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I recently read an interesting article by Alex Salkever and Sean Parker. I have added my commentary below their article.

When I read his article he discussed how Facebook could actually hurt Google. He and a tech entrepreneur by the name of Sean Parker believe, in short that businesses that connect people are worth more than businesses that collect data.  Facebook will effectively connect people whereas Google will not.

One of his supporting reasons about Facebook is that a search is increasingly a social act. When he and his wife and were searching for a new pediatrician, they did a Google search and a Facebook inquiry. Google brought up a bunch of links on sites of varying quality that purported to rank physicians. His Facebook query got him some excellent recommendations from people he knew. He was more comfortable with Facebook’s suggestions, because they came from people he knew. A Google search gave no guarantee of whether the information is current, nor of the motivations behind the strangers who provide it.

He believe for the first time, social media has made it convenient to tap the collective wisdom of your crowd, and people who know your crowd, to get recommendations for just about anything. Sure, you could blast friends with an email for advice in the past, but no one would dream of constantly bombarding lesser-known acquaintances for such information. By tapping into this new and powerful form of search, Facebook can also tear off a significant chunk of the value of the act of searching. Past wisdom was that people on Facebook weren’t receptive to ads. When he was looking for a pediatrician, he might’ve bitten on an ad for local practitioners. In searching both Google and Facebook, the latter became more relevant, so he spent less time conducting research on Google. He felt more comfortable that my own network would help me find the right information.

None of this means Google will completely suffer as Alex says.  He often disagrees with the answers he gets back from my social search. And the act of indexing the Internet is hugely valuable for providing a baseline of information. Google beats Facebook in many respects: Google (and other search engines) are insanely valuable for mapping and plotting directions among almost any locations.

And Google clearly gets the social web; Google Wave puts the company squarely into a form of social networking and, by extension, social search. Google is also quietly building up social tools to overlay on top of its search engine. Google has access to millions of desktops using its software toolbar: a potential Trojan horse for a broader social network play. So don’t write Google off.

Nevertheless, Parker’s presentation is compelling and seems to mirror key changes in how people are using and perceiving the Internet. If I go a day without using Google, it doesn’t bother me much. But I can’t go a day without Facebook: the social connections keep me tuned in.

With my eyeballs and my attention come opportunities to make money. Connection, not collection, is the value generator. I will keep using Google a lot to search for information — it’s a powerful and useful tool — but increasingly, it takes a backseat to social media and the wisdom of crowds.

I agree with the value of Social Networking applications such as Facebook as does the authors from the column above and it the importance to marketing. If I am looking for a real estate professional I have always been inclined to get the recommendations from friends versus a list on Google.

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With many years of marketing experience in the real estate industry, our team has successfully developed many Web sites for brokers, agents, boards and associations.

Our flagship product,  Agent Central Max has been a tremendous marketing tool for all.   It was developed and enhanced by recommendations from consumers and real estate professionals.

As with any Web Site it is important that you consistently update your site with new content and important information. The information contained within your site should target your audience with relevent news and content to the areas you serve.  Our content management system all allows you to easily modify and update your content.   Our product also offers a number of  features such as:

  • Advanced Search Technology
  • Lead Generation
  • Unlimited Agent Profiles
  • Advanced IDX Search Solutions
  • Auto Responders
  • Cell Phone Alerts On Leads
  • Support for Virtual Tours
  • Complete Listing Maintenance
  • Scalable IDX Solutions
  • Listing Syndication
  • Contact Management
  • Backend Productivity tools (IntraNet Calendar, News and Document Management)
  • Portfolio Manager – Capture prospects, generate automatic listing alerts, saved searches and favorite listings folders.
  • Branded Email
  • Custom Designed To Your Specifications
  • All Real And Search Engine Friendly Pages
  • Calendar
  • News
  • Blogging
  • Office Roster
  • Career Capture
  • Multi-office Support
  • Open House Information
  • Mapping Listings

Our team will work closely with you to ensure your online marketing success.   A number of third party Web 2.o applications can easily be integrated to your site as well.

With our tools and knowledge of marketing, we can help you obtain the online presence to help build your business. Please call us to learn more at 877-791-4825 or visit us at www.readvantage.com

” Your success is our success”

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Writing quality content for your website is one of the most effective ways to enjoy a successful on line presence. This success comes not only in terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimized) content but good quality content shows your visitors you are an authority.  Once you become an authority people will see you as a source of information.

In terms of search engines, they are basically looking for the website that has the most relevant content to the keyword phrase someone types in. Search engines are concerned with 2 major factors; Content and Links. In terms of links, inbound links help to build your worth in terms of how many people want to link to you. The more people linking to you (and you NOT back to them), the more authoritative you become as the search engines see you as an important presence on the Internet. Reciprocal, Outbound, and Internal links help tell the search engines what is important on your site. Content on the other hand tell a search engine who you are and what is important to your website.

Keywords

Before you can build quality content you need to know what your keyword(s) are. Put it another way, what are people typing in to find you. One keyword might be ‘real estate’, while it is about your business, it is a very broad keyword and would be difficult to achieve good rankings with. The more precise your keyword phrase is, the more success you are likely to have. So  ‘Allendale New Jersey Real Estate’ might be a better choice. Google among others have keyword research tools you can use to help you along. Here is one such Google tool https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal.

Now that you have an idea of your keyword phrases you need to build them into your content. the biggest mistake I see is people trying to build too many keyword phrases into a page or a website. Start small, I feel your entire website should not cover more than 3-4 keywords and each page should not contain more than 2-3 keyword phrases or variations. Too many will simply dilute your content and search engines will have a hard time determining what is important on your site and your relevance will fall sharply.

Keyword prominence is the percentage of your keywords to the total amount of content on a page. Your keyword prominence should be around 7% but never over 10%. So 7% of the total content of your page should be keyword phrases. You can purchase tools such as webposition to determine this.

Meta Data

While meta tags are not widely used, they are still worth putting time into. The meta title is important as this will transcribe to the top of your browser tool bar and when you get indexed the meta title and meta description still play a role is some search engines.

Paragraph Headings

While building your content use paragraph headings. You know the H1-H6 assignments you can give to text. This helps the indexing by allowing you to organize your content in relative importance. H1 being the most important text on your page.

For example look at the text below.  Luxury Real Estate in Bergen County is my H1 text which tells a search engine this is the most important text on the page.  It is followed by regular paragraph text.  I then have Vallhall Pointe which is a H2 tag which tells a search engine this is not as important as an H1 tag but more important than my paragraph text.  So by using this methodology we can control what is most relevant.  It also serves to help a reader understand your content better but organizing it into digestible blocks of text.

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Luxury Real Estate in Bergen County

Buying a luxury home in Bergen county.  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras laoreet bibendum enim, eget porttitor nulla malesuada a. Quisque tincidunt viverra erat ut vulputate. Pellentesque et dui libero, a dapibus ante. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Morbi nunc dolor, auctor ac fermentum in, pharetra eu quam.

Valhalla Pointe

This is one of the most sought after communites in sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras laoreet bibendum enim, eget porttitor nulla malesuada a. Quisque tincidunt viverra erat ut vulputate. Pellentesque et dui libero, a dapibus ante. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Morbi nunc dolor, auctor ac fermentum in, pharetra eu quam.

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So get out there and begin writing.  One thing I want to leave you with is that your content should be constantly evolving.  To keep updating it regularly and adding as you go along.  Search Engines LOVE sites that have fresh content all the time.

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I have clients ask me all the time; “I have a website and IDX but I do not get many leads”.  That sound might resonate to many of you out there but their is a real good reason why this happens.  Websites today are more than just a bunch of pages, they are a strategic marketing platform.  Today’s websites are more than just pretty pictures and when attention to detail is not paid, most people have poor results.  Take a look at this list.  How many items do you consider in your web marketing strategy.

  1. You need to engage your prospect.  Failure to do so will simply result in a lost opportunity.
  2. Today people demand complete listing inventory.  Yes they want lots of pictures, video and good content on listings. I wrote about IDX in a previous post and how poor quality content destroys the integrity of your inventory.
  3. Responding to leads.  Yes it does make a difference if you call/email within an hour vs. 2 days.  Generation X & Y will not tolerate it.  With the advent of cell phones, Instant Messaging, and email, people today want to be connected and connected fast.
  4. KISS – Yes the adage Keep It Simple Stupid applies to your website.  Complex pages and searches will turn your audience away.  For the same reason Gen X & Y want to hear from you within 60 seconds, they also don’t want to be bogged down in your website.
  5. Social Networking – Now here is a interesting topic for the Agent.  More and more agents are embracing Social Networking but a lot of them are not leveraging it as part of their marketing strategy.  In the 2008 NAR Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, 44% of home buyers use Social Networking every day.  That is a lot of connecting.
  6. My quest would not be complete if I did not mention, Content, Content, Content.  No website can be successful without quality content that is original in nature and is from your market’s perspective.

So what does this all mean?  Well for starters, a website needs some of your time.  Whether you hire a professional or put the time in yourself your website must evolve.  Also you need to have a good marketing plan and budget just as your do for any other marketing project.  Lastly, start connecting, most people are happy with just a website but that is not enough today.  Get involved with Social Networking as part of your web strategy.

So start planning and leverage the Internet to become your next lead machine.

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