Published: 08/04/2021 By Mark Tew - Senior Website ConsultantIn the increasingly crowded virtual world, an estate agent’s website has one heck of a remit. It’s your shop-front, your stock list, your content library, your brand identity… And that’s even before we start talking about its part in website lead generation!
The fact of the matter is, that your website is the hub of all your marketing activities: a critical asset that can help you build genuine engagement with visitors, and help them make informed purchasing decisions that, ideally, they’ll want to make with your business.
So, here’s the big question: is your estate agency website doing all of that… or, is it just sitting there doing virtually nothing?
A Critical Asset, or a Critical Waste of Money?
For estate agents, the role their website plays really can’t be underestimated. It’s a place where people will most likely be making the biggest purchases of their life, and as for vendors, they’ll be looking to entrust the sale of their property to a company they barely know to get the best possible deal they can. These are hugely important decisions which aren’t solely based on flashy, aspirational imagery or punchy sales patter – they have to be a lot cleverer than that.
This is where the lead generation aspect comes in. In its rawest form, lead generation is all about creating good quality customer leads for your agency’s sales teams, and helping your visitors down your own company’s sales funnel. Your aim should be to convert your website visitors into good quality leads, and it’s the job of your website to inform, educate and persuade your visitors that they should take an interest in both your properties, and your brand.
Basically, it’s not enough for your site just to ‘look good’, or display a wide array of properties or have just a contact form – anyone can do that! Your website has to be the hub for all aspects of your lead generation activities. If it’s not, then honestly, it’s really just a waste of cold hard cash – both in terms of development costs and all the leads you’ll likely miss out on, too.
Simple things you can do to help your website lead generation activities
Now, we won’t beat around the bush here: there are a huge number of factors that can affect your company’s website lead generation activities; including its search rankings, it’s mobile responsiveness, its content… even where it’s hosted can play a part! However, before we get too deep down those rabbit holes, there are a number of simple things you can do which can help your lead gen activities, and also help drive more targeted traffic to your website.
Ensure Your Site uses Clear Call to Actions
A Call to Action (CTA) is, well, exactly that! It acts as a prompt for visitors to take an action you want them to take – in lead generation terms, a CTA can prompt a visitor to do something which starts them off down your company’s sales funnel; so that action could be completing a website contact form, downloading a piece of content (a brochure, for example), or completing an online instant valuation.
CTA’s should give the path of least resistance to your prospects to engage with you, but also help you to understand what they’re looking at on your site. They should also be simple, use great call to action phrases and ideally, be measurable too – which brings us nicely onto…
Raise your Software Game
Your website should be tied into an effective content management system and your lead generation software; this way, you can track your visitors all the way through your sales funnel; from first-time visitors, to fully-qualified sales leads! If your website doesn’t have one or the other, then you are seriously missing out…
To give an example, let’s take the CTAs we mentioned previously. A genuinely effective CMS should allow you to track how many user clicks they get, allow you to split-test variations, and allow you to track the type of CTAs and content your users are engaging with. For lead generation, this is absolutely critical as this type of data can mean you can create more targeted content for your visitors – and this even includes your more traditional print-based activities.
Use keyword research to define your content
How are visitors reaching your website? If they’re using your company name to find you, great! But, what about the ones that don’t know your company name, or even know you exist: how do you attract them to your site organically through search engines such as Google?
Conducting keyword research is a great place to start when it comes to defining your site’s content; plus, it can tell you:
- What are people searching for
- How many people are searching for it
- And in what format they want that information.
Share Informative and Engaging Content Often
Following on from your keyword research, you should be updating your website with keyword-driven informative and engaging content – not just sales listings. This is why we recommend having a blog on your website, and not just dismissing it as a ‘nice to have’ – it can actually be the lynchpin of your site’s online presence!
Still not convinced? Well, Inbound Marketing gurus Hubspot conducted research that found businesses who actively blog enjoy on average:
- 55% more visitors
- 97% more inbound links
- And 434% more indexed pages…
Don’t Inundate your Prospects with Email Marketing
Email marketing is of course one of the most effective lead generation techniques a business can use; however, you should be careful not to use a scattergun approach or, worse still, overloading your leads’ inboxes.
The emails you send should contain targeted content based on where they are in your sales funnel. It should also be based on similar content they may have interacted with on your site (this is where a decent CMS and lead gen software comes in); so, if a visitor has been looking at a 2-bedroom property in a particular area on your website, then send them content based on similar criteria – not just property stock you have on your books!