Before writing this I read some other blogs on AR about single listing sites, most talked up the advantages but few told you how or when to use them. Frankly most single listing sites are hardly even seen by the major search engines and really the only advantage is to impress your clients.
Firstly and most importantly you must decide the purpose of your single listing site.
- To impress your sellers
- To attract targeted traffic
- To improve your other sites ranking (more links)
- To increase your presence in other markets
Impressing your sellers is important, and impressing prospective clients can be just as important in helping you obtain that listing.
Attracting targeted traffic is great but that requires niche marketing and a marketing plan.
Improving your other sites ranking is always a plus, but just building multiple sites that link back to you may not achieve that goal.
Increasing your presence in other markets is a great plan and if you wanted to target a specific neighborhood, town or type of property that can easily be achieved but search engines don't like new sites so a single listing site may be nearly useless until it has a history. You may have more luck with a site dedicated to a specific property type.
One fine example is my friend Catherine who sells horse property in Salem Oregon. By building a horse property specific website she has captured a large part of a niche market.
Another is one of my sites Raytown Real Estate , While this site is pretty basic I intend that it will eventually start to lead more traffic and leads my way for the city of Raytown, MO.
Not every property will benefit from a single listing website. Your typical neighborhood listing that looks like most of the other homes in the neighborhood is hard to market apart from the rest. If 237 Whippoorwill is very similar to all the other homes on Whippoorwill, then making it stand out from the rest is very difficult.
The best candidate for a single listing website is one that can capture niche keywords and attract traffic based on its uniqueness. While I have many properties listed most simply don't meet the level of unique qualifiers that would attract the traffic I am looking for. Furthermore building a website without the time and ability to market it is a futile effort because it will likely not get noticed by the major search engines and will capture few keywords and thus little traffic.
Far and away my most effective single listing website is one I just built for a horse farm on Clinton Lake. This property offered so many unique qualifiers that building its own website was a forgone conclusion before I even had the listing.
I am now capturing traffic for many of those unique keywords and I am gaining ranking with many others. Keywords are how people search the Internet and how links are delivered by the search engines. Keywords I captured almost immediately were due almost entirely to the uniqueness of the property and also due to the marketing plan I put in place.
- Lawrence, KS horse farm - Maybe not the most popular search, but I hold four of the top links on Google's first page.
- Clinton Lake - this is a very popular search term and I now hold two links on the front page of Google search.
- Rockhaven Park - Actually a fairly common search and very unique because it is a horse-friendly park on Clinton Lake located next to the Rockhaven Farm I am marketing.
- KU Equestrian Property - while this may not have been specifically targeted as a keyword combination it still gives me first page Google presence because of the Fact that The University of Kansas is Located in Lawrence, KS and the combination all comes together to give this website amazing Google Juice.
This property was the "Perfect Storm" of keywords, location and unique features that all came together to make it have amazing power as a single listing website. Whats more it will do all those other things I mentioned in the opening of this article.
- Impress your sellers - (I built the site before I had the listing, to quote the seller... "I'm Impressed"!)
- To attract targeted traffic ( Keyword traffic is increasing daily)
- To improve your other sites ranking (Since by law my Brokerage firm must be mentioned in all advertising I am gaining more traffic from this website being directed back to my main website.)
- To increase your presence in other markets ( I am now increasing my presence in the Clinton Lake and Lawrence, KS market, so that I expect to be working with other clients in the area.
While all of this is great none of these keywords would have a bit of ranking without a massive effort of improving that ranking via social networks and links from other sites, including Loopnet.com, Youtube.com and dozens of others.