Real Estate Agent & Trainer using the power of technology to achieve maximum productivity
A colleague just approached me to ask if I could help him with a website redirection. I asked for more information and found out that he had signed up for a service that allegedly helps promote you and/or your business online (SEO). He was in his free trial period for the “Personal” service, which was about $10/month, so I told him to expect them to evaluate what he was using the service for and move him to the “Business” plan. Then I looked at the business plan and saw what they were charging for promoting a business to the top of Google – $350.00/MONTH!!! When I looked at the screenshot on their website I realized what a farce this was. Over the next 10 minutes, I told him as much as he would have gotten to in the first month on this service. I couldn’t believe that 10 minutes of my time was worth $350 in the mindset of this company.
In case you’ve got a couple thousand dollars burning a hole in your business pants pocket, go ahead and sign up for this service. If you’ve got more sense than you do money, let me break down the above screenshot for you and tell you much of what they’re going to. Keep in mind, they’re not doing it FOR you, they’re simply telling you WHAT to do.
1. “Check Your Search Results” – Perform an online search for your name(s) (personal name and business name if you are doing business in a corporate name). The household term for this, of course, is to “Google yourself.” But don’t stop there. Try multiple search engines, or try a search aggregator like Dogpile.com that goes out and does the search on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. all at once.
2. “Build Your Website” – Get a website if you don’t have one, and this doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Get your own domain name for this website, one that is short and descriptive. Now flesh out your website with good content. Don’t try to write for search engines, write for your customer. You don’t write brochures to catch the eye of marketing companies, so why would you write your website to do that? Put your value proposition on your website in a way that tells potential clients exactly what you do and why you’re better than your competition. Learn about meta keywords and meta tags. You can’t beat a good Wikipedia entry, but also check out descriptions on sites such as WebDeveloper.com, and always remember that Google has tools to help you understand how to do all of this stuff yourself.
3. “Add to Your Online Profiles” – Are you on Facebook? Twitter? Digg? Delicious? MySpace? StumbleUpon? Have a Google account? Have a WordPress blog? Then you have online profiles. Make sure your website and, if possible, a bio of you and your business are filled in and current on these sites.
4. “Add Yourself to Professional Directories” – Are you signed up with LinkedIn? (For Real Estate Agents…) Do you have your Realtor.com directory entry updated with your website? Do you have an ActiveRain account? a Trulia Profile? a Top Producer Blog? Check your information there and make sure it shows your web address. Wherever you can put your web address online, DO IT!
5. “Verify Mentions of Your Name” – Rinse and repeat #1. Make sure that what you want to come up is coming up, and if someone is trying to harm your reputation, address that issue. Don’t try to cover it up or you’re violating the digital version of the old adage “Never argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel.” You’ll always lose the battle to have a good reputation online if you fail to have a good reputation OFFLINE.
Those are the 5 visible hints about what they’re ‘teaching.’ If I can find out from someone what the others are, you can bet I’m going to pull back the curtain and let you see the man behind it.