By Sean Callahan
RISMEDIA, August 11, 2010—Are you looking for new ways to use the Internet to get more listings and homes sales? Here are four free and low-cost Internet marketing tips to help you genrate more leads and closed transactions from the Internet.
1. Pay-per-click Advertising in Google, Yahoo! and Bing
Pay-per-click advertising has gotten a bad rap over the years, not because it doesn’t work, but because a large majority of websites do a poor job capturing contact information. If you have a website that does a good job of capturing leads, then pay-per-click advertising in Google, Yahoo and MSN can start delivering leads and home sales immediately. Pay-per-click marketing works best when you target more than one area and spread your marketing budget over two or three different places. Google is an obvious first choice but Yahoo and Bing can also deliver some excellent results and sometimes the traffic is a little cheaper.
Over the last 10 years, I have set up thousands of pay-per-click marketing campaigns and have had great success. It is all numbers-based when it comes to getting results; here is how the numbers break down so you can see how much is spent and what the return on the investment is.
Websites we fix up or manage capture about 10% of the traffic that comes into the website. That means we need about 10 “clicks” or visitors to get a lead. Our average cost per click or visitor is 0.80 cents, so 10 clicks at 0.80 cents means our average cost per lead is $8.00 and 40 leads (the average number needed to sell a home) at $8.00 = $320.00.
If you put the same amount into Google and Yahoo that you would spend on a large classified ad or other form of marketing, you can generate a large number of leads from a well-set-up, pay-per-click marketing campaign going to a good website.
2. Advertising on Craigslist and Online Classifieds
Many real estate agents have begun seeing a large influx of leads and homesales from Craigslist and other online classifieds like Backpage.com, Myspace.com classifieds and more. In order to achieve the best possible results from online classifieds, make sure you do the following:
A. Make sure your ad title says something like:
“2 Bedroom Oceanfront Home in Mission Beach” or
“3 Bedroom Horse Property Home in Scottsdale” or
“3 Bedroom Luxury Home in Gated Community in La Jolla”
Having your ad rank in Craigslist is easy, but the goal is to also get the ad to rank in Google. If you can create a title that includes the neighborhood and property characteristics, you have a good chance of getting the listing to rank in Google and other search engines. Craigslist ads have the ability to rank in Google and if you can get 10-12 ads indexed you will see good results.
B. Make sure you include a link in your ad that says:
“Search all homes for sale click here”
The goal of Craigslist ads is to show prospective buyers a listing and then have them do a home search for all listings in the area since you have a much better chance of converting the traffic into a lead. If you put a “search all homes” link in the ad just below the listing, it will convert a higher number of visitors into leads. Just posting the listings with poor titles and listing information is not sufficient to get maximum results.
If you are low on listings, ask your broker for permission to market other office listings. If you need help creating an ad, check out www.postlets.com—not only does the site provide awesome free ads, but they will also help you figure out where to place the ad for maximum results. It is easy and free to do.
3. Integrate the New MLS SEO Data into Your Website Marketing Plan
There is a new cutting-edge search engine optimization tool that takes the MLS data and uses that data to create a Web page for each listing and then adds hundreds or even thousands of Web pages to your existing website domain name.
This new technology creates every listing Web page to go after a “long tailed keyword” phrase in Google and other search engines. Long tailed keywords are phrases that visitors type in for specific property searches like the examples I used for the Craigslist ad titles above. Over 70% of real estate searches done in Google are long tail keywords and this new and low cost technology allows you to target them using custom made Web pages from listings in the MLS or in Google Base.
You can target communities or cities and create anywhere from a couple hundred pages to over 5,000 Web pages and add them to your current Web address to start bringing in low cost traffic from the organic or free results sections of search engines.
This new cutting-edge SEO technology is low cost and very effective for getting results and is a secret weapon being used by many agents around the country to sell homes and get listings without being seen on the radar.
4. Start Shooting Videos and Posting them On YouTube.com
The tips I am giving you can help you sell home a month and YouTube is something you must do if you want to stay ahead of your competition and build out a successful social media campaign in 2010 and beyond. When you upload videos in Youtube.com, they automatically go into Facebook, Twitter and Google videos in addition to getting the attention of the Google search engine. Youtube continues to be the fastest growing search engine and the videos can be added to your website to help people get to know you and what makes you the best choice for helping them buy or sell a home. YouTube video content makes for good “tweets” and posts on Facebook.
You should shoot listings and break them down into three short videos. The first video should be the front of the home and should include all the specs including the year built, square footage etc. but you should also promote the benefits the property offers as in “within walking distance to all schools,” “6 blocks from a great golf course,” “gated home with little street traffic or noise.”
Normally, I shoot the living room, dining room and kitchen as a second video and the master bedroom as a third. I want to show any amenities including granite tile bath or a huge walk in closet and if time allows perhaps go and show one of the other guest bedrooms. The backyard may make for a fourth video and when you upload those, you can title them “4 Bedroom Shadowridge Vista Home For Sale Video 1,” “4 Bedroom Shadowridge Vista Home For Sale Video 2″ etc.
Agent videos should include a bio video, “why is now a great time to buy in ‘my town,’” and most importantly, get out in your local area and showcase all the great parks, hiking trails and special places that make this an area people want to move to.
Always end area videos with a plug that says if you are looking to buy or sell a home in “city name,” visit “www.my-website.com” to search for homes for sale or call me at “your phone number.”
YouTube is a great way to get free traffic and any digital camera can take good videos and HD video cameras now cost as little as $150.
If you are looking for ways to start selling more homes and increase your business, these tips are all proven ways to get results without spending a lot of money.
If you can use one or all four of these methods in your Internet marketing campaigns, you will see a boost in traffic, leads and home sales. Many sellers go into Google and search to see what agents are coming up in search results to see who they will list with, so these methods will also help you get listings as well as buyers.
The goal is always to sell at least one home per month online and if you can do that, you can grow and expand your Internet marketing presence and start increasing sales in the future.
For more information, visit www.realestatemarketingnerds.com.
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