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real estate websitesCreate trust and encourage repeat visitors and prospective buyers by utilizing great features on your site that keep interest high. Following are some great ways to do just that - as well as personalizing your website and online presence with great features visitors are sure to love:

  1. Mobile Ready or Responsive Website - of the 7 billion people on earth, 4.2 billion possess a toothbrush while 6.8 billion have a cell phone. Mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop internet usage. This means more users will be searching for new homes on their smart phones more than ever. Your website should only involve scrolling, not zooming and scrolling. Your site should show mostly text and search and not look like a mini version of your desktop version. Mobile Ready sites load quicker and are optimized for easier reading on a phone screen.
  2. Walk Score - Include the option for folks to check out the Walk Score of homes they are interested in. Here they can find what's local to walk to (cafes, restaurants, parks, etc) or check their commute time via car, bus or foot.
  3. CMA form - Allow sellers to fill out a form on your site that emails their information directly to you. This is a great way to get leads from your site.
  4. Personality, fun & color - show your personality by sharing photos of the fun you are having with clients or friends in local cafes, restaurants or events. Share these on your social media sites as well as on your "About me", Blog or other page on your site. This builds trust with prospects and let's them see you as a real person they can identify with when making one of the largest purchases of their life. Adding online games to your site (soduku anyone?) can also add to the return rates and increase length of time visitors stay on your site.
  5. Action! - Upload or link videos showcasing your area. Often your local visitors bureau or Chamber will have videos that highlight many great features of your area. Upload video introducing yourself or to display the great features of hard to sell or unique home you have listed. Including video or a slideshow will add movement and interest to otherwise static two-dimensional websites.
  6. Photos - photo posts on social sites receive 84% more clicks than text and link posts. Include a picture to support your post and keep in mind a picture really can be worth a thousand words! Each article on your website should include a photo so folks can pin and share it.
  7. Reviews - build trust and credibility on your website with prospects by displaying prior customers testimonials. Feel free to copy and paste them from off your Zillow, Yelp, LinkedIn or other website
  8. Social Bookmarking - Be sure to include on your pages the option for visitors to tweet, like or share your information. This gives your website information "legs" and can be a great source of free advertising for you.
  9. Search - the most popular feature visitors want on Real Estate websites is the ability to search for their perfect home. Make sure the search tool is quick and easy to use with basic elements home hunters want and need without being too complicated or too many required fields. "84% of smart phone users take action after performing local searches."
  10. Social Media links - Allow your visitors to easily find and connect with you on social sites. Be sure the links to Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc open in a NEW window so visitors aren't taken away from your site.
  11. Tools - such as mortgage calculator and interest rates are great to have featured on your listings and/or search pages.
  12. Blog - Blogging can help your website in a myriad of ways! Be creative in your blog posts, show your humorous side, share local news and events - be the "go to" website for all things happening in your area!
  13. Local Resources - show your visitors that you are an expert on your local area. This builds trust and confidence with potential clients and offers visitors information they are seeking prior to moving to your area. Include things like demographics, utility info, movers, storage facilities, things to do, etc.
  14. Weather - Include a weather widget so out of towners can get an idea of what type of weather to expect when living there or if they are going out house hunting they know how to dress.
  15. Education - link to education.com or create an article listing schools in your area including both public and private schools and higher education options.
  16. Subscribe Form - add an email subscribe form to your website and send out monthly or quarterly eblasts using a trusted provider (to ensure you don't get banned from your email provider for SPAM complaints). Keep in touch with former and prospective clients by sharing what's new in town, highlight how the town is growing, new developments/building, what new listings you have and more information readers will find useful.
  17. Buyer & Seller Tips - who doesn't love great tips? Buying or selling a home is a stressful event! For buyers, it's one of the most important and largest purchases of their lives. Give buyers and sellers the information they need to make the sale or purchase as smooth as possible. Create checklists for moving, staging a home tips and other items that they are looking for.
  18. Listing Perks - where do you promote your listings? Print? Online? Social Media? List all the places and perks that sellers will get when they list with YOU. List the incentives and your expertise.
  19. Logos - MLS & Fair Housing Logos as well as your Broker logo or name are essential.
  20. Your Listings, Office Listings and Visual Tours - keep everything on your website and allow your website to do all the work. This way buyers can read and see everything about a home so they are more prepared once they contact you.

We design and develop great real estate websites!

promoting your rss feedWhat is an RSS Feed?
Really Simple Syndication (RSS): In simple words, RSS refers to a notification system which is keeps subscribers updated with the latest updates on their favorite websites which could be blogs, music sites, etc. When a user subscribes to an RSS feed, they will receive updates from their favorite sites. To find out if the site is RSS-enabled look for the (usually) orange button that allows visitors to subscribe.

Many people don’t know how to use the RSS button that they see on a website or what it’s for. For the Internet-savvy, it is turning out to be the best way to simplify their searches. Generally, RSS feeds contain summaries of the web pages and allow the subscribers to pick and read the article of their choice. A powerful aggregator which helps you organize and choose the news items just like an email is all that you need to get the most out of RSS feeds.

Upon subscription, you will receive updates automatically. Subscribers can also choose to display the feeds on their web pages so visitors can view the updates as well. As a result, your website will generate more traffic. RSS feeds are turning out to be an essential tool in web marketing today. Your client is constantly reminded of your website’s existence and most importantly the updates will encourage them to visit your site regularly.

Making RSS Feeds work for you

    1. Create your RSS feed. Write an appropriate title and description and ensure that the link leads to the website with the actual content.
    2. Validate your RSS feed. Once you’ve created your RSS feed, validate it. Read more about the RSS format standard and ensure that your RSS feed conforms to the format.
    3. Create a web page for displaying your RSS feeds. After your RSS feed is validated, add it to your web site. Creating a separate web page for displaying RSS feeds is a common web practice.
    4. Promote your feed Display your RSS feeds on a webpage. Once you have created and validated your RSS feed, create a separate web page for displaying it.
    5. Promote your feed Use directories to list your RSS feeds. Once the RSS feeds are up on your website, you need to ensure that your potential viewers are aware of it. Below are a few RSS directories which will help provide visibility to your live RSS feeds:

FeedBoy
FeedBomb
Feedfury
Feedburner
RSS Feeds Directory
Free Feeds Directory
RSS Feeds Submission

  1. Allow access to RSS reader. Add a link to which enables your viewers to ‘download RSS reader’.
  2. Be regular with updates. It is important to update your RSS feeds. It is as important as updating your website content. If you aren’t updating your feeds, your viewers don’t have any reason to continue to subscribe to them.

social network to boost your rankingIn this era of online marketing, Search Engine Optimization is at the forefront of every online marketing strategy. However, when we talk about Search Engine Optimization, we can hardly miss the subject of optimizing via social websites and social Medias. This is because of the fact that in past few years we have seen an exponential growth in the popularity of social websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

In this article, we will be showing you how to harness the full power of social websites to supercharge your SEO efforts.

Helps in Link Building
Social websites help immensely with your link building strategy, which is of primary importance in your off page optimization strategy. Social websites help increase the amount of back links to your site. Top search engines like Google and Yahoo give more weight to your online popularity factor, which is primarily determined by the number of links pointing to your site, when it comes to determining your site’s rankings in SERP’s (Search Engine Results Page).

Many social websites provide features that help link your page to the reader or visitor’s page. For example, if your site’s articles are on the Digg network and if someone else also on Digg reads the article and finds it interesting and relevant, they simply click “Digg it” button, and your page is automatically added to their own webpage. Furthermore, these sites also allow you to tell others in the network about your website and no doubt this definitely increases the odds that they will bookmark your site and put your link on their own. However it needs time and effort to build your reputation in these social sites by providing relevant content that provides value to the readers.

Minimal Effort - Big Results
Many online marketers consider Social Media Optimization or optimization by social websites to be guerrilla marketing, because they are considerably cheap as compared to other marketing channels.

Furthermore, to obtain maximum exposure from optimization via Social Websites, it is important to post relevant and useful content on a frequent basis and being an active member of the community. Social Media Optimization is a very effective technique that will yield fruitful results both in the short and long term and is well worth the time and effort invested.

Importance of Blogs
Blogs are one of the most important mediums when it comes to optimization via Social Websites. This is because blog posts attract links from other bloggers which creates a snowball effect and helps your site to gain popularity and receive targeted traffic. Successful blogs provide regular, fresh and relevant content. A good way to advertise your blog is to visit other blogs that have a comments section and make an insightful comment about their content and then provide a link back to your own blog or website. This is known as marketing through “Blog Commenting” and is an effective marketing technique, if done properly.

It is important to update the blog on a regular basis. Provide links, lots of images, video clips and interactive tools. Make sure that each page you add to your site is relevant and provide value to the readers.

Which Sites to Target?
When it comes to optimizing via social websites because as a rule of thumb, the more sites you target, the better it is. There are many popular social media sites out there and choosing which ones to participate in can be overwhelming sometimes, so always join those sites that are relevant to your interest and work at a steady pace in building up your site’s reputation in these social sites.

forumsAn Internet forum is an area for discussion made available on a website for users to post discussions, read and respond to posts by other forum members. Online forums allow members or users to start new topics and reply to existing posts too. Conversations on forums are called threads.

With the advent of the internet, businesses are leaving no stone unturned to promote their businesses online. Among the various other means to market websites online, forum posting is turning into a popular option. To top that, it has been noted that visitors to websites by way of forums are worth more than any average visitor. Why? Simply because, forum visitors are active information seekers and engaged users, who are more likely to be interested in your services. However, you should note that forums are primarily beneficial for driving human traffic to your website. Search engine rankings follow closely and with a signature link with every post, you are assured greater visibility in the search engines too.

Here’s how you can take advantage of internet forums to drive traffic to your website:

Introduce Yourself: Begin by participating in the ‘Introduce Yourself’ section of the forum. Also, don’t forget to welcome new members!

Become an Active Member: You could choose forums or topics, which interest you or are closely related to your business or service and actively participate in the discussions. Try solving problems and offer help and advice when required. Don’t underestimate yourself and believe that you cannot become a moderator. The effort that you put in to become a moderator on a forum is worth it and you are assured increased visits to your blog as visitors already believe you are a subject matter expert.

Your Signature Tells All: A well-defined signature, with linked text to your URL, is essential if you want visitors to notice your link. Here’s an example:

Your website and SEO: Do you know you can drastically increase your traffic with the help of forum postings?
Michelle Crossley, studio1c

Say NO to SPAM: Drop your links in the posts you visit or reply at. But, not in a spammy way! If you are dropping links before you establish yourself as an active contributor, it won’t take you long to be ignored or banned!

Know the Forum Rules: Different forums have different and specific rules. Make sure that you have read them thoroughly (usually you can find a post on the forum rules prominently displayed in the forum index) so you aren’t banned after you have posted.

Check for typos and missing words before you click ‘Submit’.

While you work hard to increase free website traffic, you should ensure that users find relevant information on your forum posts too!