Image placement on your blog or website to achieve a higher ranking with Google and the search engines.
Have we been doing it wrong all along?
Whenever you set up a page on your website, post a new blog page, or any other web content, you probably add a bunch of text but then make sure to include an image.
In fact, the image usually goes in the top left of the page, with the text wrapping around it.
While this may look great aesthetically, it’s actually the wrong way from an SEO standpoint.
For those of you who don’t know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and refers to best practices for how you can rank higher with Google and the other search engines.
Here’s why an image first thing and top left it incorrect.
Google’s “Spiders” comb through billions of websites, scanning, reading, cataloging, and indexing information, and then spitting out their search rankings based on an algorithm with hundreds of thousands of factors.
We also know that Google’s Spiders read web pages just like people do: from top to bottom and from left to right.
However, when Google starts to read your website and the first thing they index is an image, they may get an incomplete, inconclusive, inaccurate, or just less than ideal reading of what your website is all about.
That image could potentially keep you from achieving the higher ranking you really want.
So, there are three ways to optimize for image placement and make sure that you give Google’s Spiders what they want:
Want an example of proper image placement? Look at where I placed the image on the second paragraph in this blog!
Drop me a line if you have any questions about how to properly label your images, image placement to maximize SEO, and marketing that will help you get more clients!
Go get 'em!
Instagram marketing for mortgage brokers and lenders; 8 Reasons mortgage pros need to be on the world's fastest-growing social media platform.
Here are 8 reasons mortgage professionals should be marketing on Instagram, the world's fastest-growing social media platform:
Facebook may still be the world’s most popular social media platform, but Instagram isn’t far behind—and ready to take top honors very soon. In fact, Instagram has passed the one billion user mark this year - more than twice the number of monthly active Twitter users.
Instagram is also a terrific resource for mortgage brokers and loan officers who are looking to gain a bigger client base, connect with Realtors for more referral business, and close far more deals this year (and who among us isn’t looking for that?!)
Here are 8 reasons why every smart mortgage professional and loan officers should have a business profile on Instagram:
1. Connect with a huge number of Realtors on Instagram and expand your referral business!
Refinances are great when rates drop to historical lows for years on end, but seasoned mortgage professionals understand that's an anomaly – not something to build your career on. Instead, the rock-solid, recession-proof cornerstone of any loan officer’s business is purchase loan business, which means referrals from our Realtor friends.
And there’s no better place to network with a huge number of Realtors than Instagram. In fact, every day on Instagram you can easily find Realtors doing business in your area, connect with them, demonstrate your value with great content and resources, and form a professional relationship.
Smart mortgage pros can even piggyback on established organizations like the California Association of Realtors, etc. on IG. No matter what your marketing focus, you can grow your audience far more efficiently than through Facebook alone.
2. Reach the demographic of today’s (and tomorrow’s!) homebuyer.
Homebuyers (who need purchase loans then refinances) are trending younger in a big way, and Instagram is their social media of choice. For instance, 68% of today’s homebuyers are under the age of 39, and that number will increase even more in coming years as Gen Y enters the workforce and is ready to buy. Additionally, 59% of 18-29 year-olds use Instagram, and many say it's the most important platform in their lives.
3. Plenty of creative marketing options with photos and videos.
Of course, Instagram features photos and videos, which makes it seem like it's perfect for marketing real estate. But mortgage brokers can have fun, too, with endless options of photos and videos that get attention and expand their sphere of influence. Charts, graphs, refinance illustrations, rent vs. buy projections, special offers like no-money-down financing, photos with business partners, resources for Realtors, and market updates are examples of perfect content for lenders to share.
Also, don’t be afraid to turn on the camera and video yourself breaking down some mortgage education. In fact, Instagram videos receive 200% the level of engagement (clicks, likes, comments, shares, etc.) than photos or videos on any other social media platform. And their new platform, IGTV, let’s you post live videos up to an hour long and will eventually rival YouTube!
4. Instagram users won’t mind you advertising or marketing at all.
While users may get a little annoyed at all of the sponsored posts or ads on Facebook, YouTube, and others, studies show that they actually welcome marketing on Instagram!
Consider these statistics:
80% of Instagram users follow at least one company.
60% First are exposed to a product or service through Instagram.
At least 30% of Instagram users have purchased a product or signed up for a service that they found on the social media app!
In fact, 65% of the top-performing posts on Instagram feature products from companies and brands!
In that way, Instagram is a lot like a hybrid between Pinterest and Twitter than it is Facebook, and that’s GREAT news for mortgage pros who can offer their services boldly and unapologetically on Instagram!
5. Pinpoint your marketing locally with Instagram’s location-tagging feature.
Part of Instagram's utility for mortgage lenders comes from its unique geolocating feature, or Location Tagging. In a study of millions of individual photos and videos, researchers found that Instagram posts that were tagged for location received 79% more engagement than those without!
For the most part, lenders work in specific markets. For instance, they may only be able to issue mortgages in California, or a list of several states. They may want to target specific high-cost regions. Or, they may just want to work the city and neighborhood that they live in. You can do all of that with ease thanks to Instagram's geo-locating feature.
Not only can they target potential clients by location, but they can do the same with the Realtors they wish to do business with.
6. Easy to pinpoint your marketing and audience with hashtags.
Even better than just laser focusing our marketing with location tagging, Instagram’s utilization of hashtags allow lenders to connect with Realtors, homeowners, and homebuyers based on shared interests, products, organizations, trending topics, values, or even life experiences. In fact, posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than those without.
You’re allowed a whopping 30 hashtags on any Instagram photo or video (and there’s a great way to maximize all of those without just listing them all in your original post, keeping an organic appearance.) You can also tag other user accounts, which is a fantastic way to grow your following of Realtors quickly.
7. Less competition for mortgage brokers and lenders!
Mortgage professionals who start using Instagram to market their services have a HUGE leg up on their competition. Yes, there are almost 80 million Instagram users in the U.S. and 25 million businesses or brands, but ONLY 8 million business accounts. Likewise, only a small percentage of mortgage professionals have set up business accounts on Instagram and are marketing systematically, so you’re really missing out on a great opportunity if you don’t get on board!
8. Undervalued paid ads and boosted content.
Marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk recently named Instagram paid ads the most undervalued resource for advertisers anywhere on the web! In fact, mobile ad revenue through Insta is expected to hit $7 billion in 2018!
The relatively-new Instagram business profile also gives smart mortgage professionals a considerable advantage over just having a personal profile. Professionals can include their company name, phone number, and address, and also feature easy-to-use post boosting and targeted ads, as well as detailed analytics that allow you to refine your ad campaigns.
In summary, this year’s top-producing lender is starting to take Instagram seriously, today!
I’d love to tell you more and manage your mortgage Instagram marketing for guaranteed and affordable results!
Contact me for details.
These days, 95% of home buyers start the process by going online and searching through website listings. Of course, photos of the house are the first thing that jumps out at them, so the importance of having photographs taken by a professional cannot be understated.
In fact, in a recent survey, 73% of real estate brokers “felt passionate about the importance of using professional photography.” Homebuyers, too, are focused on the images they see on your website, social media, email or elsewhere, as 83% of home buyers rate photos of the properties as the most useful feature when shopping for a house.
According to comprehensive studies by the Wall Street Journal, home buyers spend about 60% of their total time researching a particular home just looking at the photos.
In fact, 83% of buyers surveyed said that great photos online were very important in their decision to purchase that home.
Listings with professional, high-quality photos see an incredible 4.7% higher offer price per square foot than those with lower quality, amateurish, or no photos at all.
MarketLeader.com reports that homes with professional photos sell for $19,000 than comparable homes without them on average.
In fact, professional-grade photos sell for 39% closer to the full listing price than those without.
Pro images will also help sell your clients’ homes 32% faster, with an average of 89 days on market compared to 123 DOM for homes without high-quality photos.
According to renowned national real estate website Redfin and others, homes with photos taken by experts get 118% more online views and 61% more buyer views and walk-throughs,
If you’re trying to grab a home buyers attention with just a text listing description, you have less than two seconds to “grab” them before they move on, but up to 20 seconds to engage and hold their interest with photos of the house.
Looking for more reason to have professional photos taken? The respect real estate resource Inman.com found that agents who regularly enlist the help of a skilled photographer for listing photos earn up to two times as much commission annually as those who don’t!
Despite the advantages (and additional income) using images by accomplished photographers bring, still only 35% of Realtors hire someone to take their listing photos. In fact, only 15% of all listings – about 1 in 7 – feature high-quality photos at all.
This will blow you away: Even approximately 50% of $1 million home sale listings don’t have professional photos!
However, data also points to a diminishing return for professional photos as the price of the home drops. For instance, there’s only a negligible benefit to high-quality photos for homes listed below $300,000 in most markets.
In fact, as we move up from $300k to listings in the $400,000 to $500,000 range, these homes sell 18% faster with high-quality photos taken by an accomplished pro.
With the obvious benefits to enlisting a professional photographer to take listing photos – especially on higher-end homes for sale, why aren’t more Realtors using this resource? In fact, some surveys estimate that only 32% of real estate agents market their listings with professional images.
If you've been in business longer than a week, then you realize just how fierce your competition is. In fact, there are about 2 million real estate licenses issued throughout the United States. Of course, not all of those licensees may be actively selling real estate, or in your area, but no matter how you slice it, that’s a lot of home sales professionals.
However, there were only about 5.5 million residential home sales in 2017, which comes to only 2.75 transactions per real estate licensee. Needless to say, there’s A LOT of competition for listings!
And my point is that utilizing a professional photographer on your team will only enhance your value to your clients (something to feature in your listing presentation, including using a lot of these statistics), separate yourself from the competition, and earn you more deals – and commissions.
It’s also a great way to transition into specializing in selling higher-end or luxury homes or in more affluent neighborhoods.
A professional photographer will do a lot more than just snap a few nice shots. They'll maximize the space, knowing precisely which angles to employ, make sure the lighting is perfect, and allow the house to look its absolute best (or better!). They can edit extensively and resize photos, so they're formatted correctly for web viewing, MLS posting, or email.
Most photographers also can help you set up marketing brochures and visuals, and many offer virtual tours via video.
In fact, 73% of homeowners report that they’re more likely to list their home with a Realtor who offers video marketing, yet only 12% of the real estate industry currently have YouTube accounts!
For those luxury or special listings, drone photography and videography can instantly springboard a listing to the top of online searches, too.
And don’t forget that a professional photographer can highlight the most important part of your brand – YOU! There’s no better and more effective way to convey professionalism, warmth, character, leadership, and even energy than with a new business photo shoot!