I think at this point it’s fairly self-explanatory the benefits to having an online presence. But are you being found? You can have a beautiful web presence but if it’s not being visited it’s not really serving a purpose. Before diving into best practices on being found online, let’s take a quick look into the key components of high performing commercial real estate websites. This will ensure that once you are found, you’re keeping visitors engaged and generating leads from your web presence.
Brand Image: Upon visiting your website, visitors should immediately get a feel for your company’s culture, industry specialization, style and professional capability. Learn more about our process for developing commercial real estate brands.
Service Breakdown: You need to tell the story. Some professionals may believe that less is more and that you don’t want to give away too much on your website – I disagree. When it comes to the services that your firm offers, be as detailed as possible on how you will help as well as share case studies to add professional credibility.
Useful Content: Market Reports, Offering Memorandums, Property Information, Company Downloads, Blog Articles, etc. Make your website a place where prospects and clients can access useful information. If you have sensitive materials, a virtual deal room will ensure that your collateral is protected.
Lead Capture: If you have an interest in growing your company (which I’m assuming the vast majority of you do), lead generation is the most important aspect to your website. Motivate visitors to provide contact information before being able to view or download your proprietary content. This will help you grow your database while identifying qualified prospects.
Now that we have an understanding of the key components that go into a successful web presence, let’s figure out how to drive traffic. We’ve put together a list of four easy steps to start getting found online.
Key Words: Location. Location. Imagine telling a prospect to meet you at a property without giving them an address. This is what so many companies are doing when it comes to their online presence. Identify what keywords you want to rank for and build out your website accordingly.
Let’s have an example. I’m a commercial real estate company located in Nashville, TN that specializes in Investment Sales. It’s CRUCIAL that your homepage is titled something to the degree of Real Estate Advisors Servicing Nashville, TN and it’s a good idea to label your service page Investment Sales – Nashville, TN. Get the point? Tell the search engines what you want to rank for. For a more in-depth look at keyword research and strategy check out Process for Creating Commercial Real Estate Websites – SEO Edition.
- Building Your Presence: Build a sitemap for your website before getting started. Working without a sitemap is similar to building a property without a blueprint. Each page should have a dedicated purpose for both a key word as well as the content that will be included. Core pages that are typically included on a commercial real estate website are as follows: Home, Services, About, Experience, Listings, Blog and Contact Form. For larger websites, subpages are added inside of each of the core pages.
- Indexing: The most frequent misstep when developing a new web presence. Give the heads up to google and other search engines that you’ve developed a new website and give insight into the pages that you want to be searched. Do this by creating a digital export of your sitemap (for WordPress users) and submit to Google Webmaster Tools.
- Directing Traffic: SEO takes time, but there are other avenues that can result in immediate visits to your website. Announce the new site to your database in the form of an attractive email marketing campaign and be sure to post to all of your social media accounts. Post new articles on a regular basis and always direct traffic to your website to view or download content.