When you build a website for your real estate business, it’s tempting to let go of the reins once it goes live. After all, you just spent a considerable amount of your time and energy building a branded site for your company. Time to move onto the next big thing. “Set it and forget it” like a rotisserie chicken cooker. Right?
Wrong. “If you build it, they will come” only exists in Field of Dreams.
Simply creating a website doesn’t mean that it will automatically bring in qualified leads. You have to earn web traffic. After all, how can anyone turn into a lead unless they actually visit your site?
What strategies are integral to your site’s ability to earn sustained web traffic? Let’s dig in:
What are your search tools like? How easily can a person navigate through your online listings? If a person wants to contact your office, is it a simple process for them to do so? The answers to these questions reveal how well your site functions for the average buyer and seller.
Make sure your site is enhanced with key tools that help a visitor navigate the home-buying (or selling) process.
Natural Language Search: Can your visitors search for listings in a colloquial, Google-like way? Can a visitor type “3 bed 2 bath under $500K” and get results? Clunky real estate drop-down menus in a “quick” search make it clunkier for visitors to find what they’re looking for. Make sure your search tool isn’t getting in their way.
Mobile-Friendly Search: Can your site visitors easily search through your listings on a mobile device? Better yet, can a visitor search for “homes near me” and locate nearby listings based on their location? We live in a world where buyers search for homes on the go. 2015 is the year that mobile usage will surpass desktop usage. It’s time to cater to them.
Recommended Search: Can your site provide popular segments of listings to buyers who are new to the area or buyers who want to explore your inventory? Recommended searches help guide visitors through your listings and demonstrate your authority as a trusted resource.
Interactive Map Search: Can buyers located your listings on a map? Can they draw boundaries around a body of water in your town or maybe a desirable neighborhood in your area? An interactive map allows buyers to get a birds-eye view of your region and geographically tailor their search to their own needs.
A call-to-action (CTA) is an instruction to your audience to complete an immediate action. Have you ever watched those late-night infomercials? The “call now!” you see flashing in the corner of your tv screen is a good example of a CTA.
If you don’t use strategic calls-to-action in your marketing approach, then you’re missing out on increased web traffic to your website. Beyond that, once a visitor comes to your site, then you’re missing out on engagement opportunities from registration widgets, contact links, and “ask a question” forms that increase engagement and lead conversions. The best CTAs are not a coincidence; they’re data-driven marketing strategies that are proven to drive business to your company. Think about using CTAs like a “contact us” button, “ask a question” boxes, or “save a favorite” buttons on your listings.
Do you have a periodic newsletter that you email to potential leads and past clients? Consider including a call-to-action within the email that points to a listing, post, or other landing page on your site. By continually pointing people to pages within your site, you have a better chance of building a following of loyal visitors.
If you have blog on your website, consider including calls-to-action at the end of each post to drive web traffic further into your site. Suggest other blog posts for your readers to look at or maybe a market trend report you have recently completed.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of marketing your website to search engines. Why do you care what search engines think of your website? You care because search engines are the information distributors of the Internet; they pair every user typing in a search with a custom list of websites that pertains to their search.
To get on that “list,” or search engine results page, there are a myriad of factors that search engines consider (and therefore you should consider), including your website’s HTML tags, backlinks, presence in local search results, social media profiles, company blog, and content throughout your site.
Paid advertising is the perfect complement to an SEO strategy. Consider using Google Adwords to target specific audiences based on real estate related searches. Point these ads to relevant landing pages on your site so that when a person clicks on an ad, they arrive on a page that provide information specific to their search online. Creating highly relevant and targeted ads means more web traffic, plus more highly-qualified users on your website who are likely to become leads.
5. Social Media Ads
Similarly to PPC, social media ads – while best for brand visibility – can also drive a steady flow of web traffic to your website. From what our company has seen, Facebook ads are usually the most effective strategy for Realtors. Use Facebook’s Power Editor to segment your audiences based on geographic location and key demographics. For instance, if you’re a Realtor in Boston, you’ll want to target people within the city limits.
For each Facebook ad that you create, make sure that it points to a landing page on your site. By creating Facebook ads that target people outside of your regular fanbase, you can present your website to a wider audience and draw more web traffic to your site.
One of the best things you can do for your real estate website is to create an on-domain blog and write on it regularly to create unique, industry-related posts. Every time that you create a blog post, it’s another indexed page that Google and Bing can use to help your website organically rank for real estate related terms. This means that when people conduct real estate searches, your blog is more likely to appear and therefore draw traffic to your site.
7. Email Follow-Up
Do you send follow-up emails to leads after they submit information on your website? Regardless of where these leads are at in the buying process, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to add their emails to a subscriber list where you can slowly feed them information through occasional email blasts or a strategic drip campaign.
Make sure to create links within each of your outgoing email campaigns so that people are directed to your website when they open your emails and click around.