Blog Tag: SEO

Traverse City Social Networking Training

Traverse Area Association of Realtors (TAAR) is very pleased to offer a free Social Networking, Blogging, and SEO 101 seminar. On Wednesday August 19th Jason LaVanture of BlueLaVaMedia virtual tours and creator of the Social Ignition System will be offering up some very valuable tips on how to increase traffic and build powerful back links to your website. The free seminar will be held from 9-10 at the TAAR office and all members are welcome to attend. If you have an interest in these topics it’s recommended that you start out by taking BlueLaVaMedia’s free online course found here:

Go BlueLaVa!

Goodbye to Google Rank

The days of Googling your keywords to measure the effectiveness of your SEO strategy are coming to an end. According to Bruce Clay of PubCon, there are big changes in ranking. In the name of Top Shelp Organic SEO, Google is tuning into the specific behaviors of individual users to serve up more customized results. What this means to the end-user is better results and less spam. What does this mean to SEO professionals? Well, for the good ones it means more business. For those that have been concentrating on ranking without any reference to traffic, bounce rates and conversions it means a serious reality check. At the end of the day, this is a change for the better. More individualized search results means higher conversion rates for companies that have a well built website. This does not mean that SEO is no longer important; it actually makes it more important! Tracking your marketing efforts will definitely require more diligence. Q: What should you do? A: Nothing that you should not have already been doing. The most important part of a website is the ends result; attracting more leads and increasing business. To get there you have to attract website visitors, keep them interested in your website long enough to stay past the first page and finally get them to convert. By convert, I mean to get them to perform a specific action like sign up for a newsletter or request additional information. Conversions vary by website. A conversion for you may be a request for information about one of your listings while a conversion for could be the sale of a bestselling novel. I, for one, think this is a great lead by Google. It forces website owners and SEO professionals to take a closer look of what traffic is actually DOING when it gets to your website. It puts the emphasis on website content, navigation and functionality. Sending people to your website and getting XXXXX visitors is one thing, conversion rates are a completely different (and more important) aspect. I mean, you can send all the traffic (paid or otherwise) in the world to a dilapidated home, but if they never get out of the car and go inside… it’s not going to sell. It’s time to get your website to do what it’s supposed to: SELL! Go Google! RTV Marketing RTV offers full service national virtual tours 866-947-8687 Order a virtual tour today!_____
My comments:
First off, I would like to say that this is a blog that my marketing department for released at the end of last year. If you watch Bruce’s entire video he states that we will see these changes begin to take hold in the first six months of 2009 so this was a perfect time to push this out there again. This is indeed old news but it is happening right now I can assure you that. For the last ten years I have been actively working side by side with my SEO team to make sure both RTV and our national network of virtual tour photographers websites rank well. To see this change firsthand, you can run a test on your own. It is quite simple to perform. For the next week google your business or real estate website using what I call you “Geo Key-Words” such as ‘Traverse City Real Estate’ or ‘Traverse City Virtual Tours’. If you continually run this search, and click on your site (not necessarily on the PPC ads you might be running) you will see that your results begin to change after a few days or so. Your site will begin rising to the top of the SERPS. Is your site ranking better? The answer is yes and no. Yes, your site will be ranking better on YOUR computer and yours alone. You will quickly see that a clearing of your private data, cookies and temp files instantly returns your search to your actual google positioning. I try to clear out my temp files at least every day so I can run clean searches and view actual results. You should make habit of doing this too if you take an interest in your sites true google positioning. At the end of the day, the people who don’t clear out their private data often, will certainly have unnatural search results. What can you do? Do what you have been doing all along and run a light PPC ad campaign, build strong back links to your site (this brings the spiders and the google juice), make sure that the architecture of your site is laid out properly, optimize EACH page of your site for a new keyword, and drive traffic and people to your site by blogging. Finally you should run tools on your site for fine tuning such as Blog often on sites that give back link power. Active rain no loger does this unless you purchase a rain maker account. Take advantage of using social bookmarking sites. Big site linking to smaller site is good. Install the google toolbar if you don’t already have it. Google juice is now split by both traffic and spiders so you want BOTH coming to your site. The key with traffic is to get them to stay on your site and that is where the term bounce rate comes in. Your bounce rate increases when people come to your site and are not satisfied by their search results so the simply hit the back button. That is a bounce. If you’re not already running google analytics on your site DO THIS NOW! This will show you your bounce rate and you can start working on it from there. The lower the number the better. My local RTV providership for the Traverse City Market has a 50% bounce rate which I am pretty happy with. It does not sound good that 50% of my visitors are leaving but a lot of that comes from the thousands of back links that I have established out there. See what your bounce rate is and try to lower it by using some of Bruce’s subtle suggestions. For example, at we push nearly all of our virtual tour listings onto craigslist. I also include a small ad on this craigslist posting that goes to a special page on my site. This page educates the home shopper on the value of using online property marketing tools that work such as interactive virtual tours, single property websites, top notch photography and so on. You can’t get to this page unless you come in directly from one of these craigslist ads that I have posted. Here is a link to one of my pages off of craigslist: You can see that I have video on this page. I use the video to keep people on the page longer and get them to dive into my site more thus reducing bounce rate. Make sense? Finally, YES, content is still king but also you must make sure that the content is relevant to your website. Do you need to have videos all over your site? I don’t think, so but it does not hurt to have a few here and there. Video testimonials are great and so are power point presentations. You can turn all of your power points into video very easily using Tech Smith’s software found here: Finally, at RTV we offer free photography, blogging, social networking, and social bookmarking training courses for both real estate professionals and full service virtual tour providers who use our virtual tour system. Check it out and we would love to talk to you more about your property marketing program. Thanks everyone! Jason LaVanture Vice President / Founder RTV, INC

Simple Tips for Powerful SEO

•1. Meta Title
Create your title using keywords and your farming area. Do NOT use ‘Home Page’, ‘Index Page’, or just your name in the title of your webpage. Use different titles on different pages to increase your exposure in the search engines for different search phrases. Keep this UNDER 70 characters in length. •2. Meta Keywords
Use your key words in your web page title, in the description and throughout the content of the page. Do NOT use the same keywords for every single page on your site. Target each page to different keywords to maximize internet exposure. Keep your keywords UNDER 10 per page to better target your message. •3. Meta Description
Use your description to tell humans and robots what your webpage is about. Search engines normally use your Meta description under the title of your site in search engine results. Like keywords and titles, your description should be different for each page on your website. Limit your description to 150 characters or less. •4. Content
Your content should closely describe the title, keywords and description. Stay on topic and don’t overuse your keywords. Search engines now use what is called semantic indexing, so you do not have to repeat yourself over and over to get indexed properly for your intended topic. •5. Anchor text linking
Whether you are linking to internal pages on your site or pages outside of your site, be sure to use anchor text to let search engines know what the linked page is about. •6. Internal Linking
Make sure that you are opening internal links in the same browser using anchor text. Opening a new window for every page on your website just annoys viewers and detracts from a professional image on your website. Also, limit your use of images as links and try to use anchor text navigation as much as possible on your site. •7. Website Organization
Organize your website into specific topics and dedicate one page per topic. Don’t try to explain several topics on one page. Your home page should describe a little about you and your business and act as a ‘link portal’ to information on other pages of your site. Do not overwhelm viewers with EVERYTHING about you, your business and your website on the home page. •8. Website Navigation
Website navigation should be simple and easy on the eyes. If you have a lot of pages on your website then group them into categories and provide one heading for every 4-5 page links in your left navigation. This helps viewers quickly understand the content available on your site. If you list too many links in one list, viewer’s eyes will strain, people will feel overwhelmed and you will lose visitors. Also check out: How to Create an AWESOME Email Signature -Cheryl Cheryl Waller
National Marketing Manager
RTV, Inc.
(866) 947-8687
PS – if you like the tips… sign up for our RTV eNews or connect to me on your favorite social network. My username is cherylwaller (all one word) on all of my networks.

Virtual Tour Marketing Workshop Begins!!

Our 12 week Blogging/SEO/Social Networking workshop is now available for you to start any time!

But, first:

During the initial workshop I noticed that, while providers were highly successful with the program, the one major issue that caused ‘writer’s block’ time and time again seemed to be the concept of ‘what’ a blog ‘is’.

So before you sign up and start the workshop, I am redefining the word ‘blog’.
For the next 12 weeks, and quite possibly for much longer after that, blogging will be defined for you as:

1. a story relating to virtual tours, real estate, or your business in general


2. Directions on ‘how to do’ something

That is it! It is as simple as that. As long as each and every blog that you submit is one of those two things you will be highly successful and profit from this workshop!

So, before you begin this workshop by clicking on the link below, your first assignment will be to send 250 words (based on option one or option two above) and send it as a blog through the RTV marketing control panel.

Then click on this link to get started with the 12 week workshop!

Sign Up For The 12 Week Workshop