Blog

Foreclosures added to NWMLS Search

The interactive map search on GraphiclaData websites for the NWMLS now includes the ability to search for bank owned and short sale properties. Additional fields have been added into the search criteria which makes this an easy feature for visitors to use.

The NWMLS search now joins  other MLS areas having comparable foreclosure searches which we also service including Las Vegas, Phoenix, and SoCal areas.

Note: For us to include these fields into our GraphicalData MLS IDX search, they must first be provided by your local MLS as data that we are allowed to sweep. If it is not available from an MLS, then we are unable to provide it.

Call To Action!

We all know that whether we mail out printed promotional materials, or someone visits our website, we need a “call to action”.

A GraphicalData website is full of lead generation tools that encourage your visitors to contact you. And that’s a good thing. But, as an individual agent, you can can go even further in customizing your website even further and optimizing it for generating inquiries.

If you develop a unique section on your site that displays your expertise in that venue, then follow it up with a sentence such as “For more information on this subject, feel free to contact me at 206-692-1234 or email me.”

Another solution would be to add a page of beneficial content, and then to add “If I can be of assistance on this subject, contact me:”. Then add the general comment form onto this same page beneath the content and the assistance line. The end result…creating a page of information with a convenient response form that your visitor can easily use to contact you.

In any event, as you custom out your site to better fit you and your real estate practices and goals, you can add easy “call to actions” to just about any page…or provide a link to your main contact form from any page.

Of course, if you do not feel comfortable in adding additional content yourself, call or send an email, and we would be happy to add this type of content…or assist you how to do so.

Google Caffein – Coming Soon To A Website Near You

Google is in the process of preparing a new update to its algorithm that is used for ranking websites. It looks like it will be dubbed with the title of “Google Caffein”.

To rank well, it still comes down to each website having fresh content added on a regular basis and encouraging other sites to link to your website. However, more emphasis will apparently be placed on using social media, online videos and a well built website.

More attention will also be paid to certain ranking factors such as “clean code”, “page load time” (or site speed), “broken links” and the like. Over-all quality will now play a greater roll than in the past.

Search engines folks like Google do not normally go out of their way to share the specifics of their “magic formulas” that rank websites, so we do the best we can to determine what is there and what makes them happiest. What we do know is that the web itself continues to evolve, and so must we all.

The good news is that GraphicalData websites are by default search engine friendly. What should you do? You need to SEO (search engine optimize) your website for your area and real estate niche — or have someone do it for you. The underlying core criteria we use when we optimize a website takes advantage of the new power that Google will place under the hood of its overhauled engine. If you need assistance in optimizing your GraphicalData website feel free to contact us today.

Search Engine Optimization

We have posted numerous articles about search engine optimization (SEO) over the years. Many techniques that were relevant 10 years ago are not today. In fact, many search engines that were around in the ’90’s no longer exist for all practical purposes.

Some of the underlying basics do remain the same, and that is what many of our posts have been about, so I would encourage you to dig back into the archives . . . or search for seo and search engine optimization to pull them up.

You can view this article on search engine optimization for some general information as well.

If you do have a GraphicalData website, and are not ranking as well as you might like, give us a call or email . . . we have a great history of understanding what it takes to help real estate websites rise to the top.

Stay tuned . . . next article we will discuss some of the newer criteria that Google has indicated that they implement this year.

Website Movie & PDF Tutorials

Have you visited the “Help” module in your GraphicalData Admin Center? There are many topics from basic web page building, to activating your blog, to adding Google Analytics to your website.

Log into your admin center and then click through to your Website tab. On the  side of your screen you will see the Help icon. Click on it to access the help section. You will find movie tutorials, instructional PDF’s, FAQ’s, and more.

This help section is designed specifically to provide you with the assistance you need to build out and manage your website.

If you need assistance even after watching/reading these tutorials, feel free to contact our client support during normal business hours.

Add Virtual Media & Photo Galleries to Your Website

Studies show that visitors appreciate additional property photos and virtual tours.

Fortunately your GraphicalData website allows for Photo Galleries and any other Virtual Tours that are hosted elsewhere to be added by you to your listings.

If you have not added a Photo Gallery or virtual tour to your listings before, here is a quick 1-2-3 on adding a tour:

  • Sign into your admin center, select “Listing” >>> “Inventory” and then “View” the listing to which you would like to add your media.
  • Select “Virtual Tours” within this listing, and add your photo gallery/virtual tour/media link to the “Tour Link” field. You actually have the opportunity to add up to 3 different media links to each listing.

These links will then show on your actual listing each time a visitor views it in your site, as well as every site utilizing the GraphicalData database.

Good SEO Guidelines – Don’t Make Search Engines Mad

Search engines have guidelines in place to prevent the unfair manipulation of search engine rankings. These guidelines, or algorithms, are modified on an ongoing basis by the search engines as new deceptive practices are discovered (and as they find better ways to rank websites for users). If undesirable tactics are used on a website, it can actually result in being dropped from the rankings of a search engine…or certainly lowered in rankings.

If your site is banned or dropped from the search engine rankings, it can certainly have a negative impact on your website traffic, online sales generation and site popularity.

Read this article if you would like tips in avoiding making the search engines unhappy with your website.

[Note: Most of these points are big time baddies…a couple reflect just good practice to avoid…unless there is a good reason to do otherwise.]

Need a Blog . . . Your GraphicalData Website Has One!

GraphicalData clients can easily add a Blog to their website . . . and at no additional cost!

The option of adding a Blog to your website should appear in the lower left side navigation when editing your website within the Website section of your admin center. It is entitled “Website Blog” with a blue and green “bubble” icon beside it. Just click to pull up your Blog, and get to know it. You will complete some simple set-up options . . . and then go ahead and create your Blog post.

Need help? Select the help section and find video tutorials showing how to start your Blog, and posting your first entry.

Once you have played around a bit you will see what an easy environment it is to work in . . .

Due to the fact that some GraphicalData clients have custom website designs, or have done extensive content editing, some may need a tweak from our end. If after creating an entry and viewing it, you find the layout looks strange, please email: support@graphicaldata.com with a link to your blog, and we will review it.

“Page Building 101” For Your GraphicalData Website

Learn how to  build a page on you GraphicalData website.  This class will cover how to  build a page in detail and will also include adding many different  features to that page.  Upon completing this webinar, you will fully  understand all aspects of building a page and should feel confident to  begin building many more pages on your site.

This class is scheduled for 2 hours, however the instruction should  be completed within 1-1/2 hours and then there will be time for  questions and answer.  Subscribe here for this webinar that will assist you in “growing” and understanding your website.

New Website Styles Available

Sometimes it is easy to have a website and get so busy with other matters that we do not keep it fresh and updated. If you have had your GraphicalData website for a few years now, and have not updated it recently, now could be a good time to do some “Spring Cleaning”.

Review some of the many newer styles available for your website — both vertical and horizontal navigation — and in the various color schemes available. These are found in the website section under the category of “Website Design & Style”. From there select the vertical or horizontal options and then review the available styles. One big note here . . . if you have more than 7 or 8 buttons on your current vertical navigation arrangement, then the horizontal may not be for you . . . as you will not have enough horizontal space to accommodate all of your button/pages in that direction. If this should be the case, you may be better served by staying with a vertical nav style.

If you should need help, please review the movie tutorial for this topic in the help section, and contact customer support if needed.