PubCon 2015: Preliminary Thoughts
October is just around the corner, and even though I’m on a flight to Orlando at the moment, planning for Las Vegas Pubcon 2015 has already begun. Looking back at all the PubCon trips, this marks my 4th visit to this particular conference, it is tough know what courses will be available and what their respective timeslots will allow me to take in. Right now, my preliminary thoughts center around community growth and engagement and below is what is currently going on with the real estate websites, real estate social media, real estate video SEO, and the marijuana/weed business.
Real Estate Websites
At the end of 2013, it was decided that we’d migrate from self hosted WordPress sites to a stand alone, real estate centric, host who understands the individual needs of real estate brokers, real estate CRMs, lead generation and management, as well as SEO and marketing. For these sites, BarnettAssociates.net in particular, the website’s framework is built by the host yet the original content and site organization has to be built by the website owner – myself.
I’m going to digress a bit. Back in 2013 our WordPress site was hacked and our 7 years of original local content was all deleted otherwise the website page and post count would be far higher.
Since the rebuild, BarnettAssociates.net has over 600 city and neighborhood/community pages (landing pages) to draw in organic traffic as well as nearly 100 blog posts on statistics, trends, and other local info. The plan is to further finished the city/community pages and here are examples of progress.
Finished Example: http://www.barnettassociates.net/mill-creek/mill-creek-country-club-real-estate/
Unfinished Example: http://www.barnettassociates.net/snohomish/three-lakes-real-estate/
The unfinished pages need the Home, Foreclosure, and Short Sale buttons added to the text body, the side bar quick-search pages have to be completed, and the pages all have to be re-indexed to show their new content. All these pages already have their meta title, description, keywords (which are used much anymore yet cannot hurt), and URL structure completed, so the grunt work is done.
This site’s blog is still active yet receives no comment engagement; though in the social media they do (i.e. Facebook comments). As much as I’ve tried over the years, its been difficult creating a active community which folks want and choose to participate on.
In addition, I’ve built 8 other real estate websites using domains that focus on specific cities yet the limited content and depth of pages add little SEO value and reach to the real estate portfolio. Nonetheless, the added weight of these sites allows us generate a bit more exposure for properties.
One site in particular, a professional profile website, is built on the new dot REALTOR domain name – TobyBarnett.REALTOR. Here I’ve chose to use a scrolling parallax theme to showcase who I am, what my personal portfolio is, what real estate broker services I provide, and so on. It has come out pretty cool yet there are not a lot of goals in terms of SEO, rankings, and traffic – our main real estate website is still the focus.
Social Media Presence
Locally, our social media presence is strong which has been the goal since PubCon 2012.
Facebook and Twitter are the media outlets of choice; Facebook for the engagement with our local social sphere and Twitter to network with news outlets, local Tweeters and businesses, and social services organizations.
Facebook: Our fan count is still hovering under 4k which I would like to bolster. Yet looking at the Page’s content reach is steady with engagement being so-so all the way to fantastic. The reach numbers drop significantly when we are busy with listing homes since those listings tend to comprise the majority of our feed. Facebook doesn’t like that. Oh well, its the nature of our business especially since the social presence is managed by me.
Follow Us: BarnettAssociates
Twitter: Follower count is nearly 600 of local folks that activity engage by retweeting, and favoriting our content. On many occasions we have the local newspapers, organizations, and institutions retweeting tweets as well as community influencers. Our Twitter feed is more heavy on the local than it is on our services and what homes we have for sale.
Follow Us: @SncoCoLiving
Also, we’ve been running ads on Twitter for our recently added drone services.
Since adding the drone services, there has been heavy focus on video content, for both real estate and personal enjoyment.
Real Estate: Videos consist of purchased music, static photography, and drone video for a YouTube & Facebook edit. Feedback has been very encouraging yet the buzz of drone video is seeming to taper off. Once you’ve seen them, and see then regularly, then the engagement seems to be harder to come by.
Also these videos have lengthy descriptions yet I continue to forget about CC (closed captioning) offered by YouTube. Why do I continue to miss a valuable step? Forgetfulness and lack of time to implement every video SEO strategy known is what I’ve been blaming it one.
Personal: These are vacations and activities. I use the drone in conjunction with handful of additional GoPros to create family orientated YouTube and Facebook edits. Nothing to extreme here yet they look good.
At PubCon, I want learn, as a brand, what could be missing when publishing YouTube (YouTube Cards are being implemented yet it can probably be done better) and Facebook videos.
Marijuana SEO and Marketing
WashingtonWeedSales.com is doing fantastic with its design and organic SEO. The site ranks very well for local terms: Example: Marijuana for Sale in Everett, WA.
Yet, community is where the site lacks. The website used to have a blog but that was removed from the navigational structure in order to put more time in the forum. The forum design is basic and is something I don’t like. It doesn’t seem user friendly or visually appealing yet the traffic numbers are not disappointing.
Forum threads have been all started by me, many threads have been moderated which have been trying to sell illegal drugs or illegal prescription medication. We definitely don’t condone that. WashingtonWeedSales.com uses and ad revenue model and ads from Google Adsense. Currently the site is not profitable due to the service costs it takes to host this site.
Again, it comes down to growing community and increasing engagement.
After saying all that; what do I want to learn at PubCon?
Growing community and increasing engagement. Across the board, all my websites need those segments improved.
Growing community and increasing engagement would.:
1. Decrease each website’s bounce rate.
2. Increase the number of pages view per visit.
3. Increase ad revenue (for the site that implements that model).
4, Increase client conversion to sales.
5. Network with more in the industry.
Over the next couple months I’ll be able to think more on the plan. I’m really looking forward to detailing the course structure and learning some new techniques and strategies while focusing on implementing great content.