What you need to get business from your website today
The core of a real estate agent’s business will always be their database or core audience, and in the ever-expanding online and social media world, your web presence is an extremely important part of that.
Many REALTORS® think of their website only as a way to get new leads, but you should think first about how those who know you will reference and use it, and then to strangers who may be looking for an agent.
According to various recent surveys, the top three features that consumers look for on a real estate agent’s website are:
- Biography or About page
- Reviews and Testimonials
Bonus points for video on any of the above.
Checkup for your website
You should make sure that your website has the following features, in priority order:
1. Mobile responsive vs mobile “friendly”
Mobile responsiveness is one of the most important ranking elements within Google’s algorithm. There’s a very important difference between mobile responsive and mobile friendly… responsive means it’s the same user experience for the most part and has similar functionality. Mobile friendly is often an app looking smartphone sized alternative website vs the desktop equivalent. It’s key to review your website on various devices or have a development platform that allows you to see what it will look like on various sizes and types of devices.
2. Keyword strategy – what do you want Google to know your website for?
- Meta title – keep it short, be sure to include where you are in the world and your name and brokerage. Pro Tips: use your top keywords in the title first, but ensure it makes sense. Don’t exceed the maximum number of characters or won’t show up on google search anyway.
- Meta description – a short sentence or two description with more details on what someone will find on the site if they choose to click on the google result.
- Meta keywords – these are the keywords that your site will attempt to rank for. It’s recommended to hire a professional to assist you with keyword research to see which key phrases are the most competitive.
Pro Tips: Ensure you have your name along with “Your Name company name” and “Your Name franchise name” and “Your Name REALTOR” etc. All the various derivations a person might use to search for you on google.
- It’s also important to note that a user’s experience when searching google will bold any of the keywords they have searched if they show up in the meta title or description.
3. IDX (Internet Data Exchange) and VOW (Virtual Office Websites)
IDX is where you can display all listings on the MLS® on your website to allow a consumer to search and setup an account while staying within your “ecosystem”; thus increasing the chances of them contacting you. You’ll want to use one of the companies that offer IDX templated websites or plugins. See the blog article we did on comparing the various providers.
In order to get users to find what they’re looking for within a few clicks, you need to provide an easy to use property search functionality. Improving search-ability includes adding a basic IDX search bar on your homepage and options for more advanced search (map search, property type search, etc.)
When users search within your website, they should be able to easily navigate around and find the information that they are looking for. Adding an IDX search bar enables visitors to specify listings based on a preferred number of rooms, square feet, amenities, etc. Once the results come up, each listing should include detailed property and neighbourhood information.
Make sure there are options for users to save their custom searches if they want to view this information again at a later time. Should a user be interested in knowing more about the listing, your contact numbers should be prominently displayed on the top portion of your site header or a contact button should be just one click away that auto-populates that listing’s information and sends to you.
See the blog article we did on comparing the various providers.
4. Featured searches landing pages
The key here is providing your targeted audience, based on your keyword strategy too, with quick links to the main types of searches for property they would be interested in. They could be by geography, neighbourhoods, property type, price point or any combination of the above. The more you have, generally the better.
Find examples half way down on this homepage: www.rivercityrealestate.ca
5. Community profiles and information
Google, and users, like quality information. So, providing profiles on the main neighbourhoods or areas of your city you work and specialize in is a double win.
Find example here: https://rivercityrealestate.ca/neighbourhood-guide.html
6. Social media links so people can get to know you
In our expanding world of social media, many people will research you online before contacting you. Social media can be a great way for them to get to know the real you, see past clients and personal interests. It’s recommended to have the following linked from the top banner on your website so it’s easy to find:
- Facebook Business Page (not to your personal profile)
- Linked profile
- Instagram business profile
- Pinterest or any others you have quality content on and keep updated regularly
7. Biography (ideally with a video)
Talk about your professional experience, what type of clients you love working with and a little about your personal interests or hobbies. The goal is to let them get to know you.
Make sure you have a good quality headshot photo and pro tip is using something a little more fun or a collage of a few photos that show you professionally and some of your personal interests.
Example here: http://joinrivercity.ca/meet-management-and-staff/ or on this blog post.
8. Client testimonials & reviews
Third party reviews are the norm now in our online world, from picking a restaurant on Yelp, or a hotel on Trip Advisor or even a taxi or Uber. We most trust reviews from those similar to us, or those we know in our social sphere. The priorities you want to use for online reviews are:
- Google – need google my business locations profile
- Rankmyagent or Realsatisfied
Example here: https://rivercityrealestate.ca/testimonials.html
9. Video, hosted on your own YouTube channel
Google wants video content, period. They own YouTube, so if you’re goal is to rank, then be sure to produce video content. The simplest initial few ways are:
- How to get started with video – Video Series Here
- 5 types of video REALTORS® need to be doing now – LINK to blog
10. Quality Backlinks
Google adds credibility and rank to your site based on other credible sources around the internet having links that go to your website. Think of it as a digital referral, coming from a trusted source rank higher naturally. One of the tricks here is if you’re able to get quoted in the news and have a link back to your website, it’s worth more than Thousand$$$ of dollars in pay per click (PPC) google advertising.
The best types are:
- Media Outlets, higher quality the better. Pro Tip: one of the first things media agencies do when looking for someone to speak on a topic is google and checkout your website. So, make sure you already have a great one and any example videos or audio interviews you have talking about the market are the best to showcase your skills.
- Government websites (typically a .gov domain or in some cases are just .ca or .coms)
- BNI, BBB, or similar directories
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