If you’re here reading this, then you probably understand the importance of attracting people to your real estate website. You’re wondering: “How do I drive traffic to my real estate website?”
We’re living in the age of the internet, and if managed right, online traffic can be more valuable than foot traffic in lead generation. What are the secrets of getting people through that virtual door and into your business? We’re here to break it down for you with these ten tried-and-true tips:
1. Smart SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimization and may be one of the most important parts of driving organic traffic to your site. People are always finding new and creative ways to push their content to the top of search results so the field is constantly in flux but we have some tried and true methods to improve your rankings on major search engines like Google and Bing (among others):
- A lot about SEO boils down to specificity. People are going to search for real estate listings in your area, so sprinkle geo-specific terms in there! For example, if you’re a realtor selling San Jose homes, make sure to include blogs, articles, and headlines with things like:
“Info On Your San Jose Realtor”
“Homes for Sale In San Jose”
“Beautiful San Jose Real Estate” Try and include the general search terms that people would input and mix them with your specific service/location. Added bonus if you include these in your Google My Business profile. These keyword strategies can take 6-12 months to effect your search rankings, so be patient and consistent. If you stick with it and use specific terms that are used in search queries related to your business, you’ll start popping up higher and higher.
- Capitalizing on trending topics can really drive traffic to your site. Try searching on services like BuzzSumo or SocialAnimal to find popular subjects related to real estate that might interest people. Are mortgage interest rates super low? Are millennials the majority homebuyers this year? Do some research, pay attention to the discourse, and make some interesting content about it!
- Consistency is key. Develop a schedule for posts, articles, and other reblogged content. Search engines often latch onto active sites like this and push them higher up the rankings. Also from a consumer perspective, an active site that generates a lot of content is a sign of a well run and involved business.
- Get reviewed. It’s been found that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Enough positive reviews can effectively snag new buyers or sellers, especially if the reviews are clearly displayed on your website. Establish a rapport with your clients, build relationships with them, and let them know that a review is meaningful to your business. If you’re doing quality work, they’re going to be more than happy to spend a few minutes talking you up online. Not only will more reviews lead to more traffic, but it really does turn that traffic into more leads.
2. Have a Well-Optimized Website
It’s important that your website looks both professional and modern (you want to avoid that old school AngelFire aesthetic). Of course you can use services like Squarespace and WordPress to make your own site, but we recommend hiring a professional who can meet your specific requirements.
Look for a web design company that has quality work and has met similar goals to the ones you require. If you’re operating on a budget, you can always check out marketplaces such as Fiverr (make sure to hit that pro-services filter to get the top-quality people) or Upwork.
A good design isn’t the only thing that’ll drive and retain traffic to your real estate website though, you also want the user experience to be top-notch.
Really ask yourself, why is someone seeking out your services? Are they a buyer or seller? What are things you can implement into the site to make it engaging and hopefully translate these people into leads?
Give a call to action! Add a floating button or form widget to get their information. Find out what they want, what they’re looking for, and how you can best connect with them. A lot of people are browsing your website because they’re interested in the service you’re providing. The goal is always to make it as easy as possible for them to get what they want.
Lead retention goes way up when you send out an SMS within 10 minutes of them showing interest so be proactive (or just get an automated system in place so you don’t have to juggle a million numbers)!
And on the subject of website design….
3. Mobile Compatibility
Whether you’ve embraced it or not, we’re living in a mobile world. A little over 50% of all web traffic is mobile based and that number keeps growing. If your site looks clunky on mobile, you’re neglecting half of your potential visitors.
Don’t make this mistake! Like we said, the goal is to make everything as easy as possible on the consumers, so make sure you include this in your requirements if you’re hiring a web designer.
Also, to wrap this back around to search engine optimization, Google has implemented mobile first indexing with search results meaning if your site only appeals to desktop users, your rankings will tank hard.
If you want to go above and beyond and really increase client contact, hire a professional to design a mobile app. Make sure it’s compatible with both the iOS and Android app stores to get a bigger reach. If you’re working with a savvy designer, they can sync up the app with your website and make sure everything is properly branded.
If you nail the website design so that it works on desktop, mobile, and then get a complementary app to go alongside those, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll increase online traffic to your page.
A quality blog can do a lot to repeatedly bring people to and develop a sense of community around your site. It can massively help your SEO if you’re putting out geographically targeted content with plenty of visuals (pictures, videos, graphs, charts, etc…) as Google’s “crawler” software is designed to recognize and pick that up. It can also act as a marketing tool to push specific content, maybe noteworthy listings or new additions to the neighborhood. A healthy, consistent blog will attract new people and keep them coming back for new content.
One way to keep a blog active and to expand its reach is to hire guest writers. You can find great quality writers on marketplaces like Upwork who can give interesting new insight into the subjects you commission.
On top of blog content, video can do a whole lot in pushing your real estate business to the next level in terms of online traffic. It may be surprising to discover, but listings with video content attached receive 403% more inquiries than those without. Video gives a way more accurate representation of a home and consumers view it as more trustworthy than just pictures.
Getting creative with video is definitely worth it! Having an interesting spin on a house walkthrough or a creative visual take on a property tour can make it shareable and push it to a larger audience. Although unless you’re an aspiring Hitchcock, we definitely recommend hiring a professional for this kind of work.
6. Social Media
Every agent/agency needs an online presence in the form of social media. It’s one of the main ways people connect to brands, businesses, and each other. Ultimately, real estate is about relationships, so you want your socials to reflect an organic connection with the people in your community.
It’s important that your profiles DON’T look like a dry bulletin board of listings. Instead, try engaging with people in meaningful ways. Join realtor groups, weigh in on topics, explore real estate related hashtags, try to build yourself as a local expert, and connect with people organically. This is the most effective way of building an audience that will engage with your posts and eventually your listings.
Photos/video are a central part of the buying and selling process, so naturally it makes sense to push yourself on visual platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. If you’re having trouble getting traction, try running a paid promotion. On most socials you can control exactly which demographic and area your ad goes out to, so do some research and launch it off.
7. Property Portals and Listing Websites
Property portals are pretty key in driving traffic to your site early on. Look into services like Trulia, Redfin, and Zillow to get local people to take interest in your listings. As you grow, you can continue to leverage property portals to get even more traffic to your page.
Some of these sites get a pretty ridiculous amount of traffic. Zillow got 498 million page views in a month and Trulia was trailing with 277 million. Don’t underestimate the power these sites can have on sending potential clients your way.
8. Good Old-Fashioned Print Ads
Funny enough, old media can be a strong tool to promote new media. It can be very effective to print newspaper ads that promote the website. On top of that, try popping the URL onto your “For Sale” sign outside of listings. Believe it or not, people will take the time to manually time in your web address.
9. Word-of-Mouth Referrals
Probably the oldest and one of the most effective ways of marketing, word of mouth can have a big impact on your real estate business. People are going to look you up and seek you out if other people are speaking highly of you and quite the opposite if they’re not. How do you leave the best impression on your clients so they spread the good word?
- Just like you’re connecting with a baseball, make sure you have a strong follow through. It’s not over once you make the sale, you don’t just want to disappear into the ether. Follow up with your former clients a month or two (or even a year) after a sale and show genuine gratitude for them choosing you as their agent. If you can secure a survey for honest feedback or even a testimonial if they loved your service, that’s a big plus. Make sure you treat them like the human beings they are and not just some sale metric that gets forgotten as soon as they sign the dotted line.
- Sweeten the pot by offering incentives for referrals. This is a guaranteed way to make clients feel involved, give them a little extra something for a sale, and generate leads for your business. It’s a true win-win. You may offer them something like a $300 gift card to a department store of their choosing or a night at a fancy local hotel. Whatever it is, make sure it’s worth their while and leaves them with a feeling of satisfaction towards you and the sale they helped close.
- Ask for referrals from customers you’ve developed strong relationships with. Most likely if you’ve done good work, they’ll be excited to talk about you to their family and friends. This is an excellent way to build a network in your selling/buying area.
- Give them something for free. Use your imagination for this one, but if you give them a little treat or something of value, say a seminar, a guidebook, an edible arrangement to warm the house, they’ll sing your praises that much more.
10. Community Involvement
Earlier in the blog we said that real estate is ultimately about relationships. I think it’s important to add that real estate is also deeply intertwined with community. It makes sense for your name or business name to be prevalent and involved in the community, and it can also help promote your services and get your name out there to sellers and homebuyers.
There are a lot of things you can do and many of them have local spins, but in general you could sponsor a local sports team, host an ice cream social, setup a community book trade in at the library, host an historic tour in your city/neighborhood, partner with another small business, setup a charity event, or sponsor an adoption fair at your local animal shelter. The list goes on…
To Wrap Up…
At the end of the day, there are a lot of great ways to increase traffic to your real estate website, a lot of which boil down to search engine optimization, site design, and social media. Don’t be afraid to experiment, tinker around, and find what works best for you.
Photo credit: Nenad Stojkovic, Flickr Creative Commonsmarketingreal estatewebsites