Thursday, September 09, 2010

ESSENTIAL CONTENT

Over the past 2 weeks I’ve been involved in a research project which had me viewing hundreds of real estate websites. I’m compelled to write this article based on what I saw while conducting my research. Although I didn’t keep track of the following results in a scientific manner you can get a rough idea of the problems I saw.

  • Lack of relevant key words – 80% (ie: name of the town, area or major employer, the term relocation, relocate or moving to…)
  • Lack of phone number on home page – 40%  (I was surprised by the number of sites that actually “hide” their phone number deep inside their site, usually on their contact page)
  • Lack of office location – 50% (If I am not from your area how can I locate your office?) 
  • Lack of how you can benefit the customer and/or client – 30% (I was surprised to see websites still dedicated to the attributes of the agent, the agent’s family, the agent’s hobbies, the agent’s pets, even the agent’s grandchildren. I think Facebook and LinkedIn are the proper venues for this-but more on this in another article) 
  • Lack of sophisticated, dynamic, interactive websites – 65% (This observation really startled me. With all of the inexpensive template website companies today it is a shame that an agent would have a website that looks like it was designed in 1970.)
Now, why should I be bothered about these statistics? Look at today's economy. It is bad for many real estate agents and these agents are wondering how they can survive. If you are in this category then take a look at your online presence. You aren’t still in the last century are you? You can get virtually left behind if you don’t keep up!

Take a good look at your website and the content. Are you offering anything valuable to a visitor? What do your visitors consider valuable? Do you really know what your website visitors are looking for? Do you really have an idea how people search and find what they are looking for?  You’ve got to know! You aren’t spending the money on a website just to give a visitor something to fill up a few minutes of their free time, are you? No!! The ultimate goal is to generate business!

What do you need to generate business? You need a visitor that is informed about the services you offer or specialize in and is compelled to take action and contact you. This also means you need the visitor to know how to contact you. Your phone number and address needs to be in a prominent position, above the fold, on every page. Don’t make your visitors search! They didn’t come to your page to play hide and seek!

Speaking of hide and seek, can the right people find your site? If you want to attract a specific niche market then your site needs to be optimized to attract those customers you desire. If the largest employer in your area relocates a lot of executives on a regular basis and that is your desired market then make sure your site reflects that. Don’t have a site that is so general that no one can locate you when they are searching for real estate information in your area.

What you want for your website is essential content! You want content that is necessary to the visitors and that in turn will generate business for you.  If you need a website review please contact me and I'll give your site an unbiased opinion and let you know if your site is meeting the needs of your intended target. 

Jeri Winkler, The Secret Assistant, has been working in real estate since 1996. Do you need assistance in becoming the success you know you can be or help maintaining your current success? Contact Jeri today.

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1 comment:

Mr. Internet said...

Great post Jeri (I'm the one you did the research for :o).

Would you mind posting this to my blog as a special guest blogger?

Michael