One of the most perplexing problems when it comes to starting an e-commerce company is: how do you get people to visit your new site? Even when you have trendy graphics and great content, you suddenly enter a vast megaverse of competing sites. Fight the temptation to start outright paying for the clicks via Web ads. There are low-cost ways to increase views on any site for any business.
I checked in with several search engine experts to find out the latest techniques to draw attention to a new company site. This is a two-part story. The experts offered their best suggestions on making sure your site is listed at a top position on Google and other search engines. For many of these tips, I’ll implement them on a test site and report back on the results over a period of a few months.
1. Focus on keywords, title tags, and headers. Most of the grunt work for increasing pageviews falls on your dev team and the formatting of pages. Ryan Turner, the co-owner of the Web design company 3Prime, told me you have to do the hard work of searching for keywords in your industry (using tools like the Google Keyword Planner). Each page has a URL, title tag, and header tags (like H1). These should all include the keywords.
“Get specific by making the keywords three to four words long,” Turner says. “Once you have your keywords, make sure you have one great page for each keyword.”
Brandon Howard, the owner of the Web services company Allmywebneeds.com, suggests creating one specific landing page on your site for each keyword. So, for example, a party supply company might create a page each for balloons, wrapping paper, posters, etc. “You want the landing page to load quickly, be graphically appealing, and allow the user to quickly find what they are looking for,” he says.
2. Create vanity linkbait. This one is slightly controversial, depending on your industry. But I’ve also seen firsthand how this can work. Russ Jones, the CTO of Web marketing company Virante, told me the basic idea is to create pages that are targeted at specific influencers and high-profile experts. Here’s an example: Let’s say your start-up wants to create content around the topic of business plans. One approach would be to create a page with a top 10 list of famous business plans, using strategic keywords and tags. Then, you’d start a social network campaign where you let the influencers at those companies know about the link.
The key, says Jones, is to keep repeating this over and over again to increase traffic. But don’t forget: the content has to be interesting as well.
3. Focus on YouTube as much as Google. Alex Genadinik, the founder of business plan app Problemio, told me YouTube can be a goldmine–it’s essentially the second biggest “search engine” in the world next to parent company Google. Every company should have at least one YouTube Channel, filled to the brim with SEO terms and links.
“YouTube is the most versatile tool in your marketing arsenal,” he says. “It is easier to rank on YouTube than on Google, and YouTube videos tend to be more socially shared as well.”
The result? Genadinik says Google will parse the YouTube content and the crosslinks will drive more traffic to your site. My favorite example: a friend of mine runs a small business almost entirely from the traffic he gets from one YouTube video.
4. Do way more blogging. One of the secrets to increasing pageviews is to have more incoming links, which Google uses to help rank your site. When you write posts on other sites and you link back to your company site, it pumps life into your SEO, says Nora Leary, an Account Supervisor at digital marketer Uplifted. Leary says social media activity has a similar effect–links on Twitter and Facebook help people find the site but they also create linkbacks that improve search engine ranking.
5. Don’t forget about email marketing. Maybe you already know how to use MailChimp and have an active email marketing campaign. Still, it’s easy to forget how valuable an email campaign is for increasing pageviews. “Emails that reach your customers directly and keep providing points of interest will tempt users back to the site,” says Catherine Gluckstein, the president of SumAll, a business-centric social media manager. “For example, LinkedIn does this very well with their targeted emails about who has recently looked at your profile, or top newsmakers you may wish to follow.” Often your customers need just a quick prompt to return. But always remember to offer some real value.
Straight D’s in high school, 20 jobs before she was 23, and a $1,000 loan from a boyfriend — who would have thought that the woman with this resume would become one of the most successful real estate entrepreneurs in the world?
At the California Association of Realtors Expo last month, Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group and star of TV’s “Shark Tank,” shared important insights that can help every Realtor who is struggling with their business and/or their personal life. Here are three of the most important points that she shared: 1. Make the most of what you’ve got Each of us has different strengths. Corcoran shared a story about when she was working as a waitress.
Apparently, one of the other waitresses was very well endowed and had an unorthodox style of serving food that had almost all the men sitting in her section. When Barbara turned to her mother for advice about how to attract more male customers to her counter, this was her mother’s advice: “If you don’t have big breasts, put ribbons on your pigtails.”This later became the title of her best-selling book that highlighted many of the key lessons that she learned from her mother.
The point is that the way you compete is by doing what is unique and authentic to you, not by trying to be something that you’re not. 2. “I’m great at failure”Corcoran’s life story is filled with failures: Straight D’s in school and 20 jobs before age 23 says it all. Corcoran’s life changed, however, when Ramone Simone sat down at her counter.
She immediately fell in love and set her sights on marrying him. Simone and Corcoran started a small real estate company. The company was beginning to do well when Simone announced he was in love with the company’s secretary and intended to marry her. It took Corcoran 18 months before she cut the ties because she couldn’t envision herself in business without him.
After they finished splitting the business assets, Ramone’s parting words are what spurred Corcoran to her success: “You will never succeed without me.”Her response was, “I would rather die that let him see me fail.”
– See more at: http://www.inman.com/2013/11/07/barbara-corcoran-shark-tank-star-says-rejection-helped-build-successful-real-estate-career/#sthash.RCwa3T7E.dpuf
While we all wait with baited breath for the city-sanctioned micro units to hit the market some time in 2015, there are already plenty of apartments throughout the city worth noting for their extreme smallness. We’ve looked at a number of them before, some impressive, some less so. Just for kicks, let’s take a peek at ten of the smallest apartments for sale in the city right now (based off apartments on Streeteasy that list square footage), starting with this 275-square-foot studio on Macon Street in Bed-Stuy, asking $143,850. All cash required.
This For Sale By Owner in Soho, also 275-square-feet, is asking $295,000, or just over $1,000 per square foot. Good news: it has a bathroom. Bad news: the wall separating the bathroom from the kitchen is about three feet high.
On the Upper East Side, this 300-square-footer has been on the market for almost three years and just upped its price to $750,000 ($2,500 per square foot). The shower appears to basically be a walled-off corner.
Originally listed for $199,000 in October of 2011, this 300-square-foot studio in Murray Hill is down to $145,000, less because of the size than because it comes with a rent-stabilized tenant in place.
This 300-square-foot studio in Yorkville is essentially a short hallway with a bathroom and a kitchen, but props to the brokers for the excellent and un-deceptive photography. It’s asking $279,000.
Someone paid $329,000 for this 300-square-foot pad in Lincoln Square in 2011, and decided they wanted out less than two years later. The price was chopped for the second time last month, down to $324,700.
Have you been putting off finishing your bedroom? Had it with procrastination, and just need a push to get the decorating job done? Then you’ve come to the right place. The following 14 steps will walk you through the decorating process from start to finish, leaving no detail overlooked. Let’s get started.
- Upholstered headboard
- Nailhead trim
- Chests as nightstands
- Creamy tones and black accents
- Round mirror
- Bench at foot of bed
List each detail separately: “nailhead trim” and “upholstered headboard” each get a separate line. The reason: If you get too specific, you can get stuck trying to track down one item from your wish list (an upholstered headboard with nailhead trim); this way you can create your own look that still contains your favorite elements.
You might find an upholstered headboard and pick up a bench or chest with nailhead trim, for instance. Or the marble lamps shown in the room here may translate into a marble-topped dresser in your finished room. Browse thousands of bedroom photos by style
3. Decide what to keep, what to revamp and what to buy. Most of us cannot feasibly go out and completely redecorate a room in one go, and you may not want to anyway. Try to look at each item in your bedroom with fresh eyes (sometimes taking photos helps) and decide what you can work into the new scheme. Some pieces can be used as is; others may be moved (for example, use an old dresser as a nightstand); and some pieces you may want to alter (repaint an armoire and line the glass doors with burlap). Once you have your list of keepers, make a fresh list of what you still need, including supplies for refurbishing your old stuff. And don’t forget, you can always shop other rooms in your house, too.
Plug your measurements into an online tool (search for “free floor plan tool”) or make a sketch on paper and play around with potential furniture arrangements. It’s much easier to move or swap out furniture on paper or onscreen than in real life — so do some virtual lifting before you plunk your money down on new stuff.
If you like to read in bed, consider an upholstered headboard or a wood headboard with an ergonomic shape. Try to see the bed you want in person before buying it. If that’s not possible, at least be sure to check the return policy in advance.
In a tiny space, hang a shelf or bracket on the wall, a few inches above the level of the mattress.
One in three Americans would consider moving to another state in the next one to two years for financial as well as lifestyle considerations, according to a new survey by ERA Real Estate
“While U.S. unemployment has declined and real estate values have been on the rise, many Americans who met with financial challenges during the last five years may be looking to make a change by moving to a new job market,” said Charlie Young, president and CEO of ERA Real Estate. “That not only makes good financial sense, but would likely increase their quality of life.”
For those consumers who would consider relocation, the primary financial drivers are better job opportunities and a lower cost of living, while curiosity about new places and better weather were equally important in the lifestyle consideration set.
For those who were not interested in a major move, 72% of respondents reported it was because they were happy living in their current local market.
With U.S. Census data pointing to increased “migration” – the number of people who moved out of state or region in 2012 increased 6 percent over 2011 – and ERA brokers citing an increased interest in self-directed relocation, ERA Real Estate partnered with HGTV to dig deeper into the American appetite for relocation.
“As the overall economy and job market improves, people are more likely to consider a major life change that is on their terms, not because they have to,” said Dr. Leslie Reiser, a behavioral expert who worked with ERA Real Estate to understand consumer psychology, attitudes and behavior surrounding relocation.
Moving to a market with better job prospects, a lower cost of living and better weather appears to be favorable to prospective house-hunters, even if it means leaving family and friends behind.
In addition to the consumer survey with HGTV.com, ERA Real Estate also conducted a national survey of its real estate brokers, who cited an improving economy and real estate market as the main reasons that their clients find relocating out of their local market today more attractive than it was 2 to 3 years ago. Other findings include:
- About two-thirds (63%) of ERA brokers reported that homebuyers and sellers are more open to the idea of moving to a new area, outside of their current local market.
- Nearly half (48%) of the brokers indicated that they are seeing an increase in the number of people in their market relocating, driven equally by financial reasons (lower cost of living, better job opportunities, increased equity position and lower home prices) as they are motivated by lifestyle reasons (better weather, closer to family/friends, retiring, curious about new places).
- ERA brokers reported that the two most important selling points in finding a home for a client who is relocating are home prices (29% of respondents) and schools (28%). Proximity to work was important for 17%. Real estate taxes were not a major consideration: only 8% of respondents indicated that was a major selling point.
This gorgeous house is brand-new, just completed by high-end builder Chris Vila (yes, Bob’s son). Pretty much any amenity you could want has been included. Low-E walls of glass: check. Kitchen with high end appliances, right within reach of an outdoor grilling station and herb garden: yep. Six bedrooms, all ensuite: affirmative. Wine cellar: absotively! Outdoor living room with fireplace: indeed. Double-edged saline infinity pool: you have to ask? All this on 2.08 acres. · Modern Retreat With Village Convenience [Saunders]
The government shutdown and debt ceiling standoffs appear to have had a “minimal effect” on the housing market and rising home prices may actually help cushion some of the debates’ impacts by raising household net worth, Fannie Mae economists said in a monthly outlook released today.
Now that the Federal Reserve has decided to postpone its plan to taper its bond-buying activity, the mortgage giant doesn’t expect an end to the stimulus until the second half of 2014. Consequently, the economists lowered their forecast for mortgage rates, now predicting they will rise to an average of 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter and to 5 percent a year from now. In another sign of optimism for the housing market, Fannie Mae economists upped their forecast for home sales this year and anticipate they will rise 10 percent compared to 2012, though they expect a likely pullback in sales in the fourth quarter.
Source: Fannie Mae
– See more at: http://www.inman.com/wire/fannie-mae-lowers-forecast-for-mortgage-rates/#sthash.xcFPgdAK.dpuf
Editor’s note: This post explores a marketing tactic submitted by Dream Town Realty, the most recent winner of #madREskillz, a weekly Inman News Twitter competition.
One day this summer, a University of Chicago student biking to school was struck by how a sculpture featuring figures holding their heads in exasperation seemed to mirror the mood of many of his college peers, who at the time were mired in finals week, according to Yuval Degani, president of Dream Town Realty.
Captured by the parallel, he whipped out his smartphone and shot a photo of the angsty figures, Degani said.
That proved to be a smart move on the student’s part: The photo ultimately bagged him $2,500, after garnering the most votes in a Facebook photo contest hosted by Dream Town Realty.
Cash prizes were just one aspect of the robust marketing campaign that Dream Town held over the summer. The competition’s success demonstrates that hosting photo contests can help catapult a broker’s Facebook following and boost online engagement.
Calling for submissions of photos of the Windy City, “Chicago in Focus” helped Dream Town collect more than 4,000 likes on its Facebook page in just one month, more than tripling the amount the page had gathered over the four previous years of its existence.
– See more at: http://www.inman.com/2013/09/26/generate-leads-by-the-thousands-with-facebook-photo-contests/#sthash.IZt7POmF.dpuf
Several tag sales are taking place in Northern Westchester County this weekend:
A resident of Bedford is hosting a moving sale between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
A tag sale will be held at 720 North Bedford Rd. in Mount Kisco between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday and between 12.00 p.m. and 5.00 p.m. on Sunday.
A resident of Cortlandt Manor is hosting a moving sale by appointment.
35 North Riverside Ave. in Croton is hosting a tag sale between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday.
30 Pine Hill Dr. in South Salem is hosting a tag sale between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
24 Mead St. in Waccabuc is hosting a moving sale between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
A resident of Mount Kisco is hosting a tag sale of warm mist humidifier by appointment.
165 Bradhurst Ave. in Hawthorne is hosting a tag sale between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday.
548 Sherman Ave. in Thornwood is hosting a garage sale between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Grandview Lane in Thornwood is hosting a moving sale between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
15 Rockhagen Rd. in Thornwood is hosting a tag sale between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday.
A resident of North Salem is hosting a moving sale by appointment.
Reis Park on Route 139 in Somers is hosting a tag sale between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday.
A resident of Peekskill is hosting a tag sale by appointment.
A resident of Pound Ridge is hosting a moving sale by appointment.
Veterans Road in Yorktown Heights is hosting a tag sale between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday.
225 Chadeayne Rd. in Yorktown is hosting a moving sale on by appointment.
1663 Hanover St. in Yorktown Heights is hosting a tag sale between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday.
19 Central Way in Somers is hosting a tag sale by appointment.
Catasauqua Road in Buchanan is hosting a garage sale between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Passyunk Avenue on Montrose Street is hosting a yard sale between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday.
43 Wilton Rd. in Pleasantville is hosting a huge tag sale between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. from Friday to Sunday.
9 Vista Court in Pleasantville is hosting a moving sale between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday.