Ever wondered how to turn your website from a money pit into a lead generation machine? The 8 simple steps in this article will ensure it brings you good quality leads and makes you money.
Every step is explained in detail and in plain language. You’ll know exactly what to do and how to do it. Your success will mean you’ll be a hero to your spouse, colleagues will admire you, and brokers will court you. Am I promising too much? Read on…
To get good leads you must have lots of traffic to your website from good prospects. The best way to do that is to optimise your website for top rankings on Google organic for the area you’re farming. A little advance planning will ensure your time and money is an investment, not a waste.
A counter-intuitive point is that the more narrow focus you have with your target market the better. It’s best to farm a town that is a bedroom community for a large center, or even a large neighbourhood in a major city.
Another reason to farm a small area is that unless you have a huge marketing budget you won’t be able to complete with the big companies who have websites at the top of Google organic search now for those large centers.
Your farm needs to have enough inventory, that is, homes for sale. And they need to be turning over. You can check your local MLS to see how many homes sold in the last 6 months, for example.
Find out as much as you can about the people who live in your farm, their demographics, job status, what social media they use, social habits, magazines they read, even their views on current issues in society if you can. The more you know about your prospects the better.
What keeps them awake at night? What do they complain about? Figure out how your service takes away their pain, or gives them something they want, such as access to something other areas don’t have, or more respect, more prestige.
Then you need to come up with a reason why your target market should buy from you rather than anyone else. If nothing else this could be your personal branding, your experience, even your personality.
Then you create a great deal of content about the area you’re farming, so Google sees your website as an authority. If you can it’s good to have some kind of interactive questionnaire that provides instant gratification, and leads them to believe they’ll be happy living in your farm. They will share it on social media, and it will keep them on your website longer. Website engagement and length of stay on your website are important Google ranking factors.
Then it’s good to develop a Lead Magnet to collect email addresses from prospects. If you’re going to convert prospects to customers you need to communicate with them. Even though email marketing has been around a long time it still has the greatest return.
Your Lead Magnet could be as simple as “Just Sold/Just Listed” or a “Local Market Analysis”, any information that helps your prospects solve their problems. You don’t have to give too much away, but you need to provide real value every time. It will take some people longer to trust you than others.
Your homepage should have as many Trust Signals as you can muster, awards, industry associations you belong to, courses you’ve taken, a testimonial(video testimonials are the best), whatever you’ve got. You need to show prospects they won’t be your first customer, and that you are real, that you will actually deliver what you promise and provide great value.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. After the website is built it’s good to optimize every page for your main keyword phrase, as well as related keyword phrases. If you have access to the background code of your pages you can include your keyword phrase in the url, at the beginning of your Title Tag, in your Description Tag, in some of your ALT tags. Even if you don’t you can include them in the headline of the page, the first 100 words of the page, the last 100 words, and very occasionally in the text if it’s a long article.
Be careful to only put your keyword in enough times in the text so Google will know what the article is about. If you put it in too many times Google will penalize your rankings.
After your website is an authority, backlinks are Google’s most important organic ranking criteria. It’s good to make a list of your suppliers, friends, relatives, local charities you’ve donated to, clubs you’ve been involved in, and ask them to put a link on their website that would take people to your website when clicked.
One good idea is to provide a scholarship to a local school. The school will put a link on their website to the page on your website where students can fill out the application form. Local papers or current events websites might be happy to write about your scholarship, and link back to your website.
Most of your backlinks will come from content you write that is not targeted to your customers. It needs to interest the websites in your industry who give links to other websites. Then you show them your content improves the value of their website. This is the art and science of great SEO.
For example, you could have a photography contest of the area you’re farming, and have the general public vote on which ones they like best. We’ve done that successfully for a local real estate agent.
Another proven method is to start an article about a current hot topic in real estate or about your area, find pundits who are writing about this issue on their websites, and ask them to contribute to your article. They will put a link on their website that points to the article on your website where they contributed.
Then you need to find one social media platform your prospects are using, and answer their questions for a few months without being salesy at all. Then offer something free to get them to your website.
Following the 8 steps above will Guarantee your real estate website brings you lots of good leads on a steady basis. It sometimes takes a few months to get good organic rankings, but it’s worth the wait. As Forrest Gump would say “One less thing to worry about.”
If you have any questions on the above article please make an appointment on my calendar or let me know when you have a few minutes and I’ll contact you.
Please leave a comment below, and if you like the article please share it on your social media. I’d appreciate it. Thanks, Ken