post

5 Secrets to Better Search with Google

“Google it”…that’s what we do when we need more information? Whether we’re looking for directions or real estate property; Google is often the first place we start. ?But are you searching effectively? I love having the power to find exactly what I need-when I need it! So I thought I would pass along a few of my favorite search tips.

1. Site Search
Having a tough time finding what you are looking for on a particular site? If they don’t have a search you can use Google. Try searching for a keyword only on that domain. See example:

Use this format: Phrase or Keyword site:domain

Here is?an example search:

Paperless?site:MyTechOpinion.com

[Hint: If you are still having trouble finding the phase you searched on a particular site? Try using Google Cached version. It will highlight your search phrase or keyword.]

2. File Types

Outside of standard web documents, Google searches many other popular file formats. To restrict your next Google search to a specific file type, try this format. Start by searching your brand or name. You may find other people talking about your business in PDF, PS, PPT, etc..?

Use this format: “Search Phrase” filetype:extension

Here is?an example search:

“Marketing Tips” filetype:pdf

Here are the file formats Google provides. Try running your search against:

  • Adobe Portable Document Format (pdf)
  • Adobe PostScript (ps)
  • Lotus 1-2-3 (wk1, wk2, wk3, wk4, wk5, wki, wks, wku)
  • Lotus WordPro (lwp)
  • MacWrite (mw)
  • Microsoft Excel (xls)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (ppt)
  • Microsoft Word (doc)
  • Microsoft Works (wks, wps, wdb)
  • Microsoft Write (wri)
  • Rich Text Format (rtf)
  • Shockwave Flash (swf)
  • Text (ans, txt)

3. Search by Number
Waiting for your new sign rider to be delivered? Do you have a tracking number? Let’s head to Google. Yes, Google will let us [Read more…]

post

Save Money On Your Technology Purchases

I am what you might call a “bargain hopper”. It gives me great pleasure in knowing that I purchased something at the lowest possible price.

The slowing of the real estate market and the economy as a whole has made everyone a bit more frugal and willing to go to a bit more effort to find a great deal.

Allow me to show you a few tricks to saving money while still keeping on top of the latest real estate technology.

Discounts on Computers

First of all, never pay full price on a computer. In fact, don’t even settle for a sale price. A simple Google search and a bit of good timing can save you so much more money.

When making an online purchase, have you seen [Read more…]

post

8 ways analytics software will help build a broader audience

Analytics software displays details about your visitors that can greatly help you both retain current visitors and gain new visitors. These metrics can also help you identify previously unnoticed website trends. But what metric is best for your real estate blog? This is where many real estate agents get stuck. My advice is to ask yourself a few questions that you would like answered by your analytics data.
Here are 8 useful metrics that I watch on a regular basis:
  1. Unique Visitor Tracking: Visitors are a good way of tracking your website or blog traffic. So Unique Visitors are a great way of monitoring new traffic. You will be looking for your monthly number of unique visitors to trend upwards month after month.
  2. Referring URL?s: I absolutely love this feature of analytics software. In my opinion Clicky is the best at giving me complete URL?s for referring pages. This data is extremely useful when tracking marketing campaigns for your listings, blog interviews, carnivals and lots more. You can see a specific number of unique visitors that came from a particular page or domain.
  3. Searches & Keywords: Knowing what your website / blog visitors are searching to find you is very useful. Think of viewing your visitors search terms as understanding their goal in coming to your website. Gold mine! You?ll understand the content that is working so you can write more in that area.Also use the searched terms provided by your analytics software to track the effectiveness of your optimization strategies. Say your primary search term is ?Dublin Ca Real Estate.? Analytics software will help you identify whether or not any searchers are finding you with those search terms. If you see they are not, you can increase your keyword density around those words.
  4. Outgoing Clicks or Exit: Understanding where your visitors are leaving your site is important. Did they leave because they were uninterested, confused, or just because they didn?t want to proceed the way you were offering? Based off your exit page stats you can make adjustments to slow abandonment rates. For example you may learn that users are getting to your IDX MLS search but you require sign-in. The website visitors are leaving your search tool, looking for another site without registration. A simple fix may be to move the registration, and give more information upfront.
  5. Screen Resolution, Browser etc: When first developing your website / blog you probably didn?t know a lot about your potential readers screen resolution. So you had to build your layout based on what little information you had available. However with analytics software you can track your visitors screen resolution. How many visitors have resolution lower than your site width can fit? If it?s a big segment you may want to redesign to stop unneeded scrolling.
  6. Filter Viewers: As you take a closer look at particular characteristics of your visitors, you may have the need to segment your results. This is where Filters come in. Filter only users of a particular Web browser, Country, or even referrer domain. Maybe you want to filter out a specific IP address of your work? By eliminating those visits you gain a deeper understanding of your true visitor count.
  7. Bounce Rate: If the bounce rate is high, you may need to tailor that page better?maybe redisplay the content. You may also look at the referrer URL and compare bounce rates. Are some traffic sources higher quality? If so, you can focus on gaining more traffic from those referrers.
  8. Site Overlay: Google, CrazyEgg and a few others provide the ability to overlay your metrics on your website / blog to see exactly where users are clicking. Wouldn?t it be powerful to understand how Digg users are interacting with your site compared to StumbleUpon users? How about Google search traffic, how do they interact with your site compared to Yahoo search traffic?
post

Google Business Search for Real Estate

Google Search for your real estate website your way?branded and ad free. That?s the latest technology offering from Google. Real estate agents have a new tool for their site search of their blog or website. Google has now improved their Custom Search Engine with a business twist. This new Google search goes by the name Custom Search Business Edition.
The business edition includes the following features:
  • Place your logo next to the search to fully brand the search.
  • Ad-words are turned off so you don?t lose traffic to catchy advertisers.
  • Search results can be delivered through an XML feed for complete merge with your design.
  • Place a specific page above the organic search results for maximum exposure.
  • Labels to guide users to search a generic term for channeling website visitors.
  • Search multiple domains to bridge the gap of content between your blog and website.

Ok, so how much? Google price for the useful technology is $100 per year for websites with less than 5,000 pages. Websites between 5,000 and 50,000 the cost will be $500 per year.

The bottomline in my opinion is that Google search obviously works quickly and with great results. So, you?ll benefit by merging their search technology in with your real estate content and design for maximum appeal to your website visitors.

Take a look at this 2 minute overview of the Custom Search Business Edition.

post

FREE Google Maps for your Mobile Device

If you are like me, you depend on your smart phone for so many things. Well now you can add detailed directions and real-time traffic to the list. That?s right, Google Mobile offers those services and much more such as Gmail, Google News, Google Search, SMS and Blogger access. See the full set of free offerings here. These tools have the same simplistic approach we typically see from Google, but now accessible on the go. If you?re curious whether your device is compatible, check out Google?s list of compatible devices.

To get started, visit http://mobile.google.com/ on your compatible phone.