Digital Marketing Strategist specializing in Search and Social

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Lori Ballen, Digital Marketing Strategist, Real Estate Business Owner, Creator of The Ballen Method, Speaker/Trainer

43 Lessons You Wish You Would Have Learned in Real Estate School PDF to Print and Share

Lori’s ‘MUST KNOW’ for SEO in 2015


      1. Write on a topic, not keywords. Don’t stuff keywords. Instead, write naturally and allow yourself to cover a topic. Google reads topic now not just individual keywords. Better to say a keyword several different ways than one way again and again. Don’t focus on keyword density. Those days are gone. Instead, focus on quality content built around a topic. I still suggest researching keywords but less for the keyword match and more for the opportunity.Related: SEO is more than Keyword Stuffing
      2. Do work that others won’t When you spend time doing work that others won’t, you find a niche. There’s really no ‘plug-in’ or easy drop down solution for creating quality, SEO driven, consumer friendly content. Are you a real estate agent? Don’t just syndicate your listings, create new pages, posts, and classified ads from scratch and watch how you take back your page one rankings, and your leads.Find opportunities in everyday discussions. Listen to your clients. What questions are they asking that you can answer in written form, or in video?When you fill a gap, you find business.Related: Customer Driven Marketing Strategy | Purpose Driven Content
      3. Get your Users to Engage In 2015, user engagement will rise to the top of search engine measures for how websites are ranked. Google is looking to provide a quality user experience and it believes (appropriately so) that the more the user engages (click, download, subscribe, register, print) etc. then the more valuable your website must be to that consumer. And the better Google delivers the right website to the right search query, the more that visitor will use Google keeping Google the top search engine.  I use to measure statistics like these. The day I start tracking a website, I note the existing user engagement and then set goals to increase it. I do this by adding more related articles, downloads, offers, invite comments and so on. The more actions they take, the more I’ll be rewarded in the search engines AND the more quality experience I’ve provided for my visitor. That’s a Win Win.Related: Using Clicky to Track Your Website Traffic


      1. Avoid high Bounce Rates When a visitor lands on your website, and then does nothing and leaves, it’s a bounce. They could spend 10 minutes reading an article, and still if they do nothing, it’s a bounce. They have to click somewhere that counts to eliminate a “bounce”. Google watches these bounce rates closely and has made it clear that in 2015, the higher the bounce rate, the more likely you are to rank low on the SERP’s (Search Engine Result Pages).  Again, using a tool like, I’m able to keep a dashboard open that shows my daily bounce per site at a glance. Using Google Analytics, I can drill down and look at my bounce rate per page and even sort highest to lowest so I know which pages I need to work on.
        Related: Improving your Bounce Rate 
      2. Use Long-Form Content It’s true that humans have a short attention span on the web. It’s also true that they will stay and read or browse what is valuable to them. Old school SEO taught us that 300-500 words in a blog post was plenty and any longer would be a “bore”.  Today’s web navigator is savvy and seeking something different. No longer fooled by the “quick tip” posts, they want quality advice they can’t find anywhere else. They want us to dig deep into topics and enlighten them on our expertise. 1500 + pages and posts are suggested as we move through 2015. If you really think about, what are you really giving them in less than 1500 words that isn’t “canned” content or something they can get on every other website like yours? If you can’t think of 1500 words, talk instead.

        Simply record yourself talking. You can probably say 1500 words in 2 minutes if it’s a subject you know about. Talk about your professions, things you run into every day, problems you’ve solved, advice you would give to someone looking for a professional like you. Then send your recording over to a site like and have it transcribed. That transcript is now your blog and I bet exceeds 1500 words.Another way to get more words on a page is to divide it up into projects. An example might be for a Realtor® who wants to create a seller tips page for getting the most amount of money for their home. Week 1, write 500 words on staging. Week 2, add to that same page and write 500 words on basic home repairs. Week 3 talk about the best time to sell. Week 4, add another 500 words on selling a home with pets. This can go on and on. Soon, you have a 5000 word page that when saved to a PDF makes a Free Seller e-book you can give away on your site.As a bonus, Take each of those 500 word posts, and make them a Facebook post and watch what happens! People love tips that are “meaty” and not links.
        Related: The Key to great SEO.. Quality over Quantity


      3. Focus on the Long-Tail 80% of search queries are long-tail keywords and are unique, never been typed phrases. Want a good laugh? Take a look at your Clicky Keywords (Unique) and look at what people are typing in. It will blow your mind. Long-tail basically means 3 or more words put together to make a new keyword phrase. Read the article below for more.

        Related: Long tail keywords for SEO and Online Marketing.

      4. Get your Website Mobile Responsive It’s 2015. Mobile matters. If you are watching your analytics on Clicky or Google Analytics or another tool, and see how people are finding your site, you can view desktop visitors vs. mobile visitors and most of us have seen mobile pass our desktop visitors. Your website must be mobile friendly now. This means your website adjusts to the smartphone or tablet and shows in a compressed version friendly to that mobile device. This is called “responsive”. Google has loudly exclaimed that non-mobile sites run the risk of being completely de-ranked. Switch platforms now or do what it takes to get your site responsive. It matters.

        Related: What Google Will be looking for and ranking by in 2015

      5. Connect Socially Social signals will play a large role moving through 2015 where it comes to search engine rankings. The search engines are listening for social signals which include links to your site from social sites, brand mentions, and traffic. I can get a blog post to rank in hours on page one if I get enough traffic from the post on a site like Facebook. Set your social media up to perform at a high level this year. It’s going to matter.

        Related: Make Managing Your Social Media Acounts Easier with Sprout SocialUsing Social Media to Expand Your Blog’s Reach

        Click to view Lori’s Speaking Schedule

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