Real Geeks Blog - Internet Marketing

Boomtown ROI vs Real Geeks IDX Websites by Columbia SC Real Estate Broker

Written by Guest

Comparison by Tonya Graves from Capital City Realty

I launched my Columbia SC real estate website in 2009 in order to target online home searches or as we say in the business to “get leads”. I quickly learned that I would need to do more than build a website to get buyers to register on my site. Online home buyers searching on the Internet want to see the entire inventory for an area or the MLS. They didn’t want to see just my couple of listings.

For a broker to provide the MLS to web users they must provide an IDX or Internet Data Exchange.  The first IDX solution I used was Boomtown (ROI). The Boomtown leads management was very expensive at $1500 minimum per month. It was actually higher because they required advertising budgets above and beyond that.

In August 2011 I switched from Boomtown IDX to Real Geeks. I learned of Real Geeks from a real estate colleague and web designer at One Wave Designs named Paul Coffman. He boasted how Real Geeks was very SEO friendly with clean sites that rank well. I know and trust Paul’s knowledge about rankings & lead generation websites so I considered the change.

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How You're Helping Zillow and Trulia to Outrank You

Written by The Professor

Real Geeks ProfessorMaking it to the first page of Google is no easy feat. You can optimize your site, make sure your content is of the highest quality, and adhere to Google's standards, and still never make it for one reason or another. Usually, it's a matter of other sites simply doing something better than you. Maybe they've built more backlinks. Maybe they're better at marketing. That's the nature of any business—fair competition. But what if you were unknowingly helping another site to outrank you?

Sadly, this is the case for many independent real estate agents out there. You think you're doing everything right, and even going above and beyond, but you're still getting beaten by larger brands. It may be that you're contributing to their success, and your lack of visibility. How? Through a simple device called a widget, which uses your website to drive traffic and boost the rankings of two major names in the real estate space, Zillow and Trulia.

Predatory Linking Practices

Those two sites need no introduction. You know who they are. You may also know that try as you might, you can't overtake them in the SERPs. In fact, the longer they're around, the further your site seems to fall in the results. Maybe you even thought you'd try to take advantage of their name recognition, and add one, two, or a few of their widgets to your site. Little did you know that by doing so, you were giving Zillow and Trulia even more firepower to outrank your site.

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The State of Real Estate SERPs

Written by The Professor

Real Geeks ProfessorThis is the first post in a series on how independent real estate agents can improve their search engine rankings.

Have you noticed something different about the search engine results pages (SERPs) lately? Specifically, when you use Google to search for terms related to your business and your local area, does your site appear? Do any sites belonging to independent real estate agents in your area appear? They probably do, but it's likely they're not coming up on the first page of Google. They're possibly not even on the second page, either. That means it's more difficult for your potential customers to find you, and that's not good for your business.

The current state of real estate SERPs is a little disturbing. Large national brands are dominating the SERPs, keeping the smaller sites—like yours—pushed further down, where potential customers are unlikely to look. This is easily demonstrated by performing a simple search of your city followed by the phrase "real estate," as in "Chicago real estate."

We did just that for the top 50 metro areas in the United States (by population), and logged the first three pages of Google results. This is what we found:

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The Evolution of Search And The Demise of SEO

Written by The Professor

There is no question that search is evolving faster today than at anytime in the past seven years since Google rolled out it’s  “Big Daddy” infrastructure update. With Panda, Penguin and most recently, the EMD (exact match domain) Update, the search landscape has changed dramatically in the last two years. As a result, those voices foretelling the death of SEO have gotten louder.

There is something funny about these predictions, though. They are not new.

As far back as the pre-Google days of 1997, Richard Hoy wrote, “I submit that search engines are dying. In fact, I would say they are dead already and just don’t know it yet – gone the way of the reciprocal link exchange and the “you have a cool page” award as an effective promotional tool. A victim of their own success. “

Twelve years later, Robert Scoble stated“The writing is on the wall. Small business marketing is moving away from focusing on SEO. Why do I say that? Because, well, Google and Bing are changing the rules so often and are getting so good at figuring out the real businesses that deserve to be on pages.”

To which Danny Sullivan, who has been writing about search engines since 1995, wrote in his 2009 response to Scoble“if SEO hasn’t died in the 12 years since it was first predicted, it isn’t going away any time soon.”

Danny, of course, was right. Yes, the rules are changing quickly, but that doesn’t make SEO obsolete, on life support, or dead.

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Diverse Solutions vs Real Geeks IDX by Oklahoma City Broker

Written by Guest

Comparison by Brett Boone with the Brett Boone Real Estate Team

I was using Diverse Solutions as my IDX for my website and no matter how hard my SEO/Adwords guy worked, our average conversion rate was 3%. After dumping thousands and thousands of dollars more into the system I was paying around $60-$70 per lead! I was furious and loosing money. A change had to be made! My marketing guy and I did a ton of research and Real Geeks kept coming up.

As soon as Real Geeks's IDX solution was in place, without changing a single ad words campaign or spending 1 penny more, our conversion jumped to 13.5% (450% increase) and has held steady ever since. I'm went from 100 leads per month to over 400 with the same traffic to the site with the same adwords campaign and the same money! The ONLY difference was the Real Geeks IDX.

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Wordpress VS Real Geeks Real Estate Websites by Myrtle Beach Broker

Written by Guest

Comparison by Darren Woodard from Beach Realty Group

For 6 years now, we at Beach Realty Group in Myrtle Beach have tried many CMS solutions like Wordpress and Joomla, and none of these platforms delivered the content and images as quickly and consistently as Real Geeks. Our time on site has doubled and load times have decreased significantly. Real Geeks offers the easiest to use WYSIWYG editor for adding content, and the easiest listing generator for placing your featured properties on a web page. It was extremely easy to transfer our content from Wordpress over to the Real Geeks platform. We found these sites so easy that we transferred over both of our Wordpress websites: Myrtle Beach Homes Online.com and Myrtle Beach Real Estate For Sale Online.com.

Not only have we found the content management of Real Geeks to be top notch, we have also discovered quickly the power of the site to rank higher in the search engines. For years we’ve been spoiled by high rankings in the Myrtle Beach area, and could feel the competitors in our area putting the squeeze on us. Our rankings have spiked in the search engines after having the Real Geeks websites for only two months. We contribute the bump to faster sites with cleaner designs, both of which contribute to more time on site. The Real Geeks system generates more leads for our company than any other platform we have tried.  Real Geeks offers the best solution out there for a real estate website.

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Real Geeks vs 1parkplace by San Diego Real Estate Broker

Written by Guest

"We used to have 1parkplace for our IDX and we became dissatisfied with the level of support and quality of leads. After countless hours of research, comparing IDX vendors and running focus groups with our past clients we decided Real Geeks was the best IDX on the market and signed up right away. I was blown away to see that we have been receiving 300-400% more leads than our old IDX. We celebrated our first closing from our Real geeks site after only 28 days from the site going live! On day 36 we took our first listing.
 
The benefits of this product extend way beyond the leads. The website is easy to set up, simple to maintain and the weekly training provided by Jeff and Kevin is five star. All this for less than $500 to start up? Talk about major ROI. What a deal! If your are considering signing up for Real Geeks stop considering and sign up today. It's the best IDX on the market at the best price. Check Google, the results speak for themselves."
 
-          Andrew Arroyo
www.HomesForSaleSanDiegoRealEstate.com

A Look at Google Panda Update One Year later

Written by The Professor

Google Panda Update 1 Year Later by Blueglass

About 1 year ago Google implemented its “Panda Update” to clean up their search results and get rid of low quality and thin content. They want higher quality content with higher user engagement at the top of their search results. I have posted an Infographic written by Search Engine Land designed by Blueglass that shows the timeline over view of the Panda 1.0 – 3.2 Updates.

I would recommend reading the Blueglass blog along with Search engine land for more in depth analyses of the Panda Update.

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Real Geeks vs Tiger Leads by Sarasota Real Estate Broker

Written by Guest

I began into the online lead generation arena with a group who used Tiger Leads.  When I started looking for my own solution, I looked at them as well for an IDX solution for my real estate business.  I quickly found that the users of this system are exclusive to one single area.  I was able to speak with a couple of users and discovered the costs were described as “big as a mortgage payment.”   I believe this is due in part to their reliance on pay-per-click for leads.  I knew my long-term objective was not to be stuck paying for leads forever.
 
The Sarasota Real Estate  market is made up in large part by second home owners and retirees.   A strong internet presence is essential to survive in this market as most buyers begin their search at home up north.   After I considered 11 different popular IDX solutions, and one failed start, I got the keys to my Real Geeks website in November of 2010.  I liked the look and feel of the other Real Geeks sites Jeff had me look at.  I also liked the idea that the developers of this system used their own platform in their own real estate business.  I had what I felt was custom work being done by Jeff and the programmers to accommodate my needs for my website.  Some of the work was tedious and took quite a bit of time.  I know they must have had other customers but it sure didn’t feel like it!
 
My website started from zero presence on the Internet to generating 867 leads in the first year.  The organic traffic picked up enough that we stopped using PPC for the most part in April.  I am in the process of bringing in agents to handle the surge of leads we have been getting over the past several months.  Yes, we are buried in leads and they just keep coming!
 
I highly recommend the Real Geeks platform to anyone wanting a generate quality leads.  Don’t just take my word for it, last week one customer commented that “Your website is one of the best out there by the way.”
 
Written by
Broker
Sarasota Real Estate Group

 

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Real Geeks New Site Design

Written by Jeff

We are really excited to launch our new company website.  This new design is long overdue! We had been too busy improving our IDX solution and adding new features and enhancements to worry about our own site.

One of the main reasons for finally doing this is to help communicate with our customers. We look forward to providing tips, marketing ideas, and ways to drive traffic to help our customers convert more business to help their bottom line.

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