, when you send your “congratulations on your closing” message to your client that you rotate which link you send them to recommend you or review their experience with you. I.E. Today to Mrs. Jones I will send my yelp.com profile link and tell her to please click “write a review” in the middle of the screen to write a brief testimonial of her experience working with me or just click a star rating. Next week when Dr. Brown closes I will send the email with my zillow profile link and ask that he fill out the quick star rating review. Same with linkedin and now trulia. By doing this, I maximize all resources and webpages available and further build my online presence. Plus I allow potential leads on any site to see a positive review straight from the horse’s mouth.

Reputation Management

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to Social Media & Marketing for Realtors, I’m looking forward to sharing valuable information with you!

Reputation Management will be the first topic, as you all know reputation is vital for your business. Today I will show you three FREE websites that can help improve your online presence and reputation. By updating profiles and receiving reviews & recommendations from clients these sites can help develop and sustain your business! It’s important to promote yourself on these sites because it tells your potential clients that you are someone they want to work with. Having great reviews is yet one more thing that incites them to pick up the phone and call you.

LinkedIn, Zillow, and Yelp all allow you to have free profiles online with reviews/recommendations.

When creating your profiles make sure your first paragraph is search engine optimized (SEO). Using keywords in the first paragraph like who (must be first and last name), what, and where for your business. This allows Google to index (find) these sites and include them in Google searches of your name. It is easy to get reviews & recommendations on these websites once you have created the profiles. Send the links to past clients, like for your zillow profile page, and ask them to do a quick star rating.

Or for LinkedIn you can “Ask for Recommendation” and it will send it personally.

Yelp has an added bonus when creating a profile. They not only let you have your profile, video, links, and photos but they actually promote your profile when people are searching on their website. See the right hand side of the image where it says “people who viewed this also viewed…”

Make sure you are updated on all of these sites and start asking for reviews & recommendations!