Most real estate agents have never heard of conversion rate optimization (CRO), yet many strive to attain as many conversions from their online ads and websites every day. Conversion rate optimization, in its simplest terms, is the way you optimize your paid search ads, landing pages and website (any online touchpoint with visitors or prospective clients) in order to move visitors toward the actions you’d like them to take. In the real estate world, that means picking up the phone or sending an email to set up a listing appointment, for example.
According to Bryant Garvin, an expert on PPC marketing, your CRO goal is to make it “more desirable and less painful for people to do what you want them to do.” So how can you achieve CRO success for your real estate business?
Really good marketing.
Sounds simple enough, right? But everything that your visitor sees and the calls to action you have in place affect the next actions they take and, directly, whether you see them convert.
First, Make Sure You Go Mobile
According to various studies, mobile has been shown to capture the most conversions, followed by tablets and then computers. Knowing this, it’s important to make sure your website, for example, is responsive to mobile or mobile-friendly. Most websites automatically convert to a mobile format, making it easy for a person to navigate.
Have you ever gone to a website only to find that you have to constantly expand and contract the page to get to where you need to go and see everything? With such smaller screens, mobile devices and even tablets won’t be able to capture all the hard work and information that a website built for a computer does. This makes it more difficult (and frustrating) for your web visitors on mobile and tablets to find what they need or to see your calls to action to, well, take action.
Invest in Understanding Your Audience
Understanding your own audience’s behavior is key to making the changes necessary to convert them towards action. Think of testing and developing multiple landing pages or optimizing your website for mobile as an investment. That upfront cost you put into testing will yield long-term results. Plus, it doesn’t take much to actually create a testing environment from which you can learn valuable information that translates positively towards your bottom line.
If you don’t know what a test could look like to see what types of landing pages, advertising or device-enabled formats work best for you, then leave that to a trusted expert. Your web developer or a local, acclaimed SEO/SEM expert can guide you along and be yet another investment that will help your real estate business in the long run.
So, to give you a quick tutorial on CRO and how it can help you as a real estate agent, consider a few areas.
Area 1: Landing Pages
Take a glance at your website landing pages where you ask people to take action. Is it clear what you are sharing? Does it elicit the feeling of the services you provide and the brand you want to convey? Is there a clear call to action and is it strategically placed and obvious? Is there extraneous information that you feel is distracting?
Consider re-working your website to better accommodate your audience. Think of how you can best help them along to move towards taking action – calling or emailing you to set up an appointment.
Area 2: Paid Search Ads
These ads are not the prettiest, but they can work in your favor if you have the right copy in place. You only have so many characters that you can include in your ad title and main message, so make it worth your while.
Does the title make you want to know more or is it generic and uninformative? Are you the number one luxury home selling agent in your area? Then mention that in your title and copy.
Basically, find what makes you stand out from the crowd of other agents and what a seller or buyer would find intriguing enough to click through to your site or to give you a call. If you don’t already have a specific landing page for your ad, create one instead of leading a prospect to your home page.
Again, if they don’t know what to do once they get there, then they’ll likely lose interest. Make every step, from ad to landing page, seamless and clear.
Area 3: Mobile Pages
Try to make your mobile landing page as succinct as possible. If you thought a computer landing page couldn’t hold down someone’s attention for very long, imagine how much more quickly a mobile visitor is likely to leave without having the information they want and call to action all on one screen.
Once they take action, how easy is it for them to take the next step? If you are asking for their information, for example, does the keyboard change dynamically to allow them to input the information more quickly (for phone numbers, the number keypad should pop up). Your mobile landing page should not look like a website page on the computer, so go through each page and make sure it is optimized for mobile (and tablets!).
Whether you need an email, phone number or plain text, there’s a simple code that you or your web developer can enter to ensure the right keypad pops up. Better yet, if you have a phone number listed and your call to action is to call you, make sure your phone number will automatically allow the person to dial straight from clicking on it.
So what’s the main takeaway from all this? You can move the needle to see higher conversions if you are more aware of the path your visitors are taking and what the barriers to their taking action are. Simply be vigilant of every touchpoint that visitors have with your brand online. You don’t have to be a PPC or CRO expert to make positive changes, but you can be a more savvy real estate agent further up the process by taking care of your leads before you work your real magic in person.