ActiveRain Tutorials: Are You Ironing Only the Front Side of Your Website?

Are You Ironing Only the Front Side of Your Website?

Ironing Your Website

The other day, I was at church and was listening to the message when the speaker mentioned that sometimes when her husband is in a hurry he only irons the front of his dress shirt.  She said he does this because since he is wearing a coat, nobody will ever see the back half, so what does it matter?  The only people who know it isn't fully ironed is he and his wife.  Unfortunately, I have seen on too many occasions that this is the same concept people place into their website for their business.

We all want the flashy designed and pretty looking site, but are not willing to put the time & effort into making the site useful.  You can have the most beautiful site in the world, but if it is missing key elements like calls to action, SEO optimization & Social integration, you in essence have spent a bunch of money for something pretty but unproductive.  In this post I am going to cover two of these three.  I will save the calls to action & sidebars for another post in the very near future.

How Social Is Your Site?

I recently wrote about making your WordPress site more social for consumers.  In that post I shared about some great plugins that are designed for WordPress Sites that allow consumers to share your content easily and quickly on social media platforms.  As you can see, currently Facebook is sending more traffic to our site than Google.  Also, you can see that Twitter has made the top five.  The reason that Tech Savvy Agent is in our top five is that I write there on a regular basis with links back to our site.  When you look at the analytics on their site, it too shows Facebook at the top of the list. Chris Smith shared with me recently that they see over 45% of their traffic from their powerful Facebook page of over 12,000 fans alone.

We are currently seeing almost 36% of our traffic on 210 just from the various social platforms we participate on.  This traffic comes not because we just broadcast our content onto Facebook & Twitter.  The traffic comes because Jason & myself engage our friends/followers on the social networks in conversations and build relationships with them.  After this trust has been established we can then share links to blog posts and sections of our site and people will click on them and visit.  Not only will they read our content, but they are also more willing to share it with their friends/followers after reading as well.  Being the complete statistics junkie I am, I did an analysis on the past 30 posts that have been written on our blog to see how much social sharing is taking place.  For the past 30 posts, on average, they have been re-tweeted 23.74 times and shared on Facebook 34.19 times.

They say the average person on Facebook as 130 friends.  That means on average my posts have a reach of nearly 4,420 people just on Facebook each time we write a blog post.  The same holds true on Twitter.  This reach is in addition to the thousands of friends/followers that we have.  By using an analytic type plugin I can watch when I send out a tweet or post on Facebook the traffic coming to my site immediately.  Usually there is a big rush all at once and a few hundred show up within 10 minutes.  If you don't have a site that allows for the installation of these type of social plugins, it might be time to consider a site like WordPress.

How Does Your Site Rank in Search Engines?

Search Engine Optimization still plays a major role in how consumers find your site.  The social platforms do a great job of directing those you are already connected with to your site, but the search engines is what can bring in those that aren't connected to your sphere.  Before the recent explosion of social media, sites would see close to 76% of their traffic come directly from search engines.  I believe that sites that are optimized properly can still see a major chunk of traffic from Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.  The problem however lies in what is set up on back end of your site that is never even seen by a consumer.  Each page in your site has three basic SEO components that without the proper setup you are throwing away valuable Google Juice.  One of my recent clients contacted me an asked why her static website was not showing up for anything in the search engines.  She would search and sometimes find it showing up on page 7 for a very specific term, but it was not generating any business for her.  I asked for her web address and immediately looked at the page source for the site.  Here is what search engines saw for her site:


Page Source Code

(click to view full size)


The three main components that need to be filled out on every single page of your site and every blog post you post is the Title, Description, & Keywords.  In that order of importance too.  As you can see from the source code of her site, the first two segments were greatly overlooked. I cannot stress how extremely important these are to determining how your site ranks in the search engines.  It is imperative that you fill in these sections with keyword rich content.  This client had done a pretty decent job with keywords but their description and title was basically their name, where they are licensed and the name of the company they worked for.  Unfortunately, not many consumers search for you by your name unless you are a celebrity and those searching for a company will land at the company page 9 times out of 10.

To help solve this problem, I always install on WordPress sites I build for clients a powerful plugin called All-In-One-SEO Pack.  It works great and can really help take a page up the search engine results by giving you an easy way to add a separate Title, Description & Keywords for each individual page & post of content on your site.  Make sure that when you add content to your page to take the extra few moments to fill it out.  These simple steps can be the difference between your site ranking on page 9 for your terms or page one.  A recent SEO overhaul we did for a client took her for her main keyword which she wasn't found in the first 12 pages of Google to #4 on Page 1 in under 2 months.  Since then she has reaped the benefits of increased traffic and increased income all because we went back and fixed the title, description, and keywords on the static pages of her site.

Time to Iron The Back Half of Your Shirt

So if you have been only ironing the front side of your shirt and focusing only on the visual appeal of your site, it's time to flip the shirt over and start ironing the back half as well.  2011 is almost here and what a better time to get everything in order.  Go set up the SEO & social side of your site now and start gaining the benefits as the new year comes in.  If your current site does not permit you to add these components, it might be time for a change to a custom WordPress site that offers these types of things.  As always, if you feel this is overwhelming and need assistance, feel free to contact us, we are here to help.

photo credit: banalities

Originally Posted at: 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors

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Comment balloon 33 commentsJeremy Blanton • December 17 2010 03:11PM

Comments

Well darn, Jeremy, I am going to have to quit reading your posts because every time I read one it generates a call to action for me. Keep it up!

Posted by Mike Saunders (Lanier Partners) almost 8 years ago

Well Jeremy, you always give great advice & i finally learned about doing what you said above & how important it is...thanks for emphasizing the importance of all!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Jeremy good post.  I will say though that if you are running on a later version of Headway - you don't need the SEO pack, the same functionality is already built in.  Having plugins that are redundant only slows the site down...

:-)  

Posted by Inna Hardison, Wordpress for Real Estate & Design, Print HaMedia Group (ha media group) almost 8 years ago

Great post.  Especially love the first part.  Have been ironing the fronts of shirts for a long time now and needed to hear about the rest of this as well.  I do feel like first impressions are pretty important.

Posted by Heather Littrell, ABR,GRI,SRES Cabarrus County NC (Keller Williams) almost 8 years ago

Jeremy

I love your posts and am learning much. Some of it remains over my head, but as I learned back in Nursing School...."See one..Do one...Teach one.."

Always looking forward to your posts

Posted by Deb Jamail, Galveston County Real Estate (HomeLife Southern Properties) almost 8 years ago

Jeremy, 

Your title caught my eye, as I grew up wearing a uniform to school and we practiced only ironing the front of the shirt as well...LOL

I hope that as you state in your great article to look at the sleeves this next year...I am with Deb, in that I am not so savvy, however, I am willing to look further and to try new things...thanks for making me look at the sleeves..

 

 

Posted by Kathy Amorin, Managing Broker (Realty Pro, Vancouver, Washington) almost 8 years ago

I would say I am getting close.  Google is 71% of all my traffic right now.

Posted by Renée Donohue, Las Vegas Real Estate Broker - www.urLVhome.com (Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate) almost 8 years ago

Iron? What's an Iron? Great title (made me click) and the best information.  Thanks.

Posted by Tricia Pearson, Real Estate Broker, San Antonio/Hill Country Homes for Sale (Tricia Pearson - Pearson Real Estate - Texas Hill Country) almost 8 years ago

Great information. Thank you for posting. My web guys is installing this plug in to my word press site now.  I love word press because it is easy to use for even an average person on the web.

Posted by Timothy Mattingly, Louisville Homes for Sale (Louisville Homes Team Louisville KY louisvillehomesreport.com) almost 8 years ago

Oh boy, I need to start focusing on this big time! Afraid to say this stuff is over my head at the moment and I hate that. Time to get busy. Thanks for posing this Jeremy. Lots to look into.

Posted by Cindy Westfall, ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate (Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon) almost 8 years ago

Jeremy, can I get this on my site? You know my issues with WPMU. ugh....

 

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) almost 8 years ago

Great post.  I cant get enough on SEO information.  I do most of the things suggested but it still needs work it seems.  

Posted by Melissa Furman, Lic Real Estate Salesperson Luxury Homes (Keller Williams Capital District Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Interesting post for sure.  I'll have to check it out...

Thanks,

 

Patricia/Seacoast Nh & ME

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) almost 8 years ago

This is such a great metaphor and Wordpress makes it so easy to iron the back of the shirt. I may borrow an idea from this post for something I'm going to write later this weekend. I'll definitely give you credit... or perhaps the credit goes to the speaker at your church.

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) almost 8 years ago

I think I have too many wrinkles to even know where to begin!  I've bookmarked, as I always do.  Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Melissa Brown, Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale (Helen Adams Realty) almost 8 years ago

I don't iron very rarely...but that doesn't mean I don't wash and wear lol

Great info Jeremy and you're right...what goes INTO the website ...besides pretty is important. Just like a blog without great content is useless.

 

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) almost 8 years ago

Hi Jeremy, Sometimes I feel i do not have time to iron so I just wash and wear. Good thing that I learn in ActiveRain are the keywords and content are more important that just putting our name on a website.

Posted by Eva Aliaga, Boca Raton & Delray Beach: SE Florida Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty Boca Raton IdealFloridaLiving.com) almost 8 years ago

Inna- Many themese like Headway & Thesis do come with one built in.  However I've always used All in One, so I simply override the other with it and you have no issues.

Renee- That's some awesome stuff!  You definitely have the SEO part down!

Cindy- If you need help, feel free to contact me, I am here to assist so you don't have to be overwhelmed by it all.

Missy- Not really sure... Maybe it's soon time to make the switch.

Melissa- The best place to begin is by calling me :)

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- myrtlebeachhomesblog.com (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) almost 8 years ago

JB your title is really 'catchy' and still waiting for my first WordPress site...

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) almost 8 years ago

Hi Jeremy -- I was reading some other SEO sites today and Google's webmaster site says they don't use the Description or Keywords in SEO.  It can help for click-through and they use it to build lists, but they can also get it from the dmoz.  Thoughts?

 

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) almost 8 years ago

Great stuff Jeremy. I love the title too, definitely made me look!

Posted by Gerard Gilbers, Your Marketing Master (Higher Authority Markeing) almost 8 years ago

Goodness, this is so way over my head. I just wish that I had the time to digest it all and put it to use. Maybe next week...

Posted by William James Walton Sr., Greater Waterbury Real Estate (WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group) almost 8 years ago

I think my site is wrinkled all over.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) almost 8 years ago

SEO is so vital.  Why are UGG comments coming through on everyone's blog posts lately.  So annoying.  Anyway. yes I try to do both.  I try to make sure my website earns its keep and SEO is a big part of that.

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) almost 8 years ago

Super post, Jeremy.  I was going to suggest, but I see I'm too late.  I'm bookmarking so I can read the other referenced pages on here.  I had never thought of the idea of putting back links on some of the popular realtor pages like Tech Savvy Agent.  I'll have to look into that...of course, I'll have to see if my stuff fits in well as I don't want it to be spammy.

Love the visual and I'm currently working on optimizing the SEO on my site for about 350 pages.  Determined to finish by year end.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 8 years ago

Jeremy glad I came by today as I was looking for a good pair of Ugg Boots:) Every Realtor should have a basic grasp of SEO but of course that is not the case.

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) almost 8 years ago

I am making this part of my game plan for 2011. Starting Monday on it.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) almost 8 years ago

I used to work with a lawyer that did the same thing.  She always had on a blazer and one day it was really warm.. she took her blazer off and then had to deal with a very wrinkled back side of a silk shirt.. :)

Love the photo.

Those pages that are deep in our websites need a little smoothing too..

Thanks Jeremy!  Great analogy.  Thank your preacher for me.

Posted by 1 ~Judi & Don Barrett & Chassy Eastep - Integrity, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) almost 8 years ago

Jeremy,

Very good advice. We sometimes get overwhelmed with all the aspects of maintaining the customer facing side of our site. Its good to get these technical reminders from time to time.

-Brent

Posted by Brent & Deb Wells, Prosper TX (LivingWell Properties) almost 8 years ago

Very enjoyable post. Thanks for making pointing
out “both sides” of our websites we need to be aware of.

 

Posted by Stephen Turner, The BIG Guy of NEW HOME SALES (TriCorner Homes (TriCorner Realty)) almost 8 years ago

I am dealing with issues since facebook changed their interface with getting facebook traffic to my website.  The website is harder to find now that they moved everything around.  Can you write a post about that?

Posted by Renée Donohue, Las Vegas Real Estate Broker - www.urLVhome.com (Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate) almost 8 years ago

Renee- I might have to do that here very soon!  Although the changes in interface only really affects the design of your profile.  Most poeple will see things in thei feed and comment/visit from there.

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- myrtlebeachhomesblog.com (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) almost 8 years ago

Hi

Time to iron the back of your shirt. What a great analogy.

A beautuful website that no one goes to is useless.

Thanks for the tips pointing us the right way

Phil

Posted by Phil Leng, Phil Leng - Retired (Retired) almost 8 years ago

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