Technical Information made easy by Scott Sambucci.
If you want the ABC's of keeping the leads on your site and making them return again and again, you'll find Scott's advice easy to understand and some of the tools presented here are sure to help you get there.
Read on and don't be scared: this only looks complicated!
Here's the basic scoop of developing leads from your website and blog, with some screen shots down below to show you some excellent services that are free (or very inexpensive)...
1. Be found - This is where blogging and a regular updates to your site helps potential prospects and clients find you on the web. There's constand chatter and a billion dollar industry around "search engine optimization" and "SEO." At it's core, that just means - Can you be found?
You need not pay for "search engine optimization" if the content on your website matches with what local buyers/sellers are looking for.
Once you've been found....
2. Be interesting & useful - This means unique and compelling content. We've (meaning Altos Research) have always felt that there are three (3) questions that home buyers & sellers care about:
- What's for sale?
- What's my home worth?
- How's the market?
If your website provides complete answers to these questions, then a website visitor has less motivation to leave your site (or "bounce" as it's called in web marketing circles). You become the consultant and resource for the buyer/seller when it comes to their local real estate market. And that's the point, right?
And once they've found you and see that you are indeed the local market expert...
3. Have a "call to action" - A reason to be in touch. Be specific!
"Call me when you're ready to buy or sell!!"
"If you'd like a local market report for your area like the sample here, just fill out this form and it will be emailed to you right away."
"I can prepare a marketing analysis for your home based on transactions from the last three months. Fill out this form with your address and I'll complete one for you within in five days."
4. Track your web traffic - If you opened a retail clothing store, you'd want to know how people found your store - whether it was because of an advertisement in the local paper, word of mouth, saw your sign from across the street, etc. And you'd want to know exactly how many people came to your store each day and compare that number to sales at the register. Same goes with your website. This is your store!
Some resources for tracking your tracking your website traffic:
Google Analytics - This is a FREE service from Google that enables you to see how many website visitors you have each day, how long they were on your site, and how many pages were viewed. Here's a sample screenshot from my Google Analytics account that I use from my personal blog:
From here, I can see that I get anywhere from 2-25 visitors per day. I can also drill down to a specific day to see if perhaps my blog traffic did better after certain articles that I've written. I also see that my visitors spend 1.5 minutes on my site.
MyBlogLog - This is service provided by Yahoo! For as little as $25/year (yes, that's per year!), this will track more specific inbound links.
Again, using my personal blog account, here's an illustration of how it looks:
On the left, I can see the exact inbound location - some are from comments I've posted on other blogs, some are search terms on Google, some are from emails that I've sent to friends letting them know I have a new blog post, and one is from my Facebook profile.
By knowing how people find my blog, I can continue to accentuate this channels. (Looks like I should keep commenting on other blogs!).
3. HitTail - This service requires a subscription, but gives you a "blow by blow" account of inbound web traffic.
Using the Altos Research HitTail account, I can see a cross-section of this morning's traffic, the time of the visitor, and the search term used to find us. (Remember the "Be Found" principle...)
4. Industry Resources -
Outside of the real estate industry, there are all sorts of resources and companies. For example, check out LeadsCon. Not that you need to attend, but take a look at the exhibitors list and visit their websites. Good companies have lots of educational information and tips that you can glean without actually paying for their services.
Other websites, such as the Interactive Advertising Bureau (found this from a Guy Kawasaki tweet), focuses on interactive advertising and lead generation practices. Tons of info here. It can get a little theoretical and focus on "big business" but the principles are all the same.
If you're not abiding by these principles, then you're probably not serious about using the Internet for prospect and lead development. That's okay - many agents I know work strictly by referral, so developing leads from the web is a very low priority. However, if your website or blogs is an integral part of your business and marketing plan, be sure to utilize these basic principles.