You have a real estate website, but are your visitors staying on your site or surfing elsewhere?
When most real estate professionals post a website, they do so with the expectation that their site will attract customers for their business.
While the number of unique visitors to your site is important, an even more important statistic is "stickiness." Stickiness refers to how much time each visitor actually spends on your site.
If your website is merely an infomercial for you, visitors will surf to your site and then surf elsewhere in a matter of seconds. In fact, having your picture on the home page of your site causes up to 50 percent of your Web visitors to leave. The reason? It’s about you rather than being about them.
In contrast, a well-constructed site that focuses on the consumer and that is lifestyle based may have a Web visitor staying 10 to 15 minutes. If you would like to increase the stickiness of your website, here are nine ways to have your clients stick with you.
1. Make your site interactive rather than static
A static website, no matter how attractive, is not much more than a billboard. You read it once and move on to the next sign. In contrast, an interactive site engages your Web visitors and increases the probability that they will return.
You can make your site more interactive by including mortgage calculators, rent vs. buy calculators, maps, or any other applications that invite your Web visitors to interact with your site.
2. Update your content often
There are numerous ways to make your content fresh. You can do this with a blog or you can provide links that track such things as "today’s interest rates," "upcoming neighborhood events," or "recent sales." If you set up your Web page properly, the visitor links to the resource while staying on your site.
3. Be a community resource
Provide lists of service providers that you trust. You can also provide entertainment information including phone numbers and addresses of restaurants, theaters and museums as well as contact information for schools, places of worship, public parks, police, fire, etc.
4. Be prepared
One of the best ways to make your website more sticky is to provide emergency preparedness information. This can rotate based upon the types of issues you face in your region. For example, if you live in an area with earthquakes, every time there is a major quake, you can use your newsletter, blog, or social media to direct people to your site for more information.
If you live in an area where there are tornadoes, floods or blizzards, you can post tips on how to be best prepared.
5. Use quizzes and self-tests
People love quick inventories that test their knowledge. For example, to create a weekly quiz, use real estate information from previous eras. A great place to gather this information is from old newspapers. You can view them at your local library or research them online.
Some sample questions include: "What trendy restaurant used to be a service station?" "In 1950, how much would a typical three-bedroom, two-bathroom home on Maple Street cost? (a) $5,000 (b) $8,000 $15,000?" "Which president’s mother was born in our town?" This type of local color greatly adds to your reputation as being the expert in the area. It also keeps people returning to your site.
6. New technologies that increase stickiness
There are a variety of tech tools that you can either embed in your website or that you can link to that will build stickiness. For example, if you live in an urban area, you may want to put a link to Walkscore.com that tells how "walkable" a neighborhood is.
Tools such as 3-D virtual tours can allow your website visitors to "walk through" your listings. There are also tools to virtually decorate a property online and save your creations. Such tools build stickiness while also helping to improve your lead conversion for both sellers and buyers.
7. Mobile stickiness
With an increasing number of people shifting to smart phones and new gadgets like the iPad, it’s also important that you optimize your website to be "sticky" for the small screen.
Mobify.me, allows you to convert your current website into a mobile-friendly layout using a simple drag-and-drop feature. To make your site more sticky, be sure to include links to your Internet Data Exchange/multiple listing service property data feed, maps, and comparable sales information.
8. Use video
There are plenty of ways to integrate video into your site. Post testimonials from past clients, shoot videos of your listings, do a video tour of notable properties in your area, or interview local business owners about their businesses.
Video not only helps your search-engine ranking, it also helps you attract and keep more Web visitors.
9. Invite comments
Asking for feedback about your website, your inventory or your services and then posting it to your site is a great way to hear from your community and to increase your business.
Here’s the bottom line: Regardless of what you post, have fun and keep your content fresh. That’s the best way to get Web visitors to stick with you!