I’m often asked by real estate clients, what they can do to drive traffic to their site to get more leads. It’s a simple question but with no one simple answer. There is no secret sauce or silver bullet. In my experience, it’s about hard-wiring various marketing techniques into your daily or weekly schedule.
As an SEO specialist, I will optimize copy, make recommendations about good back links or how to write a good Tweet; but neither I nor your website is your business, You are your business. Your online presence through websites, blogs and social media is an extension of what you are doing, anyway, to reach out to your network.
Here’s a roll-your-sleeves-up list of action items I would recommend to any Realtor:
- Start each day with a plan – If you have a list of action items, decide on the one most important thing and get it done. Don’t start with a big list and then do none of them.
- Provide some item of value for your customers – Provide a weekly or monthly market report/white paper on your website. This can help build trust and position yourself as an authority on what’s going on in the market.
- Answer questions online - If you are getting comments on your blog or through social media, then respond quickly and with some depth. Don’t just say, “Thanks for your comment.” It’s an opportunity to continue the conversation. For more visibility, get involved in the Answers section of Linkedin or Trulia Voices, and comment on blog posts in ActiveRain. These sites get lots of traffic and you can build you reputation on these sites.
- Put listings on Craigslist – This may not be appropriate depending on your target demographic, but this site can drive an awful lot of eyeballs to your listings.
- Reach out to 3 people in your network every day – This might be in the form of a Tweet @ your followers, a blog posting on Facebook or ActiveRain, an email to your leads about new listings or price reductions. Keep people who have opted in, in the loop.
- Position yourself as the expert – Keep adding content to your website. Writing content can be a chore, so find an angle that you’re passionate about, not just regurgitating the same type of content other Realtors might have written. “Content is king,” and the more unique content you provide, the more interest you will get from search engines and site visitors. Schedule 30 minutes a day to write about a town in your service area, for instance. Your SEO company will thank you!
- Tweet latest open houses – Harness this micro-blogging site. Time-sensitive information was made for Twitter. Use hashtags like #BurlingtonOpenHouses and tweet @ to particular followers who you know are interested.
As I said, hard work pays off. The more information you can get out there online, the more chance you have of attracting good links and getting found. An hour a day is my recommendation, but do whatever works for you. So long as you can check a few items off each week, you will give yourself a chance to compete.
Good luck, and feel free to comment about your experiences!