Blog

Don’t Be Left In The Dark

Have you ever been unpleasantly surprised by a glitch in your GraphicalData products or service? Sometimes changes happen and we have to react. But while we’re working to fix things, you might see odd behavior from your IDX feed, your website, or the gdWorkSpace.

Stay up to date with development updates, MLS outages, and other unexpected interruptions.  We’ll even let you know if we find a work-around for a common support issue. Where, you ask? In the Dashboard System Alerts.

Look for it in the center-left of your Dashboard for the latest announcements from our development and support staff.

FlyerMaker in Internet Explorer

If you’re using the Internet Explorer (IE) browser, flyer changes may not be saved properly. We are working to fix this, but in the mean time use this work-around when editing and saving changes to a flyer.

With your IE browser window open, click on ‘Tools’ next to ‘Favorites’ in the browser navigation bar. Select ‘Internet Options’. In the 2nd section down you will see ‘Browsing History’, click on delete. This will bring up another box, and the first option you will see is ‘Temporary Internet Files’. Click on ‘Delete Files’, then click ‘Yes’ in the confirmation box.

Your cache will be cleared, and the saved flyer will be visible.

Virtual Media & Photo Galleries Now Swept From NWMLS

Recently new fields were added into the NWMLS data that IDX providers sweep to acquire listing information. In addition to the newer foreclosure fields, we are now able to sweep Photo Galleries that agents have added to their listing in this specific MLS.

Most photo galleries should sweep in automatically. If for some reason one fails to sweep in, you are able to add it manually via the listings section tab in your admin center. Merely copy the address link of your photo gallery, wherever it may be hosted, and then paste it into the appropriate listing.

If you need help on this feature, contact our customer support for assistance.

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.]