I don’t want to be a Secret Agent

A little over a year ago, in June of 2015, my wife and I moved from our small town home in the mountains of Idaho, to the Las Vegas area.

We knew it would be a big adjustment – moving to a big city, desert climate, and away from our friends and family, however, I didn’t realize the impact it would have on my business.

Secret Agents

Our move to Las Vegas was percipitated by an offer to join a Property Management/Real Estate team here – my wife would become a full-time member of the team (she had always been interested in Real Estate), while I continued my business part-time, and provided marketing services for the team. In time, we would take over ownership of the business and pay the current owner a “retirement annuity” – seemed like a win-win situation.

My Business

Until moving to Las Vegas, my full-time job was online marketing through Advisor Web Marketing – I worked with financial advisors, and specialized in Search Engine Optimization. To help with “Brand Awareness” and to provide an outlet for my SEO interests,  I created this blog.

While on the surface things seemed to be going well with business this past year – new AWM clients, hired as a writer by Search Engine Journal, invited to speak at NAPFA, then FinCon, and XY Planning Network (all long-time goals of mine), it was a very challenging year.

I found it very difficult to manage a business “part-time”, while trying to learn and grow another business. I like to be very focused and engaged in my work, but found I was being stretched between them, not giving either the attention I wanted, or that was required. I was blogging far less frequently than either deserved or needed, and was generally not feeling good about either business.

and then . . .

Have you heard the two cliched warnings: “Don’t go into business with family”, and “Get it in writing”? Yeah – so had we, yet we foolishly (and regretfully) ignored both.

We quickly realized that things here were not as we expected they would be in Las Vegas, and were miserable. We tried to continue to negotiate changes, and to get them in writing, but by that time, had lost all leverage – we were already moved, and now were dependent on the owner for our livleyhood. Finally, in May of 2016, less than a year after our move, we quit.

Now What?

Although we didn’t know how all of the peices would fit together, Katie and I quickly moved our real estate licenses over to Keller Williams and dived into trying to make real estate work.

At a minimum, I would market for her as she worked to build up a real estate business, while I continued to work with Advisors. Another option would be for us to both jump into real estate full-time. There were pros and cons with each choice and I agonized (dramatic but true : ) over them – changing my mind and direction almost dailey. What would be best for me, my wife, our future life vs getting through now? If I went into real estate, what about all of the time I’ve spent creating a business, and my goals to continue speaking and writing about marketing?

The Decision

Finally, after 3 months of indecision, I/we have a plan. : )

I am a REALTOR® with Keller Williams of Southern Nevada.

Advisor Web Marketing: I will continue to work with a small number of advisors, but the big news at AWM is that I’m going to be creating an DIY SEO course for advisors. I’m hoping to have it ready by the time I go to FinCon in Septemeber, and will use that site as a platform for continued education and to sell the courses.

Brent Carnduff Blog: For most of the decision making process, I assumed that this blog would be shut down (as you may have noticed, I have not been writing/publishing here as of late). However, finally, with the help of some friends, decided how I could continue to use this blog. My plan is to continue to write about SEO and digital marketing, but from the real estate perspective.

While there are numerous 3rd party marketing support platforms in real estate, and most agents have a website and Facebook page, very few are effective at online marketing – most do not even try. The industry is still strongly based in traditional prospecting – cold calling and door knocking – as the best way to build a business. My hope is to change that, or at least offer a viable alternative to those that are not comfortable with traditional prospecting.

There . . . I’ve done it! I’m no longer a secret agent (worst thing for a real estate agent). Hope you’ll join me on my adventures in marketing and building a real estate team.

Thanks for reading.

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This Week in Search No. 78

I’ve sorted through hundreds of SEO articles and filtered them down to these 5 must read SEO articles for the week of  April 23rd – April 29th, 2016 – enjoy!

SEO Round up

Google determines Local Rankings on a business’s relevance, proximity, and prominence. Learn more about developing your business’s “prominence”.

How Does “Prominence” Affect Local SEO? by Anna Crowe on Search Engine Journal

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Search terms often change with the seasons and holidays. Match your content to your industry’s seasonal search trends for best results.

Leverage Seasonal Search Trends to Deliver the Right content at the Right Time by multiple authors on seer blog

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Great tips on improving your Local SEO and marketing efforts!

Beyond Local SEO: Greg Gifford on How to Win the Visibility Race by Greg Gifford on Search Engine Watch

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‘Industry Relevance’ is the most important factor to consider when choosing which citation sites to use

21 Local Search Experts are surveyed to determine the importance of, and best practices for, citation building.

Expert Local Citation Survey 2016 by BrightLocal

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Getting the most out of your Google My Business (Google Maps) listing!

How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing: Expert Tips by Graham Charlton on Search Engine Watch

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Thanks for reading! As always your shares, comments, and questions are welcomed and appreciated!

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This Week in Search No. 77

I’ve sorted through hundreds of SEO articles and filtered them down to these 5 must read SEO articles for the week of  April 15th – April 22nd, 2016 – enjoy!

SEO Round up

Great content from the SEO industry this week! It was a challenge to get it down to 5 articles, but here they are, the best of the week – enjoy!

Is your business at risk of being banned by Google? You may be surprised . . .

Top 9 Reasons Google Suspends Local Listings by Joy Hawkins on Search Engine Land

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Backlinks – links from a high quality, relevant site, back to your site – are still one of the most powerful (if not THE most powerful) SEO signal, but they can be difficult to acquire organically in many industries, and often require a commitment of resources and a highly specific strategy to develop. The results of link acquisition, like most SEO efforts, take time to influence search rankings.

How Long Does Link Building Take to Influence Rankings? by Kristina Kledzik on Moz Blogs

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Sometimes its hard to sort the wheat from the chaff online – this article’s wheat, but it uncovers a lot of chaff 🙂

The 9 Most Common Local SEO Myths, Dispelled by Joy Hawkins on Moz Blogs

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The increased visibility that Google has placed around Google Local listing results on mobile has meant that Google My Business is essential for local SEO. ~ Kevin Gibbons

How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing: Expert Tips by Graham Charlton on Search Engine Watch

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In this post, I’m going to try to show that RankBrain may just be the missing link between CTR and rankings.

~ Larry Kim

Does Organic CTR Impact SEO Rankings? [New Data] by Larry Kim on Moz Blogs

News and Notes

Thanks for reading! As always your shares, comments, and questions are welcomed and appreciated!

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This Week in Search No. 76

I’ve sorted through hundreds of SEO articles and filtered them down to these 5 must read SEO articles for the week of  April 8th – April 14th, 2016 – enjoy!

SEO Round up

Google recently announced that RankBrian, its artificial intelligence system, is now its 3rd highest ranking signal. Learn how to create better content for this emerging signal.

Creating Content for Google’s RankBrain by Al Gomez on Content Marketing Institute

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Interesting article on the future of Local search engine results pages – could the by “resultless”? If so, what does your content need to look like to be found?

The Future of Local SERPs by Andrew Shotland on Local SEO Guide

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Detailed article on the best type of content for each level of your conversion funnel.

Effective SEO for All Stages of the Conversion Funnel on Kissmetrics Blog

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Thinking of making the switch to HTTPS? This is what you need to know.

HTTP to HTTPS: An SEO’s Guide to Securing a Website by Patrick Stox on Search Engine Land

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“In the beginning, computers spoke only computer language, and a human seeking to interact with one was compelled to do the same. First came punch cards, then typed commands such as run, print, and dir.

The 1980s brought the mouse click and the graphical user interface … the 2000s, touch screens; the 2010s, gesture control and voice. It has all been leading, gradually and imperceptibly, to a world in which we no longer have to speak computer language, because computers will speak human language—not perfectly, but well enough to get by.”

Everything You Need to Know About Natural Language Search by Rebecca Sentance on Search Engine Watch

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News and Notes

Thanks for reading! As always your shares, comments, and questions are welcomed and appreciated!

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This Week in Search No. 75

I’ve sorted through hundreds of SEO articles and filtered them down to these 5 must read SEO articles for the week of  April 1st – April 7th, 2016 – enjoy!

SEO Round up

If you’ve ever used Google’s Page Speed Tool, then wondered how to implement the suggested changes, this article will be of interest!

How to Achieve 100/100 with the Google Page Speed Test Tool by Felix Tarcomnicu on Moz Blogs

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Google’s update to Google My Business local ranking factors includes the addition of Organic Ranking factors – something which shouldn’t come as a surprise to most SEOs.

Google Documents Google My Business Local Ranking Factors by Barry Schwartz on Search Engine Land

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Search is still the champ when it comes to driving web traffic!

Report: Search Drives 10X More Traffic to Shopping Sites than Social Media by Greg Sterling on Search Engine Land

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How Google May Analyze and Evaluate the Quality, Value, & Rank-Worthiness of Your Content – Rand Fishkin, Whiteboard Friday

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Google Adds Alerts in Search Results for Site Owner’s Non-Mobile-Friendly by Jennifer Slegg on TheSEMPost

Thanks for reading! As always your shares, comments, and questions are welcomed and appreciated!

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