How important is creativity in your SEO campaign?

A few months ago, the Council of Residential Specialists asked if I’d be interested in giving a webinar presentation on SEO.  Of course I was interested (It’s scheduled for tomorrow!) and in putting the presentation together, it forced me to reexamine the state of SEO… and how to really get value out of an SEO campaign.

If I could summarize my point of view it’s that creativity is key to a successful SEO campaign… at least if you want to have any impact whatsoever.

When looking at SEO factors, there are three main levers you can pull… They are to

  • Improve the on-site factors like titles, URLs, keywords, etc.
  • Improve user-interaction factors like bounce rate
  • Improve off-site factors like quality of inbound links and anchor text

If you’re creating interesting content on a decent blog platform like wordpress then you’ve got the first two areas because there’s only so much that can be done on your site to improve your SEO…  and you’re more likely to end up spinning your wheels than get real benefits if you spend too much time there.

The real SEO benefits come from improving off-site factors like inbound links to your site… (Honestly, I’ve been saying this for years, and it’s one thing that never has and likely never will change in terms of SEO value!).   One way to understand this better is that without quality inbound links, a site will never rank.  However, a site with a horrible on-site SEO (title, URL structure, bad use of keywords, etc.) can rank just fine if it’s got enough quality inbound links!

So anyway, the point I really want to make in the presentation is there are some proven strategies for generating lots of quality inbound links… and ALL of them involve a bit of creativity and some time.   If this is a topic you’re interested in, consider joining us tomorrow when I’ll dive deep into using social networks, social bookmarketing, social news and social group sites to generate great inbound links.

Other resources you might find interesting/helpful:

Also, if you know of any other great SEO resources, let me know so I  can share them with others!

Been a ridiculously great morning at the…

Been a ridiculously great morning at the HomeQuest Social Media Summit in Portland.

We had a packed house… Great audience. Wonderful crowd. Engaging speakers. So much fun!

And the speakers were unbeatable. There’s always so much to learn from:

And if you were at the event, we’d love your feedback… What did you think? How could we improve the event/presentations?

[Photo from Dale Chumbley!]

Another Rock’n Inman Conference

As always, the Real Estate Connect Event put on by Inman this year rocked!  The information, the people, the food, the fun…  it’s just way too much fun (honestly too much!).  And I know I’m a bit biased, but I hang with a really great group of people, even if you’all do stay out a bit too late.

125x125_nyc_09Combine a great New York City trip with being able to team up with Jay Thompson for a session on blogging and you know I’m going to have fun.

Follow that up with a great opportunity to moderate a discussion on the future of mobile technology in real estate with Brad Blumbert of SmarterAgent, Mark Ford of Qwasi, Dawn Doherty of StreetEasy and Jamie Glenn of Trulia and I was feeling pretty darn good!   But then give me the opportunity to moderate another panel on web analytics with Gahlord Dewald of Union Street Media, Marty Frame of CyberHomes, Ed Freyfogle of Nestoria and Anita Gandi of Hitwise and I was in online real estate geek heaven!

I learned a ton from so many folks at Inman this year, so thanks again to everyone who connected up over the past few days!

Sadly, I’m going to be missing out on the last day of the event (thanks to the fact that I doubled up my NYC time with a client meeting on Friday), but I did that very reluctantly as I cherish every minute I get to soak up from the great folks in online real estate!

Can’t wait to see you’all in San Francisco!

Real Estate Gathering Monday Night in Long Beach

Taking advantage of the fact that there’s a bunch of real estate folks in town for the CAR event in Long Beach, Jessie B of Retrove has organized an event for Monday evening and you’re invited. It should be a fun night of food, drinks and conversation!

If you’re interested in attending, let me know in the comments and I’ll happily send you an invite to the event page on Facebook where you can get all the details!

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

At the last 4RealzEd event, a wonderful real estate videographer by the name of David Toth agreed to film our event as well as some reactions from attendees. My favorite video, for reasons that will probably be obvious if you watch it, is when he captured me talking with attendees after the event:


Here are some links so you can learn more about the people featured in the video:

Our next event is in Pasadena on May 30th! And just like the Irvine event, we’re hoping to blow this one out of the water and close registration down early again for lack of space, so now is the time to register! 😉

And finally, I also want to thank Jessie B of ReTrove. He went out of his way to connect us with David Toth so that the videos could be possible! Not only did he capture the testimonials above, but he also edited down our presentation into three pieces to give you an idea of what to expect if you attend (4RealzEd Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). Obviously, if you’re looking to connect with a real estate videographer in Orange County area, you should consider talking with David because the guy knows what he’s doing!

(By the way, don’t be too surprised if I drop off the internet for the next few days as I travel and present in Toronto at RealtyQuest early this week…)

4RealzEd Irvine was exhilarating!

What an awesome crowd!

4RealzEd Irvine

People seemed interested, engaged, and enthusiastic about the material.   Thanks to everyone who helped make this event happen!

Also, I just posted a few of my photos from the event on Flickr… including photos from the evening before when a group of us went out for dinner at an unbelievable too Mexican restaurant in Newport Beach.

What a blast!

Wednesday Night Meetup in Orange County

Considering there’s a great crew sponsors and attendees traveling to Orange County for 4RealzEd event on Thursday, we thought it would be fun to meetup at Javier’s Cantina the night before.

Jim made a reservation for 16 people…. and considering Rudy, Joel, Jeff, Loren, and Drew have already RSVPed, you’ll want to get your name on the list quickly if you want to reserve a spot!  It should be a blast!

(By the way, there’s still a handful of spots left open for our event on Thursday and we’d obviously love to fill the place up.  If you know of any real estate professional in Southern California interested in getting a jolt of internet marketing education this Thursday morning, we’d obviously appreciate it if you helped spread the word!)

CRT looking for social networking experts to…

submit proposals for a special session at NAR in Orlando!

I have lots of ideas, but I think it could be particularly interesting to submit a proposal for a discussion along the lines of “learning from success.” My idea would be to show a few different examples of how people are generating leads by using (non-blogging) social networks like LinkedIn, Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, etc. and tie everything together in some general themes of what it takes to be successful.

I have enough good examples in my back pocket to put a presentation together, but I could ALWAYS use better examples… Are you an real estate agent or mortgage broker who has found a way to tap into a particular online community who wouldn’t mind sharing your story? Let me know!