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Your website is one of the most prominent faces of your business and therefore plays a key role in guiding your customers towards conversion. It’s important that your website represents you and your company but it must also be a pleasing virtual space for customers to visit. Here are a few quick and easy ways to refresh your website for 2017 and to help improve visitor traffic.
Colour Scheme
Be careful not to overwhelm visitors with a busy looking website. Limit your design to between one and three colours. Here are a few suggestions for improving your colour palette:

Choose one principal colour to use in blocks throughout your website, highlighting important information.
Use colour in your tab menu.
For your secondary colour, choose a lighter/brighter option to contrast with the principal colour.

Here are some great free colour palette resources to help you choose the right colours. They even have explore sections that have pre-made colour palettes based on themes.
When choosing fonts for your site, your first priority should be legibility. Make sure your font size is between 14-24 points so the reader will be able to easily read the content. Google Fonts has a wide range of fonts to choose from that are compatible on various platforms.
You should also avoid overwhelming the reader by using too many font styles. Stick with two fonts styles for the entire website, one for headers and one for the body copy. If the font you selected has a large font family (thin, regular, medium, bold, etc) you can use these various weights within the font family and create a hierarchy within these weights. Just remember to stay consistent — if you use bold font in 20 points for subheads, use this same font across all subheads on the site.
If you’re having trouble selecting a pair of fonts that go well together, try these websites:

The imagery you choose allows the visitor to connect with your company and your services on an emotional level. Taking images yourself adds more value and gives your visitors a glimpse into your company. Include images of your location’s interior and exterior, product shots or of people interacting. Readers rely on images to feel that your company is trustworthy and genuine.
Things to avoid when using your own imagery:

Small images – It’s important that your images do not look pixelated and distorted. Make sure your image is 1,400 – 2,000 pixels wide for a full header image.
Low res images – Make sure your image is saved as a jpg with a high resolution to get the sharpest images.
Keep your imagery simple, especially if you are including copy over it.
Low light images – Make the image bright and happy!

White space
Less is more when it comes to laying out your content. If you have heavy copy going across the page, try separating it into 2-4 columns. For example, if you have four services, separate each one and describe each in brief paragraphs.
Use bullet points to explain key points on your homepage, you need the reader to be able to quickly skim the page and know what you do.
Break up long sections of content with imagery to give the reader’s eyes interest to keep reading.
Here are some examples:

CTA Buttons
Call-To-Action(CTA) buttons can be in various shapes, sizes and colours but the end goal is the same for all, to complete a conversion. If you notice that you are not getting as many conversions as you would like or you’ve been wanting to change your buttons for A/B testing, then try these tricks.

Colour is important — select a contrasting colour based on your primary website colour, this will allow the button to stand out and catch the readers eye.
Make sure your CTA copy is larger font size than your body copy but smaller than your header pt size. The reader should quickly know what the button says.
Make your button wide enough that the copy in it has a lot of white space around it. This will allow it to stand out more.
Change the copy to first person. Make your customers feel the need to click the button.
Copy length should be straight to the point — keep the copy to 2-5 words.
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LinkedIn recently revealed some specific tips and insights on what makes posts (and people) go viral on the network.
Want your content to go viral on LinkedIn?
Here’s what the network says works best on the world’s largest online platform for professionals.
LinkedIn recently released its list of “top voices” from 2016, and in the process shared what made those bloggers so successful on the platform.
“When we compare these authors to all members writing in 2016, the Top Voices have received on average 64x more comments, 52x more likes, and 24x more shares on their articles,” LinkedIn noted. “That viral activity on their writing led to an average of 73x more views from LinkedIn members than typical pieces and a huge growth in followers.
“Each of our top writers on average generated over 54,000 new follows this year — almost 150 new followers a day.”
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – in today’s marketplace, your content is your currency.
Creating great content and then sharing it online is how you “purchase” the time, attention and interest of potential customers. It’s also how you build the critical “Know, Like and Trust” elements that are key to every successful sale and business relationship.
Remember, anyone can claim authority online. Creating great content that demonstrates your expertise and helps others solve a pressing problem or reach a specific goal is the key being successful with online sales and marketing.
What follows are some specific tips LinkedIn says will help set apart your content from the rest on the network, so pay close attention!
Global Reach, Specific Topics
The beauty of publishing on LinkedIn is that it’s the place where your ideal customers and clients in the global marketplace are already hanging out, looking for news, online training, resources, vendors, employees and more.
Recommended for You
Webcast, January 24th: The Science of Attention and Growth Marketing

“With 460+ million members worldwide, the topics and conversations professionals want to engage with diverge in interesting ways. In the USA, writers tend to focus on entrepreneurship and innovation,” LinkedIn noted. “In France, the economy and macroeconomics drive readership. India cares about branding and advertising; Brazil favors anything that’s current.
“But across the world, the same formula worked to develop an audience: Consistency, depth and an authentic desire to create conversations (not just content).”
The Secret Sauce to Going Viral on LinkedIn
If you’ve nailed your topic with a well written post targeted at your ideal audience, the secret sauce to going viral is in everything else you do to set up your posts with the right timing, engagement and follow through.
“Some 66 percent of our Top Voices published at least once a month,” says LinkedIn. “and the average length was just over 800 words.”
(In my experience, publishing your LinkedIn blog posts during the middle of the week and during regular business hours is best.)
But it’s not just the post that matters.You need to promote it and maximize engagement in order to have a chance to go viral.
“The Top Voices made 10x more replies to comments on their articles than did the average LinkedIn writer,” LinkedIn shared.
Along with responding as quickly as possible to the likes, shares and comments your articles receive, you can also use other social media channels and your email list to drive traffic to your posts.
One of my favorite tactics is to also use LinkedIn itself! I leverage third party automation tools like LinMailPro to send a personalized, 1-on-1 note to hundreds of my LinkedIn connections with a link to the post.
As long as your message is sincere, your content useful to the connections you’re sending it to, and with no sales pitch attached, you’ll get almost zero complaints from your connections when promoting your content via 1-on-1 LinkedIn messages.
In fact, here’s a simple script you can use right now to promote your next LinkedIn post via 1-on-1 messages to your connections:
“Hi [INSERT FIRST NAME] – hope you are doing well!
I just published a new post here on LinkedIn I thought might be of interest to you.
It’s called, “[INSERT POST TITLE].”
Hope you find the post helpful and excited to hear what you think of it!”
Using a non-spammy, helpful note like this works well on LinkedIn, provided the post you’e sending to your connections is something they would genuinely be interested in reading or learning more about.
Bonus Tip: Let LinkedIn Know!
Another tip is to promote your LinkedIn Post on Twitter and tag LinkedIn’s editors.
Create a clever, thought-providing “one liner” about your post to use on Twitter, and make sure you tag @LinkedInEditors on the network.
Speed + Engagement = Going Viral on LinkedIn
When you do this (send traffic to your own LinkedIn posts, be it via LinkedIn messages, your email list or other social media channels), LinkedIn takes notice.
The faster your post picks up views and the more engagement that happens in a short time frame, the more likely it is LinkedIn will take notice of all that activity and decide to promote your post and surface it all over the platform.
Once that happens, watch out – you’re about to go viral!
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It’s no secret that Google is in a constant state of change. The “ten blue links” that used to comprise a search engine results page (SERP) are diminishing in importance, and new features are becoming more essential with every passing month. From image results and local packs to site links and knowledge panels, Google is reshaping search marketing.
Clearly, focusing only on your website is no longer effective. Ranking higher than your competitor in Google’s organic rankings is less meaningful if that competitor is displayed in, say, an answer box. The current name of the SEO game is acquiring as much page real estate on the SERPs as possible.
For example, a best-case scenario for search would be to do well in AdWords results, land a featured snippet, get a spot in a local pack and rank high in the organic listings. It also helps to have a presence in the Knowledge Graph and be seen in video snippets, images and news feeds that show up on Google.
To really create a competitive edge in this changing SEO landscape, don’t hesitate to get a little help from some friends — and by friends, I mean tools that help you leverage SERP features.
Here are a few such tools that can sharpen your SEO sword:
1. Yotpo’s Search Enhancements
Do you work in e-commerce? If so, you’ll definitely want to look into Yotpo, which focuses on integrating reviews into your website for greater SERP visibility. Its helpful, SERP-enhacing features include:

inline SEO: Includes reviews as part of a website’s content. The goal is to give an online store fresher content and a wider variety of potential keywords to rank for.

Google Product Listing Ads with product ratings: Yotpo can help your Google Shopping and search results display product ratings, which can make your listing stand out from the competition.

rich snippets: Yotpo helps an online business become more visible on SERPs through review and rating rich snippets.  

2. Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool
Structured data is one element that really revs up today’s SEO. Because it labels a website’s data to make the website look better to Google, structured data boosts visibility and helps skyrocket traffic. Although Google doesn’t consider it mandatory for high ranking, using structured data is certainly recommended.
Are you using structured data effectively? Are there any errors that need to be fixed in your schema markup? The good news is that you don’t even have to ask these questions. Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool will tell you if anything is out of place, making it easy for you to fix any issues.

Want to learn more? Here’s a useful guide.
3. Data Highlighter
This ultra-handy webmaster tool “teaches” Google about how you structure your website’s data. It lets you quickly and easily tag your site’s data fields so Google can better display your website in as many SERP features as possible.

4. Schema-friendly WordPress themes
To really make your SEO activities much easier, do yourself a favor and take advantage of the many free WordPress themes with schema markup built right in. There are schema-friendly themes for many kinds of industries, formats and blog platforms. When creating a blog, compare blog sites to know the best fit for you.

5. Schema markup WordPress plugins
Also, as you may have suspected, several schema markup plugins are available. A few of them include:

Schema App Structured Data: This tool allows you to edit your WordPress site’s schema markup directly, even if you have zero coding knowledge.

WP Rich Snippets: This is an excellent plugin to explore if you run a review site. It helps you mark up your content so your site will be as accessible as possible to Google.

All In One Rich Snippets: As its rather long name implies, this handy tool helps you quickly and easily add rich snippet data to your website.

6. Moz Pro’s Advanced SERP Feature Tracking
Moz offers an excellent tool to help you stay aware of the vast SERP feature environment. They market their Advanced SERP Feature Tracking tool as containing the most comprehensive data set on the market.
This tool provides analysis of featured snippets, image packs, in-depth articles, local packs, knowledge cards and knowledge panels, site links and more.

7. Rank Ranger’s Google SERP Features Tool
Rank Ranger’s SERP Features Tool tracks the presences of various SERP features over time. How often is a particular feature appearing? Is its presence within the SERPs generally increasing or decreasing?
According to Range Ranker:
This free research tool can be used to benchmark and explore the presence and trending of Knowledge Graphs, Ads, Images, Local Pack, News Pack, Related Search and Organic Results counts, plus special page indicators (e.g., breadcrumbs, events, HTTPs, ratings, notable online, image and video thumbnails, search box, sitelinks, Twitter pack, etc.)

Rank Ranger also provides a helpful guide to all the existing Google SERP features, including visual examples of each, here.
This is an excellent tool for discovering if any of your keywords trigger SERP features such as answer boxes. STAT tracks 20,000 websites and 218,000 consumer products daily.

9. SEMrush
SEMrush is useful when you need competitive data. Use it to find out if the keywords your competitors rank for trigger any SERP features like featured snippets, local packs, Knowledge Graph panels, Google News and so on.

Don’t go it alone!
Effective marketing has always been a complex endeavor, and Google’s constant innovations don’t make things any easier. But with change and innovation comes progress.Scott Lazerson
Staying current with SEO best practices will only give you a competitive advantage, and that’s where these tools come into play.
To be the best SEO practitioner, always be on the lookout for valuable tools that can make you more proficient. Experiment every day, use the apps that work for you, and know when to abandon the ones that aren’t improving your processes. Just like a good mentor, new tools can help you reach higher levels of success.
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When house hunting, 90 percent of buyers use the internet. In fact, 53 percent of buyers start their search online, according to “The Digital House Hunt,” an extensive report on real estate consumer trends conducted by Google and the National Association of Realtors.

More than ever, people head online when it comes to looking for homes and finding Realtors®. According to the 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 86 percent of home buyers consider real estate websites the most useful source of information when buying a home. The very first step that 44 percent of home buyers make when house hunting is to look online.

44% of home buyers start their house hunt by looking online. #realestate #SEO

Between 2008 and 2012, real estate-related searches increased by 253 percent. With so much opportunity online, realtors can’t afford to miss out on this valuable traffic; for professionals in real estate, SEO is more important than ever.
When it comes to capturing traffic for terms related to real estate, SEO efforts begin with local keyword targets on a personal website.
SEO expert and author Bruce Clay’s advice? You have to carve out a niche for yourself — think locally, and then expand.
Read on to discover how you can leverage a real estate website to capture traffic (and leads). Here’s how to optimize your real estate website:

Target local keywords.
Write blog entries.
Take advantage of photos and videos.
Make your Site Mobile with responsive design.
Get listed in Directories.
Optimize your bio on your broker’s website.
Incorporate social media.

1. Target Local Keyword Phrases
Sixty-nine percent of home shoppers begin their research with a local keyword phrase, like “Glendale realtor.”
Most realtors service multiple cities and regions. However, when you start your website, focus on the main city you do business in first. From there, build out silos that target other areas.
Optimize your website for search terms such as:

[City] real estate
[City] homes for sale
[City] real estate listings
[City] realtor
[City] real estate agent

These words can appear on pages throughout your site. For example, a site focusing on just Glendale realty might be organized like this:

Glendale Homes for Sale
Living in Glendale
Glendale Real Estate Testimonials
About Your Glendale Realtor

Throughout these pages, incorporate the local keyword targets, working them into content that is useful to a prospective home buyer.
Clay explained that you should make your website a resource. On a page like “Living in Glendale,” provide information on school districts, crime rates, median income, public transportation, and statistics on the average homeowner.
The more targeted a real estate website can be, the better.
Really focus on capturing local traffic. You have a much better chance to rank for, let’s say, “Glendale realtor” than “Southern California realtor” — as you build your site and traffic, you can eventually target more competitive terms like “Southern California realtor,” but not right out of the gate. You’ll have more success if you take a more targeted approach.
A Note on Using IDX/MLS
It’s common practice for realtors and brokers to use IDX (Internet Data Exchange) to render real estate listings. While this is great for users, it usually does little to influence rankings on search engines because these MLS listings are usually rendered with jQuery, in an iFrame or on a subdomain that appears off of the main site — meaning Google won’t index the content as part of the site. That’s why it’s important to add additional unique content to the listings page, such as:

extra facts and features of a property
excerpts from your testimonials page

2. Write Blog Post on Homes You’re Especially Keen to Sell
A real estate agent can represent hundreds of listings at a time, there are no doubt a few key properties that the realtor is particularly motivated to sell. One way to secure traffic to your site for those specific properties is to write blog posts. Each blog post should target a specific property’s address, which perspective home buyers will be searching for using Google. The address becomes the keyword — follow all SEO best practices such as using the keyword in:

Meta description
Title tag
Alt tag on photos
File name on photos
The content

As for the content itself, come up with 200 words of unique content describing the home’s features in addition to the standard description — and in this case, you don’t have to worry about duplicate content.
Google expects to see those descriptions of homes appear across the web. You won’t be penalized for including standard listing information. However, if you want to rank for the address as a keyword, you’ll have to include unique content, as well.
3. Take Advantage of Photos and Videos
Photos and videos are key engagement objects on all websites, but this is especially true of a real estate site. Home buyers love seeing a video tour of the inside of their prospective new homes. In addition to video tours, consider capturing testimonials on video, too.
Whenever you sell a home, get a testimonial. If you have a video camera, a steady hand and good lighting, try to get that testimonial recorded on the spot. A home buyer is ecstatic right after getting their keys. That’s a great time to ask for a review.

A home buyer is ecstatic right after getting their keys. That’s the time to ask for a review….

An Australian real estate group reported seeing 403 percent more inquiries for listings with video than those without video, and studies have shown adding a video to a page triples the amount of inbound link.

4. Make Your Site Mobile
The statistics are in and they show that home buyers are searching for real estate on mobile devices. “The Digital House Hunt” report referenced earlier also found:

89 percent of new home shoppers search using a mobile device during the home buying process.
A 300 percent growth of real estate broker-related searches on tablets year over year.
Foreclosure searches have risen 180 percent year over year on mobile devices.

The report found that home buyers are apt to use mobile real estate sites while at home, at work, while waiting in line, at restaurants and in other people’s homes. Home buyers visit real estate websites to:

Read general home information
Get directions to visit a home
Compare prices
Compare features
Search a listing company’s inventory
Call a broker
Locate a listing agent
Read reviews
Research mortgage financing
Email/contact a broker
Watch an online video about a property

With these statistics in mind, it’s clear that making your website mobile is an important factor in real estate SEO. We recommend using responsive design, which is Google’s preferred mobile configuration (read more on responsive design).
Real Estate SEO: Beyond Your Website
In addition to optimizing your personal website for traffic, there are steps you can take off-site to entice prospective clients, as well, such as optimizing your bio page on your real estate agency’s website, getting listed in directories and using social media strategically.
5. Get Listed in Directories
Real estate agent directories get a lot of traffic, so it’s worth your while to get listed in them. Each of the following highly trafficked real estate sites have directories available to realtors:


Zillow alone had 498 million page views in a single month and Trulia had 277 million. There’s a lot of potential traffic to be captured by getting listed in the right real estate directory.
6. Optimize Your Bio on Your Broker’s Website
If you’re a realtor working with an agency, your brokerage house more than likely hosts a web page for each realtor. While it is unlikely that this sub-domain can rank for a local keyword target, this is a great page to optimize for your name. People will Google your name, so it’s something you should optimize for.
Clay recommended including your full name in the title tag and meta description. This might be challenging, however, because on the broker site, you’re operating on a domain that you don’t have full control over. Find out what you can and cannot change — if you can alter the meta data, optimize those fields for your name.
In addition to ranking for your name, you can also use the bio page to provide contact information and link to your personal website. For additional tips on ranking for your name, check out “Rank for Your Name,” which has more insights on why and how to use your name as a keyword.
7. Incorporate Social Media
When it comes to client relations, social media is a great way to start relationships or strengthen existing ones. A realtor with an active social media presence is able to interact with clients where they are every day: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and/or Instagram. Do your research and find out where your target clients are most active socially.
Real estate is all about relationships — any record you can build on social media that shows your expertise is important. When people vet you and discover a healthy, professional social media presence, it’s going to signal trust.
Because photos and videos are key components in real estate sales, Pinterest and Instagram are particularly useful platforms for realtors. On Facebook, consider joining location-based groups and on Google+, get active in local communities. Across all platforms, use social media strategically, employing hashtags like #realestate or #listing. For more tips on leveraging each of these networks, read “Social Media for Business.”
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