This is the first in our series of SEO sessions for your blogging and website success.
Please remember that this is back to the basics, excellent for newbies and yet a great review for veterans. You will pick up some new SEO techniques also.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. I define SEO as getting to the top of google and staying there!
There are two different kinds of SEO- there is SEO designed to get Organic traffic and then there is Paid or Off Site SEO techniques.
Ideally you will want both to be optimized on your blogs and websites. SEO that will help your business is SEO that gets you to achieve long term Page 1 placement on the search engines.
What is your goal for SEO?
The main goal should be that you get to the top of the search engines and stay there. Dropping back down and up is not going to benefit you in the long run. You want to get your position and then stay there keeping your sites and blogs at the top. You want to establish long term success now so as the face of Real Estate marketing changes you are situated in a place where no one can knock you off.
The only way to accomplish this goal is by applying well thought out activities repeating them over and over again. A lot of people say to me, but this takes so much time. If you are one of those people ask yourself how long did it take you to make a name for yourself in your community. Did you just become well known overnight? I know for me and Nestor it took years of very well thought out and planned marketing activities to establish ourselves in our town as credible and well known agents. It is not any different online. There is no such thing as instant success.
The biggest problem I have with agents that are not on Active Rain, for those on AR know better, is that they think all they have to do is set up a website and then just leave it at that and the people will come and calls will start coming in. When they start on Active Rain, they fill out their profile and then just leave it there thinking someone is actually going to call them based on 'all about the agent' fluff. Then they will be the first to say, " This internet stuff doesn't work." Well, Dugh! There is no free lunch even on Active Rain and on the Internet in general.
Now you can pay for SEO work to be done on your sites and blogs. But I strongly urge you to learn all you can about SEO before you hire people to take care of it for you. If you don't understand about SEO how do you know that company or person is providing you with proper optimization? We have been there, done that, and got screwed. So don't repeat our mistakes. Take the time to learn this stuff and then you can delegate it all you want because you will then be able to check on the actions they take for your SEO and you will know if someone is scamming you or really working to get you on top.
So what is your goal for your internet presence? What is your goal for your business online? Your homework assignment for this week is to sit down and figure out what do you really want out of being on the internet. Specify your goal into dollars and cents, into tangible goals. How does your internet marketing plan fit into your overall business plan? How much of your business do you want to come from the internet?
- Who is your market?
- Who is your audience?
- Who do you want to connect with?
- What is your niche?
- Who is your ideal client?
By Katerina Gasset
Do you want sellers to call you and ask you to list their property? Do you want buyers to call you and say that they want you to find them a property?
Write down who your ideal client is, what do they do, where do they live, why are they moving into or out of your market.
This will become your SEO blueprint.
The biggest mistake that agents and online marketers make is that they do not know who their audience is. Without knowing this information you will not know how to go on to the next step which is researching and collecting your keywords. When I first started blogging on Active Rain I knew exactly who my market was. I knew that I wanted sellers to call us to list their properties for sale who would not be concerned with our commission rate, not argue over the length of our listing agreement and who would list over the phone and email. I knew that I wanted agents and mortgage brokers who want to take their business to the next level- to call me and tell me they wanted to hire me as their coach. This is exactly what our SEO strategies have produced.
You can come back to this post and write your goals into the comment section below of you can keep it to yourself. Just make sure you do it before next week's lesson on SEO. This is the starting point of your SEO sessions. My goal is to have the SEO Sessions online on either Wednesday or Thursday each week. So stay tuned for more SEO sessions.
P.S. Self- Promotion ( don't read any further if you do not like self promotions) There were some agents who were not able to get into my coaching program because there were no more coaching slots available. However, I was able to switch around a couple of my activities and delegated a few more tasks which has given me the ability to open up my coaching time slots to be able to fit in 5 more clients. Hurry, because these slots do fill fast and we are on a first come, first serve basis.
- Taking the steps to rank as high as you can go for the keywords that your audience is likely to be using in the search box on the search engines.
- Tracking the progress and make the necessary adjustments to your website and blog including the look and feel of your site and blog.
- Keeping a good eye on your competition and doing new research on your competitors to stay on top!
You will need to now establish a business plan for your SEO.
- Understanding a little of how Search engines work will be a big part of your success with your SEO business plan.
- Each of your sites and blogs will have different goals and therefore they will need to have separate business plans.
- You will not do the same actions on your Active Rain blog as you will be doing on your Real Estate website.
You can pay for your SEO or you can do it yourself. You will either spend the time or spend the money. Your choice. But if you decide to pay for SEO I highly recommend that you first learn SEO techniques so that you will know whether you are getting what you paid for or not. How much FREE SEO you use will depend more on how much time you can devote to the action steps and in how competitive your keywords are. When I first started studying SEO and Internet marketing I did everything myself. I was not going to take the chance on paying for SEO and then find we don't move up or get indexed. Now that I understand we delegate out portions of our SEO actions steps. Virtual assistants are great for this part of your business.
In your business plan for your SEO; ideally for your website you should have a goal of using FREE SEO techniques and some paid ones. We will go into more detail about paid SEO action steps later.
Once you understand the SEO steps you will just repeat them over and over again; rinse and repeat.
In order to be successful in your SEO for your website and your blog you will need to create a system of actions and then follow that system. Once you are used to following your system you will be able to use this same system over and over again for more websites and blogs that you would want to set up for different niches.
During these SEO sessions we will be going over many of the different SEO actions that you will be able to choose from. Not all of them will be ideal for your business plan. You will pick and choose, and then apply the actions, measure the results and adjust your plan until you have it down to a science.
As in all things in business and life; in SEO, the Pareto Principles applies or the 80/20 rule.
Your most effective actions will only take 20 to 25% of your time yet will yield 75 to 80% of your results.
For instance in blogging; spending 3 minutes on optimizing your blog titles with keyword rich words will produce a major result.
Paying for a Yahoo directory link will take about 5 minutes but would be more valuable than taking the time to submit your site to 100 Free directories because the free directories are getting spammed so much that their relevence to Search engines has been diluted.
So you will have to figure out how important each action and what each action will yield.
The next part of your SEO plan is to know what are you going to do with the traffic that comes to your website or your blog.
- You need to have a plan for your traffic. It will not matter at all if you are on page 1 on Google and have the first slot if you have no idea what you want your visitors to do once they get to your website or blog.
- You now know who your audience is. What action do you want them to take when they land on your page?
- Your answers will be different for a website and a blog. On a blog you may want your visitor to subscribe to your RSS feed. On your website you may want your visitor to fill out your contact form, sign up for your email newsletter or set up a listing notifier.
Homework for this week: Write down in your homework journal who your audience is ( from last week's homework).
Then make a chart for yourself in the notebook with the following information. This will become your blueprint:
There are two different schools of SEO- White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO. As you study SEO you will hear these terms. We don't encourage black hat SEO because that is taking the chance of getting slapped by Google. Black Hat SEO is NOT illegal. But many of the techniques are not approved by Search engines such as Google. White hat SEO is SEO that is on the up and up; clean and effective techniques. And then there is the Grey Hat SEO. You can tow the line but don't cross over. For instance a very typical tip that may be construed as Black hat yet is White hat : Google says that they do not want you to pay for links to Rank but that it is alright to pay for links to drive traffic to your site. One might argue how do they know the difference when you can construe that one is the same as the other.
Ranking and traffic don't mean a thing if you don't convert your visitors.
By Katerina Gasset
What do you need to know about Search Engines? (BTW- The abbreviation of Search Engine is SE.)
Out of these three, the algorithms are changed most often and seem to be the point of much contention and speculation among webmasters and SEO folks.
You will learn a bit about each of these areas but the most important SEO action step is:
Get Links To Point To Your Websites and Blogs From Theirs!
If you have a short term memory, copy and paste these words, make them big and bold and tape them to your computer so this action is in the forefront of all your SEO work.
Now and in the future you will begin to learn how to diversify. In order to really make it online you are going to have to do a combination of organic traffic and paid traffic.
- DO NOT use link farms, exchange link sites or buy software that guarantees that you will get links to your site.
- DO NOT use Search Engine submission forms ( there are exceptions).
You can take any blog or any website from scratch and with a combination of Free and Paid links to your sites and blogs you can be indexed on Google within 2 to 4 days.
We will spending some time in the near future on getting the links you will need.
Spider Behavior- Search engine spiders or Bots as some people call them. Bots is short for Robots.
These spiders or bots crawl the Internet looking for 'food' to bring back to the people who put in a search request in the search box of the search engines.
But how do they find the sites that they want to bring back? They find them through links from one page to another all over the Internet.
Imagine a spider crawling along a giant web, always moving from one string of that web to another, all connected. If he meets a dead end, that is to say, a site that has no link onward, it will turn around and head off of that page looking for the next link to follow.
How often do the spiders crawl?
Once you are indexed it will depend on how often you are putting up good fresh content and how many sites are linking to yours.
Before you are indexed you will need to get sites to link to you that are putting on good fresh content on their sites.
So what happens is the spider sees a page and crawls the page. If that page has links going out of it to other sites, the spider will follow that link to the page on the next site and this goes on and on. The spider than will come back to the same pages that it crawled as long as their fresh content being put on that page.
A very important thing to remember is that the spider crawls pages not sites. So the key to getting the spider to crawl your pages on your site or blog is by getting links to all the pages on your blog or site that you want to have indexed.
If you have 30 pages on your website but links only coming in to your home page it is highly likely that is where the bot or spider will stop. The food is just not there for the spider to eat!
This part is already done for you in a lot of ways if you are really using your blog on Active Rain. Active Rain creates deep links, lots of spider food. But you must learn to link internally within your own blog on Active Rain. This is where you are linking from one post to other posts within your blog.
If you have a new website or a new outside blog and want to get indexed quickly here are a few things that you can do right away to get you indexed:
- Active Rain- Blog with highly searched keywords
- Performancing.com - this is a great for blogs.
- Article Directories like EzineArticles.com
You can use article submitting software.
This software automates the process of submitting your articles to
hundreds of directories with just a click.
- Yahoo Directory at Dir.Yahoo.com- You can pay $299 per year to Yahoo to be placed in their directory. The benefits are worth the cost.
They will review your site within 1 week.
They will guarantee that your site will get indexed in all the search engines. Your site rankings will get a boost and your site will be in the Yahoo search index.
- Directory Submitter- There are thousands of free website directories and you can find software that will do that fast for you. The more directories you submit to, the more one way links you will get that will be pointing to your site, which will cause you to rank higher. Remember, this can not be said enough, it is all about the links you get!
By Katerina Gasset
Your homework for this week is:
Perform weekly searches across all 3 of the major Search Engines. Learn about your competition.
Study your keywords 1 hour monthly. Do you keyword research and do it monthly. People change what they are searching for and you need to stay on top of it.
Do not search with the keywords that you think a consumer is using, you need to find out the words they are using and then have those words become your new keywords.