Getting ample leads from their website is the digital Holy Grail for real estate agents – but why do some succeed while most sites end up in the virtual-productivity graveyard? Why is it that your website isn’t getting leads?
The simplified answer to this question is two-fold. Your website isn’t earning enough traffic and/or you might not be asking for the business.
A website that doesn’t attract visitors can’t earn leads, in the same way that you can’t squeeze blood from a stone. So your first step in the lead-generation process is to find out how much traffic your website actually receives.
Many website providers have an in-house solution to checking your traffic volume, but if they don’t, Google Analytics offers a free solution that can not only tell you how many visitors your website receives, but also how long they stay on your site, which pages are the most popular and how you acquired those visitors.
If your site is lacking traffic you have options.
- SEO – Your first option is search engine optimization (SEO), to organically raise your ranking on Google so that more people see your site during Internet searches. SEO is a long-term strategy and needs sustained effort over months or years to succeed.
- Paid advertising – Another option is paid advertising. Google’s Pay Per Click advertising is a results-oriented advertising solution, but be warned, it can get pricey in more competitive markets. Facebook has affordable advertising that is based largely on impressions (the number of times it is displayed to people on Facebook). However, you need a compelling reason to get them to click on your ad.
You’re not asking for the lead
Imagine being a social butterfly who meets people constantly (and occasionally talks real estate) but never asks for the business. This is like having a great website with ample traffic but no effective call-to-action strategy.
A call to action is an element of your website, generally a form, that attracts the website visitor’s attention and then attempts to turn them into leads by getting their contact information. Ideally, they have an enticing offer that convinces someone to submit their name, phone number and email. Essentially they empower your website to “ask for the business” for you, virtually.
Call-to-action forms can come in the form of pop-ups (yes they’re annoying, but they really work), at the bottom of content pages (specific to the content), newsletter subscriptions, inline (put smack in the middle of content) and in sidebar (that area on the right or left of all the pages with links and non-page-related info) format. Content gates (sort of a “none shall pass without entering your information for access”) can be extremely effective as well.
Examples of calls to action
To help point you in the right direction of creating a call-to-action strategy, here are a few common examples:
- Click here for a Free Home Evaluation.
- Download your free report on real estate investments in (your city, province).
- 12 of the Best-Kept Secrets that Buyers Need to Know.
- Subscribe now for free tips on foreclosures and short sales.
- Download The 10 Biggest Mistakes Home Sellers Make.
- Find out what your home is worth.
- Free download: First-time home buyer’s guide.
The above examples tend to be a tad over-used (and under effective), so here are a few more examples with more compelling offers:
- Learn the 7 eco-friendly home features that will save you tens of thousands in long-term expenses!
- Learn how to buy a home for less than you are paying for rent.
- Find out my no-money-down investment strategy for flipping homes.
- Find out why some of the best homes never make it to MLS – and how to find them.
- How to save thousands on your next home
Expert bonus tips
Getting traffic and creating lead-generating call-to-action forms are two must-haves in the lead-generation process. But as you delve deeper into success you’ll learn that colours, placement, content, images and more play a part in peoples’ willingness to part with their precious contact information. And no long-term lead-generation is complete without continually testing and tweaking the calls to action based on actual results.
Most real estate website providers operate in a closed, proprietary system, each with their own stock calls to action forms. So if you already have a website you’ll need to check with your current provider. If you’re using an open platform, like WordPress, you have a number of options. Feel free to contact me for some suggestions.