Nov
18

The Secret to Effective Real Estate Websites

Posted on November 18, 2010 by Eve

Google, Yahoo and Bing all state in their guidelines that great written content is the key to search results. Yet most of the content found on many real estate websites these days feels templated, generic and not at all engaging. Many real estate pros overlook the fact that putting in time and effort in creating unique and interesting website content can do wonders for your real estate blog or website.

With literally thousands of real estate websites out there, how do you brand yourself, drive traffic to your site and keep home buyers and sellers engaged at the same time? A pretty website only gets you so far. At the end of the day, what buyers look for is information that is both timely and relevant. This has shifted the way we write website content, and the importance of balancing substance, keywords and aesthetics has never been greater. Here are some tips for writing great content for real estate websites:

• Write for humans, not robots. Content writing mainly with search engine keywords in mind is important but not the goal. You must engage your readers in a confident but conversational point of view with information they need. What your site visitors expect is content that describes your purpose, showcases your services and draws a clear picture on why people should choose you. Pepper your content with relevant keywords after you’ve achieved this.

• Break content down into bite-sized chunks. Unless they have the time of day, most people have naturally short attention spans and have a habit of scanning instead of reading. As much as possible, keep your pages short and content straight to the point. Dividing content into small chunks of information with interesting headlines makes it more appealing and reader-friendly.

• Tell a story. This makes content memorable and compelling, making for easier customer recall. Your mindset should be all about building relationships with your clients. Stories create emotion. When using content to attract prospects, consider your customer’s underlying motivation so that you can lead them to a call to action, such as contacting you after they have fallen in love with the pictures and write-ups of one of your property listings. Depending on who you’re trying to target, decide on what approach your writing style should be.

• Content maintenance is key. Your listings and services change over time and some pages may become stale. Treat your website like a blog. Regular updates are important. On the other hand, inconsistencies and outdated information may project a weak image of your website to the reader.

• Trim down excessive content. Avoid cramming everything in one place. Don’t overwhelm your visitors with too much information. Rewrite old content or articles, take a new spin on them and continuously keep readers interested to generate repeat traffic.

• Write with passion. You don’t have to be an expert. With the right words, your intent and expertise can effectively come across the web page. You will find out that there are some websites out there whose content is ‘naturally optimized.’ They come from the website owners themselves or writers who might not be familiar with how SEO works yet they rank well because they’ve passionately written their own content, and have naturally come up with unique sets of effective key phrases.

Keeping people engaged can help you survive especially in a down real estate market. To get the best results out of your real estate website, it’s essential to balance high-quality aesthetics, great content and effective internet marketing strategies.

Visit our client Success Stories for samples on how great website design and content help build your real estate brand.


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