What are ways to promote your web site?

This is important particularly with the new service from ICIWorld where over 14,000 real estate have and want ads are placed on a broker's web site in a way that the broker receives all the calls.

If a broker receives 10 calls that lead to referrals of five minutes each and they all go through at an average of $10,000 each, that is $100,000 for 50 minutes work if they all go through.

So driving traffic to your web site becomes a very profitable venture.

There are many ways and we ask you the readers to contribute here.

Your comments are appreciated.

Here are some ways.

  1. Obtain a keyword-rich domain name, such as one that ties your area to real estate (DenverRealEstate.com) to improve your visibility with search engines; for large cities, focusing on a suburb will increase your chance to come out on top (LittletonRealEstate.com).

    You can have more than one domain name pointing to your web site.

    You can have yourname.com

    Help Video on Domain Names Everyone should see this video.

    You can go to http://www.networksolutions.com click on Domain Names and do a "whois" lookup to see if that domain is taken and if it is, they will even give you suggestions for a new name.

  2. Start handing out more of your business cards with your web site address.  Inform people you have residential listings with color photos and slide show displays, 20,000 commercial real estate listings with 50-100 new listings per day coming in on your web site!

    If they want information on any of them, they just have to call you.  Put this on all your promotional material including letterhead and envelopes.

    The key is to tell them what is on your web site, ie: thousands of residential and commercial real estate ads.

    The key is to tell them about the listings on your web site and that there is new information on your web site daily so visit regularly and often.
  3. In your ads in a newspaper, make a statement that you have 14,000 Have and Wants ads on your home page.  These are world classified ads on your home page.  Over $1 Trillion of Buyers, over $8 Billion of Properties For Sale and For Lease. In any advertising that you do, let people know you have this information. They will visit your home page. Let them know there are hundreds of news ones coming in regularly. That encourages them to visit your web site on a regular basis to check the new listings.

    By letting people know you have buyers, people may be more inclined to list with since they see how well connected you are into the market place for buyers.
  4. Place key words in your meta tags on your home page. The major search engines of the world send out "spiders" to crawl everyones web site on the Internet. They immediately go the "meta tags" on your web site, take those words and place them in their search engine index.  The next time someone searches those words in that search engine, your page will come up.
  5. Sponsored links.  If your page comes up as one of 5,000,000 pages found, people will not find you.  However you can sponsor a link so that you are on top. Sponsored links in search engines average .15 cents per click to $.50 per click and more.  Every time a person clicks on your link you are debited .15 cents. We suggest you start with a budget of $50 per month to $200 per month for three months.  Each month when your budget is reached your sponsored link will stop and then restart next month. In the case of real estate, if you are specific about what you sponsor, you can get very high qualified leads only. Would you pay .15 cents for a lead where you end up selling a shopping center?  This is possible to do with the right wording.

    go to www.google.com

    go to the bottom that says Advertising

    go to google ad words

    Here is a search tool It explains searches and estimated costs.  It also gives you suggested search terms.
  6. Home pages and web sites are like billboards.  If a billboard is in your garage, no one can see it.  If it is on a highway then many people can see it. Promote your web site in search engines and any and everywhere you can.
  7. Promote your web site in the signature files of your email. Every email that you send can contain a signature file that is attached to every email that you send out. Advertise 14,000 commercial haves and wants on your web site with a link to your web site.
  8. Economic Development Agencies.  These departments of most cities promote business in their communities. You can ask to have your web site listed on their site.
  9. Fax Multi Cast. Develop a list of fax numbers of all businesses in your community.  Send them a list of Haves and Wants once a quarter, every 3 months, of listings in your area.  People love reading real estate ads. Then provide the link to your web site.  We suggest you use Winfax Pro to do group faxes.

    By doing this you are building a real estate practice, not just chasing the almighty deal.
  10. EMail Multi Cast. Develop a list of EMail addresses of people who deal in real estate.  Send them an email once a quarter with links to your web site and what kind of information you provide.
  11. Join a builders construction association. Distribute information to them at meetings, etc. and build databases of people interested in real estate.
  12. Join other groups, Chambers of Commerce, any groups of people.  There are always people interested in investing and dealing in real estate.
  13. Network your web site to lawyers, accountants, doctors. 
  14. Place a magnetic sign on your car or license plate holder.
  15. Take out radio ads, billboards on all the major highways in the USA. You get the picture.  Promote it.
  16. Literally invite any and everyone to visit your web site to view haves and wants in real estate.  When they are interested in something, they should contact you.
  17. Develop a press kit.  Notify them of sales in your area. Include "provided by" information with links to your web site.
  18. Analyse your web site. 

  19. The basis of ALL search engine rankings is keywords. Users enter keyphrases in Search Engines to get information they need, It is VERY important that you optimize for such keyphrases.

    This tool provides you keyword suggestions and reports on their monthly search estimates.

    As anyone with a Web site knows, you need to appear in search results to get visitors to the site. And, the higher up in the search results, the better. That's because most surfers don't make it past the first page of search results.
    The process of getting a good ranking in search results is called search engine optimization (SEO). Many people, even experienced techies, misunderstand SEO, or consider it hocus-pocus.
    Over the years, many people have sought to manipulate search sites' results so their pages appear high in the rankings. This often involved trickery. Search sites try to weed out sites that use these tactics.
    So, what can you do to get a good ranking?
    First, you need to consider the search terms you will target. Start by picking five relevant terms. http://www.webconfs.com/keyword-playground.php  It will help you pick out alternative terms.
    Be realistic. With really popular terms, it may be impossibly difficult to get a good ranking. So pick moderately popular terms.
    Now, pick five pages from your site. Each should be related to one of the terms. Focus on writing clear, concise content that uses the term throughout the page. The idea is to achieve good keyword density.
    But don't overdo it. Otherwise, search sites will think you're "keyword stuffing." This is when you cram words into a page. Search sites flag this as trickery.
    Next, find reputable sites that are related to yours. Speak with the owners and ask if they will link to your site. They may ask to exchange links. The more inbound links to your site, the easier it is for search sites to find you.
    Each link coming into your site is akin to a vote for its credibility. But you want these votes to come from legitimate sites. Link farms, or sites that serve no other purpose than to list links, are bad news.
    These are the best ways to build traffic to your site. Keep in mind that it may take several months to see results. In the interim, you may wish to consider online advertising, if your budget allows it.
  20. This is a mistake many people make and what is worse – even experienced SEO experts make it. People choose keywords that in their mind are descriptive of their website but the average users just may not search them. For instance, if you have a relationship site, you might discover that “relationship guide” does not work for you, even though it has the “relationship” keyword, while “dating advice” works like a charm. Choosing the right keywords can make or break your SEO campaign. Even if you are very resourceful, you can't think on your own of all the great keywords but a good keyword suggestion tool, for instance, the Website Keyword Suggestion tool will help you find keywords that are good for your site.
  21. Top ten mistakes http://www.webconfs.com/top-10-seo-mistakes-article-24.php
  22. ICIWorld has an eight minute presentation on domain names to help your web site be found on the Internet. Set up an appointment with us to help you design a domain name and be logged in to your web site.  Call anytime.

Common Sense Advice for Search Engine Optimization

Most web surfers start their sessions at a search engine or a web directory. There are a number of different methods you can use to capture their traffic and drive it to your site: 

1.     Stick to the big names:  The two largest directories: Yahoo! (http://www.yahoo.com) and the Open Project Directory (http://www.dmoz.org), and the two largest search engines:  Google (http://www.google.com ) and Inktomi (used by MSN search (http://www.msn.com) and AOL (http://www.aol.com)) are likely to deliver 80% of your traffic, so concentrate on those and don’t spend too much time on anybody else.

2.     Yahoo and the Open Project Directory are administered by humans, so an editor will inspect your site before it's added.  They receive so many submissions that it can literally take months before your site is reviewed, and nothing (not even paid subscriptions) guarantees that it will be listed.  It’s worth to keep trying, though, so check back every month or so and, if your site isn’t listed, submit it again.

3.     Google and Inktomi are robots (software programs) that “crawl” (find and read) millions of sites on the web, and add them to their index.  That's why it is not absolutely necessary to manually submit your site to a search engine, since they may find your site and add it automatically when they find a link to your site on another page.

4.     You don’t need to submit all the pages on your site.  Once the search engine finds your main page (homepage), it will find the other ones by following links.  To improve the chances of your secondary pages being found, create a link called ‘site map’ in your homepage, and have it point to a page that is nothing but a collection of links to all the pages on your site.  This way, the search engine will follow the link and “suck in” all your pages.  Try putting this link as close to the top of your homepage as possible, since it will have a better chance of being picked up by the search engine.

5.     Your site will stand a much better chance of showing up at the top of the search results list if you choose keywords that are as specific as possible.  In general, niche sites that use very specific keywords have a better chance of being at the top of the list than generic sites that use more common keywords.  For example, a restaurant that specializes in brick oven pizza (keywords: brick oven pizza) has a better chance of showing up in a prime position than an all-encompassing Italian restaurant (keywords: Italian restaurant). 

6.     A good search engine ranking is also conditioned by the amount of inbound links to your site that the search engine finds in other websites.  A significant amount of links to your page from high ranked, quality sites with content related to yours, will significantly boost your rankings.  Try contacting the webmasters of the leading websites for the keywords of your choice and try to get them to link to your site.  You can offer a link exchange or place a paid link (advertising) on their pages, if that’s an available option. 

7.     Creating a good page title tag is also key, since it’s usually the first thing the search engines display in the search results page.  Also, you must create a well written, easy to understand ‘Description’ meta tag, since some search engines will use it to describe your site.  The more your title and description match your preferred search keywords, the more likely web users will click into your site.  Don't pay too much attention to the 'Keywords' meta tag, since most search engines ignore them nowadays, due to the potential for abuse.

Finally, one last word of advice:  don’t obsess with search engines, since they are not the only way to generate traffic to your site.   Try different approaches, like writing articles and posting them in discussion groups and newsgroups.  Also, don’t overlook bricks-and-mortar techniques like passing around business cards embedded with your website address, or advertising in traditional media.   It is a combination of all these things, and high quality, original content, what will make your site popular


check out current examples of bad design The Daily Sucker: Current Examples of Bad Design on the Web

The Daily Sucker features current examples of sites that have accessibility, usability, and regular design problems -- including ugliness.

http://www.websitesthatsuck.com/ From Vincent Flanders' Web Pages That Suck Showing Sucky Design since 1996. He's a journalist, published book author, tech writer and content creator. Vincent also teaches and gives speeches on web design, accessibility, and usability.

The Importance of a Good Web Page Title

Many web designers focus just on the actual look and feel of a page and dismiss seemingly minor details like the page title.  However, a good title can, in just a few words, tell your visitors what they can expect by reading your page.  More importantly, the page title is the only way that many visitors will be able to identify and find your page.  A good title can therefore increase the traffic to your site. 

More and more Internet users rely on search engines every day, and search engines use page titles to generate the links displayed after a search.  Let’s suppose that you own a company called The Attic, that specializes in vintage clothing and you have just submitted your website to a search engine.  If the title of your page is:  “The Attic.  Specializing in Vintage Clothing”, it is OK.  Certainly, it is better than just “Welcome to the Attic”.

However, a better option would be: “Vintage Clothing by The Attic”.  The reason is that, most likely, a visitor that comes to your site from a search engine will not conduct a search for “The Attic”, but probably will do it for “Vintage Clothing”.  The fact that those keywords are in your title, and especially because they are at the beginning, will increase the chance of the search engine displaying your page within the search results, and will increase the likelihood that the user will notice the link and click on it.

An exception are large companies with superb name brand recognition.  They may be better off by starting the page title with the company or the brand name, since they will be well known to most users and their purpose will be evident.  For all that matters, they may even not need to rely on search engines for traffic at all.

Another reason to pay close attention to the page title is that it is used by web browsers to name the page when it is bookmarked.  If a user goes through her favorite files and doesn’t recognize your page due to a lousy page title, she may by-pass it, and, as a result, you will waste a precious opportunity to get easy traffic to your site.

In summary, you want to use a page title that clearly states the purpose of the page, that will catch the user’s eye when it is displayed by a search engine, and that will be easily identifiable by the user when he browses through his files in the Favorites folders.

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Website Advertising Checklist Many state and province real estate licensing bodies provide guidelines for advertising. This is an example of just one. Check your own state or province for guidelines for advertising web sites.

Go on google and search the words "How to promote web site." There will be a wealth of free information as well as options for paid information.

Very important page that every Internet should be aware of. It is ICIWorld's News and Security Page, a public service for the real estate industry.