What if I told you that there’s one tiny tech mistake that I see smart agents make on their websites and blogs-- again and again-- that could be costing you a lost commission every month?
Would you want to know what it is and how to fix it?
Here's what I'm talking about:
As good bloggers and site owners, we all link out from our sites from time to time. Oftentimes, you’re pointing your visitors (prospects) to outside resources that they might find valuable, such as the websites of local schools, utility companies, local government or community organizations, etc.
Now, there’s one thing that’s even harder than getting people to visit your site in the first place, and that’s getting visitors to engage with your content. Lead conversion experts agree that visitors that take actions, like clicking on links are often your hottest prospects.
Here's the BIG question:
When your visitor/prospect clicks those outgoing links, does it automatically open a new tab or window in their browsers, leaving your page still open?
Or do "clickers" just leave your site (i.e. your page is replaced with the “new” website page in the same browser tab or window) and go about their new business, with each new click taking them farther and farther away from your site?
If the second scenario is what happens on your website or blog (just click on some links yourself to find out), you’ve got a problem that needs fixing.
Why This is a Problem
See, if you send them away from your site to do something else... distracting them from where you really want them to be... and don’t provide an easy way for them to quickly return…. Well, how many prospects are you losing because they didn’t think to click the "back" button on their browser once or twice or 5x or 10x to get back to you?
Every outgoing link should always open automatically in a new tab/window.
(By the way, I've seen a few sites open internal links [to other pages on your own site] in new tabs, too. Please don't do that. It's just freaking annoying.)
Let’s look at how to fix this problem or better yet, make sure it doesn’t happen in the first place.
Good news. ActiveRain did things right! The default option when you create a link in a post is that it opens in a new tab/window. You’d have to purposely change it to screw it up. :-)
If you're using WordPress, the default is to open a new link in the same tab/window, which is exactly what we don’t want for external links. But it’s easy to remedy by checking a little box when creating your link in the visual editor.
(Remember, when you’re creating a link to another page on your own site, you actually do want the new page to replace the current page. This makes for “normal,” easy navigation.)
For Other Websites:
If you're doing old-fashioned HTML linking for some reason, like on the agent site your broker provided or some other older style site that doesn’t use WordPress or another modern CMS (content management system), just make sure your link structure includes the tag:
So, if I were linking from my website to the local parks department website, it might look like this:
<a href="http://www.localparksdepartment.com" target="_blank"> Local Parks Department</a>
If you learned HTML a long time ago, you might have learned it this way:
target="new" "New" has been deprecated (as the coders say) in favor of
"_blank". You’ll definitely want to use the newer tag for best results.
So, when you have time be sure to check all of the outgoing links on your sites (at least the most important ones, if you have a big site), or better yet, have an assistant or VA do it.
And stop sending your hottest web prospects away! :-)