All posts by Tom Taylor

Older Examples UnEarthed!

HEY! Cool! I just found an old document I created to show off some creations I had accumulated at the time.  Old Design Examples. These are from various projects, jobs and programs. a lot of it was Photoshop. Some of it was 3D Studio Max, some of it was Illustrator. Some of it was video created via 3D Studio Max. Some of it was in Macromedia Flash. some of it was in Poser 3D. Some of it was to show off XSL pulling XML from a file, in Real-time on a webpage. I have some logo design there. Some of it was animated through Adobe ImageReady. Some of it was GUIs that went into government projects. I am so glad I kept it! It is nice to go back and see a good sampling of it all. Good times. I am including a graphic which shows a sample of what is in the file.

Samples of the Samples doc
Here are samples of what you’ll find in the Word document linked to above.

Drip Campaigns

A residential Internet lead is typically 6-8 months from buying a home. Therefore the agent’s follow up needs to be at least 6-8 months long, or they will never make any money. I use 1 email a week for the first month, one every two weeks for two months and then the rest of a year once a month. Of course, commercial leads would have a different and varying time table. Here are some of the pieces I am currently sending out.

Fliers

There are two spellings of Flier. I have looked it up and it is slightly more preferred to use Flier instead of Flyer.

Here are some fliers I have have created recently.

Tom Taylor

Graphic Design

I started learning art and graphic design in 1985. I started working with Photoshop at version 2.5. It is at version 13 now. I have used other programs of course. Adobe Illustrator, Flash, GIMP and whatever else came along. But Photoshop is a verb for a reason. It is the standard for professionals. This post is a bit more visual than wordy, so let’s get to it!

I am in the middle of a content revamp for Virginiabeachresidence.com. Google has made it clear that they dislike thin content. Part of rich content are images obviously. so each neighborhood page gets it’s own image. Here are just a few.

 

Here is an infographic I made that encourages people to buy instead of rent.

I have painted the URL onto some cars using Photoshop. Sometimes I get people asking if I really painted a car like this.

Virginia Beach Charger
Virginia Beach Charger

I create my own email signatures which market homes and neighborhoods.

Virginia Beach Neighborhoods Map
Virginia Beach Neighborhoods Map
Duplexes For sale In Virginia Beach
Duplexes For sale In Virginia Beach

I have even done stuff for my dentist!

Virginia Beach Dentist
Virginia Beach Dentist

I do logos

Virginia Beach Residence
Virginia Beach Residence
Woodbridge Residence
Woodbridge Residence

 

Tom Taylor In Virginia Beach
Tom Taylor In Virginia Beach

Check out the Fliers post for more examples of graphic design.

Thank you!

Tom Taylor

Google Analytics

I use Google Analytics of course. You just cannot go forward without knowing what happened already! It is so great to have such a useful tool available for free! I was a Google fanboy in the past. I have a bunch of concerns about their products now, but still use and abuse all of the free useful stuff. Here is a graph of past search engine traffic for VirginiaBeachResidence.com. I can look at which Panda or Penguin update hit on which date and figure out what is raising or lowering traffic and try to do something to take advantage of it. I target over 1200 local keywords. at one time, I was on the first page for over 600 of them. Now that Google has been updating their algorithm, they can see that the content was a little thin. I am one person, after all and massively creating content takes time.

Analytics In Virginia Beach

You can of course measure many other things with Google Analytics. A very new feature is to see how visitors interact with social media. I am happy to see that people are using the social media tools I have installed more and more often. I can measure where all the traffic comes from and spend more time there. Like craigslist is still a big traffic driver, However, it is starting to dwindle. Agents are spamming the board so much, that traffic from there is waning. As I work harder and harder to get Craigslist traffic, I am still getting less and less traffic. I know that I have to have some eggs in other baskets, so-to-speak. I would never have know without Google Analytics. The Google product has the capability of recording where all of my registrations come from. However, my site, provided by Onjax/ Pureagent does not have an event that happens every time someone registers. Therefore, I cannot record, in Analytics, when someone registers, and where they came from. It is on my list of feature requests to Onjax.

I can see which pages are doing well as landing pages! I love that! I saw that one of my more landed upon pages was Ashville Park Homes for Sale. I wasn’t overly targeting it, however, I was getting Google traffic. So I spent some time putting content on that page that was more likely to convert. And with the better content, it is also more likely to hold ranking for the keywords in Google! Thank you Google Analytics!

I can check which times of the day I get more Craigslist traffic and be sure to have more ads during those times. I can See which ads work better and therefore design better ads. I can see which social media posts drive traffic and which ones don’t. I can see that I have traffic from other countries! now I know that people on Military bases are looking for houses in this area! That is a very highly coveted demographic! I can see that more and more people are coming to the site on iPads, and make sure that my content looks great there! There are so many reasons to be on Google Analytics. You just need data to improve your site. No doubt.

Craigslist Marketing

Craigslist Marketing in Virginia BeachI get a TON of great traffic from Craigslist. A marketer has to understand where their audience is. A bunch of mine are starting on Craigslist, so it makes sense for me to crush it there. My graphics have to be superb and tantalizing. They should be better than everyone else’s graphics. You will see I cross promote the high school pages up top. Then I have the neighborhood. Then our required info, the brokerage and company. SO many agents don’t have the required info on their advertisements. I am very surprised that there is a huge lack of knowledge on it. as the advertisers get more and more seedy, I expect there to be a crackdown soon. Back to the topic, I have the most tempting images displayed on the flier. This flier is a very cool template I designed to look like the front of a real estate book. It is helpful to have a familiar design because it catches people’s eye.

Craigslist now allows home searches in Hampton Roads to show thumbnails on the list view. So it important to have a thumbnail. I believe I should be doing it better than everyone else by at least 5%, so I craft my thumbnail to catch more attention.

And super super new is a MAP view! Outside sites were creating maps of Craigslists posts. Craigslist has prohibited them from doing it and has created their own in-ad maps now. So if people are looking on the map for a home, you HAVE to have a map location added to your ad, or you will not show up to them. That’s a bad thing!

Email Marketing

When people register for the site, I add them to an email alert. I look at the properties they are looking for and I set the site up so it will email them properties daily that come on the market within their criteria. I have researched the effects of this. I definitely have people that don’t appreciate this. The majority of them come back to the site and look at the properties. I err on the side that makes the most money. (But leaves my reputation intact)

Virginia Beach Email Alerts

In this graphic, you can see that our really nice client appreciates the information and is coming back to the site almost every day. I get agents ask me all the time, do I set them up with email alerts. I answer emphatically, yes! Yes! If you like money, yes! This nice lady is much more likely to use us when she decides to buy a place. I am providing a value. I am becoming the face of the real estate market to her. I put my name and phone number in front of her almost every day. It is advanced targeted marketing.

facebook Marketing

I have had success with facebook marketing in that, I have kept my status as a Realtor® fresh in everyone’s minds. I haven’t had the budget to run a bunch of ads, which I have done in the past. I am subtly advertising for free. I post 80-90% rapport building content and 10-20% real estate reminders. They are not overt “buy from me” content. They are just real estate related posts that unobtrusively ping “Real Estate” in people’s minds.

facebook Marketing in Virginia Beach

Here is a example of my graphic design. I have faked a car wrap with Photoshop. Some people actually thought it was real, which I will take as a compliment, of course. I faux-wrapped a couple more cars and blogged about them and posted links to the blogs on social media. Because of the cool nature of the content, people were more likely to like and share the content, which is good for me on Google. They make good Pinterest posts, which can point back to social media, the site or the blog posts. The facebook page is named the exact URL of the site. I never drive people off of the money site onto the facebook page. The money is made on the lead capture site. Not the facebook page. All strategies are to drive the traffic to the money site. All strategies target keywords that point back to the appropriate page which is optimized for those keywords.

Video Marketing

 

Here is a video talking about a listing in the Kempsville School District. At the beginning of the description on the YouTube page, I have a link to the page I am trying to promote. The video is less about selling the house and more about selling me. I am showing off the property while talking about the high school district and the subdivision page. If I put a link to the home’s page, then I have Google authority regarding that home until it sells. However if I promote the Kempsville High School page or the Bayside neighborhood page, then I have Google authority until Kempsville is no longer a school or until the Bayside neighborhood doesn’t exist. I also have a cool piece of code that allows me to run text around a video. So when I blog about the home for sale, which is also, more about the neighborhood or school, then I can embed the video. Which Google thinks is SUPER rich content and makes the blog more important and makes all the links from the blog more important. I also embed the video into the content page. Which, in this case, is the Bayside neighborhood page and the Kempsville High School page. again, rich content for my site that Google loves.

You can see more of my videos here, MyAgentTom

And here is another real estate video with Kevin Hare and myself.

And here is my FIRST video from many years ago!


New Pinterest Strategy

Pinterest Board - Virginia Beach Neighborhooods

I have stumbled across a great reuse of content that I am excited about! I have heard of people actually getting traffic from Pinterest, I realized I am creating great new content for the pages and that I need to re-purpose the content and therefor leverage it to the hilt! Check out my new Pinterest board, Virginia Beach Neighborhoods. I have been taking time to make all these images and taking time to add valuable content to the site. I have copied a piece of the content and the image to the Pinterest board. This will make the Pinterest board more valuable on Google and more valuable to users. Thank goodness, Pinterest provides a LINK from the content to the page it was pinned from! So it is yet another vote for my site in Google! And cross promoting in blogs and other media are votes for the Pinterest board in Google. and the pagerank (Larry Page Rank)  trickles down to my money site, Virginiabeachresidence.com.