Marketing for real estate brokerages is time-consuming, and duties often span both digital and offline marketing campaigns. For digital marketing, the to-do list is long: maintaining websites, writing and deploying marketing emails, trying to compete in search results, figuring out what Snapchat is… with limited time on hand, how can you ensure you’re getting the best results? For 2018, consider all the ways in which you can focus on improving the quality of your digital marketing efforts. Here are some suggestions:
It’s likely you’ve added a lot of content to your website over time, and if you haven’t conducted a site audit in awhile, there’s no time like the present. Competition for organic clicks is only getting tougher as more businesses are investing in SEO, but organic traffic still drives roughly 20X more clicks than paid search, so it’s a worthwhile investment.
Brush up on critical on-site SEO ranking factors and look at your website with an editor’s eye. Do you have pages that are targeting the same keywords? Have you created several different versions of an area profile for a particular location, and all of the versions are still findable on your website? Google Search Console is full of information that can help you figure out which pages on your website are ranking for which queries. If you’re unsure how best to navigate the data in there, check out our guide to using Search Console to optimize your site.
And while you’re at it, take a look at your primary navigation. Are you linking to thin, low-value or other low-traffic pages from your primary navigation? Move them to a sub-menu, or link to those pages from more important pages. And if you have a link to your homepage in your menu, remove it. Users know to click on your website logo to get back to the homepage.
Not every internet search results in a click through to a website. In fact, recent data indicates that there are only 5 clicks for every 10 searches. What is everyone else doing? Many of them are finding the answers to their queries right in the SERPs, either through Google’s Knowledge Graph results or through the “Local Pack” – the listing of relevant businesses and associated information alongside a map. The local pack listings are key for real estate brokerages, and ensuring your information is accurate is as easy as claiming and maintaining your Google My Business listings.
Create a listing for each brick and mortar office location. Update your brokerage’s name, address, telephone number and business hours. Select your categories carefully – you have a limit of two categories per business listing, so you want to choose what best represents that office. If you have more than one office, we recommend using each location’s individual office listing URL as the website for your Google My Business listing to provide users with the most accurate results if they click through.
Side note: Are you hearing more people in your market talk about their Amazon Alexa or Google Home devices? Those devices are powered by voice search – which often pulls from the same information sources used to populate the local pack. Keeping your business information up to date and selecting the correct categories can improve your chances of being the result returned when someone asks Alexa to find them a local realtor!
Be honest: when was the last time you pinned something to your brokerage’s Pinterest board? How about the last time you created and uploaded a YouTube video or posted anything to your Google Plus profile? While it’s important from a brand perspective to claim your business on most social media networks, it’s not at all important that you advertise your accounts on there. Pick one or two social media platforms and only include those links on your websites, emails and other marketing materials. I recommend making sure Facebook is one of them.
Social media platforms are about audience development and engagement. You need to be invested in spending time on the platform to in order to see success (you’ll also need to invest a little money to promote your content). Use a mix of pre-scheduled posts promoting evergreen content and automate postings of your exclusive listings to supplement time that you need to spend on the platform. Schedule regular time into your work week to log onto Facebook and comment, share or post personalized messages highlighting agents, customers and other local businesses. Inman has a great post on the do’s and don’ts of social media for real estate agents that is worth a read.
There will always be something new and shiny in the world of digital marketing, and it’s important to find structured ways to experiment with new platforms, technology and tactics. Build space into your budget and schedule to allow testing so that you don’t find yourself behind the curve or over-reliant on one or two marketing strategies.
When determining whether or not a test is worthwhile, ask yourself the following questions:
If you can make a solid case for the test after honestly answering all of those questions, then go for it! Pre-determine a test period and let your test run for that amount of time. Analyze the results rigorously against meaningful KPIs and compare to your other marketing programs. All leads are not created equal, so give yourself space in your analysis to account for varying quality of leads (don’t pay as much for an email address with no additional information as you would for a seller lead).