I ran across this infographic about banner ads.  Many of us use banner ads on other sites to promote our websites to prospective buyers and sellers… and making banner ads that accomplish the goal of increasing the right kind of traffic is key to success.  If we toss up bad ads, we are just throwing money away, and complaining about how low conversion rates are.
One thing that is also worth considering, in order to increase conversion rates, would be to incorporate landing pages.  Landing pages are mini-sites that are specifically tuned to the user that just clicked your ad.  You know what they are interested in seeing… show it to them.

So, what do you think?

 

 

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Do you hound over your site statistics?  Do you look at them to see where your traffic is coming from and which sources are the most fruitful?  If you aren’t, you should be. 

If you are using your website to attract business, you HAVE to track your traffic.  Just at with a traditional store, you track ads to see which ones are effective, with internet traffic you have to see which outposts and stratigies bring the traffic to your site.  you also need to track the quality of different traffic sources…  When people come from site “X”, are they sticking around your site or bouncing?  Does your search engine traffic bounce?  If you are selling a product or service, which sources provide sales or leads?

There are some great tools out there to accomplish these goals and know more about what is actually working for you.  Google Analytics is free and VERY powerful.  Personally, I use Clicky Analytics.  I find it easier to navigate and understand.  They have a free and premium level.  I have included an affiliate link.  Either of these tools will let you drill down to see what the traffic on your site is doing.  With Clicky’s premium service, you can literally follow an individual user around your site to see exactly what they are doing.

Just like with a traditional store, knowing what your customers want helps you to provide it.  Analytics provide the data about what your site visitors want…  And you can’t optimize for search engines without knowing what searches people are using to get to your sites.

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Then you should be signed up for rebarcamp Atlanta.  Tickets are only $17.50… and that is for a FULL day of learning, sharing and networking with the most tech savvy agents and real estate professionals in the Atlanta area, and from around the Southeast.  AND, there are tickets available right now for just $10, with the “Almost Early Bird” special.

Many real estate “technology events” are really commercials for their sponsors.  After paying $50 or $100, you get to sit in a room as the sponsoring vendors parade across the stage telling you about their newest, coolest techno-must-have… that you can sign up for at the table in the back for a mere $499/year.

rebarcamp is VERY different.  At an average rebarcamp event, participants share what is working for THEM in their markets.  Sure, there are sponsors, and they are talking about their products, many of the sponsors are not involved in selling directly to agents…

But the big thing that differentiates an average tech event and rebarcamp is that rebarcamp is more tuned to participation.  Attendees decide what sessions should be featured.  They lead most of the sessions.  It is built upon attendees sharing… sharing challenges and solutions… rather than being built on presentations.

So, if you are a real estate professional, and you can make it to Atlanta on October 28th, rebarcamp Atlanta is the place you need to be.

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I have a thing about ‘To Do Lists’…  I don’t know why.  But, I do.  At least on my computer.

I use WP Editorial Calendar to schedule posts, and ToodleDo to keep track of what posts should be upcoming, along with other tasks.  Without these tools I would be completely lost.  Even with as bad as I am at updating this blog on time, I still produce around 20 blog posts a week.  It needs to be closer to 25.

At any given time, I have 15 or 20 tabs open in my FireFox browser.  The tabs have a variety of things, ranging from website where I am tracking things on a daily basis to articles or posts that I want to blog about.  I also have source articles for things I am researching for blog posts.

And I have a new one that I am really liking…  SpringPad.

 

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I picked up a Tablet computer a few weeks ago (Toshiba Thrive).  This is in addition to my laptop and my smartphone (T-Mobile G2).  I work on all of them.  And one of the things I was missing was a way to keep information (not just files) synchronized between all of my devices.  There are tools like DropBox, which I love, but it required that I have a way to edit the same filetype on all of my devices… or the devices of others I might share an item with.

 

SpringPad is a bit different.  There is a website (SpringPadIt.com) as well as device apps for my Tablet and SmartPhone (both are Android).  They also have a suite of apps available through the iTunes Store for Apple devices.

One of the nice things with SpringPad is that it has a built in editor to write notes, build out To Do Lists and even surf.  There is a plug-in for FireFox so that I can clip items while surfing and send them to notes in SpringPad.  I can email items (forwards, especially) to a notebook.  I can also add resources to a note like links, videos or photos.

 

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Like DropBox, users can share their content with other users… unlike DropBox, notebooks can be sent via email to others that are NOT users of SpringPad.  And while DropBox is better for some file types, especially those that involve a lot of editing (manuscripts, images, etc.), I find that SpringPad is a little better geared towards sharing information.  In fact, I can even share things on FaceBook, Twitter and through RSS via SpringPad.  Content can be organized and tagged, as well. Sync’d content is also available when you are not online (except for the website… but if you don’t have a data connection on your phone or tablet, you can still access and edit notebooks for syncing later).

 

Right Now…

At this moment I am working on a Winter Pack Trip for our Cub Scout Pack.  In order to do this, I have to keep the input of all of the Pack Leaders in mind… and keep them abreast of what is happening.  I also need to keep track of which resources belong with which venue.  I’m tracking costs, things to do, amenities and timelines.  And I can share as much or as little as I want with as many or as few people as needed.  And there is a Social component to the SpringPad network.  You can share items with your SpringPad friends and use it for collaboration.

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The app has been sitting on my phone for months… and months… and months.  I got the phone back in October, 2010, and Vlingo was pre-installed.  But I never took the time to figure out how to use it.  I just shoveled it off to the side and ignored it. And then I decided a few days ago that I needed to go through all of my apps and use them or kill them.

I have long been interested in speech recognition for blogging and to replace typing while driving.  To start with, I don’t type that fast… and I often have my best blogging ideas when I am on the move.  And while video can be a viable option, it isn’t always the way to go.  Typed posts are easier to scan for interest, as opposed to videos that may only be watched if the prospective viewer already knows they want the information.

I took the opportunity to try it out on a few different tasks…

  • Text Messaging – I sent a few texts.  It was as easy as it could be.  The speech recognition and spelling were spot on.  The messages were short, so punctuation and paragraphing weren’t an issue.  The only annoying part was that I had to select which of my contacts numbers it needed to go to… instead of defaulting to mobile.
  • Emailing – This didn’t go quite as well.  The message was a lot longer, and needed paragraph breaks, but Vlingo didn’t seem to know where they should have been.  There were also a couple of spelling snafus.  Depending on the email, going over it and tweaking the formatting before sending it would be a pretty good idea.
  • Voice Search – This was great…  I asked for a particular restaurant and the result was a list of their locations, based on the distance from my location.  Simple and accurate.
  • Navigation – Again, this did an acceptable job.  I asked for navigation to an address and the phone fired up the Nav app and gave me the right directions.
  • Note to Self – I didn’t actually try this one out, but I think it will be a nice option.  When I can type on the phone, I often email post ideas and other items to myself.  NtS should send me a nice reminder and place an item on my ToDo list.

One of the ways I would like to use this is to post to Posterous.  Since it is VERY straight-forward to email a post, complete with pictures and/or video to Posterous, it seems like it should be a slam dunk to dictate a post, add a few pictures or a video, and easily create nice content.

Give it a rip.  Vlingo is a nice way to bridge between sitting down typing a post and video blogging or podcasting.  For Android, the app is free.  They also have apps for iPhone, BlackBerry and other devices.  And isn’t this why we get the groovy-cool mobile devices… to make life easier and a little more efficient?

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