1989. Kevin Costner. Field of Dreams. There’s a line from that movie that goes, “If you build it, they will come.” Though it was true in the movie (do you believe 20 years ago?) it is not true for today’s website traffic. In the battle for real estate visitors today every Rainmaker and web marketer must drive their own traffic to their website.
“If you build it, tell them where to go.”
Best Practices: Promote your website on all of your offline and online marketing materials. This seems obvious but you’d be surprised how often your competition fails to get their web address mentioned with:
- Bulletin boards
- Within e-mails…from message to signature to header
- Mentions in newspapers or magazines
- Business cards
- Bring it up in discussions (a memorable and easily-spoken domain is key)
- Search engines
- Build reciprocal links – within web articles, mutual links, link backs in blogs, etc.
- Social networking (work to build the “link love”)
- Customized “404 — Not found” pages
“Once you get them there, keep them coming back.”
Best Practices: Involve clients in your site. Offer a blog, discussion groups, polls, request feedback. Track your percentage of return visitors and length of stay on your site.
- Capture leads by using forms with compelling offers, promotions or giveaways
- Post fresh, current content often, especially listings
- Make the site interesting and engaging (put the customer first, not yourself)
- Include pictures and useful descriptions (don’t just try to sell them, inform them)
- Make it easy for them to contact you – include contact info on every page
- Offer solutions to your prospect’s problems
- Offer “did you know” information pertaining to your geographical area
- Keep navigation simple and direct (make it easy to find what they need within two or less click levels)
- Don’t make them wait for the information (load times of even 30 seconds is too long)
Tell them how to get there and they will come. Provide them with what they need and they will keep coming back!