Missed the first two installments of our digital marketing real estate strategies? Check out part 1 and part 2 before you read on.
If you tend to drive traffic to your real estate website’s homepage, ensure that it’s easy on the eyes, clearly identifies what part of the world you serve and that it’s consumer-centric.
The above-the-fold area requires the bulk of your attention, at least on most of the agent sites we’ve seen. Here’s an example:
There are so many things wrong with this above-the-fold portion of an agent’s website. Why only half a house? He does sell real estate, right?
Where does he sell homes? Not only is it not mentioned anywhere on the first part of the homepage, it isn’t mentioned on the homepage at all.
But wait, it gets worse below the fold.
See that text? It can also be found, verbatim (with the exception of the agent’s name), on 59 other websites, according to a search at Copyscape.com.
Stick that text into a Google search box and you’ll learn that the same text, word-for-word, can be found on 133,000 other websites.
And agents wonder why consumers think they are all alike.
Make it clear from the top of the page where you work; it’s good for SEO and it helps orient the visitor.
Then, change the canned content that came with your site. If you don’t, you may end up like this poor agent who appears to have not proofread his restaurant real estate website before publishing it.
The agent website below lacks any market-identifying information above-the-fold on her website. We scrolled down to see if we could figure out where she works and still couldn’t find anything.
It’s confusing to visitors to have to roam around a site to find out if a particular agent works in their city.
Then, how can we trust an agent who doesn’t seem to understand the most basic concept of real estate – that it’s local? How can we trust an agent to market our homes any better than she markets her own business?
Keep the homepage hyper-local.
Using Sherrod’s site as an example, “What is my home worth” changed to “What is my Atlanta Home Worth” offers numerous benefits.
“Find My Dream Home” on Sherrod’s site could easily be transformed to “Find My Dream Home in Atlanta” and “Help Me Relocate to Atlanta” is power-packed for SEO.
Of course, Ms. Sherrod probably doesn’t need her website to generate leads because she’s the host of TV’s “Property Virgins.” If you do need the leads, learn from her mistakes when considering your own digital marketing real estate strategies.
In our last installment of this series we reminded you that your visitors are looking for valuable information. Sure, they may want to get to know you better, but filling your homepage with self-accolades is alienating.
The entire homepage, from top to bottom, is all about Keri. Nothing else.
Again, we aren’t picking on this agent – just her homepage, which, from the odd photograph choices to the lack of localization and consideration of visitor needs, offers absolutely nothing of value to her visitors.
Finally, consider the aesthetics of your homepage. If you use them, consider ditching the dark overlays over your photos. Real estate consumers are visual and dark overlays make everything look dreary.
The slide show on this agent’s homepage is so dreary it’s scary.
And, again, we don’t mean to pick on her, but why the bright blue text against an equally blue background? Someone steered this poor agent way wrong when it came time to focus on her digital marketing real estate strategies.
Finally, prove to your visitors, immediately, how awesome you are with your best testimonial, placed strategically above the fold.
You’ll find additional real estate website homepage hacks here.
According to the folks at BrightLocal.com, “86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses (including 95% of people aged 18-34).”
The chances are pretty good then that anyone who lands on your site is going to want to find proof about your expertise, professionalism and trustworthiness.
That testimonial on the homepage should give you major cred, but don’t stop there. If you don’t have a page devoted to highlighting your testimonials, create one now.
Check out “Everything You Need to Know About Testimonials” if you need help.
Did you know that more than three-quarters of real estate agent and team websites feature agent bios and profiles and fewer than half offer information on the selling and buying process?
Sure, folks want to get to know agents on their websites, but process information is far more important to them.
Then, don’t forget to keep the rest of your pages consumer-centric. Answer their most pressing questions, solve their pain points and soothe their anxieties.
Compel them to take action
Who are you trying to reach with your digital marketing plan? “Anyone who wants to buy or sell real estate” is a bit broad and challenging to target.
At least determine a focus, even if you’ll work with anyone. Now, what does that seller or buyer look like? What pain points is she confronting, what does he find challenging? How old is this target audience?
Knowing the details about who you are trying to reach will help you narrow down how to solve the problems this group is facing.
Then, tailor a free offering that they may find irresistible. And, no, a free home evaluation isn’t irresistible. They can find that on every other agent’s website.
Capturing those real estate website leads that you’ve worked so hard to get is critical, and with the right digital marketing real estate strategies it can be a whole lot easier.
By and large, real estate consumers think that all real estate agents are pretty much the same. Prove to them you aren’t, by tweaking your website to be more local and consumer-centric.
It’s one of the best real estate digital marketing moves you can make.
Check back soon for part IV in this series on digital marketing real estate strategies when we discuss SEO, SEM and PPC.
Want to get started on your real estate website but you don’t know where to begin? Take a look at our complete guide to real estate websites below: