Are you meeting your leads needs?
When it comes to marketing to your prospects you probably have a very good idea of what you want to achieve, the properties you want to sell and the messages you want to convey - but is that the same as what your prospects are looking for?
Whether it's a property listing, a piece of supporting content on your website or a marketing email you're sending, your message will only resonate with your audience if it meets their needs and if you're communicating or marketing to them but missing their needs you could be really missing a trick.
The first thing to understand is what your prospects are actually looking for and what they want from you to help them with the process.
Unlock valuable information in your website
Your own website holds a lot of keys to this information. Free tools like Google Analytics are a great way to find out what your prospects are looking at when they visit your website and the results can often be surprising. Web analytics tools will show you which web pages and which content your prospects visited, which pages were most popular, the pages that your prospects landed on when they reached your site and the last pages they viewed before leaving the site and going elsewhere.
This information can be really valuable. If you've been furiously typing away to create supporting content to fill your website and you find that nobody is visiting it, then it's time to ditch those efforts and move onto something else. Equally if your overlooked 'About Us' page is getting a lot of visits - or 'traffic' - it's time to give the page a facelift and make it work as hard as it can for you.
Look out for pages that have a high 'Bounce Rate' - these are pages that your prospects visit directly before leaving your site and could hold clues as to why your prospects are leaving in the first place. Look at the content on these pages and try to work out what is making your prospects click off your site.
One reason could be that the content is too long or doesn't give them what they were looking for or expecting from the page. Another could be that there's no obvious step for them to take next. If you have included an interesting news article that first attracted new prospects to your site, are you providing them with a next step to get them to your property pages?
Something as simple as tying in your property offering to your news article and leading subtly into it at the end of the article, with text links back to your property pages is an effective technique. Alternatively, you may want to go all out with prominent buttons and unmissable call to actions that encourage your website visitors to your property pages.
If your prospect clicks through to a specific property and it doesn't meet their needs, is there an obvious next step? An easy return to the search results or other suggested properties that might appeal to them?
Look out for the pages your prospects land on when they first visit your site and also where they were coming from. Some of these may be specific landing pages you have created with the main aim of getting prospects to your site and giving them a carefully thought-out introduction to your website and agency on the first click.
But other pages may be the first port of call organically and if you spot a page that a lot of prospects are entering on, it might be time to review and strengthen the contents of that page - especially if a lot of your visitors are hitting that page and then leaving your website.
Stalk the competition
If you're struggling to think of the kinds of content or approach that will work best for your particular local market, make sure you keep tabs on the competition. Sign up for their marketing emails and review their websites regularly.
Being in-the-know about what the competition is doing is a great way to, not only figure out what you could do better, but also where the strengths are in your offering. Do they include an interesting blog, do they offer different and better filtering options on property searches, what content do they display on their homepage?
On the flipside, perhaps their emails are not optimised for a mobile audience and appear clunky and hard to view on a mobile. If you're sending fully optimised emails then straight away you have the competitive edge on the other estate agency as more people are getting to view and action your communications.
Try something new
The information both your website's statistics and scrutiny of the competition can provide is a great way to find out what your prospects really want and can be far more effective than surveying them because it shows you what they actually do rather than merely what they say they do.
But what it can't show you is the missing content your prospects would like to view or the tools and features that would improve their experience. This is far more tricky to establish. A survey is more effective in this instance - but it is unlikely to achieve a huge uptake, often leaving you with very limited information which, if acted upon, could give the wrong or misleading results.
Trying out new content is a far more effective method and the great thing about the world of digital is nothing is set in stone, so you can make changes quickly and see the results. Start off by trying a new piece of content on your website and keep track of the results in your analytics tool. Is the new page getting traffic? Are you getting more new visits to your site as a result? And is the new page having a positive effect on the user journey on your website - is it getting prospects to your property pages more quickly or is it deterring them and having the opposite effect?
If you're more tech savvy you can try some of the more advanced testing software on the market, such as Adobe Target, which allows you to run a variety of tests and also show different content to different visitors viewing the same page on your website.
Testing is a great way of refining your website and your marketing communications to give your prospects the best possible experience but one thing it does require is patience. Optimising your website through testing is a painstaking task because you need to test each element and you need to wait until enough 'traffic' has passed through your 'test' for the results to be meaningful.
Want it now?
If a great online experience is what you're looking for but you don't have the time or resources to create it for yourself, why not list your properties on PropertyShowrooms.com?
With more than 14 years' experience in showcasing properties for agents through our portal we've already done the legwork in creating a great user experience for our web visitors and, with in-house SEO experts constantly keeping our website at the top of the rankings, you can be sure of attracting high volume traffic to your listings.
Add to that the option to send fully mobile-optimised marketing emails to our own database of more than 49,000 opted-in and interested investors, and landing them on a fully mobile optimised and bespoke landing page and you can get the complete package for just a fraction of the effort.