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.