I’ve been somewhat obsessed lately with calls to action. So much so that every time I visit a web site that is new to me, the first thing that I do is to figure out what their Call to Action is, and how they implement it.
You might be asking “what is a call to action?” Given that they are so rare on most real estate agent websites, I can understand why that might be so.
Here is a pretty good definition of a call to action from BusinessDictionary.com:
Words that urge the reader, listener, or viewer of a sales promotion message to take an immediate action, such as “Write Now,” “Call Now,” or (on Internet) “Click Here.” A retail advertisement or commercial without a call-to-action is considered incomplete and ineffective. (Emphasis added) Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/call-to-action.html
Most agents that I talk to tell me that they get very little business (if any at all) from their real estate web sites. The feeling that they have is that they are not getting enough traffic to their sites and they are looking for ways to get more. Some are even spending several thousand dollars for “SEO experts” to help them get their sites to rank on search engine results pages. The problem with that approach is that it is pretty darn difficult to get ranking for multiple keywords to say nothing of the expense involved.
My advice to them is to install (or have the webmaster install) Google Analytics. Google analytics is a free snippet of code that resides on every page of a website (every page that the owner wants to measure) so that we can look at how much traffic is already coming to the site. You may be surprised to learn that a fair amount of traffic is already visiting your site…but is quickly leaving without taking any action. Paying a SEO expert to drive more traffic to a site that isn’t converting the traffic that it already receives is just not smart at all!
The problem is that visitors to a real estate website are looking for a solution to a problem they are having (or a need that they want to fill). When they arrive at your site what do they find? A property search form? Ho-hum, that’s been done by others. A list of your past sales? Everyone has past sales unless they are brand new. Buyer advice? What if they are sellers? Seller advice? What if they are buyers? If they don’t immediately see the answer that they are seeking they hit the back button and they are gone. In other words, if they can’t see what they need immediately, there is no reason for them to stay on your site, much less contact you.
If you are not attracting targeted traffic, there is NO way that you can have a solution to their issue on your site on any consistent basis.
I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting effective calls to action (and the converse is also true…I can spot when there is none too!), so for most of the agents that I have been helping the most valuable advice that I have for them doesn’t concern their web site at all!
Here’s the truth; you need to be extremely clear about who you want as a client. Then you need to be just as clear about knowing what real estate pain point or need is driving them to look at real estate sites. Once you know those two facts, then you can determine what you have that can help those people.
At that point you can build (or have built) a page on your site that addresses that need. Better yet, have a separate site that speaks ONLY to that need. Have it on its own URL that is tied to the need. Have articles on the site that deal with your solution to their problem, and you’ll get them to stay to read what you have. And if you continually add to that stockpile, they’ll come back. Sounds a bit like a blog…or maybe even a Facebook Business page with status updates that deal ONLY with that need.
THEN, you can devise a call to action. One that offers a compelling reason for the reader to give you contact information in exchange for something that they want. That contact information goes into an email autoresponder (MailChimp, Aweber, Constant Contact to name a few) that allows you to send them focused emails that pertain only to the solution to their problem…such that when they are ready to make a buy or sell decision YOU are the logical choice.
There is a lot more to this, but when these systems are set up, and you THEN concern yourself with driving traffic, you can have an automated lead generation system in place.
But start with identifying YOUR call to action on your web site. If you can’t find it, contact me. I’ll be happy to help you set up an automated lead generating and capture system based on the clients you want to attract, their needs and your ability to solve the client needs.
Imagine having a steady stream of qualified buyer or seller leads…would that change your life?