How To Attract 10,000 Visitors A Month To Your Real Estate Website

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I guess that headline may be a little misleading.  Technically we only had 9,700 visitors to our website last month, but considering that 6 months ago we were averaging between 4,000 and 5,000 visitors each month, I figure I can fudge just a little!  How we accomplished that doubling of visitors is spot on though and I thought I would share a few tips that we have used to build that online presence.

Custom Design With A Unique Message

There are so many different marketing experts out there who will give advice that is all over the boards on how to set up and design your website.  When you consider the vast number of options for actually building a website from DIY that costs a few dollars to the thousands you can spend on super fancy sites, simply choosing how to get your site up and working can be a major task.

I am only going to offer advice from my own experiences and will add that my advice may not be the best fit for your particular niche in the real estate investing industry.  For instance, you may be a wholesaler in which case your site needs to include certain things that a Realtor may not need to include and vice-a-versa.  My company site may also be very different from a real estate professional who sells property to owner-occupants.  So your website is something that you need to spend a little extra time thinking about and preparing since you will be directing traffic to it.  Keep that in mind for two reasons.

  1. Your site needs to fit your niche and your personality.  It is an extension of you and your business.
  2.   A website is a place to communicate your unique message.  It is a place where potential clients are going to form their first impressions of you.

I am a big fan of custom designed websites where a little thought has gone into not only the layout, but also the location of information and flow from one page to the next.  Custom designs do not have to be expensive, but they can help to add character to your website and allow you to stand out from others in your field immediately.  It also allows you to portray a level of professionalism that, again depending on what your niche is, will be very important to attracting and keeping clients.  A custom design also allows you to make your site easy to navigate as well as make it easy for potential clients to register for information or content.  Both are absolutely necessary if you plan to grow your website traffic.

Related: How to Create an Awesome Lead Generating Website in Under an Hour with No Technical Abilities

As far as a unique message, for me that is the easy one.  More times than I can count, we have had either our website, our logo and even the exact wording copied from our website and used by other companies.  When we built our first website back in 2007, it was good for the time, but not great.  Our second site, was very custom and I thought was way ahead of anything else that other companies in our particular niche were using.  Apparently, others thought so as well.  We soon found an identical site up from another company.

When I say identical, I am not exaggerating.  It was a carbon copy of our site all the way down to the wording.  There was simply another companies‘ name on the site and their city inserted in all of the appropriate place and even an identical video.  They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, which is mostly true.  In this case, we were in the process of redesigning our site anyway so beyond a phone call from us, it was no big deal.  Here is my point – Be authentic and 100% YOU!  What works for someone else does not mean it will work for you and if you are trying to be someone else or borrow their platform, potential clients will know!

Use Videos And Real Pictures

We love using video because it allows visitors to see and hear us.  Pictures are also a great tool for building rapport quickly.  It simply gives your website a feeling like it is real.  We also allow investors to register for more information on our company on multiple locations throughout the site while informing early on what to expect when registering.  We keep it consistent though and do not offer a whole list of opt-ins, just a very simple opt-in for information on getting started.  I would not recommend having more than one to two options for visitors depending on your particular niche.  It is so important that a visitor gets a feel for you and your company from visiting the website and that they are comfortable giving you their contact information.  Use of video and pictures will only make that decision easier for a visitor.

Keep A Company Blog

Yes, I did say that you need to keep a company blog.  I don’t know why that conjures up so much fear.  A blog is a great place to showcase that you may know a thing or two about your particular field.  What could be more important than building credibility by sharing your expertise?  Well actually, there is something that me be almost as important and your blog is essential to providing it.

Related: What Do I Blog About On My Brand New Blog?

If you want to grow your site visits each month, you have to expand beyond simply writing about how great your company is and start expanding your articles to include keywords that are important to your growing audience.  We had to learn to stop writing about accomplishments and to start writing about relevant topics.  Today we will write five to seven articles that are on real estate topics for every one article we write about our company.  We will write articles about any topic related to real estate investing, but also began to notice another area where we had a lot of credibility.  Entrepreneurship and business development.  Today, we pull a tremendous number of site visits from fellow real estate entrepreneurs as well as small business owners.

One last trick we have used to drive up our site visits, is to use our knowledge of our city  to become a great resource for all things Memphis.  We have written articles on restaurants, hotels, politics, neighborhoods, arts and even several articles on public works projects like the multi-million dollar airport expansion and redevelopment.  These articles have done two huge things for us.  Helped us spread the word about our company and services and encourage other companies to link to our content.

Building Back-links Builds Credibility

So the back-links that we have been able to build through providing content have included topics like:  local real estate trends, real estate investing, Memphis, Dallas, entrepreneurship, small business building, team development, system implementation property management and even community topics with articles on local restaurants and hotels.  All of these articles have helped us to build over 3,000 organic back-links.  These are back-links where another site picks up on our article and wants to tell their visitors about it.  In some cases, these can be the actual companies mentioned in an article.  In others, and where it has really helped, the back-link comes from a site that is listing our website as a resource.  We have had Universities site our articles.  We have had Fortune 50 companies link to our articles.

Each time we get one of these back-links, it not only sends more visitors to our website, but it also tells search engines like Google that we may know a thing or two about our core topics and even a little about a lot of other topics on our site and the linking sites.  In the end, it all adds up to our website showing up in all sorts of search engine results.  It has led us to have over 85 keywords and phrases where our website will rank on the first page of search engine results, which leads to even more visits.

Are You Willing To Share Openly

If there is one thing that has completely changed the growth of our internet presence and allowed us to double the number of visitors to our site each month, it has been our willingness to share openly.  We all know that there are no real secrets left in the real estate investing business.  So why not share your knowledge freely, openly and as often as possible?

We started writing articles in as many places as possible.  We started sharing our blogs to as many sites as possible.  We started allowing other writers and bloggers to use our articles and blogs as references.  These simple steps grew our presence online and since the articles were about our core topics and included keywords important to our website, it has driven visits as well!  Today, I have received nearly two dozen comments on articles I have posted in the past week from readers around the globe and even though all of the articles are not hosted on our website, they all include links back to our website.  So the cycle continues.

Be Responsive And Try To Be Thankful

One habit I have tried to develop is responding to every response I get on articles.  I try to say thank you for commenting.  For the most part those two things happen every time.  Every once in a while…well, I keep a smile on my face and remember that not everyone appreciates or agrees with what it put out there.  Which, is a very important point to remember when you are sharing and trying to ultimately build your brand and drive visitors to your site.  I aways try to thank commentators on every article.

Your Website Is An Extension Of You

If you read a lot of what I write, then you will know that I am a firm believer in never selling anything.  If you have offer what a person needs or wants, then convincing them that you are the right choice should be as easy as offering a handshake.  If you need to do more, offer more, say more and continue convincing, then the fit is wrong somewhere and your experience with that person as a client will be a constant struggle of convincing.  The same holds true with your website.

If a potential client develops a like and trust with you and your company after visiting your website and they need whatever niche of real estate you offer, then they will come back to your site often and send others as well.  This is often your first and best opportunity to build an impression so don’t waste it.  Offer value and great content on a site that is easy to get around and navigate.  Present something that is a great reflection of who you are and allow them to see the real you…not some phony version.

If you want to stand out, be remembered and start building incredible traffic to your site, then start by presenting an authentic reflection of you from day 1!

Leave your comments below! Do you have any tips you can add, or questions I can answer?

Photo: Eden Politte

About Author

Chris Clothier

In 2005, Chris Clothier (G+) began working with passive real estate investors and has since helped more than 1,100 investors purchase over 3,400 investment properties in Memphis, Dallas and Houston through the Memphis Invest family of companies.

25 Comments

  1. As soon as I saw the title of this article I had to click it.

    I’m have a site developed that would typically run $4-$6k (I got a ‘friends and family’ discount, but it’s still expensive).

    I know that I want to have appeal to private lenders and to people in the $125-$180k housing market. Many website I’ve seen have been put together ‘within an hour’ and in my eyes, you can tell.

    This article is so encouraging for my current circumstance since I wanted my site to mirror the standards I hold myself to.

    Chris,
    1) Do you put classified Ads/PPC up to generate traffic to your site?
    2) Outside of blogging, writing articles, and using keywords, do you market your website? If so, how?
    3) Starting out, what are some ways you feel would help begin driving traffic with a $100 budget?

    Thanks for taking the time to write this article! Glad to have found somebody experienced in this field =)

    • Chris Clothier

      Taylor,

      Great questions and thanks for taking the time to read the article.

      1. We do not run ads in traditional places – yet – with the exception of Facebook and those ads are driving responses to our Facebook places page, not our website. Strictly a branding play. But we do not run PPC or classified ads on Google or Bing or any of the other search engines. We have found that we get much better and qualified traffic through organic search which means creating great content.
      * As a side note, I know this is the BP blog, but BiggerPockets.com is where we run a vast majority of our advertising dollars because the traffic we get is so good. The people are more qualified and more we have been active on the site for so long that we have a good reputation and brand. So I prefer to spend my ad dollars where we are able to get a highly qualified target audience.

      2. I am always branding – constantly. We specifically chose our name as MemphisInvest.com so that anyone hearing about us would know the web address. I am constantly wearing our logo and I look for every opportunity to brand us. Including being a Pro member on BP so I can include my logo and contact info. We also spent a lot of time sponsoring Real Estate events. We do not have to do that as much anymore, but if I were restarting a new brand I would sponsor everything I could and make sure that my name was memorable and that it included my .com. There are some really good events right now that you could possibly sponsor and possibly get an educational speaking slot like events from Linda Pliagas, Tim Herriage and even next year’s BP Summit. Just put yourself, your name and your brand out there as much as possible and you will drive traffic. If the site is good and you have good content, then the traffic will stay.

      3. For a $100 budget, I’m not sure what you can get. I would say Facebook or PPC where you can limit your spend to a few bucks a day, but you are not going to get a ton of traffic. I might suggest saving that $100 and doing something once a quarter when you can spend $300 and scale to try to have a bigger impact. It is going to be tough to advertise on such a limited budget but not impossible.

      Your best bet is to generate high quality content. Make sure you have google authorship set up when you start generating content and then get that content everywhere you can. People will click on a google return with a picture of the author next to it, much more frequently than they will on content without a picture.

      Good luck Taylor and feel free to send me any more questions. I’d be happy to help anyway I can.

      Chris

  2. Great article, as always, Chris.

    I believe writing pertinent, client-based articles is one of the most important things you can do to be found in online searches. We do a ton of traditional marketing, but the number one way people say they find is us through Google searches.

    Writing, like any kind of marketing, takes time to generate response. It’s not difficult, like you said, it’s just an investment of time – consistently.

    • Chris Clothier

      Hi Karen!

      I could not agree with you more on just about everything you said. It takes time to learn how to do it and to be effective. I am still learning!

      My older brother Kent taught me a ton last week when we got to spend some time together and little tips and tricks that I pick up from him go a long way in getting better at generating quality content and placing it properly. We have found over time that certain topics simply generate a much greater response and drive a majority of our traffic. I learned through analytics that half of our traffic arrives at our site by simply inputting our web address directly and a majority of our registrants identify having read our educational posts or articles being published.

      So we have found that there is a formula, you just have to be – as you said – consistently turning out good content and give people a reason to want to come back and check out your website. And that does not always mean the content is on your site. Your content has to be everywhere and give people a reason to go back and check out your site.

      Thanks for taking time to read and comment.

      Chris

  3. John Thedford on

    Great article. I have a site that generates about 14K-15K views a month (not real estate related) and last I checked it was number 4 on google (I used to be number 1 but health issues slowed me down considerably). I don’t pay for any SEO etc. I have found having great content, providing lots of information to readers (even though they may not do business with me personally), and updating the site regularly keeps people coming back. Change it up regularly. Give your readers value (even if free). Offering to help others without asking for something in return builds great relationships. What can you provide to your readers that they would appreciate? People do remember generosity. Once people see that you truly care and that it is “not just about the money” you will build a loyal following.

    • Chris Clothier

      John –

      Those are great comments and some really fantastic advice. I really liked the words generosity, relationships, loyalty. Those are key to any business relationship and every business relationship is really about building trust. Your comment nailed that!

      Thanks for taking the time to read and leave your comments. All the best –

      Chris

  4. Hello Chris
    Very informative article. I know you have a fairly big company. Do you have multiple individuals writing your articles and content? How would you suggest a one man or woman operation get started submitting content?
    Con

  5. Chris Clothier

    Hi Con –

    Thanks for the comments. For your question, I use a company called Hubspot.com for all of our inbound marketing analytics. Through them I found a company called Creative-Distillery. They assist me by coming up with research and topics as well as ideas for blogs. If they send me a blog idea it will usually be 250 words with some basic concepts. If I like the idea, I take it and write it in my own words or add links and content that is uniquely mine. My blogs usually end up being between 750 and 1000 words.

    For articles like this one, I write it myself and do research myself if it is required. So they are a tremendous help from the standpoint of generating ideas.

    One other big point. They have access to my analytics and know which keywords we need to work on. They send ideas based on what is working or what needs more support. I have regular emails with them once a month to go over adjustments or different concepts and keywords that I want to work on, so they are very, very helpful. As far as the company here, I am the only one working on content. I have help in the marketing side of things, but the content to support the marketing is produced by me.

    All the best to you –

    Chris

  6. Cool article here Chris – I love hearing about the evolution of your online presence. If you ever need help building some more of those back links, let me know. It’s always great to have you featured on our website!

  7. Jeff Brown

    Hey Chris, you clearly understand this subject. I wasn’t blessed with the high tech gene, not even close. I’ve had serious doubts for years about what SEO pros have claimed. What seems to be true for the successful real estate sites/blogs I’ve observed are a few things. Would love your take.

    1. Big time traffic wasn’t a common denominator. Some had it, some didn’t. Some had surprisingly low numbers on the traffic line item.

    2. Their bankers (and spouses 🙂 ) were apathetic about their traffic. They were only able to process deposits representing dead presidents.

    3. SEO is spelled R-E-S-U-L-T-S

    • Chris Clothier

      Jeff –

      As usual you are spot on. No one should ever confuse traffic to their website as success…that is for sure! Traffic does not add to the bottom line. Hell, anyone can BUY traffic to their website to make themselves feel good.

      My Dad is one of the smartest business men I have ever been around, but one argument he and I have gone round and round on is website traffic and leads. He has always been an analytics guy and has held fast to the multiplier rule. In essence, (for round #s sake) if 1,000 visits equals 100 leads equals 1 client, then 10,000 visits are needed to create 1,000 leads to create 10 buyers, etc…

      That however is not the way I see it. Even though he is correct, I’ve always believed that if you get better site visitors and create more qualified leads you will get more clients. So i’ve worked hard to create better content and identify better places to place that content to find more qualified leads that will become clients faster. I would rather have 1,000 visitors that love what we do to create 200 leads that are really interested and lead to 30 clients/buyers instead of just trying to drive more generic visitors.

      Long answer to your question, but if someone is thinking that SEO is the answer to more sales of a crappy product or a spammy website, then they are probably wrong. Great content, truly caring about those that are paying attention to your content, combined with a great product will lead to RESULTS. No question about it – how much traffic you have has nothing to do with your bottom line (and the depositing of dead presidents!) unless it is the right traffic.

      Thanks for posting your question Jeff –

      Chris

  8. John Thedford on

    I see lots of companies selling SEO services. I agree that does not translate into more business. You have to offer something that people want. One thing that will help you stand out is doing something different. As an example, I started offering lay-a-ways back in 2008 when the NFA market was dead. That increased my sales at a time when things were very slow. I also got a very unique toll free number that stood out. Most dealers didn’t have a toll free number. Not only did I obtain one, but the number itself was unique and people remember it and use it to this day. Other tactics included offering 100% refunds if not satisfied, etc (very few offered that at the time). Some of these are not appropriate for real estate, but the idea is to set yourself apart and MAKE people want to deal with you. I did things that no other dealers offered and within a couple short years I found myself as one of the best known names in the industry. Go that extra mile. Help your potential clients. They will push your site up in rankings by being frequent visitors. Focus on quality, content, and what sets you apart. What can you offer visitors to entice them back over and over? How can you help them? Come up with something unique that nobody else offers. Be different…and be good at it. Soon, you will find your site high up in the rankings, and the business will come if you treat people well.

  9. Chris,
    thanks for sharing, good article!
    Over the last year, as I was building my website and learning various SEO techniques, the traffic on our site about doubled compared to one year ago. At the same time, while only about 15% of our total business one year ago was coming from people finding us online, this number now increased to over 50%!
    And most of the techniques that I used, you address in your article. So this really works as we both were doing similar things independently and are getting similar result!

    • Chris Clothier

      Dmitriy –

      That is awesome to hear about your website. Exposure and high-quality are probably the two best ways to get noticed and if you are doing some of the things I talked about…then you are getting both!

      Good stuff –

      Chris

  10. Hi Chris,

    Your team is very good at getting in the news and are doing everything 100% correctly.

    Saw you referenced in a Yahoo Finance article a while back. Make sure to set some Google Alerts up for your name, that way you can spot when you are referenced. Then, if there isn’t a link but just a mention of your business, reach out and request one.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Chris Clothier

      Perry –

      Thanks for reading the article! I appreciate the feedback on your taking the time to read and write on it. Media links are a huge factor as you know and we have been in Yahoo Finance a couple of times. Those links are excellent and the mention in the article is not half bad either!

      All the best to you –

      Chris

  11. Chris, great article with quality advice. As a commercial real estate agent for many years, I loved your point about building such a credible presence that you never worry about selling. It’s spot-on advice, and whenever I don’t heed that–when I have to try too hard to win business–it often ends up being business I later wish I hadn’t won!

    Continued success…

    Jim

    • Chris Clothier

      You are so correct on the business you wish you did not have, Jim!

      A great lesson for entrepreneurs is that you have to say no. If you find yourself in a position where you financially cannot say no…as you said, it can end up haunting an entrepreneur later. Great point!

      Thanks for reading and writing on the article.

      Chris

    • Nope!

      After reviewing my original comment about a year ago… I would say don’t worry too much about the website regardless if you are a company or not.

      I see what I said in my comment above and think, “Wow Taylor you spent $2k on the site but on had $100 left for marketing?”

      It should have been $2k for marketing and $100 for the site.

      Don’t worry too much about creating a web presence unless that is the way you plan to go to market.

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