This is a great post from Lisa Udy out in Utah. I couldn't have said it better myself & JUST this day happened to be working on my website. Thanks Lisa!
How much time are you putting into your blogging efforts, web site presence, and internet marketing plan? What are you doing with your time, why are you doing it, and how effective are you being with your efforts?Are you converting people that come to your website into leads? Appointments? Closed Deals? If you're not converting your website visitors into leads it's time to change.
Common Conversion Rate Mistakes
1. Get Rid Of The Crap
When it comes to website conversion, less is more. If you have more then 20 links on your home page, you're making it extremely difficult for a visitor to decide what you want from them. If you took all of the clutter on your website and got rid of it for one defined goal. You will give your visitors a clear defined path of what you want them to do.
Example: Check out this Logan Utah Homes For Sale website. What does the site want you to do when you get there? It's very simple to see the main objective of this site. It wants you to search for homes and it gives you a clear defined way to search for those homes. (This site is very new, without much content, but it's purpose is to capture property searchers, and it does.)
Conversion: The conversion of this site is after someone has viewed three properties. The system will then redirect them to a sign up sheet in order to gather their information. It is well known that the highest conversion rates for a real estate property search is after someone has viewed three properties prior to sign up. Proof here and here.
2. What's The Purpose Of Your Website?
As a real estate agent, people coming to my website want to search for properties. They want market statistics, new homes on the market, and they want to look at EVERY home on the market; NOT just my listings. Everything else is in the way. You have about 5 seconds to give a visitor what they want, and if they don't get it, their gone.
Exercise: I want you to find someone that hasn't ever been to your website, make them visit it, and ask them what they think your websites purpose is. Ask them how long it took them to decide their conclusion, and ask them what they felt they should do while on your website.
Conversion: How long did it take them to figure out what you wanted them to do? What did they feel your website wanted them to do? Did they respond with the goal you had when you bought/built your website? If it's not, then maybe you need to do a little updating or get a new website provider.
3. Don't Be Satisfied With Zero Return On Your Investment
A lot of real estate agents I know say they are happy to have a website that doesn't perform. I think they aren't happy, they just don't know what to do. They are afraid of spending to much money and not getting a return, which is why they are happy not getting a return on their investment in the first place. Their thoughts are, "at least I'm not spending more money on something that doesn't work".
That's when I say, "what if you closed two more deals a year from your website? Would that give you an incentive to put a little money into your web presence?" And what if you put that money made back into your website so the next year you closed 4 more deals?
Think About This: Are you an agent that has left your website alone because you haven't gotten a return on your initial investment? I understand you, I was once in your shoes, but then I decided to focus.
I focused on education. I focused on creating a website that would bring me leads. I focused on my lead follow up. I went from no closings from the internet to 2. And from 2 to 4, and now I believe the sky is the limit. Remember 90% of home buyers are starting their search online, why not give them a great experience with your website?
Conversion: Taking a website that doesn't convert visitors into prospects may be a difficult task. You may just have to start over. It also may be very easy. Maybe you just need to add a new contact form, or start requiring registration to view properties.
It may be that you aren't getting any traffic to your site. Which can be fixed with a simple web marketing strategy such as blogging, hiring an SEO company, or doing some Pay Per Click advertising with Google. Maybe if you cleaned up your site a little bit, made it more user friendly, and placed a clear call to action to your visitors, you might increase your conversion rate exponentially. Learn website conversion tactics from the experts.
4. Add Value
Some websites out there aren't very appealing to a consumer. These websites talk about the me me me's...and don't actually add value to a consumer. If you don't add value to your website visitors, there is no reason for them to stick around, let alone come back. It's crucial to your conversion rates to give someone something they will value, and know that what they are getting is worth them taking the time to fill out your contact form.
Evaluate: When evaluating your website, what do you give to a visitor that is valuable? Do you have a property search with maps? Do you have an great newsletter with market information? What do you have that entices me to give you my contact information?
Conversion: Test multiple value added strategies. Try a monthly newsletter with real estate statistics, forced property viewing registration, teaser views of properties, or anything else that you think will add value to your visitors. What can you give someone that is going to set you apart from the competition? If you figure that out, create a website around that theme, and have a strong call to action, your conversion rate is going to increase dramatically.
5. Display Trust
How many times have you been to a website that makes you scream SCAM! I bet you didn't give that site your personal information. Have you ever signed up for something on a website that says, "If you give us your personal information, we will sell it to everyone in the world!" How would that make you feel as a consumer? Would you trust that site with your privacy? No, I think not!!
Displaying Trust: Great ways to provide trust is with client testimonials, they work even better if it's in video format. Also trusted authorities are a great way to display trust such as the Better Business Bureau logo, a local newspaper article about your business, or well known people talking about your products and services. If you go to that last link, and look at how much attention is put into converting you into a prospect, you will understand what I'm talking about.
Conversion: Sign up with your local chamber of commerce, the BBB, and ask your clients for testimonials. Building trust is a hard thing to do because it has to be genuine and for the most part it can't be bought. It will take time to build brand trust on the web, but if you already have trust in the real world, use that to build it online as well.
If you want to increase your conversion rate, try thinking about what you would think of your website the same as a consumer does. Is your website giving you value? Does your site provide value? Are your visitors getting what they came for? If you ask these simple questions and find a way to answer yes, you will be well on your way to a more successful internet presence!