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Are search engine rankings dead?

by Dennis Greenfield

Everyone is talking about "SEO" - search engine optimization - these days. Our agent website systems are definitely built on a search engine friendly platform. But should we be using search engine rankings to gage performance? And can any company guarantee top ranking?

The answer to both questions is yes... and no.

You see, traditionally rankings are pretty straight forward. The search engine would evaluate each web page (via their algorithm) for both on-page and off-page factors. Then, you would be ranked where they deemed appropriate. Now, there are many factors involved that prohibit us from truly tracking rankings objectively. Factors such as personalized and behavioral-influenced search results for nearly everyone who performs a search. What one person sees as the top 10 results in Google, for example, may not match the same results as the person sitting next to them.

Which begs the question: Just how are you, or to whom are you guaranteeing a No. 1 rank to?

This doesn't mean we should NOT monitor search engine rankings. They should be used as one factor for measuring success. They should also be used to identify any issues that may arise. For example, if keyword "A" constantly ranks well in Google and then suddenly disappears from the results we know we need to investigate.

Here are some "weaknesses" to search as told by a prominent SEO, Richard Bedford, written September 21, 2011.

http://www.bruceclay.com/newsletter/volume95/measuringperformance.htm

  • "You can only monitor a finite set of keywords: It is possible to retrieve ranking data from Google using their custom search API, however it is not possible to monitor every single keyword used to find your website. Google published a statistic claiming that 20 percent to 25 percent of search queries have never been seen before.
  • Rankings are constantly in flux: Excluding algorithmic changes, index updates, client website updates and competitor website changes, different users can see different search engine results pages (SERPs). In other words, it is not an absolute truth to say that a keyword ever ranked at any position without specifying when the ranking was taken, who recorded the ranking, with what browser, tool or device used and from which location the search was made.
  • Universal Search: Do you include rankings from image, video, local results or not? Do you report on these separately?
  • Indented listings: Google may group some results together from the same website to help users. The second listing may not actually rank in that position but would otherwise be ranked somewhere lower down in the SERP. Does the ranking tool that you use report the actual position of the indented result or does it return the visual position? Which one should you report on?
  • Sitelinks: Should you report on Sitelinks?
  • Number of search results per page: With Universal Search, Sitelinks, local search, etc., how many possible search results are there on the page anyway!? An eighth place listing could be "great" one day and "bad" the next.
  • Personalization: Even if you are not signed in, Google may personalize the search results based on the last 180 days of search activity. Combine this with +1 recommendations from your social network if you are signed in, and the search results between different users can start to look really different.
  • Localization: Location influenced search results are going to become more important, especially with continued increase in smart phone uptake.
  • When the rankings was taken: Algorithm updates (450+ a year), a constantly changing index (more than 1 trillion unique URLs) and trending searches mean that the rankings may change without any changes made to you or your competitors' websites."

So what other factors do I use when determining performance?

  • Traffic levels
    • Do we see a general increase in traffic levels organically
    • Do we see an increase in organic traffic levels for our target search phrases and their derivatives (tail terms, etc.)
  • Comparing traffic sources with one another
    • Organic versus direct
    • Which referral traffic is coming from which sites
  • Ranking trends
    • Are we increasing in rank according to my ranking tool.
    • You see, if I notice an overall upward trend in ranks then I know the client can see this trend as well.
  • Search phrases typed in by users
    • Are we capturing a wide range of relevant search phrases
  • Bounce rate
    • How many users come in to the website organically and leave without visiting another page
  • Time on site
    • Can we increase the time a user spends on a site/page
  • New visits
    • Are we able to capture new visitors to the site

You see, it takes more than just rankings to measure success.

Here is an example that I came across the other day. I had a client say her traffic levels were down. Of course this concerns her. I dove into her analytics and immediately noticed they were in fact down by approximately 22%. Over this past 30-60 days I’m noticing most client’s traffic is dipping (seasonal perhaps?), but 22% is enough of a drop that I wanted to look further. I decided to sort by the traffic source and could immediately see her direct traffic was down considerably. When I looked at her organic traffic it was only down slightly. In fact, even though her traffic was down overall, of the traffic that was going to her site we were able to capture a bigger portion of it organically.

So I mention this to her and asked to think back if she had done anything different. Come to find out she wasn’t sending newsletters out as regularly. She was went on vacation and didn’t make time for much promoting in other areas (social, etc.) that would help deliver traffic.

In any case, search engine rankings are still a part of SEO success, but we must also educate our clients that there are other—just as important—factors that we use to determine SEO success.

Dennis Greenfield

SEO | Professional Services
Real Pro Systems

 

What We Did Over Our Summer Vacation...

by Sales

Real Pro Systems has been working very hard this summer, continuing to release products and services to support you in your success with lead generation, cultivation and business growth with our Internet marketing systems and services. I wanted to share with you some of our recent news:

  • Facebook Business Pages – now also offered to non-Real Pro Systems clients as a stand-alone product
  • Acquisition of Real Estate Masters Guild - Amy Stoehr's excellent group of real estate coaches
  • Masters Guild Workshop in Reno in Oct. - An incredible line-up of speakers
  • New user interface soon to be unveiled - Easier to navigate and added features, see below
  • And some older news – RPS VideoMail product launched, example below

Please let me know if you're interested in learning more about any of these developments.

New User Interface

 

Example of RPS VideoMail where a video is dropped into the first drip email letter in the buyer campaign.
____________________________________________________________________________

Subject: Your Email Home Search Is Ready

 

Stationery Header

Visit us online at www.GalandHaas.com

Caine,

VideoVideo

Thank you for signing up for our email home search service. Take a quick look at the video and let me know if you have any questions. We are here to help!

We can modify your search at any time if you want to make any changes to area, price range, or other criteria. The system is very flexible.  

Thanks again for using our email home search service. I look forward to working with you.

- Linnea

LINNEA KITTRELL
Home Buyer Specialist
Office: 541-349-2624
Cell: 541-556-5292
E-mail: linnea@galandhaas.com

Stationery Footer

 

 

 

We are so pleased to have announced yesterday the acquisition of Real Estate Masters Guild, the independent source for real estate agent education, coaching, networking and support. The move reinforces Real Pro Systems' ongoing strategy of broadening its offerings to provide the most comprehensive set of services in the industry. We now offer regular coaching as well as the Workshop event coming up in Oct. 6-8th in Reno  

Please contact me for more details on coaching and/or the workshop in Reno.

You may recognize founder Amy Stoehr's name from her years running Howard Brinton's coaching program for Star Power Systems. She has excellent credentials and is a certified coach for all aspects of your business and life.

Our first Mastery Workshop under the acquisition is Thursday, Oct. 6th through Sat., Oct. 8th and includes a Real Pro Systems User Group session on Thursday.

The powerful lineup of presenters includes:

  • Sanjeev Aneja
  • David Burke
  • Tim Burrell
  • Jana Caudill
  • Julie Garton-Good
  • Greg Gorman
  • Galand Haas
  • Linda Hall
  • Martha Hendrick
  • Kristal Kraft
  • Michael Krisa
  • Rob Levy
  • Beth Mason
  • Linda McLean
  • Sam Miller
  • John Morley
  • Sandra Nickel
  • Roger Perkins
  • Marcie Roggow
  • Ira Serkes
  • Stacy & Michael Spickes

Mastery Workshop V offers timely and relevant content that includes:

  • Listing to LIVE
  • Re-Invent Yourself for Multiple Income Streams
  • How to Transition Your Operations to the CLOUD
  • Bloggers’ and Video Bloggers’ Workshops
  • Building the Ultimate Team
  • Becoming a Short-Sale Buyer Specialist
  • Being Leading Edge vs. Bleeding Edge
  • Living With NO Excuses
  • Post THIS, Not THAT –essential guidelines for social media
  • Discovering PEACE
  • Stump the Mentors

Not sure about whether coaching would benefit your business? Watch this video:

Benefits of a Facebook Business Page

by Sales

Let's let unbiased experts answer the question of the benefits of having a Facebook Business page. I copied the top reasons from a blog post on Social Media Today by William Wells III:

http://socialmediatoday.com/william-wells-iii/307559/your-facebook-friend-requests-bad-business-annoying-me

On top of all these reasons, the advantage of having an RSS feed of your own listings and blog posts right onto your Business wall, lead capture forms that feed into your Real Pro Systems back office and drip email campaign(s) and a professional look that matches your website is unbeatable.

Excerpted from: 

Your Facebook "Friend Requests": Bad for Business... Annoying to Me!

...First of all, Facebook personal pages or "Profiles" are intended for people... not businesses.  Technically it's against the rules where Facebook's privacy policy is concerned although they don't appear to be cracking down on this at the moment.

   
Secondly, you should WANT people to "Like" your business page without you having to spend your valuable time administrating that aspect of your Facebook page.  Do you really want to spend an hour of your time filtering through "Friend Requests", sifting through personal messages and notifications, removing  "Bejeweled Blitz" score posts and other unnecessary garbage on your wall?  Wouldn't you rather spend 30 minutes of your time posting valuable information to your audience about special deals, what's coming down the pike, and engaging your audience in a meaningful way?
  
More importantly, here are a few key reasons why your business or organization needs a "Facebook BUSINESS Page":

SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Facebook Business Pages are indexed by search engines.  Personal pages... not so much.   In this day and age, with the unfathomable amount of pages and websites on the Internet, you need to be doing everything possible to improve your online visibility.  A well constructed and engaging "Facebook Business Page" will go a long way in helping make up for what your website is not currently doing for you.

"Friends" verses "Likes"... or "Fans": There is NO limit on the number of fans... or people who can "Like" your Facebook business page. However, there's a cap on the number of "Friends" you can have on a profile page.  That cap is 5,000. Do you really want to set limitations like that?

One "Profile"... many "Business Pages": You can have multiple business pages... however, you can have only one profile page.  Why is this important?  Think outside the box for a moment.  What if you're a Real Estate Agent by day... and you're a Karaoke Deejay by night.  Nope... didn't make that example up!   Or perhaps you own a small Bed & Breakfast, but you also own a consignment shop in town.  Didn't make that one up either.  Point is... you can manage multiple, yet individual, Facebook Business pages... all within one Facebook account.

Statistics and Monitoring Activity: Everyone loves statistics... hits... visits... etc.  Facebook Business Pages have such a thing.  It's called "Insights".  These powerful statistics display in a graph format and include "Page Overview", "User", and "Interactions".  How many people viewed your posts?  How many people "Liked" your posts, photos, or videos?  How many people have "Liked" or  "Commented" on those?  How many people "Liked" your page on a certain day?  And much more!  This information is invaluable when it comes to making your Facebook Business page more useful, engaging, and successful!  There's no such information available on a profile page.

"Landing Pages" and additional "Tabs": Technology exists now for you to turn a Facebook business page into a mini website.  For example, you could integrate an interactive business directory or events calendar right into your Facebook business page.  You could introduce an additional tab which might have printable coupons and special "Facebook Only" promotions.   This is impossible with a personal page.

New Product Integrated Facebook Business Page

by Sales

I love that our company is staying one step ahead of our clients by offering today the tools real estate agents will need tomorrow.

Our new Integrated Facebook Business page is the brainchild of co-founder Joe Lininger, who worked with Galand Haas, Rob Levy and our excellent team of programmers and designers.

Our whole goal is to get people to become a fan of or "Like" your business so your posts end up on their Wall.

Try it out:

http://www.facebook.com/TheRobLevyTeam
http://www.facebook.com/SamMillerTeam
http://www.facebook.com/GalandHaasTeam

For a one-time fee of $295 we will:

  • Match the look and feel of your website with a unique Welcome experience for new fans
  • Integrate two lead capture forms, which will send a lead notification email and connect with your Real Pro Systems database, providing a new path for your fans to become active leads.
  • Program a rotating properties slideshow which will be updated automatically with your active listings, if you wish.

If you're not a client we offer a "stand alone" version of the product where we'll match your website look. 

We now offer special package pricing on an agent website system that includes both Facebook Business Page and RPS VideoMail products with RPS Gold if you are new to Real Pro Systems.

 

Here's more detail on how it works:

We add the Business page into your existing Facebook account after you add us as administrators and create a blank page.

We create the page, matching your website, and set up the integration with the Real Pro Systems website that will drop your leads from the lead capture forms on the Facebook pages into the back office and drip email campaign(s).

You direct people to the page via email marketing, posting on your other wall to direct them there with a URL. If they aren't yet a fan, they will be welcomed with the page we create. When they become a fan and "Like" your business page, the Welcome page is not presented anymore - that's the way Facebook works - but it's available to be linked to directly or by clicking the "tab" in Facebook's menu.

Continue to post status updates on your Business Page Wall - which is specific to business and separate from the Wall seen by your friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real Estate Masters Guild Strategic Partnership

by Sales

Real Estate Masters Guild logo

We recently announced an association with a coaching program to further support our clients in their real estate success. We're so pleased to announce this strategic partnership with the Real Estate Masters Guild, headed by Amy Stoehr.

I've met Amy at past Star Power conferences, where she worked with Howard Brinton for 12 years coaching about 2000 real estate agents. I was so impressed by her. She's developed an excellent reputation for her coaching style. Plus, she is one of the few truly certified coaches.

We outline the training programs available on our website.

 

"Thrilled with the final results..."

by Sales

Wanted to share this testimonial we recently received on our customer support.

"Dear Melissa, 

I just wanted to say a quick thank you for all of your hard work in developing our website. We had a ton of special requests that you handled gracefully and found a way to make work without compromising our the integrity of our site. We are thrilled with the final results. Service like yours is rare, but we sincerely appreciate it. You are a true ambassador to Real Pro Systems and we will recommend you highly in the future.

Warm Regards,

Dustin"

Awesome, Fast, Knowledgable

by Sales

Sharing a recent testimonial:

"I am very happy Gwen.  Thank you so much.  Your team is awesome, fast knowledgable all that!"


Windy Ann Wolf-REALTOR
Prudential Jack White Vista RE
865 N Seward Meridian Pkwy Ste 200
Wasilla, AK 99654

www.WindyandCo.com

Craig's List Advertising Template

by Sales

Real Pro Systems is proud to introduce a new feature in the control panel that allows agents to simply push a button to create the HTML for pasting into a Craig's List property ad to promote your listings. It's fast and easy and the links bring traffic back to your website.

You can watch the video tutorial, below, to see how easy it is.

 Here is what it looks like:

Craig's List Ad Creator Real Pro Systems

 

"...Nothing short of extraordinary"

by Sales

I thought I'd share this testimonial verbatim. This is reflective of why, despite the down economy, Real Pro Systems is growing and expanding our offer.

Hi Gwyneth,

Let me say that my experience with Real Pro Systems and the creation of my new website has been nothing short of extraordinary.

The training and customer support is outstanding.RPS is constantly on the cutting edge and evolving. I look forward to the new enhancements forthcoming.

Tim

http://www.prescotthomehunt.com/

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 50

Contact Information

Photo of Tricia McCarroll Real Estate
Tricia McCarroll
Real Pro Systems
1200 Executive Parkway, Ste 400
Eugene OR 97401
541-743-8507
Fax: 541-743-8535

 

Disclaimer - This site is an example of agent website systems offered by Real Pro Systems. Tricia McCarroll does not represent buyers or sellers of real property and any listings on www.realprodemo.com are for demonstration purposes only. More information can be found on www.realprosystems.com.

Privacy Policy - Neither Real Pro Systems nor any employee of Real Pro Systems will release contact information to any outside company. You may unsubscribe to drip or blast emails at any time.