Microsites Claim Your Hyper-Local Online Presence
As a Keller Williams agent I have a vast array of technological tools at my disposal provided by KWRI to help me market myself to the public. The eEdge and eAgentC websites do certain things very well (and will be replaced in early 2016 with an even better solution hosted by Placester), but they really represent the proverbial "wide net" when it comes to online marketing. The eAgentC site powered by WolfNet does actually give you the opportunity to create a single "MicroSite", however your local regulations will determine whether this type of site is allowed in your area. In Colorado we are required to clearly display contact info, broker affiliation and logo on any site we use. In my experience, the MicroSite provided by WolfNet is just too basic and limiting for me to use. MicroSites can be a very useful tool, however, for driving traffic back to your main site.
Let's be clear about something right off the bat. You DO NOT have to know how to write HTML code in order to create a website. Even going back well over a decade go, companies have realized that there is a demand for "WYSIWYG" (what you see is what you get) web design and have provided products to allow you to design a site without having to write a stitch of code. I remember creating a web-based version of our family's Holiday letter back in the early 2000's using Adobe GoLive. By today's standards that software was pretty archaic, but it did the job for somebody with a design background who hates writing code. Today, software such as Adobe Muse, WordPress and even iPad-only app Slate make creating websites a piece of cake. Here's 6 reasons why it will help you in your Real Estate business:
- Drive Traffic Where You Want It: Your online strategy should be focused around getting traffic back to a single point...presumably your main search website. Think of your online web presence as a funnel that grabs web traffic from a variety of sources and sends it to a single place. Traffic will make a huge difference in helping your site rank in search engines, so take advantage of the traffic on all our sites (web, social etc) to drive them to the one that matters.
- Referrals: As Real Estate agents, that is a sweet, sweet word. If we refer business out, we get a piece of the commission without much of the day to day work. When we get referrals, we get customers without all that legwork too. Online referral traffic should be just as sweet to you as client referrals. Referral traffic (this is traffic to your website that is referred from other sites around the web) can really help your SEO. Google knows good referral traffic when it sees it, so you can't just place links on any old site and expect that to work. That's why controlling the site where the referral traffic comes from is crucial. You know the quality of the referral is excellent, and so does Google.
- Area Expertise: You know your farm area well. You've worked there for years...you probably even live there. Your kids go to school there, you go to the gym there. You may even host community events there. You have this vast store of knowledge on the area, so why not create a website that will establish yourself as the area expert? Remember, this doesn't necessarily have to be all about Real Estate. In fact, I'd probably caution you against that. Make a non-threatening site about community events, social gatherings etc. and become that area's go-to place for folks to get information. Oh, and by the way, "if you're looking for real estate info in the area, check out this site..."
- Tech Expertise: This one's sort of a no-brainer. However, there's so few Realtors that are tech-savvy these days that showing you have the expertise to create a website will establish you as someone who understands the importance of technology in your business. With the numbers of first time homebuyers on the rise (recent studies show that as over 30% of buyers), this younger demographic will appreciate an agent who knows tech.
- Be Unique: Think about the other agents you work with...maybe in your office, maybe ones you've done transactions with. How many of them do you think are going the extra distance with their web presence to the extent of creating a microsite? Many agents use social media, which is great. However the vast majority of agents won't have the technology know-how to make a wider online presence. You can be unique in your marketplace by doing so. Nobody has to realize just how easy it really is!!
- Efficiency: Once you have the microsite created, keeping it updated and relevant is very quick and easy. You shouldn't be spending any more time updating a microsite than you spend updating your Facebook status. In fact, you could even create a Facebook fan page for your microsite to help drive traffic that way also. Facebook drives traffic to your microsite, which in turn will drive traffic to your main website.
The main thing is not to lose site of where you want to eventually drive traffic. All your online web efforts, microsites included, should all funnel back to your main site. That's the one that really counts...all the little pieces will add up to one big chunk of SEO if you do it right.