Is Your Site Seen?
These 10 tips can improve your companyâ€™s visibility online.
As great a marketing tool as the Internet is, Web sites that do not generate traffic may as well not exist. To be effective marketing tools and income generators, Web sites should promote not only your company and your services, but they also should offer something helpful and useful to clients, potential clients, and the public. To draw visitors, you must strategically position yourself and your Web site as the top resources for commercial real estate in your market.
As potential clients increasingly research their interests online before picking up the phone, it is essential that commercial real estate Web sites provide the information and the tools prospects and clients want and need. The following guidelines can help commercial real estate professionals ensure their Web sites become the go-to resources in their markets.
1. The Page Title Must Be Targeted. Make sure that the title of your Web site uses the exact words, or a catchphrase, that clients or colleagues might use to search for your site. Something as general as “New York real estate” is too broad to draw visitors to your site. However, specific terms such as “Iron Valley Industrial Park” or “Nashville medical office” that target your properties or services are more effective.
2. Use the Title Often on Your Home Page. Without being too repetitious, the more the title or a specific catchphrase is used on a site’s home page, the better. Because I want the catchphrase “New Orleans commercial real estate” to generate a lot of traffic to my site, I use it several times on my home page. I even use the phrase in the text of the pages that feature each property listing. The more frequently catchphrases are cited, the more likely search engines are to find a site.
3. Ensure That Catchphrases Are Site Specific. Search engines are very precise, and their algorithms are designed to return search results in relevancy order. If a site’s content and catchphrases are not similar in their estimation, the site will fall lower in the rankings.
4. Make Your Web Address Known. I use or refer to my Web site on my voicemail, my business cards, marketing flyers and signs, advertisements, and in my e-newsletter and e-mail signature. For instance, in your voicemail recording, inform callers that they can find detailed information about property listings and services on your Web site. This step saves time: Now prospects have specific information about properties, allowing you to start a sales dialogue earlier in the process.
5. Distribute Press Releases Often. Numerous Web sites distribute press releases for no charge. Two good examples of these press release distribution sites are www.prlog.org and www.prfree.com. While not all press releases are picked up and distributed, using these sites provides additional opportunities for your Web address to be picked up by spiders, or automated programs that scan the Web periodically to gather information and report back to their search engines. Therefore, the more your URL is out on the Web, the more it will be picked up by spiders, and the higher it will rank in search engines.
6. List Your Site in Directories. Many theme-based Web site directories are available. For instance, getting listed may be as simple as posting an ad on craigs
list.org, Cityfeet.com, or CoStar.com, or by paying $30 per year to be listed in an online office leasing directory. A variety of directories are online at and . You also can list a Web site free at .
7. Link to Sites With Similar Interests. The more sites that have links to your Web site, the more the search engines favor your site. Exchange links with fellow CCIMs or other colleagues in similar businesses around the world. A word of caution: Do not become a “link farm” as spiders do not respond well to links that have no relevance to your site and will lower your site in search engine rankings accordingly.
8. Buy Advertising on Yahoo, Google, and Other Search Engine Sites. You can bid to place an ad on search engine results pages and even budget how much per month you are willing to pay to gain a presence on the first few pages of such sites. Go to each site’s advertising program link to buy your catchphrase. Each time someone clicks on your ad, it will cost you a per-click rate, which can be as little as 10 cents per click. Ad purchasers can authorize a maximum amount per month to be charged, in essence buying only a certain dollar amount of clicks.
9. Ask for Compost. My site receives up to 15,000 hits per month, and each is specifically looking for “New Orleans commercial real estate” information. Giving my favorite lenders, title companies, and 1031 exchange experts exposure to those potential customers helps me buy more pay-per-clicks.
10. Start a Blog. Adding a blog that relates to your market, specialization, or services is another way to draw more traffic to your site. If your blog content is carefully tailored and promoted, clients and prospects will find you and start interacting.
Commercial real estate professionals must always be ready to provide clients and colleagues with up-to-date information, and there is no better way to accomplish this than the Web. The Internet provides an unlimited platform for you to promote your company and services. Using these tips can help drive more traffic to your site and build your business.