real estate website design

Web Design Trends for Real Estate

Each and every year, new website trends become popular. One of the main reasons that web design changes are because of web standards change and developers always want to move forward into the future and improve web designs. There are a couple of things that you may notice becoming vastly popular this year in websites. We have made a list below of the top new web trends that you will be seeing out there. Do you have any of these web trends on your site?

Mobile Menu: The 3 bar menu at the middle of the page or at the top right of the webpage is very popular.

mobile website designWhite Spaces: No more sidebars! We have entered the modern era of the web. The removal of sidebars and adding more what space gaps on a website will ultimately focus your site on the midsection.

Drop the Slideshow: Slideshows were always bad for SEO and they were too heavy for sites. Dropping the slide show will pick your websites speed and will always be positive in terms of new SEO Standards.

MLS on Home Page: More and more real estate agent are ditching the ‘sold’ gallery and they are having their developers implement the IDX/MLS right on their home page. The MLS is a great way to show a client what houses are currently available in the area. The MLS also allows an individual to search homes based on their preferences. This preference can be, for example, let’s say a couple needs a 4 bedroom house with 1-acre land. The MLS provides a custom option for this couple to search what homes are currently available based on their specific preferences.Most developers will integrate IDX free on an agents website. The MLS is a handy tool to have up and customized. All real estate agents are recommended to their MLS displayed on their site.

Faster Loading Speed: Websites that load fast are more preferred than those that load up slowly. Internet visitors have a low attention span when it comes to waiting for a website to load. When the site load time is above 1 second, it is more likely that that internet visitor will leave the page. Have a fast loading website by compressing your CSS files.

Wide Screen Design: It’s time to ditch the small boxed up screen web site design and get a nice widescreen design for yourself. It is much more professional and has a great quality to it.

Mobile Homepage: Mobile web design is very important. The primary reason why mobile web design is important is because there are millions of people browsing from their phones instead of their desktops. Developers have the option to create a custom mobile homepage for site and that is through using an if else statement to drag in certain coding based on device preferences.

Website trends are out there and happening for a reason. Sooner or later, every website will follow these trends so its best to start with them now rather than later.

How Much Does Online Marketing Cost? Wrong Question!

A better questions is: What do you need? You can’t begin to address a budget for online marketing until the business requirements are established. Like offline marketing, the cost of advertising, promotion and public relations depend on the amount and type of work planned to achieve the results that your business is looking for. You must identify certain goals.

What are you hoping to achieve?

Think beyond just more leads and sales. Really break it down into traceable goals segmented by marketing channel, and you’ll end up with a list that includes goals like:

  • online marketing planNumber of unique visitors / duration of visit / pages visited
  • Form submissions / newsletter signups
  • Info requests / sales appointments
  • Trial signups / online sales

At some point, hopefully earlier in the campaign, you’ll want a plan that details your marketing channels, as well as specific goals for each channel. For instance, one line may read:

Facebook Ads Monthly Goals: 500 visits, 50 form submissions, 5 sales.

How do you come up with the numbers?

That’s easy – here we use expert research. We study the market, competitors, keywords, costs, opportunities, and expected results, and come up with sturdy tools leading to an action plan that leaves the guesswork behind.

The bottom line: If you want to build a platform of better results, you need to begin with better tools:

  • Market Assessment
  • Brand Audit
  • Competitive Research
  • Keyword Research
  • Organic Rankings Report
  • MARKETING PLAN

Can you determine a cost before developing a marketing plan? The most accurate answer here is: no. What we can do instead is help you build a plan to achieve important results using the tactics that best suit your current situation and budget.

There are always opportunities to grow your business online, at any budget. A good starting question is: What’s the best approach for MY business?

Learn more about strategic marketing for your business

content marketing

How a Blog Can Kickstart Your Content Marketing Strategy

Looking back over the past year, would you say that you are 100 percent satisfied with your website traffic via organic search? Most companies would answer ‘no’ to this question. Increasing your traffic via organic search is one part search engine optimization and one part content marketing. Although this is a grossly simplified breakdown, the creation of online content is still vital to driving organic traffic. For small businesses, the best platform to start creating content online is via an often updated blog. If you haven’t already, it’s time to launch a blog for your business

Even if you don’t see yourself as the “blogging type,” we have 10 good reasons why you should start created blog content in for your business:

  • A blog gives your business a voice on the internet.
  • If you are looking to increase your business’s ranking in search engines, establishing a blog for your business is one of the most effective ways to do so. The more often you create high quality content, the better your business will rank by major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
  • You don’t have to be a technology wizard to create and maintain a blog. There are a number of user-friendly blogging platforms like WordPress that don’t require too much technical or graphic skills.
  • Businesses with a blog are 60 percent more likely to acquire more customers according to HubSpot.
  • Your blog can provide you with a powerful resource for sharing content on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • A business blog provides you with the ideal opportunity to position yourself as an industry expert. You can use your blog to help define yourself and company as the “go to” person or place in the industry.
  • Your blog can provide with a free PR opportunity. If you become recognized as a peer leader in your industry, you may be invited to guest post on other blogs, therefore helping to reach new audiences and expand your overall reach.
  • A blog can provide you with valuable information about your target audience, such as which types of content they find to be the most appealing and how they like to engage with content.
  • A blog will help you to focus on your content marketing strategy. Since it will be necessary to post regularly, it will cause you to constantly be researching industry related news and thinking about your target audience.
  • A blog can help to increase your brand’s credibility.

Not the best writer? No worries, don’t let that stop you from launching a business blog. Partnering with a content marketing agency is an affordable solution for SMB owners and can help to ensure that you are putting your best foot forward with your content marketing efforts.

If you need further convincing, be sure to check out the powerful infographic by TrueConversion

blogging for better seo results

 

Want to discuss your content creation options and learn how a smart blogging strategy can improve your website’s rankings and drive more leads to your local business? Contact us to schedule your no obligation consultation.

Business Success Starts With A Specialist In Online Marketing

In the world of online marketing, it has become a competitive landscape where businesses each day fight it out to get recognized. In order to succeed, you must employ an online marketing specialist to help boost your brand.

With so much competition coming from all over the world, it is imperative that you have an expert who is in tune with all the latest trends. Many people in marketing today specialize in social media, since that is what is trending at the moment. Each company looks for different ways to reach the consumer through multiple marketing platforms, but it all begins online.

When you use the internet to advertise and promote your business, you have the ability to not only reach the consumer at home, but also on their smartphones which they carry around all day. Since smartphone use is way up and getting bigger each day, it’s important to reach that audience, too.

If you are someone who is up on all the latest marketing trends, you could be a candidate to become a specialist in this area. Businesses pay big money for information about consumer habits, which is why you see many online surveys. This is just another form of marketing where you can get the consumer involved. There are many companies that specialize in running surveys to get the opinions of consumers which in turn fuels marketing efforts.

internet marketingYou need to know what the latest trends are in order to stay relevant in today’s business world. An expert in internet marketing should be aware of all the latest keywords that consumers use in the search engines.

In today’s internet, a business needs to understand and utilize search engine optimization. You must build your website that is fully optimized to take advantage of all the latest social media trends. You need to know what your potential customers search for online then sprinkle those keywords throughout your website. Your website needs to be relevant today consumers can find you on the search engines. The higher your search engine rank, the more traffic you will receive and that equates to more business.

Specializing in marketing online requires you to have a vast knowledge of all the different social media platforms. This is where it gets very tricky because what is in today might be out tomorrow. Your online marketing specialist has to be the one who can foresee what is trending now and into the future. Businesses who are in on all the latest online marketing trends will be in the best position to succeed moving forward.

Being an expert in the online world definitely has many advantages if you like to be on the internet all day long. In addition to that, you must have a love of social media, smartphones and new technology. The best part about being a specialist is that you get to see all the latest happenings in the world of technology before it becomes mainstream.

When hiring for marketing purposes, you need someone who is familiar with all the new media. This is not a position to be taken lightly and, in fact, the bottom line for each business is how well they do in online marketing.

online marketing concepts

Components Of Internet Marketing

There are a variety of different components that combine to create internet marketing campaigns. Essentially, internet marketing needs to involve all or at least the majority of these components in order to be effective and worth the time and effort that is involved in creating it. This article will discuss the different components and how they all come together to create an effective, worthwhile marketing campaign that any business owner can be proud of.

The first step in an internet marketing campaign is to create and set up your website. Your website will include a lot of text, some images, and perhaps even audio and video elements. This gives visitors a clear picture of your message that you are sending about your company. It will show potential customers the features and the benefits of the products or services that your company is offering. Some websites include lead capture for customers or even sell their product or service directly through the website. These websites are essentially the same as brochures or mail order catalogs. They are a wonderful way to start establishing your business and getting noticed.

online marketing for small businessSearch engine marketing is another component of internet marketing. This means that a website is marketed through search engines by improving the ranking of the site through search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, or pay for inclusion listings in directories. This is similar to offline advertising that is done through listings in the yellow pages.

The next component is email marketing. This distributes information about your products or services or is used to get feedback from your customers about your products or services through your email. Customers and prospective customers can supply their email addresses or you can choose to purchase email addresses through lists. There are various email methods that are used including newsletter distribution or mass mailings or even offering your customers special things related to your company’s products or services that are being offered. This is basically the same as direct mail advertising that is done offline.

Banner advertising allows for placement of advertisements on a website for a price. There are many providers that are offering banner advertisements on their sites. It can be a very effective part of your internet marketing campaign and can increase your traffic. Newspaper and magazine ads would be the offline comparison to banner advertisements.

Press releases on the internet require a story being written about a company, products, services, or website. These stories or articles must be newsworthy and very attention getting. If you are not attracting attention, you are not going to get traffic or sales to your website. There are many sites on the internet that are centered on press releases.

The next component is blog marketing. This is where you post comments, share your opinions, or make announcements on forums. This can be done through hosting a blog of your own or by adding comments and URLs in blogs that are related to your business and what you have to offer online.

The last component of internet marketing is article marketing. This means that you write articles that are centered on your business and then publish them on different internet sites that relate to articles. Articles are normally passed around the internet and shared with others. Article marketing can give you a huge boost to your business and to website traffic. This can get you a much more targeted audience because your articles are specific to what you have to offer.

strategic marketing plan

Build an Empire With A Consistent Marketing Strategy

Make a Sale. Make Some Money.
Create a Consistent Marketing Program . . . Build an Empire

Many business owners don’t really know where to start with marketing, so they dabble a little money here, sprinkle a few bucks there, and on occasion, step up and ask for a review, testimonial or referral. The companies that make BIG MONEY . . .  the ones who become Google and Facebook empires, do all of these things . . .  all the time. Successful businesses know that making “a sale” today will keep the doors open now, while building a consistent, uniform online marketing presence will lay the foundation for years of growth and prosperity.

consistency in marketing

The Case for Consistency in Marketing

Studies have proven that the single most important element in effective advertising and marketing is Consistency. The long-term goal of businesses that grow to be self-sustaining is not to just market today to gain short-term response from each message or a “special” respectively. The ultimate goal is to gain such a high level of market exposure that potential prospects will think of “your company” automatically when they are looking for your product or service. This is called “Top of the Mind Awareness”.

business marketing strategy

JC Penny is in the News Again!

JC Penny is in the news again! According to an article released to by Advertising Age today, the 25th largest retailer in the US is moving back toward the “Sale” mentality. Ad Age points out that this is “a notable shift for the retailer that annoyed consumers with its ‘No!’ campaign, which derided sales”.

Just a few months ago JC Penny was on their $1.32 billion dollar media pulpit preaching everyday values… instead of sales. So…. what really happened? In my words, not theirs’, they learned that consumers are king! The retailer does not have enough money… or enough time to build a business model that goes against the “norm” in direct consumer sales. This organization is not the first, and unfortunately not the last, retailer to try this everyday value approach without success.

Don’t run a Group Deal without Reading this First!

Shoppers of all ages, cultures, lifestyles, backgrounds and demographics… are buzzing about “Group Buying” and “Daily Deal” Sites! You can’t search online for a product or service, without seeing an ad from Groupon, Living Social, Beget or one of the now hundreds of national and local “Group Buying” sites. The trend has caught on amazingly fast, as the “Daily Deal” advertising process allows money strapped businesses to tap into huge, lucrative networks of new buyers… without any money out-of-pocket. And, while some organizations now are regular participants in Group Buying marketing with excellent results… others who have tried and lost, can be quoted saying, “Without doubt, it was my worst ever business decision…” So, why is it that one business finds Group Buying sites a panacea and others a nightmare?

The Good… The Bad… And the Ugly, Horrifying OMG! Of Group Buying Daily Deals – “Without doubt, it was my worst ever business decision!”

business strategy

What Businesses Need… To Move Forward

Ok, so maybe you are not riding the optimist train this week. Despite the fact that you’ve held up pretty well overall the last three years, this nightmare of a journey is taking longer than you expected, and there is no clear deadline as to when things will turn. You’re tired of this economy and of working harder, while making less. You miss “the good ole days”, and can’t help wondering if investing those “hard-to-come-by-dollars” in marketing, makes any sense right now.

One of my favorite books, Rick Page’s Hope is not a Strategy, addresses the lack of thought and life-changing actions when we are lost in the “hoping” stage. It is a perfect book for this economy and this discussion. It clearly and lightheartedly, illustrates examples of how we must accept where we are today, to make the right decisions to propel us forward tomorrow. Living in denial and “hoping” things will get better, is just not a viable process. While you have continued to do what has always worked for you in your business model, nearly everything else has changed, and now so must organizations who want to succeed in these challenging times. Blindly “hoping” does nothing to address the root of the situation or to assist us in developing the strategies we need to succeed.

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