Using real estate 'eye candy' to hook consumers

They'll come for the photos and stay for the content

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If you are a blogger, you are constantly trying to think of new ways to create content that will attract consumers to your site. We regularly create market reports, examine community information and keep an eye on real estate news — all to, hopefully, rank well in the search engines. We then take to social media to share our new content with the world. All this work, and sometimes the results are plain disappointing.

Unfortunately, this disappointment is all too common among bloggers, as they don’t see the results they expect as quickly as they’d like. One of my friends and blogging mentors used to say to me that blogging is not “lightning in a bottle” and that it’s a long-term strategy that can bring lasting results. Search engine optimization (SEO)-rich content and a good road map will bring you success, but that can take six months to a year to achieve. We aren’t always patient enough to wait for the results.

That being said, I suggest mixing in “eye candy” posts. These posts aren’t written to get you on the first page of Google, but they are posts designed to bring a quick buzz of traffic to your site that may last only a few weeks. Use catchy titles and popular topics that would attract broad target audiences.

My most recent successful eye candy post was a year-end wrap-up titled “10 Most Expensive Homes Sold On The Grand Strand In 2014.” The post itself was very easy to write. I just logged into my local MLS and pulled some stats from the previous year and homes that sold during that time. I decided I wanted to showcase the 10 most expensive; some of my friends were able to sell a few of those homes, and I could pay it forward to them by recognizing them on social media. I asked one of the agents I knew if I could use some of his property images.

I made this post live and began my regular sharing steps across social media. I noticed that this post was getting much more attention than most other things I’ve shared over the past few weeks on Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook. In fact, Facebook alerted me that this post shared on my Facebook page was outperforming others and suggested that I think about boosting. So I gave the post a $20 boost, and the rest has been magic. Consumer acquisition is currently just 19 cents, and I’ve seen an increase in website traffic of more than 1,600 percent during the boost.

I’ve run Facebook ads in the past and seen success, but the results this time were much greater. It made me realize that consumers get drawn in by “eye candy.” The eye candy will drive them to your site to look at things that they find interesting. Then, reel them in with a little interesting tidbit, an intriguing topic or the ability to dream. Once they finish reading about the candy and come back to reality, they will then spend time looking for properties that actually fit their criteria.

The time spent on my site is up 350 percent, and the bounce rate is also down 20 percent, which means that consumers coming to see the eye candy are spending more time on my site and are clicking through to more pages. And when a consumer spends more time on your site, it gives you a better opportunity to stay top of mind when the time comes to buy or sell a home.

So, if you are trying to think of ways to drive traffic to your site and are tired of writing the boring SEO-rich content, consider using some eye candy to attract more eyes.

Jeremy Blanton is a Myrtle Beach Realtor and also the co-founder of 210 Consulting – Social Media Advisors.