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5 Steps to Making Google Part of Your Lead Gen Team

The most common question I’m asked is “Can you fix my website-it’s not working!”  Immediately, we run to a computer, pull up their website and voila, there it is…working as expected.

So, what isn’t working?  It’s not generating leads – that’s the problem!  So, I stop and ask, who are you trying to reach with your website?  This is inevitably the time I get the blank stare and hear “well, leads.” If you want to “fix” your Website and reach your clients in 2010 and beyond, here are my five tips to make your Website work for you:

1. Determine who your audience is

Seems simple enough, but why aren’t we doing it. Remember, potential clients need a reason to find your site. Ask yourself, are they looking for foreclosures, their first home, information on the tax credit? Or, do they love the neighborhood by the lake or a certain school? Don’t limit yourself when setting up a Website. It’s very common to jump right in to adding your content or redesigning your site to make it look great. But, before you do this, answer a few questions to help you build out a site that works for you:

  • What’s in it for them?
  • What type of information are they looking for?
  • What questions are they asking you?
  • What makes them unique?

You’ll notice that all the questions are about your audience, not you. There is only one thing about you – how to provide enough compelling information that they feel comfortable sharing their information with you. Use these audiences to build out the interior pages of your website.

2. Pay Attention to the Long Tail

You’ve just begun setting up your Website or maybe you have done a full-scale redesign and you are so excited to lead generate with it! Suddenly every home buyer looking for homes for sale in your city will Google “Homes for Sale” and magically, you will appear in the list…as result number 12,365. Only 100 pages in!  Well, wait, how do you get on the first page? It takes time, a lot of content and money to drive business to your site for the most popular keywords. (i.e. “Homes for sale in Austin”) These broad terms will result in about 20% of your traffic at the most. 80% or more of your traffic from Google will come from less popular, obscure key words, such as “Lakefront homes for sale in Austin”.

3. Pick the Right Keywords

Great, you’ve found and audience you want to attract to your site. Now, speak their language.  Let me repeat, speak THEIR language. The biggest mistake I see is using the word “Listings”.  Do your clients call and ask to see listings in the area? NO – they ask to see homes for sale, houses for sale, etc. Think about how your clients ask for services to craft the words you choose to use on your site. For example, CMA vs. value of my home; MLS vs. homes in the area, etc.

Another key to using the right keywords is to use them naturally, as if you are in conversation with someone. Adding awkward keywords to your webpage to attract Google will only do two things: give you strikes with Google and annoy your client. Finally, add your keywords to your page title, meta-description and possibly as part of your domain name.

4. Focus on Having a Great Landing Page

You’ve found your target audience, attracted them with compelling content, now you need a relevant landing page with clear calls to action to compel them to share their contact information with you.

Sending that potential client to your home page or other generic page doesn’t tie the program together. Let me give you an analogy – you receive an advertisement for the best SHOES at XYZ store. You drive over to the store and its all clothes and hidden away is that one pair of shoes. Do you think you’ll stick around to find it?  Well, your website IS your storefront and if you attract an audience looking for a particular niche, you’d better give them what their looking for quickly.

5. See Your Website as Part of Your Marketing Plan-Not a Technology Plan

This is no longer technology. Let me repeat….this is no longer technology! These strategies are part of your overall marketing plan – only online. Don’t be afraid of mastering this because you’re not a “techie” – you are a marketer and that’s all that matters.

Need more SEO tips? Check out the KW SEO Manual here: http://www.kwseomanual.com.

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23 comments on “5 Steps to Making Google Part of Your Lead Gen Team
  1. Thanks for the info, I want to focus on computer repair tips for my blog but didnt know where to start.

  2. Trish Giassa says:

    Awesome post, thanks for the info! I agree with each and every one and work hard at keeping up my website and it is – yes, it is! – generating leads! Hooray!
    Trish Giassa
    Benson Sotheby’s International Realty in Crested Butte, Colorado
    http://www.homes-in-crested-butte.com

  3. Great title and excellent, concise article on Internet Lead Generation. The numbers are in. The internet is the way to go — and understanding how to attract, cultivate, and work with internet Buyers will enable those that “get it” to ride the online wave to success.

  4. rob aubrey says:

    To add to the long tail conversation.

    Some of the easier key words to focus on are what people want. If a person is considering moving to an area, what are they searching besides houses? Schools Parks and Crime.

    2-3 decent keyword enriched articles about each and you are there.

    I am consistently in the top 5 search results for Cottonwood Heights Parks, CH Schools, CH Police, CH City Council
    The ones that beat me out are the city, the school, the parks and recreation…

    I pay per click some of the more expensive parts.

    The point is the long tail words are easy to control. Remember families moving want to know schools, parks and crime.

    I keep a search widget on my site defaulted to the city, I have crime report links defaulted to that city.

    Seth Godin spoke about it in Atlanta, you cannot compete with the big boys in big areas, but the big boys cannot compete with you in the small areas.

  5. Jeff Link says:

    Rob Aubrey, Just because you rank for a long tail keyword does not mean the traffic is there to make it a good choice. For example I just did an analyses on key phrases you gave and Cottonwood Heights Parks only gets 3 searches a day and out of that 3 you will get maybe 1 click thru to you’re site.

    Also ‘Lakefront homes for sale in Austin’ get’s zero searches how ever ‘Austin Home for sale’ will get you 74 clicks. “Austin MLS” will get 374

    You are right about long tail keywords being easy to control. You just have to know which ones are worth controlling.

  6. Thank you for this fantastic article! I am just getting around to refining my new website & incorporating SEO, & this really helps! Thanks for all the great comments too!
    :) Candy in Sherman Oaks

  7. Ryan Ward says:

    That’s great information, but nothing in the article will generate you any business from the internet. For that you will need rankings and for rankings you will need incoming links. Good content might help generate a few links, but, until you build relationships with people online who link to you and know you, you won’t get rankings and therefore won’t get leads.

    Also, you might think about adding the “subscribe to comments” plugin so people who comment get notified when new comments are added to posts.

  8. Nice post Karey! I tell all our agents who use KW websites that they have got to customize that main page or Google will never find them. Great tips here!

  9. Sue Redding says:

    Great article, one to pass on to new agents.

  10. Joe Loomer says:

    Excellent starter tips in a concise delivery, Cary.

    Ryan brings up a good point (although I disagree with his “nothing in the article” assesment). You must get out there and surf to find the relevant sites that provide you the link-love he describes. I routinely comment on four agent-centric or real estate related sites on a daily basis – weekends included. When coupled with our other SEO efforts, it’s taken my site to #2 for our keywords (over 14,000 hits a month).

    Be relevant, be consistent – it’s like any other job.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  11. Cary,

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. This is no longer technology. It is part of your marketing plan.

    As for turning clicks into appointments, it’s right there in SHIFT. Make Offers for Immediate Response. The more creative the better, and there’s always companies inventing new mousetraps (SmarterAgent, Market Snapshot, IDX for mobile, etc…) Family Reunion, Mega Camp, and Masterminds are THE place to get your creative juices flowing by hearing what works and what doesn’t from agents in different markets. See you there, rockstars!

  12. Michael says:

    OK,,,so how do I incorporate the new Google real estate search into my website? Thanks!

  13. Great tips! I can tell you that they work because my Tampa real estate website http://www.FlaPropertyFinder.com pulls in quite a few new home buyers!

  14. Lori Bonicelli says:

    This is a great article!! As far as making sure you website has information on it that people are looking for, does it matter if it is in just on the website in a page, or is it always better to post your info in the form of a blog? I see that KW offers the eAgenC Blog feature powered by Top Producer and was going to give it a try.

  15. rob aubrey says:

    Lori, blogs are the easiest to use. They are very easy to ad information. Also they are built with SEO in mind.

    You can categories to make information easy to find and many other things.

    I think the eAgentC blogs are great and they are built with Word Press my absolute favorite.

    I recommend getting your domain and getting it hosted under that domain. One of the benefits of a good blog is the SEO, it would be a shame to not have that SEO on a domain you own.

  16. Suzi Melun says:

    This article is great! I found the determine your audience section very helpful. Thanks!

  17. John Pohly says:

    Take out the Google keyword guesswork and let Google tell you what the Write Keywords: http://housingleadsguru.com/atj/user/AdditionalGetAction.do?pageId=164875

  18. Tye Caldwell says:

    Great article and perfect timing. I’m getting ready to redesign my site, have a a few domains and need all the SEO/internet lead generation help I can get. Was wondering abouut the AR blog verus a wordpress blog as far as “Google juice?”

  19. Once again you are coming through with great information for our associates! I really think amping up the discussion around the “Long Tail” effect is a necessity in today’s online world. Far too many real estate agents are getting hooked in to expensive deals where SEO optimization companies are promising them the world in exchange for thousands of dollars.

    Keep spreading the word!

  20. aaronhofmann says:

    It’s really not difficult. I think most people are frozen into inaction and probably more so than ever. You need to pick your niche and write about it. Presumably you are passionate about your niche and as a result you can’t possibly use the old excuse of not having anything to write about. Come up with a strategy on how you will consistently feed your blog and get started. One of the great features of WP is being able to schedule posts, so you can time-block a couple times a week to write, but schedule your posts to come out over a period of time. Also great if you’re going away on vacation.

  21. Cary,

    Thank you for making many great points in this conversation. The follow up to the work of driving visitors to a site is to have a powerful call to action and an easy way for anonymous web shoppers to take that step.
    Being able to leverage a website as a live web retail space space require a shift, that shift is to be able to “see” your web shoppers live and be able to interact with them. Engage them into a conversation and convert them into prospective clients.
    I hope to be at family reunion and maybe meet to expand on what that looks like!

  22. What a great article. After reading it, I had to give my website a makeover. Thanks!

    http://www.OtownDave.com

  23. Susie Lemar says:

    Great article and suggestions as well – domain name, meta-tag, keyword, title and landing page is probably some of the most important information needed for a website.
    One of the readers suggested that you need to include some hyperlinks from other sites (another great idea) – this is essential. As an example, I’ve included links to the local county school systems, service providers, and area businesses on my site.
    Also, if you can add your website link & info onto other business websites (such as a local community’s listing, business listing, real estate, service listing, etc) on the internet – this will help TREMENDOUSLY!
    You can also register your website’s link with Yahoo, Google, and other search engines. You may want to sign up for the “Google Analytics”. KW has a space on the SITE INFO page to include your “Google Analytics” number. This will allow you to get ‘in-depth’ reporting and statistics.
    If you have a personalized domain name – there are many other things you can do to make each page within your site searchable. If you are interested: http://www.homesalesmaryland.com Susie Lemar

    You may need to use pay-per-click for a few months to drive traffic to your site, but soon enough you will start seeing your site rank up there on the first fiew pages.
    ALSO, don’t forget to make sure that your domain name is displayed prominently on your business card, flyers, and postcards! Continue passing those puppies out every chance you get because, ultimately, the internet isn’t the ‘sales rep’ – you are.
    Kudos to KW’s IT dept for giving its agents real sites and the tools to develop them further!

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