(Part 2) Lessons in Online Real Estate Marketing from the Unbounce CTA Conference
As an Unbounce Agency attending the 2017 CTA Conference, we wanted to bring as many actionable tips as possible back to our readers. We already brought you Part 1 of our Lessons in Online Real Estate Marketing from the conference, which you should read first. This post provides a more data-heavy perspective with three ways to help you start and improve on your conversion optimisation journey.
1. Increase Website Conversions
As we like to say, real estate websites should be about sales conversions, not just pretty pictures. What happens when someone goes to your website, but doesn’t know what to do from there? What if they get stuck, or can’t find a CTA? They won’t convert. It’s that simple.
We spend a lot of time with clients identifying where the conversion issues arise on their websites and pages. It turns out there are a whole battery of tests to help identify these issues. Just to name a few:
- Usability Hub’s Five Second Test
- Squint Test
- Readable.io’s Text Readability
- Usability Test
- Scroll Map
- Click Map
- Session Recording
Hotjar Puts Actionable Data at Your Fingertips
We are big fans of the analytics tool, Hotjar, which lets you do a multitude of these tests. Perhaps your visitors are getting disoriented, clicking areas or images that could be links, or are encountering broken links and pages. There are few things less sexy than an Error 404 page. Hotjar shows you how the people interacting with your webpage behave by capturing video-recordings and heat maps (scroll and click). You can even survey and poll visitors.
Determine Your (& Your Clients’) Goals Early
As we discussed in our initial CTA Conf post, copywriter Joel Klettke was determined to get marketers’ focused on client motivation via his talk “How to Read Your Customers’ Minds.” By conducting surveys, polls and interviews, marketers can learn firsthand about visitor experience on your site. Ask visitors what made them choose you, what your website page may be missing (see example above) as well as what made them nearly abandon your site (if this was the case). This will allow you to discover who your leads really are, in addition to how to improve your site’s organization. Make a note of the most frequently used words, experiences, and themes in client feedback — leverage this vocabulary for your own site.
In terms of real-life real estate applications, consider sending out survey questions to current and past clients to hear what they have to say about your brand. What did they like most about working with you? What made them choose you over another agent?
Get Serious About SEO
Now let’s dive into SEO. You won’t have clients if you can’t be found. According to SEO expert Wil Reynolds in his talk “SEO Gentrification: Breaking the Silo Between CRO and SEO to Make BIG Wins,” being discoverable and “winning the search race” is about building a trusted brand and helping site visitors solve their problems. This sounds obvious but is a surprisingly sparsely-used tactic. Part of this is recognizing the fact that human beings are simple and impatient creatures. They don’t want to take multiple steps to find what they want. Make it easy for them by identifying your searchers’ “Why” — their reason for seeking you out. Once you’ve figured out what’s bringing leads to your site, you can either choose to help them, or use whatever means necessary to get them into your funnel (perhaps you’ve heard from us a few times about ads).
Keep Site Visitors’ Searches Satisfied
According to Reynolds, if a visitor doesn’t go back to Google from your site after clicking their search term, it’s a positive signal to Google that the visitor has satisfied their search. This means your site is relevant and, over time, should rank higher up in the search results page when a visitor types in their query — put simply, it means better SEO. Instead of covering every real estate topic under the sun on your website, don’t be afraid to link to other sites that go deeper on a particular subject. Perhaps your website caters to sellers, but doesn’t have any info for first time home buyers. Help visitors jump across to the content they care about and Google will reward you.
2. Make Stellar Landing Pages
You know we love landing pages, and that Unbounce is our go to platform for designing them. So it was music to our ears when landing page expert Allison Otting in her talk “Designing World Class, High Converting Landing Pages For Your Clients and Their Customers,” said we all need to exceed visitor’s expectations by being relevant, transparent, and coming to their rescue.
Being relevant means your message should match your copy and images. You should also use real and intelligible imagery — split testing has shown that you can get up to 13% increased conversions by simply adding a more relevant image. The ad(s) that take visitors to your landing page should be visually congruent with the page so that visitors know they’re in the right place. Who doesn’t love seeing the same pug twice with its tongue out? The answer is no one. Double pug, always.
Show visitors what to expect to help orient them and alleviate anxiety. Humans are simple and impatient, remember? For example, you could use a visual indicator on a multi-step form so that visitors will know how many steps are left. If you’re offering a home value report, show a sample to aid the visitor in understanding what they’re going to get.
Come to Their Rescue
Marketing is all about finding pain points, and alleviating them, right? Follow these three golden rules to ensure you are actually helping visitors, and your conversions will come flowing in:
- Establish your visitors’ problem in detail. Tell the story in a way that resonates and makes visitors nod their heads as they are reading.
- Tell them exactly how you can help fix their problem by describing benefits rather than features
- Know your customers real frequently asked questions and answer them directly. Yes, that could even mean your very own FAQ section.
3. Ensure Your Emails Convert
Email marketing takes a lot of time. That or a significant budget to pay someone else to do it for you (ain’t that always the way). The problem is that most email marketing sucks from a sales conversion perspective.According to conversion whiz Jessica Best in her talk “You Can’t Convert What Your Prospects Don’t See: Turbo Boosting Your Email Conversion Rate” around 25% of email marketing never makes it to the inbox of the intended recipient. This means that if you’re paying per email sent, you’re literally throwing money away. It’s not just about improving deliverability, but also re-engaging or trimming inactive subscribers.
To improve deliverability, it’s as simple (yeah, right) as creating great content and compelling email copy. Make sure that your emails:
- Have a balance of images and text (500 characters minimum)
- Make sure not to use ALL CAPS and symbols too liberally!???**&!
- Use clean, email-friendly HTML code and design
- Sound like a human (easier said than done?)
There’s even a neat service called Litmus that check your email deliverability, including whether or not your email campaigns will be flagged as spam when sent to different email providers.
Re-Engage or Trim Subscribers
Think about it this way — the emails that you’ve worked so hard on will never be opened by all of the people on your list. There may be a few repeat offenders, and instead of just cutting them from your list, you could attempt to do a re-engagement campaign — a way to increase subscriber actions. You’ll then want to trim out those who don’t act in response to this re-engagement campaign (A.K.A. dead weight), so that you’re left with only an audience of people whom you know will act. If you stop wasting sends to inactives, you could get your conversion rates a whole lot higher.
As for re-engagement campaigns, here a few basic types you could try:
1) We Miss You! Come back to receive [value].
2) Confirm Now to stay subscribed, or miss out on [value].
3) Sorry to See You Go. Re-subscribe at any time here.
Sidekick has a variation on type 2 that we really like. Click here to see it.
A Quick Wrap
There was so much going on at this year’s CTA Conference that we had to make a second post, and even then we’ve still only scratched the surface. We’d love to have you join us next year. In fact, early bird tickets are already on sale for like half off at only $299 here.
And if you like this kind of content, you don’t have to wait another year for it. Subscribe to our Social Media News and we’ll send you an email every couple of weeks. Here’s the link.