“I don’t have a WordPress blog. I have a real estate website that runs on WordPress. The blog is a large component of the WordPress site, but it’s not the only component.” – Jay Thompson
I loved this response from Jay Thompson when asked about using WordPress to build a real estate site. Really, there’s just about nothing that you can’t do on WordPress.
The trick is to not think about things in terms of a “blog” versus a “website.” That’s terminology that you and I use. The end consumer on the other hand just knows that “this” site (your site, whether on WordPress or not), happens to contain the information that they were searching for on Google.
Day-in and day-out people ask questions like “how do I get started on WordPress,” or “do you recommend any good plugins?” Today’s post isn’t exactly a step-by-step How-To, it’s more a series of things to consider when building your real estate blog. From the tools that you need, to topics to write about, and things to consider prior to launch.
9 Tips On Building Your Real Estate Blog:
- When choosing a domain name, don’t obsess over having a keyword rich domain. Instead, go for something short and memorable. You’ll drive SEO in other ways.
- Write 5, 10, or even 20 blog posts prior to launch. You want to make people feel like they couldn’t possibly read everything in one sitting. So they’ll have to subscribe and or return another time (then another, and another).
- Don’t know what to talk/write about? Try this: make a bullet list of everything that you know about buying/selling real estate (including terminology, etc.). Then, make a separate list of some of your favorite things to do around the community. Then, all that’s left for you to do is to expand on each bullet point by writing a blog post on the topic.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of a well designed website. Good design builds trust. Trust leads to conversions and sales. Think about it, would you purchase something online from a site that looked less than professional? No, not really. So don’t underestimate the importance of a professional looking site design for your real estate blog. You can build a professional looking site on a budget using a popular theme like the Estate Theme from WooThemes and AgentPress from StudioPress.
- Treat your home page like a landing page. What do you want site visitors to do once they land on your site? Search for homes? Register to your IDX? Fill out a form? Subscribe? Make it ridiculously simple to access and do each of those things.
- Make it easy (and I mean real easy) to get a hold of you. We’ve talked about this before. At a minimum, you want your phone number and email listed on every page of your site. So if someone has a question, they can quickly and easily get a hold of you. Think upper right-hand side of your site and your site’s footer (for good measure).
- ‘Searching for homes’ is one of the primary reasons people are going to come to your website. That said, you need a great IDX solution to attract, engage and convert site visitors into customers. Luckily for you, that’s just what we do here at Diverse Solutions, heh. You can test-drive both of our products for free here (for dsSearchAgent) and here (for dsIDXpress).
- You’ll need an auto-responder. It’s basically a series of emails that you can schedule to send out over a period of time. So say someone registers to your IDX to receive daily emails with new and updated listings that match their search criteria. Well, in addition, you might send them a series of follow up emails that educate them on the buying process: how to get financed, how to make an offer, etc. Then, you might close with an Call To Action like “what are your home buying plans? Can we set up a time to chat?” This of course creates an opportunity to move your prospect from being a browser/shopper, to engaging with you in a business transaction. It’s no different than when a sales rep walks up to you at a department store and asks “can I help you find anything?” For more on building an effective email campaign, read: The Guerrilla Essentials To Email Marketing.
- You need an analytics tool like Google Analytics (free) or Visistat (Premium) to measure your growth and performance. Look at things like which pages/posts or types of content provide the highest conversion or traffic? What percentage of visitors land on an IDX page? What percentage of IDX page visitors register? For more, read: 7 Stats You Should Be Measuring On Your Real Estate Blog.
What Would You Add?
What would you advice/recommend to someone building a real estate blog? What other bits of advice do they need to consider?