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.
- Your site needs to fit your niche and your personality. It is an extension of you and your business.
- 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.
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