Sonia Simone (CMO of Copyblogger Media) just wrapped up the third in a series of educational webinars over at Authority Rules. In this webinar we talked about “Conversion” and the top 12 mistakes that people make that kill their conversion. After all, “traffic and engagement are nothing if you can’t convert them to sales.”

Right?

So, I thought I’d share 10 out of her 12 talking points and relate them to your Real Estate Blog/Website so you can re-think your design, your content and your sales copy to see if it’s optimized and working together to drive those sales. Why just 10? Because I didn’t think the other two were quite as relevant or fitting for a real estate blog, that’s why 🙂

Mistake #1: You’re talking to an anonymous crowd.

First of all, you can’t be everything to everyone. What you’ll come to find is that through your writing, you’re going to attract the kind of readership and client that you’re writing to. So if you’re trying to reach buyers, write posts for buyers. If you’re trying to reach sellers, write posts specific to sellers. But the key, is to get specific, identify your audience, and write for them. David Meerman Scott calls this process identifying your “buyer personas.”

So, who’s your target audience? Do you specialize in a specific area? Carve out your niche early and dominate your market place. Don’t just talk to a faceless (a.k.a. anonymous) crowd.

Mistake #2: You don’t offer a compelling benefit.

What makes you better than every other Agent in your market-place? The reason your content and website isn’t converting well is because you don’t make the benefits of working you versus with anyone else, clear. So grab a pen and paper, and list all of the benefits of working with you:

  • You’re always accessible?
  • You really know the market area? Prove it.
  • You  have a fun, out-going personality?

What’s the compelling benefit for choosing you as the Agent I want to represent me?

Mistake #3: You’re confusing your customer.

I see this often on poorly designed websites. The navigation is messy. The copy is hard to read and doesn’t make sense. You’re basically not communicating your message very well. How and why people should choose you as their “go to” agent is very confusing.

Did you know that 56% of site visitors leave a site within the first 3 seconds? So how’s your site navigation…is it easy to navigate? Or are you confusing the heck out of everyone?

Mistake #4: There’s no Call To Action!

We’ve talked about Calls To Action here on the Diverse Solutions Blog before. Basically, you need to do two things:

  1. Identify the most important pages on your site and make them easily accessible through your site navigation.
  2. Determine what the Call To Action is going to be for EVERY page.

Every page (and post) on your website should have a Call To Action!

Mistake #5: You’re ignoring important objections.

Every time that you write a new blog post that answers a readers question, you’re educating them and building trust with them. You’re establishing your credibility. You’re essentially saying “I know what I’m talking about” and you’re establishing yourself as the local expert.

All of this is selling. Because really, all you’re doing is overcoming objections about what you do as a real estate agent and what you know. Through your blog posts you’re providing answers and educating your readers on questions that they might have about the local market. The trick is doing this so well (and so often) that you become the “go to” expert for information in your market area.

So, what kind of questions are your prospective clients asking (in your area) that you can provide answers to?

Mistake #6: You don’t look trustworthy.

People will often debate what’s more important: Content or Design. In my opinion, a good balance of both matters. You can have some stellar content, but if your design is sub-par, you’re going to lose readers (and potential clients) right away.

Think about it… Every come across a poorly designed website? Links everywhere…overwhelming ads and illegible copy? What was your first reaction? You clicked away to go somewhere else. Didn’t you?

If you’re not a designer yourself, and you can’t afford to hire one, here are two places I recommend to start: WooThemes & StudioPress. (Note: if anyone has used and/or recommends any others, please drop a link to them in the comments).

Mistake #7: You don’t offer a unique promise.

In other words, this is the experience you’re promising to someone when they become a customer. Your story needs to be compelling enough to generate some level of engagement. How are you communicating this through your content? Does your “About” page properly reflect what makes you unique?

Here’s a detailed “About” page that I really like from the Wagner iTeam at Keller Williams Realty: http://coloradospringsrealestateconnection.com/about.

Mistake #8: No proof.

There’s a difference between when  you say you’re good at something and when you’re clients say you are good at something. It’s more effective when you showcase the latter because really, people could care less about titles. Instead, focus on getting some testimonials!

Here’s a brilliant Testimonials page from Real Estate Agent Cyndee Haydon: http://www.sandbarstosunsets.com/clients.

Mistake #9: Pointless headlines.

When you write, make sure you’re communicating yourself clearly. One might seem as a catchy title to you can be totally confusing to your reader and here’s the thing…a confused reader doesn’t buy. Ever. So when you’re writing the titles to your pages and your posts, keep this in mind: Am I communicating myself clearly?

Mistake #10: You’re not giving people the experience.

If you’re not a natural copywriter, this one can be tough for most people. Wait, let me rephrase that… This one’s tough for most people because they’re not natural born copywriters. See, even I have trouble with this. But really, here’s all you have to do. Every time you write a post, or when you’re crafting that About page, keep in mind that you have to help customers visualize the benefit of working with you versus any other agent in the market.

You have to make this happen at every point of contact whether it’s on the phone, via email or through the content that you publish in every blog post. You can do this by writing about previous client experiences and asking clients to help you capture on video what it was like to work with you. What you’re doing is helping make a decision on WHY you’re the agent they want to work with.

Savvy?

Closing Comments:

After reading through some of these and reviewing some of your own marketing, where are the areas you can improve in? What do you think you’re doing wrong and what do you think you can be doing better? And if you want some feedback, just drop a link to your site in the comments! 🙂