asymetrical marketing

The contour of the land is an aid to the army; sizing up opponents to determine victory, assessing dangers and distance. “Those who do battle without knowing these will lose.” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Getting an idea of the marketplace

Over the past years the online marketplace has opened up online and studies keep cropping up that show a larger and larger percentage of home buyers and sellers are going online for resources. It is crucial for you as a real estate professional to step out of the world of traditional referrals and survey the digital landscape.

A Three Pronged Attack

In the middle ages, people would create a stronghold where they could gather their people together and then sally forth if needed. Your website is your stronghold, and should be your online center of operations. Make sure you read some good content writing advice on how to write good sales copy on your website, and pick up some ideas on how to get others to write content for you.

Search value for your Link Profile adds a redirect on the url on your business profile, business profile pages aren’t likely to be near the top level of the website, often *but not always* any link to a website is no-followed. With these in mind, is there a benefit to your website’s organic rankings by having these yellow page listings in your link profile?

Patent Research on

Content Writing Advice, Blogs Vs Brochures

Recently I’ve been talking a lot with Jon Henshaw of Raven SEO, and he has kindly agreed to write up a guest post on a topic I’ve been juggling for the past year. I’ve been thinking about how writing for a blog differs from a static website, and Jon was kind enough to tackle this subject and offer some excellent content writing advice and a handy guide on how to write brochure type information for static websites and how to alter your approach when you change over to your blog.

Optimizing Blog and Brochure Content for Search Engines and People

If you’re like most online copywriters, you spend your time writing copy for static marketing pages and also stay busy keeping blogs up-to-date. As you already know, the content for brochure pages and blog entries is usually very different. Whereas brochure copy usually resides on static pages that rarely change, blog entries are created more frequently, take a different tone, and can be subject to frequent updates.

Optimizing Brochure Content

The part of the site that focuses on the marketing message and rarely changes is generally called the brochure. An online brochure is essentially a series of static pages that rarely change. It’s also the first place potential customers go to learn about products and services.

Brochures require a well thought out information architecture (IA) with lots of attention given to how the navigation and URL naming scheme will be configured. The content for those pages should then be highly focused on the area of the website and the keywords specified in the page URL. When writing for brochure pages, it’s important to consider the following optimization methods:

  • Page titles should be concise and keyword centric.
  • Hierarchal headers should be used liberally and there should be less focus on lists.
  • A keyword analysis tool, like Raven’s Keyword Analyzer, should be used to make sure copy is properly saturated with targeted terms for search engines.
  • Focus should be more on internal linking and less on external linking.
  • Copy length for pages should exceed 400 words.

Optimizing Blog Content

Unlike brochure pages, blogs provide an extension of a company’s personality to the public. It can also serve as an excellent source of frequent and targeted traffic. However, similar to brochure pages, attention to keywords is important.

Blogs provide the opportunity to capture long-tail search traffic that typical brochure pages can’t. Entries should range from industry opinion pieces to tutorials on how to do a particular task. Less emphasis should be placed on the perfect keyword saturation, while more emphasis should be placed on making the content fresh and interesting to the target audience. When writing blog entries, it’s important to consider the following optimization methods:

  • Focus should be put on incorporating words like “How to” and “Review” in entry titles.
  • Hierarchal headers and lists should be used liberally, because it helps blog readers scan and skim.
  • You should write frequent entries with less words or less frequent entries with more words. Both approaches will instill a sense of expertise and passion about your blog’s subject.
  • Target keywords should be incorporated within the title and copy of an entry, but don’t worry about keyword saturation. Instead, focus more on making the title and copy interesting.
  • Images should be used as often as possible. They can make an entry more visually pleasing and interesting to a reader.
  • You should blog about other bloggers and link to them liberally within your copy.

Quick Reference Guide for Blog and Brochure Optimization

Blog vs. Brochure Optimization Comparison Chart
Website ElementBlogBrochure
Page Title & SlugLong-Tail Keyword FocusShort-Tail Keyword Focus
Page ContentOccasionally Reference ServicesAlways Reference Services
Content VoiceCasual ToneFormal Tone
Content Length200-600 Words (Depends on Freq.)400 Words or More
External LinksFrequently Link OutRarely Link Out
Internal LinksOccasionally Link InFrequently Link In
Keyword AnalysisUnnecessaryImportant for All Pages
ReadabilityLiberal Use of Headers and ListsUse Headers and Occasional Lists
Tagging & CategorizationKeep Tags and Categories to a MinimumDependent On IA
ImagesEnhances Quality of ContentHelpful for Showcasing Products
Press ReleasesRewrite to Conversational ToneCan Remain Intact
Link ListsYes, in the Form of BlogrollsNo “Links” Pages!

About Jon Henshaw

Jon Henshaw is the Product Manager and Chief Socializer for Raven’s Internet Marketing Tools. Before focusing solely on Raven, he was an Internet Strategist for Sitening, a performance based Internet marketing firm.

Apples for Gypsies: 7 things about Me

“Isn’t it strange? The same people who laugh at gypsy fortune tellers take economists seriously.”

It looks like I was tagged with this meme by David Harry, known as @thegypsy on twitter to write a post elaborating on 7 facts about myself. Although his name always gets me thinking about Gogol Bordello, he has been a good inspiration to me recently in being less controversial and more focused on “just the facts, ma’am”. Well.. here are some interesting facts about me.

I started working at age 14 on an Apple Orchard

Rileys Log Cabin and OrchardThat’s right, it was a U-pick apple farm in Oak Glen, called Riley’s Log Cabin and Orchard. I worked there every fall for 4 years, as a jack of all trades. From parking cars, running the grill, leading tours, helping people press their own cider, teaching archery, Tomahawk throwing (I’m deadly at 7 paces), and Knife Throwing.

Despite my “Pale Face”, I am Native American

Juaneno Band of Mission IndiansThe first question I always get when I talk about  this is “Do you have a casino or stacks of cash?”. No. I don’t. Unfortunately, my tribe has had issues getting federally recognized as an existing tribe, even though we built the San Juan Capistrano Mission with our hands, muscle and blood. unfortunately, squabling over who’s the leader has lead to our band being left out of any real benefit of uniting.

My life goal is to own a large bathtub

Vintage Tubs It sounds a bit nuts, or a low ball of my abilities…but really since I was about 13 I haven’t fit into any bathtub. I figure that the point at which I have a house in which to put the tub, the finances to have a custom tub built to my specifications that I’ll be sitting pretty.

I used to be a Microsoft Paint artist

symetry and symetricsI was fascinated by geometric artists, and since I couldn’t really afford art supplies, I spent a good amount of time in high school, playing around with MS Paint and creating geometric drawings of various colors and shapes.

I want to be a Polyglot

Well, ok, if you have ever spent time with me at some point I most likely have said something to you in German or Japanese or French or whatever it is I’m studying at that time. A polyglot is someone who is fluent in multiple languages, here’s the run down of my current fluency.

  • English, Fluent (Native language)

  • German, Mostly Fluent ( Years of Practice, but still miss big words)
  • Spanish, Conversational (Just enough to sound like I know more than I do and get in trouble)
  • French, Tourist (Enough to kick around Paris with little problems)
  • Japanese, Tourist( Enough to tell if the shop owner is insulting me * funny story when I visited Hawaii I went into a shop, and asked if they had an atm he shook his head and said in Japanese “mita no ginkoo desu ka” to his wife*Do I look like a bank?*, to which I replied “Gomenasai, ginkoo wa dooko desu ka?” *Oh Sorry, which way to the bank*…the look on his face was priceless!)
  • Russian, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Hawaiian, morse code, sign language- thank you, good bye etc
  • I want to learn xhosa(bushman/!kung), which is the language from The Gods Must be Crazy

I had a Teepee in my backyard

Basic Cone style TeepeeThat’s right. A teepee. Well, wat can I say, when your father starts riding in the annual christmas parade, dressed in war paint and starts calling himself “Red Horse”, you really get a taste of your culture. My culture just happens to let me camp out in my own back yard where I practiced throwing knives and tomahawks.

I grew up in Yucaipa

Say it with me, “U- Cai- Pa”, not “U ca ipa” or “u cape a” . It’s a little town between LA and Palm Springs…known for…uhm…nothing remarkable at all. Our one joy is being slightly larger than Calimesa… Woot!

Alright well, I hope that was quite enough out of me about me, now for my next participants.

Jon Henshaw of Raven Seo

Brian Harnish

Michelle Rivera – My beautiful Wife

Brian Nelms (Yes, I’m aware that you don’t YET have a blog, but this is a push in that direction)


Erin Maher

annnnd… Alex Guillen

Don’t let Google write your Content: Learn from BBC America

Danny Sullivan pointed out on twitter that the search engine result for the BBC America site has the DMOZ entry appearing  as it’s title tag.

BBC America serp result
BBC America serp result

It would seem that BBC placed no meta description on their site’s pages. Now usually this is done because the content of the site changes on a regular basis and BBC was relying on Google to pick out content that closely matches the keyword search that got you to that result. For example see the two different results below for the television schedule page.

Now the interesting thing is that since the BBC left the description of the page up to Google, they’re not getting the effect that they may have been counting on.  Instead of pulling content from the page, they are getting the entry from for the website. Danny points out that they should use the NOODP tag

Lessons from the Worst Website Ever

On the 7th day, God rested, then he had a terrible nightmare, full of random colors, trolls, wedding dresses, aliens and tuxedo rentals.


This is just a small sampling of Yvette’s bridal website. There are not enough words to describe the catastrophe that this website represents. Like some Frankenstein monster, this grotesque site is none the less MORE mesmerizing than the Hypno Toad

Let us try to learn from this monstrosity of a website:

URL/Domain Mistakes:

First off, the domain takes you to a landing page, where they have not re-directed the @ Root domain to re-point to www, poor Google-bot when it crawls here not only see’s this monstrosity, but may see a duplicate site and it wonders DEAR GOD WHY!

Intro Pages are a Mistake:

Secondly, that page is not even the “homepage” of the site, you have to click on the picture of a girl with a lamb ( under the neon text) to get to that…

In general Intro pages are a mistake, because they are confusing to the visitor, take up additional amounts of time, typically have less content than the homepage, and since you usually want people to come to your homepage(I’m not really sure if that’s actually this website’s intent though..I think it’s intent is to make people nauseous), it’s best if you have it be located at the root domain. Now I beleive that this website was created in 2003 using Yahoo hosting… I think if the proposed Yahoo SEO program saw this page it would blow it worse than Jerry Yang.

There are so many different issues with this website, I’ve decided to break up this miles long post into a series. I hope you tune in next time to see what other lessons we can learn from the WORST WEBSITE EVER.

More Lessons from the Worst Website Ever

Overusing Colors is a Mistake ( causing a seizure is a worse mistake)

Keyword Stuffing

Images -Quality-Relevance – Alt – alignment

Metas- Keywords No description- Like I noted in my post about DMOZ, Google will grab a descriptive snippet if you do not provide one. Meta Content writing advice

“YVETTES with an apostrophe ‘. YVETTES WITH AN APOSTROPHE ‘. YVETTES with an apostrophe ‘. Yvettes bridal bridal Yvettes wedding panama city florida”

Link relevance –

Links out to a broken website. Links off of your website are completely under your control, and Google will notice if you have links pointed to non-existant pages or to external sites that are offline or unavailable.

curvesAlso, if you are going to send people off of your homepage and are telling them that it is about a particular topic, so enticing someone to see “gowns @ Yvette’s” and then opening that page

Embeded Music – Auto Starting- Difficult to locate

Weekly Website Fail: Move to Idaho!


Come To Idaho, We’ve got a Lot to offer!

Step right up folks! It’s Severe weather here in Post Falls, 28 Degrees with a heavy snow shower! That’s right! We also are chock full of Child Molesters and Criminals! Come to Idaho!

Evaluating Online Real Estate

I love real estate agent websites. They can sell a multi-million dollar home, and see the value in any property, but they don’t spend 2 minutes looking at their own online real estate.  We have to give credit to this agent, who was trying to educate her potential clients… but her presentation has gone AWRY. She needs to seperate her home searching from items that may have a negative connotation and why the weather Widget?? I seriously do not understand why every real estate site has one…They’re NOT HELPFUL, and in this case they actually make the area less attractive.

Twilight: Parody Pic Post

This past month, since my beautiful and talented wife has become addicted to Twilight, I have run into some excellent parody pictures and thought I’d share them!

Update: Since Comic Con and the new moon trailer and footage are out I thought I’d find some fresh pieces to add to this post:

Here we have “James” the vampire beating up a bunch of Twilight obsessed girls=hilarious

Update: Mike Wilton, who writes seo and random articles for Musings for a darkened room, pointed out that I misspelled Edward as Eduard. Also, John Jones with his weekly seo tips pointed out my fub on vampire names( It was Angel, not spike in the picture- Joss Whedon Buffy fans can now read it and not kill me) . Both fixed.

Angel Vs Edward

Starwars and twilight crossover

Twilight Hater-aid

Lazy Bella

And of course : the twilight before christmas


Twilight Puppet Parody


Not a picture, but a re-cast of the screenplay if it were 10 times shorter and 100 times more honest.

And for those massively obsessed with Twilight there’s a new news aggregator site just for you, answering the question “Where is Edward Cullen?

Watch Out Edward, Blade is coming for you

There’s also a bunch of great Twilight Humor Videos over at Where Is Edward.

The Internet Makes Bad Ideas Reality

badideaThe Internet…where bad ideas come to life…

I was using Stumble Upon today and came upon a site offering to allow you to “swap” any of your files for someone elses random files virus. Then I came upon a site allowing you to send a real letter to your friend…in exchange for spam/advertisement

The Internet: Making Bad Ideas A Reality

This made me think of the endless oportunities that the internet allows us to publish our unique bad ideas and subject the world to our poor decision making abilities.

Am I being too judgemental? I mean there are some awesome 2.0 websites out there that are super useful… Is this the price we have to pay?