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Get the answers to how MLS Enhancer will maximize your web visibility?

1. What makes MLS Enhancer™ different than MLS/IDX applications that are in general use today?

The "primary” function of all MLS/IDX systems is to make available the viewing of MLS listings on your website. IDX companies focus their efforts on providing functionality that increases the chance that the realtor may be able to capture a higher percentage of visitors once a customer is able to find your website and view your listings. Some IDX applications also provide the realtor feedback about how visitors are using the site and tools for tracking visitor interest. These are all very useful functions but it is important to understand that these functions do not make your website more visible on the search engines which is the source of bringing visitors to your website in the first place. Their functionality simply does not address website optimization which is essential for getting your website’s keyword phrases favorably indexed in the search engines and placed high in the search engine return pages (SERPs).

Unlike all other IDX systems, MLS Enhancer goes far beyond just displaying listings on your website for visitor viewing. It uses a more advanced technology that enables it to restructure the listings and even the data inside the listings (city name, property features, etc.) and use this rich source of content to highly optimize your website for search engine visibility. The content contained inside the listings is parsed out and utilized to optimize all of the page content and link structures of your entire website.

MLS Enhancer uses smart algorithms to identify which fields need to be given prominence, structures the listing content into a search engine friendly page document, groups all listings into themed content categories, integrates listings with hand crafted landing pages, then creates a page and site structure that will be rated highly by the ranking algorithm of a search engine. Hand written content that addresses the user's interest in real estate communities is joined with the relevant listings that are associated with the content.

In summary, MLS Enhancer uses smart algorithms to build a highly optimized website for search engine visibility by using MLS listings while IDX only displays listings. IDX providers recognize the limitations of their product so emphasize, “branding” in their promotional ads instead of “marketing.” Branding is the selling of your professionalism once you have access to the customer, while marketing is directed at creating a pipeline of motivated customers asking for your services. Both are important but IDX providers put the cart before the horse because the technology is vastly less complex to develop.

2. Are MLS real estate listings actually placed on the web by real estate websites and can the search engines find them?

The answer may surprise you. Go to Google and search for a three-bedroom home for sale in your hometown. Did the search results give you a list of three-bedroom homes for sale or only a list of realtor websites that you can use to find a three-bedroom house for sale? Now you can be the source for MLS listings actually being placed on the web that can be found by the search engines. And when a potential customer searches and finds a house, the listing comes up with your personal branding and contact information on the listing. Let the MLS database of listings bring people to your website instead of people having to find your website before being able to search for a house. Think of the advantage it gives you to be the only realtor in your service area that provides the public with the content that they are actually searching for!

3. If I am not a "techy" type person, is getting a sophisticated database driven web application like MLS Enhancer more than I can handle?

MLS Enhancer is easy to use and takes little to no user education. Admittedly, the knowledge base required for successful optimization is both time demanding to acquire and it takes a disciplined commitment to stay current with search engine algorithm changes. If you want to hire an optimization expert, it can also be expensive both to implement and for ongoing support. That’s why many realtors have decided to train themselves to become e-pro proficient and use websites that have flexible content management systems. However, no “e-pro” expert with any amount of training can compete with what you can accomplish with the power of MLS Enhancer for onsite optimization. The “smartness” of what to do to address the on-site optimization issues of your website is built into MLS Enhancer with “smart” algorithms that make the right decisions for you. You provide the rich content for your customers about your community and real estate services, and let our technology handle the work load required to integrate and present both your content and the content of the MLS database in a customer friendly way that is also highly optimized for search engine placement.

4. How does MLS Enhancer handle the increasing complexity of the search engine algorithms?

Search engines need to retrieve relevant information for user queries or they will quickly lose market share. This fact absolutely guarantees that the growing complexity of algorithms is a certainty. And that is good news to real estate agents that want to provide high quality content. And it is also great news for sophisticated database driven web applications like MLS Enhancer that have the power to present real estate content that is user friendly and highly relevant as measured by both the customer and the complex standards of ranking algorithms. Much like CSS external style sheets can control style adjustments on all of the website’s pages simultaneously with just one code change, MLS Enhancer can simultaneously control the code adjustments not only on an individual website, but on all of its hosted websites with a single code adjustment. Because of the degree to which MLS Enhancer has control of how the web pages interrelate to each other, complexity of changes is easily accommodated.

5. Do you need ongoing optimization to adjust to the changing algorithms?

Yes, but not nearly to the extent that most SEO companies promote. Charging for maintaining placement is a big profit center for many optimization companies. However, if your optimization strategy is in compliance with search engine guidelines, then usually your positions in the SERPs are not in danger of losing placement with ongoing algorithm changes.

A second important issue is that webmasters often narrowly focus on too few aspects of the ranking algorithm (such as reciprocal linking, buying links, etc.). When search engines observe a practice that is becoming a popular way to influence the search results, it will be treated as spam and those links will be devalued in an algorithm adjustment. This places the website owner in the position of having to start over in order to regain high placement again. Often Webmasters just tell their clients that the algorithms have changed again and that’s why it takes a monthly fee to stay current.

While search engines do make regular adjustments, the adjustments are usually a needed change to eliminate spam. The more that you avoid spam techniques in building your site in the first place, the less you need to be concerned about tweaking for periodic algorithm changes. MLS Enhancer does not have a monthly charge for “tweaking” code to maintain high search engine placement. We build your sites right in the first place. Your monthly budget should be directed at growing your sites meaningful content and not on adjusting code to maintain placement.

One area of adjustment that can be important is in making adjustments to the use of keyword phrases as it becomes evident in the website’s web log that such adjustments would result in more long tail (niche) traffic. This kind of keyword phrase adjustment is not the result of search engine algorithm adjustments.

With MLS Enhancer the aggressiveness of optimization can be a realtor's personal decision but techniques that knowingly will get your site banned are not allowed or programmed into our system. In some areas of optimization, the standards are not clearly defined so acceptable boundaries for optimization is ambiguous. In exploring the boundaries of the search engine's acceptable standards, you might want to fine-tune the aggressiveness of your optimization implementation. It is always a risk verses reward decision. Since visibility on the web is a ling term process, it seem foolish to risk hard earned gains with aggressive optimization.

Finally, because MLS Enhancer’s internal algorithms easily control many changes across a wide spectrum of optimization issues, all broad-based optimization adjustments that management believes to be prudent for our clients as a group in order to achieve top search engine placements are done at no cost.

6. If everybody uses MLS Enhancer™, wouldn't that negate any advantage of using this technology?

Yes it would, and that is why we are going to limit the availability of this technology in each community so that our customers have an advantage over their competitors. However, even among those that use this technology, there will still be variation in their ranking results because of different levels of effort extended in “unfolding” the power of optimization that this technology is capable of generating. Variance in results would result from the following kinds of factors: 1. Each agent could optimize for different keyword phrases. 2. Some agents would write content for a greater number of categories (cities, neighborhoods, etc.) therefore unlocking more optimization power of the site. 3. There would be different degrees of commitment to off-site optimization from link exchanging. 4. Agents may choose to optimize differently to gain prominence on different search engines. What is important to understand is that the capability of winning high placement is within any users reach with little or no understanding or search engine algorithms or optimization. The ground rules for winning high placement are easily understood and achievable with effort. Real estate agents using our technology have a distinct advantage when competing with web sites that have to optimize by hand.

7. Will MLS Enhancer™ win top search engine placement without additional effort on the part of the realtor?

MLS Enhancer is a powerful web program to grow website visibility over time and not a one-shot silver bullet. It allows the realtor to focus on just adding meaningful content and not having to be concerned with knowing how to optimize for search engine visibility. MLS Enhancer provides extensive on-site optimization that usually wins quick placement for several niche market keyword phrases. More generic competitive keywords will take time and additional effort in off-site optimization to shorten the time in gaining high placement in the search engines. It is important to emphasize that MLS Enhancer grows exponentially in its’ power to optimize your site as original content is added. It is designed to grow your site’s visibility by unlocking powerfully optimized landing-pages upon the addition of handcrafted content. Studies show that most traffic (over 50%) comes from the long-tail niche phrases, and that is what MLS Enhancer is particularly adept in structuring your website to capture. With MLS Enhancer, effort is still required for high search engine placement, but the effort is to build meaningful original content and not in learning search engine optimization.

8. Does using MLS Enhancer ™ violate any MLS rules or regulations?

MLS Enhancer is easily configured to comply with your local MLS rules that are applicable to IDX feeds. To use MLS Enhancer, an agent must be a member in good standing with their MLS Board. In some more restrictive MLS jurisdictions, agents can only use IDX and/or MLS Enhancer under the license and direction of their employing Broker.

9. Does MLS Enhancer™ create spam because it uses automation to accomplish many tasks required for optimization?

We believe not because it is the function that automation accomplishes that determines if it produces useful and relevant information or spam. Pre-query parsing of MLS listings with focused grouping into themed categories makes database information more useful to the user. Our technology is not designed to create automatic machine-crafted content. It is designed to place database information and original hand created content into a more meaningful and useful format for the readers use. The search engine ranking algorithms are closely guarded trade secrets but empirical observation can identify numerous factors that a Webmaster needs to address to gain top visibility. And while it is true that web visibility requires original, hand crafted content, copywriters, webmasters, and even professional optimizers have not developed a technology or acquired the programming skills to separate the optimization tasks that can be automated from the content that needs to be original and highly relevant for the query user.

10. Can my present website be modified to use MLS Enhancer™?

Yes, but there are several important reasons that this may not be a good choice. First, your website would need to run on the same server as the MLS database so that there can be a seamless integration between your site and the MLS listings. If you need to link to another server location in order to get the MLS data, there would be no optimization advantages. Secondly, most websites have considerable site and navigation architecture issues that make it difficult or even impossible for search engine spiders to fully index their pages. Thirdly, MLS Enhancer has a content management system that not only places MLS listings in the site’s content pages, it makes the optimized listings interactive with your website. Your content pages not only link to your listings, every listing can link to your website. Fourthly, most websites do not take advantage of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) but are constructed using tables. Tables require countless lines of programming code because they can’t separate style from content. This not only slows up the loading of your web pages, it also requires that search engine spiders (bots) sort through code useless for optimization in order to find and index your relevant content. Most importantly, CSS can use layers (<DIV> tags) and absolute positioning to order the source code in a manor that is advantageous for optimization. Since we have made our technology so affordable, and because there are such overwhelming advantages associated with having a content management system that controls the site architecture to maximize optimization, it is almost always best to make a new site.

11. What do I do with my old website?

Many (make that most) realtors have no search engine visibility but have been driving traffic to their site through advertising, cards and sign riders. In that case, keep your old site for a short time until the new site overwhelms it in business from your search engine visibility. After the new site is firmly established, the Webmaster can place a “301 redirect” on the old site to transfer any remaining business to the new site. We will help you with that decision when we learn the particular circumstances of your situation. Again, the new sites are often less expensive than the old site so cost is rarely a determining factor to the best solution.

12. If I add content pages over time, how will that affect the site’s navigation and link structure?

All website design books will advise you to carefully structure the site's architecture before creating individual web pages. And that is good advice, especially with static page architecture that needs to be inter-related in a fixed manor. However, with MLS Enhancer, the internal structure is already pre-programmed to unfold in a coordinated manor as you populate your site with hand-authored content. All data fields used by your regional MLS database to characterize listings are parsed and grouped into themed categories for insertion into topically relevant landing pages. You don't need to be concerned if the future addition of content pages will be correctly coordinated with spider friendly navigation links or anchor text support. Just like you body’s physical development is structurally determined by your genes, MLS Enhancer has algorithms that are coordinating all new page generation by an internal master plan that keeps your site structure perfectly interrelated. Create what ever content that is currently the focus of your service specialty, and if you change your focus, MLS Enhancer knows how to successfully integrate all of your content pages with each other. It automatically “unfolds” a site’s architecture that best presents MLS fields in a user-friendly structure for your visitors and in an optimized structure for search engine visibility. We give you the freedom to be smart about real estate and stay stupid about things like coordinating topically related anchor text to impute relevancy to targeted landing pages.

13. If I'm not a writer, so how do I get content for my website?

Writing a short 300-word half page description of a master-planned community or city is not such a very challenging project that even a high school student couldn’t accomplish. With search engine algorithms increasingly relying on Latent Symantec Indexing (meta words or meanings and concepts underling the actual words used) it is more important that your writing contains meaningful and relevant information than relying on the careful placement of keyword phrases in your text. Our website support center gives examples of both optimized and non-optimized writing. The training center also gives you access to free ongoing information and support. However, if you want the content descriptions written for you, we contract with college students that have good writing skills to write your landing page content. They charge about twenty-five dollars ($25) per page. We also have staff writers that are proficient in optimization are about double that price. Remember, the MLS Enhancer does the hard part of structuring the entire landing page content from the MLS listings for you.

14. What is the difference between on-site and off-site optimization?

On-site optimization address issues like meta tags, site architecture, keyword placement, content originality, alt tags, anchor texts, on-site linking, and all other issues that are contained within the website's boundaries. Off-site optimization addresses things like link-backs, reciprocal links, network placement within a community of websites, and the neighborhood reputation of external websites. Both on-site and off-site optimization are very important. MLS Enhancer addresses numerous on-site issues that affect search engine placement, however, it is still very important that you also address off-site issues.

15. How important is off-site optimization?

It is very important as a website’s ability to grow in link-backs over time is evaluated as a measure of importance that the web community places on the content of the website. Search engine algorithms are becoming increasingly sophisticated in being able to differentiate between artificial link manipulation through reciprocal link exchanging and the accumulation of link-backs as a result of authority sites linking to a site because of the value of its’ content. It is important that link-backs and reciprocal linking are seen as the result of the natural organic growth of a site’s content value. Most search engine algorithms now heavily weight these off-site factors in determining relevance and in the ordering of their SERPs. The right kind of links to your site will increase its’ visibility and the wrong kind will be greatly devalued or even hurt your site.

16. How do I optimize for off-site issues?

Your MLS Enhancer website includes a link processing page and structured library to accommodate reciprocal links that allows you to trade links without any further setup. Alpha Placement encourages you to participate in our free ongoing support program if you want to do the off-site optimization yourself. Also, we have set up an offshore link development company in Indonesia that employs highly trained workers to do the skilled human intensive labor involved in link exchanging. The cost of labor in Indonesia for college level employees is less than two dollars per hour. Alpha Placement does not charge an overage for our website customers that opt to take advantage of this very inexpensive service. 

17. How important is it to keep adding original content to my site?

First, content can broaden the range of keyword phrases used to capture real estate customers. Several studies have shown that most customers that are ready to purchase, query with very specific niche keyword phrases instead of broad generic keywords. Since it is difficult to optimize for more than two or three keywords per page, it is to your advantage to have many pages with a wide range of niche keyword phrases.

Secondly, the more content pages that are written, the more MLS listing pages are unlocked for the search engine spiders to index so that MLS Enhancer can use them for optimization of the landing pages. That’s extremely important for optimization because the more indexed listings available, the greater number of anchor texts there are to impute keyword relevance to a targeted landing page. Remember the example of the search engines ranking the presidential site in number one position for miserable failure? The relevance of this keyword phrase was imputed to the presidential site through anchor texts pointing to the site. In the same manor, MLS Enhancer reads the keywords of the landing page, and then structures the topically related MLS listings and their anchor text in such a way as to broaden and reinforce the keyword phrases on the landing page. Content unlocks power to optimize. 

Thirdly, MLS Enhancer provides extensive on-site optimization that may earn quick placement for many niche market keyword phrases. More generic competitive keywords will take additional effort in off-site optimization to shorten the time in gaining high placement in the search engines. It is important to emphasize that MLS Enhancer grows exponentially in its’ power to optimize your site as original content is added. It is designed to grow your site’s visibility by unlocking powerfully optimized landing-pages upon the addition of handcrafted content. MLS Enhancer is a powerful web program to grow website visibility, not a one-shot silver bullet. It allows the realtor to focus on just adding meaningful content and not having to be concerned with knowing how to optimize for search engine visibility.

18. How long does it take to win top search engine visibility?

The answer depends if one is asking about highly competitive generic keywords or long-tail niche keyword phrases.

Long-tail keyword phrases are often non-competitive, specific, niche terms that customers search for infrequently and there is far less competition by other realtors to win placement with these terms. An example would be a specific community inside a larger well-known city. For example, Dobson Ranch is a modest sized master-planned community in Mesa AZ, which is a city in the greater Phoenix metro area. Many more people will search for “Phoenix real estate” then “Mesa AZ real estate. And fewer people yet will search for Dobson Ranch homes for sale listed on MLS. To win with a competitive keyword like Phoenix real estate, it would be very difficult and would take considerable effort over an extended period of time. Winning on a niche keyword would be much easier and faster but would win far less traffic.

So what should your optimization strategy be, niche market or competitive generic terms? It is important to note that several studies have shown that optimization for numerous niche market terms (long-tail) keyword phrases can outperform even top ranked sites that have won high placement with a highly competitive generic keyword phrase. A small amount of traffic from many niche long-tail keywords can add up to a sizeable and steady stream of motivated traffic. Further, people using niche keywords are more often ready to take action, as they know what they want as opposed to just being lookers that use the generic keyword phrases.

MLS Enhancer is designed to easily optimize both competitive generic keyword phrases and at the same time develop a sizeable long-tail niche keyword strategy. Hundreds of niche market landing pages are easily structured and need only your original content to describe the community of themed MLS listings to be activated. Winning top placement is just a matter of writing what the program directs you to write about. Winning on many long-tail keywords should take a few weeks or less once the landing pages are populated with your written content. Winning on generic competitive keywords may take several months, or even a year or more, but the effort involved on the part of the realtor is clearly doable without learning optimization.

-            - Copyright 2006, Alpha Placement Technologies, LLC., Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved -