TRAFFIC: Heart and Soul of a Real Estate Website
* Great guest post by Joe Salcedo*
FIRST, I want to tell you what this article is NOT. I’m not here to speak to you in a condescending manner about why your site is not receiving enough traffic, you know the Nobody-Cares-About-Your-Content-Until-it-is -Found smackdown.”
I share your pain. In the first three years of my real estate site, I got an average of 50 readers a day. And that’s on a pretty good week. Not something to laugh about but hardly a Star Wars opening weekend.
But every year I started online marketing, my business has steadily increased. This year 40% of my revenue will come online.
And here’s my first big thought I want to share: You Don’t Need A Lot of Traffic. Just enough.
My forte and passion has always been to capture traffic, so the bulk of my advice here will revolve around that.
1.) If you are in a small market… it is not hard to beat the big guys (Big Bad Wolves on the first page of search engines) in your real estate keywords. Use your ‘smallness’ to your advantage by working smart:
- Get a good generic domain name (building your brand is too expensive). If you already have a site but is not getting traffic, use a 301 Redirect of your old name to your new one.
- Make your ‘city pages’ Long copy — meaning, after separating your website to different areas (NEW YORK–MANHATTAN–BROOKLYN) invest time in researching and writing local content. Use your imagination and your personality’s quirks. If your competitor writes three pages. Do ten.
- Write unique, reader friendly page titles on each page.
- Add unique content in a daily or weekly basis.
- Spend half of the time you spent on writing to marketing your finished article. Reach out to real estate bloggers who may like the content. Be nice. Build relationships. Link out.
2.) If you’re in a medium size city… Do all of the things above but focus on long tail keywords. Instead of keyword ‘Real Estate’ try “homes” or even better, a popular specific community you want to own online. You can track long tail keywords by following how people found you using keywords they typed in search engines (Analytics). Sign up in Woopra (free for the lowest plan).
3.) If you are in a big city like Tucson or Portland…do all of the things above and take time to ‘prettify’ your site design. It’ll be awfully hard to compete if your site is not stunning. But keep it simple. Like this. Target a niche market. Like immigrants.
I always wanted to move to San Diego and if I ever do I will start a site that is very specific to international buyers–from property tax guides of each community, what to expect, school reports, ‘community lifestyle reports’ ethnic population, jobs report. *I already have the domain…hmmmm..*
It’s not that complicated. The issue is follow through and it helps if you have a genuine concern for home buyers. Do not be afraid to be you. Talk to them in print how you talk in person. Make them feel that you built your site just for them. Everyone wants to feel special.
Be interested and you will be interesting.
Oh yes, don’t listen to everybody’s advice. You will lose your mind. Stick to one or two ‘online marketing mentors’. And aim for incremental improvement. A great site is built through one hundred tweaks. Have fun while doing it.
Joe has been happily slaving on Reno Real Estate Blog since 2007. He has since started a niche project in adjacent Lake Tahoe Real Estate using less words, more pictures. He loves his wife and two kids dearly and would someday like to start a blog about being a Realtor and a Family without Premature Aging