By Peyman Aleagha
RISMEDIA, Oct. 9, 2008-When it comes to the Web, many Realtors think that just building a decent website is enough to attract clients to it. “If you build it, they will come,” they think. They leave their website traffic generation strategy to search engine hits alone. But in reality that won’t work. Real estate professionals need to advertise their websites to make them successful. While search engine hits definitely are in the cards, getting a page one search engine ranking takes some effort.
Page one rankings simply don’t happen by placing a few search engine strings on a site. The pages you see search engines return on page one have some common characteristics behind them. They have been around a while, they have very high traffic patterns, they have a large number of external links pointing to them and generally speaking they have very high content quality.
Most Realtors can come up with good content, and having a website age for a while is no big deal. But the other two factors-high traffic patterns and large numbers of external links-stop a local Realtor’s website dead in its tracks.
The facts are that it’s tough to get lots of external interest in a local real estate agent’s site. For example, who in Ithaca, New York, cares about the real estate market in Des Moines, Iowa? Each market has an interest in their local market, but that’s the extent of it. For that reason the traffic patterns of a local Realtor’s site are by default, local.
Small amounts of local traffic are not going to get the links and traffic needed for a page one search engine ranking. Even with killer content and great copy, the search engines are looking for too much other information that a local Realtor’s site simply doesn’t have. But that doesn’t mean a local real estate agent’s site can’t be trafficked. It just means you need to advertise for the traffic.
Advertising a site has its benefits. You control the type of traffic you get, you can customize your site to a particular campaign and you can tie your site into your overall advertising image. You can establish yourself as the local Internet real estate expert by driving that type of advertising in your local market.
When you set up your site, set it up with some specific market goals in mind. You wanted to educate FSBO’s, work with expired listings and maintain a close relationship with your farm. In fact, the goal of your website has been to be your sales force when you can’t be there to sell. If you’ve built your site to these specifications, then specific advertising that complements it will work nicely to expand your sphere.
A pay-per-click campaign that targets For Sale By Owners in your local market is bound to get you some well qualified hits and because it’s local, it shouldn’t cost too much. If you’re unfamiliar with pay-per-click, it’s simple. You buy a search engine string that will pop up a link to your site when the string is entered and searched. Pay-per-click rates depend on the demand for the search string. The lower the demand, the lower the cost.
Print advertising is an effective method for advertising your site, too. You can easily target a campaign that is designed to capture e-mail addresses using your website. Something like this would be beneficial if you wanted to do an e-mail follow-up that sells your services even more.
Just like in the movie Field Of Dreams, they will come. But you have to make it happen. Relying on the search engines as the sole provider of website traffic simply won’t work. When you build your website, you will still need to advertise it somewhere, somehow.
Peyman Aleagha is the founder and President of RealtySoft.com. RealtySoft provides Realtors with Real Estate Web Design, Real Estate Print Marketing and Free IDX (http://www.realtysoft.com/freeidx.php) solutions.
For more information, visit http://www.realtysoft.com.