In an earlier blog post discussing Google Analytics, we briefly touched upon the significance of bounce rates. The goal of this post is to gain a deeper understanding of bounce rates.
Bounce rates measure the percentage of users who leave a website after visiting only 1 page. In the real estate industry, the lower the bounce rate, the better, as it indicates that visitors are engaged and browsing through the site. Sites that generate a high volume of leads generally have bounce rates ranging from 30 to 50 percent. The real estate industry tends to hover over the lower end of the range, as homebuyers tend to search through multiple homes. If your website is within the 30 to 50 percent range, you are in good shape and on route to generate quality leads. It is also important to note that high bounce rates may not necessarily be bad, as it shows that people with specific searches were able to gather all the information they needed on the landing page.
There are two types of bounce rates that are generally referred to in SEO: site bounce rate and page bounce rate. The site bounce rate refers to the average bounce rate of the entire site, while the page bounce rate measures the percentage of users who landed on and left a specific page. The page bounce rate helps you see how effective your landing pages are in engaging and maintaining site visitors.
In order to lower your bounce rate, there are a number of different factors to consider. Firstly, the design of the website is important, because it gives visitors the first impression of your site and of your real estate company. You should have an effective design that provides users with sufficient and clear information. To do so, make sure that options above the scroll are minimized and there are clear indicators of pages that users can click to in order to continue their search. The page should be interactive and include call to actions.
More attention should also be directed towards landing pages, as they are key to lead generation. Keywords should be placed strategically throughout the page in order to improve SEO and target specific users. It is important that you make sure that your keywords accurately represent the page in order to provide a consistent user experience. In addition to attracting users through organic search traffic, you should think about using Google Ads or other forms of paid search advertising.
Having a website with a clean design and providing a consistent user experience will help improve your bounce rate and generate more leads. To further understand how to create effective content strategies and track bounce rate results, contact our marketing team.
By optimizing landing pages for search engines, you will not only draw more people to your real estate site, but also generate more leads. Landing pages, unlike home pages, are hyper-focused and are designed specifically to convert leads. Real estate landing pages are those that highlight developments or neighborhoods that your company covers.
To attract visitors to your landing page, you must improve SEO and be sure that key phrases or words are used. This means that the page title, URL, and headings must include optimal phrases that are trending in search engines. When creating page titles and URLs, it is important to keep the phrases short in order to be registered by search engines. Page titles, in general, should be kept under 60 characters and URLS should have dashes to separate words. For example, a landing page for the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston may be: /back-bay-real-estate. The headline, on the other hand, should explain the page clearly and concisely. It is better to use fewer keywords in the headline than more, if it hinders the meaning or clarity of the phrase. The “H1” heading is the first line site visitors read, and is meant to keep them engaged and clicking through your site.
To further strengthen SEO and make the landing page aesthetically pleasing, you should include photos that capture the neighborhood or development. Keep the file name of the photo short and include an alt text. This will help search engines distinguish the photo. Finally, as part of SEO best practices, you must link the landing page to other parts of your site. These links should not only be contained to your website, but should also be shared via social media channels.
Keeping landing pages simple and professional will make it easier for potential leads to navigate through your site and featured listings. The better the information on your site is presented, the better results you will get in terms of lead generation.
In order to stay within character limits on social media postings, real estate companies are beginning to use popular link shorteners offered by ow.ly, bit.ly, and goo.gl. It is therefore important to understand how these link shorteners work in order to use them optimally.
When using link shorteners, be sure to check whether the link is a 301 or a 302 redirect. On Hootsuite, for example, ow.ly shortened links are 301 redirects whereas ow.li ones are 302 redirects. When possible, avoid 302 redirected links, as they adversely affect SEO. 301 redirects let search engine bots know that the page has permanently moved to a new location (the original link), while 302 redirects are temporary transfers. If you use 302 redirects regularly, you may find that the shortened link ranks above the “real” one, which negatively affects SEO.
There are multiple steps ow.li shortened links take in order to be redirected to the original link. Ow.li links are first sent through a 302, then a 301 redirect. To cut out a step, and to prevent the 302 redirect from affecting SEO, you should make sure the link shortener you are using is a 301. This will let search engine bots rank the original link, as opposed to the shortened one.
Using link shorteners not only keep long links concise and manageable, but also allow you to track click through and open rates. Link metrics help show you which of your social media content is attracting more site traffic than others. With this information, you can gain an understanding of how to better engage your targeted audience.
This week’s LogicClassroom, presented by David Friedman, was on the new online prominence of visuals and digital media. The webinar, with focus on the real estate industry, addressed how visuals are changing the way we are committed to the web.
To begin the presentation, David discussed how visuals have evolved and become popular in recent years. As the Internet has become faster and bandwidth has increased, it is much easier to include and share visuals on websites. With Retina displays and user interface improvements on both computers and smartphones, images on websites are of high quality and aesthetically pleasing.
Besides from improvements in technology, visuals have become so popular because they improve communication and help people process information much more rapidly. This is mainly due to the fact that visuals are process 60,000 times faster than text. If you were to look at a graph with a textual explanation, your eyes will be drawn towards the image first. You will be able to analyze and gather more information from the graph than the text.
Images and Social Media
On social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, posting photos more effectively engage large audiences than text updates. A recent campaign created by two sisters to get over 1 million likes was extremely successful because of the image they shared. The image captured five children holding a sign that read, “Hi World, we want a puppy! Our dad said we could get one if we get 1 million likes! So Like this! He doesn’t think we can do it!” The image not only gained over 1 million likes, but also over 50,000 shares and 15,000 comments. Including a visual made the message much more powerful and endearing. Without it, the sisters would surely not have reached their goal.
Social media sites have all realized the power of images and are incorporating visual media sharing into their interface. The Facebook profile and newsfeed, for example, has been redesigned to accommodate the rise in the posting and sharing of images. In order to have a bigger presence in image sharing, Facebook acquired Instagram, an app that allows users to adjust and share photos quickly. Other social media sites, namely Pinterest, are completely image focused and have been able to grow very rapidly, attracting nearly all demographics.
Infographics are the latest trend in visual sharing. Sites that incorporate infographics grow in traffic 12 percent more than those that don’t. Infographics help tell a story by taking information and plotting it in aesthetically pleasing ways. For the real estate industry, agents can build interactive graphs using market data or community information to share with clientele. This makes it easier to absorb information.
Even more engaging then photos and infographics are videos. Every minute, 60 hours of videos are uploaded to Youtube and 700 videos are shared on Twitter. Blog posts with digital media attract 3 times more inbound traffic than those that don’t. Video consumption and sharing has been increasing tremendously, especially as technology improves. Real estate agents can create short videos of properties and communities. A great app to film snapshots of properties is Vine – it allows you to take 7 seconds of video. While the videos are short, they are long enough to engage clientele and get them interested.
There is no question that visual media is becoming more and more popular. The question is, however, why is it important to the real estate industry. Search engines are the main source of traffic for real estate companies. More and more, search engines are taking into account public social media and including in their algorithm shared posts. In order to strengthen search engine and social media presence, real estate agents must incorporate visuals and media into their content.
Google Analytics is a powerful tool that anonymously tracks how visitors interact with your real estate website. With this tool, as a real estate agent, you can see where your site visitors’ come from and what content they go through. It gives you the stats you need to analyze whether or not your online marketing initiatives have been successful.
To successfully use Google Analytics, you must understand the difference between all the vanity metrics offered in the Content Analytics section. The terms are defined below:
Visits refers to how many times users access your site. It is important to note that they visits are only recorded if the user has not viewed any other page on your site in the past half hour. It helps you keep track of the traffic going through your site.
Pageview is defined as how many times pages have been viewed. This tool lists pages by most commonly viewed and helps you determine the importance of each page to your business.
Bounce rate is the percentage of users that leave your site after viewing only one page. It helps you analyze how effectively your landing pages entice visitors to click further and explore content on your site.
Average time on site measures how much time each user spent on your site.
New Visits tracks the percentage of users that have not visited your site before. It helps you determine if you are drawing new potential leads to your site.
Traffic sources are the percentage of users that are accessing your site through URLs, search engines, referring sites, or other sources. This lets you know which of your online marketing campaigns have been most successful and which to focus on.
The combination of these tools offered on Google Analytics ultimately helps you assess how well your site fulfills business objectives. With this tool, you can see how metrics have changed overtime and identify conversion trends and values.
Real estate SEO is becoming increasingly important, especially as industry related searches have increased by 250 percent in the past 4 years. There are many ways, as real estate brokers and agents, you can improve website SEO.
Maximize Existing Content
Firstly, you should remove duplicate pages and improve existing content. To effectively attract search engine crawlers, you must make sure that the on-page content is well structured and target keywords are used appropriately. Google Keywords is a great tool to help you understand which keywords are used most frequently on a local and global basis. After choosing a relevant keyword to target for every page, be sure that headings, anchor text, and title tags support it. URLs are a great way to link your pages back to existing content—when incorporating these, you should make sure that it contains the keywords you are trying to optimize. It is also important to note that it is better to have links to sites with higher page rankings than low-quality site links.
Include Visual Media
In addition to written content, it is extremely important that you include images in videos on your site. Visuals help people process information much faster; in fact, images are processed 60,000 times faster than text. Videos have an even stronger effect on SEO than images do. Compared to pages with only text, those with videos attract 3 times more traffic. Visitors also spend 100 percent more time browsing through the site. Relevant video content that agents may want to include throughout their site are video tours of properties, particularly of luxury buildings and developments, or video biographies of themselves. These videos should not only be informational, but also a bit personal in order to give a voice to your company.
Add New Content
Fully optimizing your site to attract search engine crawlers is an ongoing process. You must continue to add new content to your site in order to keep it up to date and relevant. A great way to add content to your site on a weekly basis is through blog posts. Blog posts give you the opportunity to link back to existing content and improve SEO. More importantly, it helps give you and your real estate company a voice and helps to connect to clients and potential leads on a more personal basis. It provides a place for you to write about and draw attention to new listings, events in the community, and the marketplace. The more locally focused your blog is, the more success you will have drawing in leads in the area.
Boston Logic Marketing Services
If you need more help with your online marketing campaigns, Boston Logic offers real estate SEO and content production packages, along with other key services. Campaigns include strategic page coding, tagging, and content creation–all with the goal to increase website presence and help you engage potential customers. Contact us for more information.
Competition to increase search traffic and improve rankings for popular keywords has never been greater. In order to leverage and gauge overall search traffic, companies are increasingly turning to long tail keywords. Long tail keywords help refine searches and connect companies with a targeted niche market. While these specific terms may not be as searched as often as head keywords, they can drive a significant amount of search traffic if used optimally throughout the site.
Real estate companies can use long tail keywords to improve ranking on specific property searches. A head keyword, for example, may be “Boston Condos;” a long tail keyword, on the other hand, would extend the head term to “1 Bedroom Boston Condos.” It is much easier to gain a higher search ranking with long tail keyword pages because there is less competition. There is also a higher chance to convert searches into leads, as these clients know specifically what they are looking for in a property.
Long tail keywords have the potential to become the norm in search engine practice. Consumers are beginning to use Google or specific searches and to find direct answers to questions related to weather, math, unit conversions, and definitions. As the trend towards specific searches continues, real estate companies with long tail keyword will be ahead of the game.
In order to effectively improve SEO and create long tail terms, real estate brokers and agents must allocate time to thoroughly research keywords. Credible research tools are Google Keywords and Google Trends. These tools not only show companies how often terms are being searched on a local and global basis, but also help determine future search trends. Other good keyword tools to use are Twitter Keyword Tracker and Youtube Keywords. Social media highly influences search engines, especially as people begin to use the two simultaneously. Having a wide understanding of keyword use in all areas of the Internet will help brokers and agents select optimal terms.
To help brokers and agents improve real estate SEO, Boston Logic offers online marketing packages. Our marketing team will research, plan, and implement long tail keywords, along with other quality content, to strengthen real estate companies’ SEO and social media presence.
Real estate companies must take advantage of the rapidly growing mobile search space. Smartphones give individuals the ability to search in real time for information that they are curious about. The main difference between mobile search and desktop search is that mobile search is more focused and task oriented. For this reason, 90 percent of mobile searches lead to a form of action, whether it is purchasing a product, visiting a business, or signing up for a newsletter.
Not only are mobile searches more focused, but also more local. Real estate companies can capitalize on the local nature of searches. Already, there are over 5 million Google searches a month with the keyword “real estate” on mobile phones. By creating keywords aimed towards potential clients in the community, real estate brokers and agents can further improve mobile SEO and draw more people to their site.
As a real estate agent, to determine which keywords you should use, you should research your community and understand the demographic you are targeting. Google Keywords is also a great tool that will help you learn how often specific terms have been used in local searches. It is important to note that keywords used for desktop searches may not be optimal for mobile searches—mobile keywords should be short and concise.
Focusing on local keywords and content will help draw more leads to your site. Since almost all mobile searches lead to a form of action, you should take advantage of click to talk numbers. Click to talk numbers allow mobile phone users to easily call an agent and inquire about properties in the area. They will be able to contact you easily while the information they just search for is fresh in their mind.
Given the effectiveness of mobile searches to lead to action, we recommend that all real estate companies have updated mobile solutions. The Boston Logic Sequoia system offers a real estate mobile website that integrates with regular websites, CRM, and lead management systems. To update your mobile website, contact the Boston Logic team today.
Displaying sold listings on your real estate website may help improve SEO and attract more leads. Sold listings give both buyers and sellers the ability to understand the current market and place realistic expectations on the value of homes in the area. Depending on how many sold listings real estate brokers and agents choose to display on their site, potential buyers and sellers can see how the market has improved or weakened overtime. This information may help them make pivotal decisions, such as when to put their current home on the market and search for a new one.
The reality is that almost all homebuyers and sellers—nearly 90 percent according to the National Association of Realtors—are using the Internet to research properties. Homebuyers and sellers are not only using the Internet to look for current listings, but also to research sold ones. This helps them estimate the values of homes in their target neighborhood. The problem is, however, that very few real estate companies include sold listings on their site. To research sold properties, homebuyers and sellers tend to go to national sites, such as Zillow or Trulia. Since these sites are not focused on particular communities and are drawing national data, information may not be as up to date. As a real estate agent, by including sold listings, you will be able to provide accurate data on your communities and drive local traffic to your site. Homebuyers will then be able to do all of their real estate research on one site.
Providing sold listings on your site will also provide credibility to your company and agents. The sold listings, in a way, show your expertise and success in closing deals in the community. These listings and proven success record gives the homebuyer or seller more confidence in you and agents in your company.
While many real estate agents do not include sold listings on their website, it may be a good idea to do so. This will help strengthen SEO, drive more leads to your site, and strengthen agent-lead relationships.
The Sequoia system LogicCMS tools gives brokers and agents the ability to create sold listing pages on their site. Click here to learn more.
Real estate floor plans have been increasingly important in attracting new clients and leads. In fact, floor plans tend to generate 30 percent more interest amongst clients than properties that only include photographs. The reality is, however, is that many real estate brokers and agents do not include floor plans in property portfolios. To effectively market the property and attract more clients, you should invest resources into creating and including floor plans on your real estate websites.
Floor plans help buyers or renters visualize a property in a more personal and accurate way. While photographs are valuable because they show a physical representation of the space, small details like furnishings or wall color of a home may not appeal to the buyer and can be distracting. Floor plans offer a neutral representation of the property. Dimensions and sizes of room on floor plans help clients imagine the space with their own furniture and belongings. They are able to determine what will actually fit in each room and how they can personalize the space even before they see the property. Furthermore, unlike photographs, floor plans gives clients an idea of the flow of the space and the number of rooms in the home.
The more detailed the floor plans, the better idea the viewer of have of the property. They should include details, such as the thickness of walls and size of windows—these do not necessarily have to be labeled but should be drawn to scale. Including permanent fixtures in the property, namely toilets, bathtubs, and sinks, will show where the plumbing is. It is important to note that floor plans should be accurate and dimensions and room sizes should not be exaggerated. This can backfire when clients visit the property and feel misguided.
Floor plans have the power to visually stimulate clients and generate leads. Some real estate agents have gone so far as to use 3-dimensional floor plans to help people better visualize the physical space of a property. While that is not necessary, we do recommend that agents include simple 2-dimensional drawings of properties they are showing. This will draw attention to the property and help you close a deal sooner.