Say you have a great looking website and an IDX system for lead capture.
That’s great, you have the tools necessary to start generating some leads. But the next step is to start driving some web traffic, and also, to get those web visitors to stay on your site longer as they consume, read and engage with your content.
The more time they spend consuming your content, the more time they’ll have to consider your service offering — hiring you as their real estate agent.
Here are some little known ways to get site visitors to stay longer…
1. First and foremost, eliminate all the clutter.
Be a minimalist. Here’s what I mean…
If you have too many tabs on your header navigation, too many widgets on your sidebar, and you have call to actions spewed all over the place, you’re just adding clutter to your site. And frankly, that’s making it more difficult for consumers to find what they’re looking for.
Simpler is better. So think about the main, primary pages that you want to drive traffic to… Only link to those in your navigation. Get rid of the unnecessary stuff on that sidebar. And limit yourself to one call to action per page. In fact, think of each page as a landing page, what do you want visitors to do while they’re there? Everything else, doesn’t matter.
2. Build content rich community landing pages.
A great, content rich community landing page should consist of the following:
- A snapshot of the neighborhood. Give me a short history of the neighborhood and an over-view of the makeup of the neighborhood. Things to do, places to visit, what are the best schools in the area, etc.
- Show me the latest listings. What’s for sale in the neighborhood? Using tools like our WordPress IDX plugin, this should be easy. You can display the latest listings simply by using the shortcode.
- Show me the market statistics. What’s the total inventory of homes for sale in that particular area? What’s the average days on market? What’s the average price? Tools like Altos Research makes it easy to display local market statistics.
Here’s a great example of a community landing page from real estate agent Heather Elias: http://www.locomusings.com/areas/sterling.
At a glance, you have a quick description of the community with additional photos listed below. The tabbed structure lets you access additional relevant data easily. And if you want to search other neighborhood ares, no problem, just use the drop-down form on the upper right side of the page.
Lastly, there’s a contact form embedded on every community page so that if a consumer has a question, they can quickly and easily ask it. Perfect!
The whole purpose behind building content rich community landing pages that offer everything a consumer could possibly want to learn about he community, is to keep them on your site longer as they read and consumer your content. The more time they spend on your site, the more time they have to consider your service offering — hiring you as their real estate agent.
3. Organize your content categories properly.
WordPress makes it easy to add new content regularly. And of course the more content you create, the better. But what happens as your site matures and you’ve added dozens if not hundreds of posts? Well, it becomes a little more difficult to navigate of course…
You want site visitors to be able to access relevant content easily. Luckily, WordPress makes it really simple for you to organize all of that content through the use of categories.
Here are some basic (non-official) rules to keep in mind:
- One category per post. In other words, every time you write a blog post, you should add it to one category and one category only. Otherwise, it’s just too repetitive to have the same content in every category.
- Try to keep your categories to a minimum (say 7-10). Here’s what you do, make a list of everything you could potentially talk about on your site. Here’s what your categories might look like: Financing Tips, Market Reports, For Buyers, For Sellers, Communities, et cetera. Try to develop 7-10 general categories where your content might fall under. This will help you better organize your content over the long-term.
- Make sure you update your categories regularly. As a rule of thumb, once you’ve gone through and created your categories, you want to make sure you have somewhere between 2-4 posts per category. This way, when a site visitor clicks on a category, they have some content to dig through. This also means that you should update your categories with new content regularly so that you’re content doesn’t look stale.
The better you keep your content organized. The easier it’s going to be for site visitors to discover and engage with your content over the long-term.
Recommended reading: How To Use Categories Effectively On Your Real Estate Blog.
4. Use captivating images to complement your blog posts.
As a rule of thumb, include an image for every blog post that you write. Do this for a couple of reasons:
- It helps break up the text. It’s a little less daunting to read a long-winded blog post when you have some good imagery to go with it.
- It helps suck the reader in. Think of it this way, say you have a sheet of paper. You have a headline written on one side of the paper, and the post written on the other. Your first goal, is to interest people enough with the headline to get them to turn over that sheet of paper. But then, once they turn over that sheet of paper, your goal is to capture their attention long enough to keep reading. A strong image does a wonderful job of capturing one’s attention.
The great thing is we’re talking real estate here. Really, you should be able to take a lot of your photos. Don’t have a camera? Don’t worry, most smart phones come equip with a camera that could render a high enough resolution photo for a blog post.
So the next time you’re writing a market report about a community, things to do around town, or even a restaurant review, snap a photo and include it in that post!
5. Create themes for your content.
Creating themes for your content helps establish a little bit of consistency. Not just for you, but for your readers. This way, they know what to expect.
For example, Ines Hegedus-Garcia has her Miamism Friday’s series. Ever Friday, she takes a photo that helps paint a picture of the lifestyle that is Miami and she tells the story behind it. It’s really a fun series and here’s the great thing about it…she gets her community of readers involved by inviting them to contribute the photo content!
How might you do something similar to get your readers involved? But also, what other types of posts can you write about to add some consistency to your content? Maybe each week, you hi-light a new neighborhood, or you write a market report on that neighborhood? Maybe, once a week, you write about activities and events coming up for the weekend?
The goal is to establish some consistency so readers know what to expect next. And so that they continue to come back.
Getting Site Visitors To Stay Longer
A lot of it has to do with how you structure and organize your content. The easier your website is to navigate, the better. You want it to be simple for site visitors to navigate and discover new content. But you also want to have enough content there for them to consumer. Because if they don’t find what they’re looking for on your website, they’re going to find it somewhere else.
Hopefully, this post gives you some ideas of the things you need to look over. How can you better structure your website to make visitors stay longer?