Blog Tag: 360 virtual tour provider

Search Engine Optimization for Your Virtual Tour Business

SEO for Virtual Tour Companies

Have you wondered how you can have your website top the list on search engines?

Website search engine ranking has evolved drastically in the past couple of years. If you haven’t thought about your website in the past month chances are you are moving the wrong way in the search engine ranks. Google accounts for 67.5% of the search engine market (comscore.com), whereas Bing and Yahoo make up around 28% combined*. When we are talking about SEO (search engine optimization) the conversation inevitably centers on Google for this reason. Google has used their position of dominance to change how websites are ranked according to what they see as most important. User experience and relevance are two of the main factors in the success or failure of search engine results. How is user experience and relevance determined? Much of that information comes in the form of bounce rates, time on site, and other user behavior cues, as well as the robots (sometime called spiders) that scan websites for content and updates.

If you are in the dark as to how to figure this out, don’t worry. There are lots of tools available both paid and free. With a little technical knowledge (or a good friend that knows code) you can install Google Analytics and sign up for Google Webmaster tools, and the best part is they are totally free. Sure there are plenty of companies that want you to pay them to report to you on a monthly basis from their pricey software, but I will take free directly from the horse’s mouth any day.
Great content represents one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle to search engine success as well. If your website is a wealth of quality information people will come to your site more often, spend more time, and link back more frequently. Quality graphic content such as photos, memes, and info graphs are easily share able on social media platforms (which in turn send social relevancy signals to Google) and contribute to a great user experience as well. Committing and sticking to a long term content creation strategy is a powerful tool in the effort to obtain online ranking success.
Back linking used to be a huge part of improving website rankings. This is the practice of getting other website to link back to your site. While this can still influence the organic (non paid) rankings, Google has recently been decreasing the value of back links. This is due in part to a rash of attempts to manipulate back link profiles for the benefit of a websites search rankings. On top of Google slowly decreasing the value of back links many sites that have used low quality back link practices are now being penalized by Google and forced to either fix their back link profile (an often long and tedious task) or face the consequences of penalization or even suspension of ranking on Google’s search engine.

You can still benefit from a great back link profile but I would caution you to approach gaining back links by producing good content and publishing it on social media and any other avenues you can find. People who like the content you are producing, or find value in it will share it and link back to it in various ways. These great articles and graphics are known as link bait in the seo community as they are produced to draw back links in. Typically the back links gained are to related websites meaning the back links have a higher relevance than if it was linked back from a website that is not with in the same industry or genre.  If anyone approaches you and offers X number of back links for money, DO NOT DO IT! This is the sort of practice that will land your website in Google’s dreaded penalty box. If the opportunity to link to another page arises and it makes sense, making the link a no follow link is advisable. This tells the Google robots to not consider where this link is going to, to influence search engine rankings for either site. This is done using a simple html code while placing the link.

The long and short of seo is develop your site with user experience in mind, produce and promote good content and let the rest fall into place.  Hard work and avoiding the pitfall the easy way out and your website will move up in the rankings. Keep in mind where Google is headed and focus on getting there rather than focusing on what has been done in the past.

Do you have questions? Coming up soon we will be having a webinar for our network of photographers to discuss this issue more in depth. Would you like to learn more about being an RTV photographer? Visit our website to learn how to start your virtual tour business or call us at 866 947 8687. Or allow one of our Virtual Tour Providers to provide professional photography on your behalf.

Join the conversation on Facebook!

*http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press-Releases/2014/4/comScore-Releases-March-2014-U.S.-Search-Engine-Rankings


Search Engine Optimization for Your Virtual Tour Business

SEO for Virtual Tour Companies

Have you wondered how you can have your website top the list on search engines?

Website search engine ranking has evolved drastically in the past couple of years. If you haven’t thought about your website in the past month chances are you are moving the wrong way in the search engine ranks. Google accounts for 67.5% of the search engine market (comscore.com), whereas Bing and Yahoo make up around 28% combined*. When we are talking about SEO (search engine optimization) the conversation inevitably centers on Google for this reason. Google has used their position of dominance to change how websites are ranked according to what they see as most important. User experience and relevance are two of the main factors in the success or failure of search engine results. How is user experience and relevance determined? Much of that information comes in the form of bounce rates, time on site, and other user behavior cues, as well as the robots (sometime called spiders) that scan websites for content and updates.

If you are in the dark as to how to figure this out, don’t worry. There are lots of tools available both paid and free. With a little technical knowledge (or a good friend that knows code) you can install Google Analytics and sign up for Google Webmaster tools, and the best part is they are totally free. Sure there are plenty of companies that want you to pay them to report to you on a monthly basis from their pricey software, but I will take free directly from the horse’s mouth any day.
Great content represents one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle to search engine success as well. If your website is a wealth of quality information people will come to your site more often, spend more time, and link back more frequently. Quality graphic content such as photos, memes, and info graphs are easily share able on social media platforms (which in turn send social relevancy signals to Google) and contribute to a great user experience as well. Committing and sticking to a long term content creation strategy is a powerful tool in the effort to obtain online ranking success.
Back linking used to be a huge part of improving website rankings. This is the practice of getting other website to link back to your site. While this can still influence the organic (non paid) rankings, Google has recently been decreasing the value of back links. This is due in part to a rash of attempts to manipulate back link profiles for the benefit of a websites search rankings. On top of Google slowly decreasing the value of back links many sites that have used low quality back link practices are now being penalized by Google and forced to either fix their back link profile (an often long and tedious task) or face the consequences of penalization or even suspension of ranking on Google’s search engine.

You can still benefit from a great back link profile but I would caution you to approach gaining back links by producing good content and publishing it on social media and any other avenues you can find. People who like the content you are producing, or find value in it will share it and link back to it in various ways. These great articles and graphics are known as link bait in the seo community as they are produced to draw back links in. Typically the back links gained are to related websites meaning the back links have a higher relevance than if it was linked back from a website that is not with in the same industry or genre.  If anyone approaches you and offers X number of back links for money, DO NOT DO IT! This is the sort of practice that will land your website in Google’s dreaded penalty box. If the opportunity to link to another page arises and it makes sense, making the link a no follow link is advisable. This tells the Google robots to not consider where this link is going to, to influence search engine rankings for either site. This is done using a simple html code while placing the link.

The long and short of seo is develop your site with user experience in mind, produce and promote good content and let the rest fall into place.  Hard work and avoiding the pitfall the easy way out and your website will move up in the rankings. Keep in mind where Google is headed and focus on getting there rather than focusing on what has been done in the past.

Do you have questions? Coming up soon we will be having a webinar for our network of photographers to discuss this issue more in depth. Would you like to learn more about being an RTV photographer? Visit our website to learn how to start your virtual tour business or call us at 866 947 8687. Or allow one of our Virtual Tour Providers to provide professional photography on your behalf.

Join the conversation on Facebook!

*http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press-Releases/2014/4/comScore-Releases-March-2014-U.S.-Search-Engine-Rankings


Selling Real Estate to Generation C

Our friends at Google have defined Gen C not so much by its age as by the actions and interests of its members.  They prefer to think of Gen C as a culture. It describes “people who care deeply about creation, curation, connection, and community. It’s not an age group; it’s an attitude and mindset.”

Why is this important to anyone trying to market real estate? Because the folks at Google are pretty smart – remember, they have, with all due respect to MicroSoft and Apple, pretty much managed to take over the digital world. And those folks at Google have given Gen C a subtitle:  “The YouTube Generation”.

According to Google, here are some defining characteristics of this group:
* Fully 80 percent of Gen C is also a part of Gen Y, meaning they were born between the early 1980’s and the early 2000’s. And this is YouTube’s core audience.

* This group uses YouTube as a major source of both information and social interaction. I was stunned to learn that the number two search engine in the world is not Bing or Yahoo, but YouTube. And it’s because there is now a video on almost every topic in the world.

* Gen C is constantly connected: they eat, sleep and breathe the internet, across many devices. My suspicion is that most of you fall into this category. Here is the defining stat: literally 91 per cent of this group sleeps next to a smartphone.

* Gen C relies on YouTube across all your screens, especially mobile devices, and in particular, their cell phones. I got a new smartphone the other day – I was amazed to sit there and watch a beautiful virtual home tour while driving around the perimeter. And the quality was remarkable. Add in falling prices for data plans and rising network speeds, and we find that mobile video is exploding.

So what does all this mean if you are trying to sell a house?

It all boils down to buyer behavior. Buyers want video, and for the most part, sellers and agents aren’t giving it to them. I know that some agents are heavy into virtual tours and full motion video, but they are among the few. And I believe that video and virtual tours are the wave of the future when it comes to selling or renting a home or an apartment.

As I have reminded you before, fully 88 percent of buyers begin their search for their next home on the internet, taking virtual tours, gathering financial information, and generally learning all the facts.
The bottom line here is that the eyeballs you want to grab are already focused on the internet, and those most likely to buy a house are already focused squarely on YouTube. And if you aren’t creating some form of video content for the marketing of your real estate, you are missing a huge opportunity to gain market share.

Brenda Stewart
Accents Virtual Tours
Peachtree City/Atlanta, GA
www.accentsvirtualtours.com


What is your Professionalism Score?

Do you know what your Professionalism Score is? What!? You say… Many would be surprised to find that there is a Professionalism Score. While not in the same sense as the official Credit Score, it is more of a subliminal Score but it screams volumes about your level of professionalism. This is how you are perceived by the public and perspective clients.

In today’s high-tech world people have easy access to your virtual tour Business which can be  great but can also be detrimental to your success if your professional score is not high. Just as in the credit world where a missed or slow payment can bring down your score and cost you that loan or prime interest rate, your lack of attention to your professionalism could could subliminally tell your clients that you are less than professional and result in drastic results for your 360 tour business.

Let’s have a look at some areas that may need a bit of tweaking in the professionalism area. Some may seem more obvious then others.

Professional Dress: The way you present yourself to clients should be a no-brainier but take a hard look at yourself. Do you look as neat and professional as you could? While a three-piece suit is not necessarily in order today, a clean, neat appearance is a must. Hair trimmed, clean shoes (no tennis shoes unless you’re actually playing tennis with a client or you walk on a treadmill all day at your desk like Jason), take a look at your clothing, does it present a professional image? This will be different for everyone depending on client type and /or geographic region.

Business Cards: This in many cases will be your first introduction to a potential new client as business cards are often passed on to others you have yet to meet. Is your card professional or did you print it with your ink-jet printer? Do you have “Free” on-line business cards with the providers ad on the back? Consider a professionally designed and printed Business Card.

Language : This includes how you speak on the phone and face-to-face with clients as well as what you post on social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Wrong spellings and improper grammar may be the most glaring offense to your professional standing. Proof read everything you post! Do not rely on spell-checker 100%, it’s a nice guide but not foolproof, use the wrong word and if spelled right, it will not be caught by the spell-checker.   Is your language peppered with “like, basically & actually”? Basically, you should like, actually check that! In addition, never use slang or colloquial speech with clients even if they are using it. Speak proper English. Speaking anything less, doesn’t project professionalism. At the same time, make sure you aren’t using words that will go over your client’s head. You don’t want them searching Google to understand what you are trying to convey, as that can also be counterproductive. While your clients may think you’re very intelligent, they will not appreciate you talking over them.

Photography: Are you using your yearbook photo on your web-page, blogs and other media? Are you taking your own listing photos? Do your competitors use professional images and/or a Professional Virtual Tour for their listings? How do your listing images compare to those of your competitors? Will they hold up in side by side comparison with your fellow Realtors when sellers search for a Realtor? Unless you are a professional photographer in your own rite, you should consider hiring a professional photographer or Virtual Tour Provider to photograph your listings. Studies after studies have indicated that a Home with a professional Virtual Tour or professional Images will get more viewings and better qualified buyers then those without professional images. “A Realtors’ association survey found that when it comes to web features that buyers consider “very useful,” 83 percent cited  pictures, 81 percent cited detailed property information and 60 percent cited virtual tours.” JR-Signal vs. Noise here is a graph showing the # of clicks a Virtual Tour gets vs the MLS listing. http://www.picturesdosellhouses.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/mls-average.jpg
The difference is crystal clear!

The Front Office: Do you have a front office or do you often work from home? Do you answer your own phone, often putting clients on hold or are your calls going straight to voice-mail? Do you spend a lot of time coordinating viewings, open houses, scheduling Virtual Tours, inspections, closings etc, etc, etc… all of this running around and playing phone tag can lead to missed appointments, unanswered calls and general appearance of being unorganized and unprofessional. In order to exude a professional appearance consider hiring a Virtual Assistant. A Virtual Assistant can help you with as much or as little as you want at a reasonable hourly rate usually billed to the minute. A Virtual Assistant can perform many duties for you such has but not limited to general virtual administrative work, real estate virtual administrative work, transaction coordination, data entry and lead qualification. This would give your business the appearance of a large organization if working from home, free up your time to list and sell many more homes and make you look very organized while at the same time appearing very professional.   

Website:  Do you have a professionally built Website? Or did you build it yourself? Yes, you can build your own website these days, there are many on-line portals that let you build your own website including your Domain provider but once again, this should be left to the professionals. There are many inexpensive yet professional website builders available that won’t break the bank. Even a template Website geared toward Real Estate Professionals will appear more professional then one you build yourself and lets face it, do you really have time to build your Website from the ground up? 

In conclusion, Your professional virtual tour business image determines how others feel, think, and see your business. Moving forward, why not implement the above suggestions to put your business on the professional track and increase your Professional Score.

Albuquerque Virtual Tours

DragonFly 360 Imaging is a locally owned and operated virtual four company providing a wide range of photographic services and real estate marketing services to the Greater Albuquerque NM area.

At the helm of this fast growing company is Dale Hart. He brings over 30 years of professional photography experience to the table, much of it working with interior designers and architects.

Dale Hart
Owner – DragonFly 360 Imaging
Order a virtual tour: 505-359-8885

7 Decisions that Determine Personal Success

 

We feel blessed to have a successful virtual tour business, that does a LOT of vacation rental photography  We frequently hear people tell us that we are so lucky or that they are jealous of the life we live but many decisions go into our success.  Here are 7 of the decisions that were critical in getting us where we are today:

We chose to downsize our stuff so we could supersize our lifestyle.  We live in a tiny house with a tiny payment and very little overhead.  We have just one car.  Because we have chosen to travel, we don’t need a bunch of stuff or a big house.  Because we don’t have a bunch of stuff, we are free to travel.
                          
We live entirely on cash and have chosen not to utilize credit cards.  This sometimes affects where we are able to travel or the timing of certain purchases but it gives us a sense of certainty in knowing that we haven’t gone into debt to start or run our business.  It also means we have to carefully watch our balance sheet to make sure we are keeping the pipeline of future virtual tour business full.

We decided that one shared income was enough since it meant that we get to work together every single day.  There are times we would love to have at least one steady paycheck but this is the risk we chose in being self employed running a virtual tour company. The rewards greatly outweigh the risks.

We decided that we would focus our time on what we do best.  For us that is two main lines of business – healthcare and education and Vacation rentals and hospitality.  By having a crystal clear focus, we can streamline our efforts and create an impressive portfolio in those distinct lines.

We dedicated our virtual tour business to serving others and we give back a portion of every dollar we make.  We think “luck” has very little to do with our success so we honor the giver of the gifts through donated tours and charitable contributions.

We decided that we would price our virtual tours in a manner that made the accessible to almost any business.  We believe so highly in the value of the 360 interactive virtual tour and have seen what it can do for a business.  We would rather have many smaller jobs than try to gouge a few people.  We believe that by offering a high quality product at a fair value, everyone wins.

We decided that having the right partner changes everything and we are so grateful that we chose RTV, Inc. virtual tour software company for our virtual tour technology.  They are constantly evolving and refining their systems so we don’t have to spend any of our time, money or efforts on researching and development.  We have a back office that makes us look even better than we are and we are eternally grateful for the support of the RTV team.

These are Seven Decisions that have helped determine our personal success.  What are the decisions you have made that have gotten you to where you are today?  What decisions could you make that could change where you are tomorrow?  I’ll be blogging about the other decisions over this week but for now, it’s business time and I need to get back on the phones.