Groups are smaller communities within the larger ActiveRain. Join groups created by others. or start your own and
get others to join
This is the place to view the past and present contests put on by ActiveRain and its members. Everyone can join the
group and help encourage each other. Current contest will be highlighted posts so it's easy for you all to see. Let it
Curious as to what others in your profession think about a certain product or tool?
AR's community takes the time to leave honest and transparent reviews of their experiences
so you can be a bit wiser about your purchase.
Broken down by categories and subcategories for easy finds
Get an unfiltered look at what real users are saying
Leave a review yourself for others to benefit from
Add new products as you use them and gain points for doing so
ActiveRain University (ARU) provides free on-line training. We coach, consult and support real estate professionals about real estate trends, technology and social media.
ARU Calendar provides class types and registration links
Watch short tutorials on updating your photo, inserting a hyperlink and much more
Sign up for the Daily Drop so you don't miss out on AR's daily happenings
Find answers to most FAQ's
Whatever it is you're into and wherever you are, AR surely has a group for you to join.
Brand, off the wall, specific subject matters…whatever it is you're looking for.
Each time you write a post you can syndicate your post to 5 groups.
And if by chance you don't find what you're looking for, start a new group today!
Get your content in front of more eyes
Search by location or type
Feel free to start your own group
Find some that are close to home and close to heart
Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
that will boost their business and increase their visibility in the community and beyond.
Earn points by partaking in these contest and climb the leaderboard
Do what's good for you and your business by participating
If you have an idea for a contest, just let us know
Stay motivated and on track with new contests popping up each month
Ask a Real Estate Question
Here's another avenue for you to build relationships with others. Share your expertise with someone searching for answers.
Play the teacher role and help someone out today
Your Homepage will alert you of new questions in your state
A wonderful way to open a door to a possible new client
Ask a question yourself to get help
These state pages or hyper-local pages provide content directly related to a specific geographical location.
State, County, City and Neighborhood pages make it easy for consumers to find what they're looking for.
Post your listings, school information, local events, market reports and more
Consumers peruse these pages for information
Farm your niche market and cover all the happenings in your neighborhood
Not wanting to get ahead of myself, I thought I'd start with an overview of what is SEO in the context of blogging. Of course, I look forward to going into more detail in the future, but we gotta start somewhere, so might as well start right at the beginning! ;)
There are as many ways to understand optimizing your website as there are SEO "experts"... In many ways, good SEO is a science, while great SEO is an art. However, before you become an SEO Artist, you got start with a "good" solid foundation... With that in mind, here's the anatomy of blogging SEO:
On the highest level, good SEO strategy focuses both on the stuff you can do on your site (on-site SEO) and the stuff you can do elsewhere on the web that affects how your website ranks (off-site SEO).
On-site SEO includes things like the articles you write, the titles you use, the tags you create for the post, and the page (or URL) structure you use for your site. But here's where blogging really helps! When you blog about stuff relevant to your market, the most important elements of your on-site SEO take care of themselves! No kidding. Blog platforms like ActiveRain and WordPress doing a great job optimizing your page/URL structure, metatags, etc. As long as you write relevant content then much of your on-site SeO takes care of itself. Of course, you could always improve your content, and you will with experience, but in terms of generating traffic and clients, you really should be focusing on off-site SEO....
Off-site SEO is all the stuff that happens elsewhere on the web that links back to your site... And this is the money stuff! If you have to focus anywhere with your SEO efforts... as a new blogger you want to focus on ways to generate more quality inbound links! But before I got deeper, I should probably give some background on the three most relevant terms.
Off-site SEO Terminology:
Inbound Links. In SEO circles, we often talk about "inbound" links because those are what can really help your site's ranking. But in reality, every link is both an "inbound" and an "outbound" link. The term you use really depends on your perspective. For example, when I link to this post about affiliate marketing on 4realz.net, it's an "outbound" link from this ActiveRain blog and in "inbound" link to 4realz.net.
Anchor Text. This is simply the text you use when you link to another site. In the above link, the words "affiliate marketing" are the anchor text.
No-follow link. Because of all the link gaming that was going on around the web, google created a concept of a "no follow" link. This allows website owners (i.e. bloggers) to link out to another site without passing that site any of the SEO benefits (often called "google juice") to the other site. For new bloggers, the most common place you'll see "no follow" tags are in the comments of blog posts. In practice, this means that if you put a link in a comment on most blogs (including all activerain blogs!), then a "no follow" tag is added to your link that takes away the SEO value of that link. The result is that if you're going to link to another website in a blog comment, do it because you think it will add value to the conversation, not because you think it's going to help you off-site SEO!
Traditionally, when real estate agents wanted to get inbound links to their site, they joined directories, where they could get one big fat link back to their homepage. However, from the search engines point of view, many of these directory links were pretty poor quality because often the only requirment to get listed was that you paid the appropriate listing fee. The result is that the search engines have severly discounted the value of directory links (and links to your homepage in general), so that it takes a lot more than getting yourself listed in directories to get your website to rank for most real estate terms.
What is a "quality inbound link" and how do you get them to your website?
The concept of "quality" links is something I'm going to save for another post, but here's some backgrond on how to get them to your site.
As real estate blogs have earned the trust of the search engines over the past few years, they've become one of the fastest and most common ways to get quality inbound links... The result is that the easiest way to get your blog to rank quickly is to reach out to other bloggers. I've seen lots of people find success by linking out to other bloggers, leaving comments on their site, bonding with bloggers on social networks and (sometimes) directly reaching out to them via email and phone calls. Once you've bonded with a blogger, my experience has been that good bloggers will look for ways to link out to you!
The great news about this kind of SEO (i.e. reaching out to bloggers) is that it's pretty timeless. This type of strategy has been working since the begining of google and I've been teaching this for years (see my post on the importance of linkation for an example post from December 2005)
There's so much more to be said about generating quality inbound links, but before I go there, I think I'll save some of the details for another post. In the meantime, if you really want to dive a bit deeper, check out my post on getting SEO value out of your social media efforts...
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.