Posts Tagged ‘Facebook for Real Estate’

SEO is a mean, not an end

Are you proud of your ranking? Are you psyched that you’ve got so many Twitter followers? Do you have 1000 friends on Facebook?

Well, all of those are indeed reasons to celebrate, but not too much. It’s like the old saying goes: That, and a token, will get you a ride on the subway.

At the end of the day, there’s no revenue generated directly from being at the top of the SERPs. No one is paying you to be your Facebook friend and Twitter followers aren’t a revenue stream. These are all means to an end. The end goal, of course, is revenue.

Let’s examine this process. A user is out there on the web, they’re tweeting, let’s say, or they’re searching for a real estate agent on Google. The first goal is for them to find you and click to your site. Great. Step 1 is implete, you’ve generated traffic. users are clicking on your organic listings which rank high because of all that SEO you’ve invested in.

Now, the user arrives at your site. What do they find? Is your site engaging? Can they easily find what they’re looking for? Are they compelled to sign up and become a lead? We’ve written many times on this blog about the fact that SEO is a WASTE if your site isn’t any good. It’s true that we often have clients contact us for SEO services and we tell them that we’ll need to redesign their website before doing any SEO. Otherwise, they simply wouldn’t see any benefit from our SEO services. Some folks out there, some in real estate and some in other industries, think that SEO gets you clients. Well, it doesn’t.

SEO is a means, not an end.

So, let’s be optimistic. The user found you, they arrived at your site. They became engaged. They even signed up and converted from a user into a lead. What now? Does a lead = money in your pocket? No, a real estate buyer or seller lead is only worth cash when the deal closes.

That said, it’s easier to understand the value of a lead. The closer you get to the transaction and the smaller the numbers get, the easier it becomes to assign a dollar value to each unit. If in a 1 month period you generate 100 leads and sell even just 5 of them a home, and your monthly marketing budget is $2000 that means you’re spending $20/lead and your customer acquisition cost is $400/customer.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. We have search engine ranking producing website visitors. The visitors are converting into buyer and seller leads. Now we want deals. How do we maximize the conversion of those leads into deals. Here are two ways.

First, email marketing is essential. Lots of your leads will not come back to your site unless they’re prodded to do so. Send them nightly listing updates. Send them your newsletter. Email marketing is the best way to re-engage a lead. It’s also the best way to stay in touch with your past clients, a source of repeat business, referrals, and testimonials (which are great for SEO).

Second, your site needs to be a resource to the buyer. They’ll keep coming back, and therefore be more likely to convert into a deal, if they are engaged with the tools on your site. Your property search should be fully featured. A user should create an account and save favorite listings, save favorite searches, take notes, save and edit their listing update criteria, and communicate directly with you, right through the site.

To review:

  1. The user finds you on Google or Twitter or where ever
  2. They become engaged by your site’s design and functionality.
  3. Conversion from a user into a lead
  4. User returns to the site as their buying or selling resource.
  5. Conversion into a client signaled by a deal closing.

Remember, steps 1 through 4 are all means to an end. It’s like my football coach used to say, “you can celebrate when you cross the goal line.”

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