property real estate SEO
Independent property agents need to be on top of SEO to beat off competition in search results.

According to data from Google and the National Association of Realtors (NAR), housing searches on Google.com grew 253% in the last four years. NAR reports 90% of home-buyers used the Internet to search for their next property.

It wouldn’t be surprising to find the majority of soon-to-be expats make similar property searches for their new home abroad. Making your real estate site stand out among the hundreds on the web can be a challenge, one that major estate agents can spend millions solving. The question is, is it worth all the effort, not to mention the money?

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Posted in SEO.
Graphic ranking online media channels
A ranked list of the website types consumers use to research products. (US data; Bynd.com)

How do you generate more sales? The big buzz is always social media but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Especially for expatriate products, more purchase interest seems to come from online channels other than Facebook and Twitter.

Expat purchases are normally ‘high involvement’ products such as health insurance coverage, personal finance, or real estate. Interestingly, a study by Joann DeLanoy explains that for high-involvement products, people use web search before using Twitter or Facebook.

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Believe it or not, the key to effective global SEO is thinking locally.

Reaching a global expatriate audience requires more than flashy web design.

Key to quality expat SEO is optimization in multiple languages. Google Translate just won’t cut it.

As John Tavadros, COO of iProspect, recently observed:

‘But can’t I just optimize my site and translate it?’ I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that from large global organizations […] To be most effective, content needs be localized in many ways.

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Posted in SEO.
Expat SEO wizzard Michael Lamb
Michael Lamb, Online Marketing Manager at Pacific Prime Insurance Brokers. He manages Pacific's expat SEO and SEM for health insurance.

If somebody tells you he is both “busy,” and that there are “not enough resources to deal with all the leads we’re getting,” you know he’s doing something right. Such is the case with Michael Lamb, Online Marketing Manager at Pacific Prime.

Michael–how do you manage SEO internally?

We tend to run SEO and SEM in one team, which is part of our IT department. A lot of the things we do rely on programmers, designers and writers. We manage all technology internally, ranging from SEO to on-site contact forms to client management.

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Posted in SEO.
Plussem sells Google +1s

As most expat marketers know, Google has caught plenty of flak for having launched Google+ without support for business profiles. Is it in for more now that the pay-for-SEO business is eyeing the site’s +1s?

Incredibly, the Plussem.com Social Media Shop is already poised to cash in.

In Plussem’s own words:

Google are [sic] now striking back at Facebook with there [sic] version of the Like button. This will be used to judge contents [sic] worth by using real people to rate it rather than there [sic] own bots. To cheat the searching algorithm be sure to get the ball rolling for your site by purchasing Plus Ones.

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Posted in SEO.
90% of people prefer to browse the web in their native language

Any business targeting expats–whether it’s a huge multinational or a web start-up–faces the hurdle of multiple languages. Chances are your customer base reads at least a little English, but it probably isn’t their language of choice.

Consider the findings of the 2006 book Can’t Read, Won’t Buy, which showed 90% of shoppers wanted access to online information in their native languages. A 2011 EU survey found the same holds true today: 90% of Europeans prefer to browse the web in their mother tongue.

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David Mercer tackled the question of whether it’s better to blog or run a forum on Business Insider. Blogs and forums are like bread and butter to the expat business, allowing companies to target expat communities with highly specific information and build business by word-of-mouth. They also help boost visibility in the SEO rankings:

conventional wisdom dictates that a blog is the best way to build up a decent body of highly engaging, relevant and SEO enhanced content, over time. This is certainly true and blogs have proven their worth time and time again.

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Internet marketing has given rise to all manner of bogus cottage industries, not least among them what Internet Marketing Direct CEO John Mu recently called “SEO cyber piracy.” According to Mu, a SEO pirate is a company offering cut-rate deals on internet marketing packages. The reason these companies can afford to undercut their competition is of course that their strategy is grounded firmly in generating garbage links en masse (if you run a blog you’ve probably seen a fair amount of their “product” in the comment sections of your posts).

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Posted in SEO.