Website Job Description
Good Web Site Design = Search Engine Optimization
Your web site has several jobs that it must do in be Optimized with Search Engines, Be Found By Your Customers, and Convert Viewers in to Customers or Leads. You need to do a job review on a regular basis to make sure your website is doing it’s job, make changes where needed, and keep up to date. Or it may be time to fire your current website and hire a new one.
So what is your web site supposed to do?
Your website should be held accountable to your business and to creating a profit for you, in a very similar fashion to your employees. You should take a look at the following six primary responsibilities and if your site is not living up to your satisfaction, then it’s time to make some changes:.
1. Educate your audience
2. Brand your company and image
3. Establish your company as authority in your industry
4. Generate sales and leads
5. Build lasting relationships
6. Empower your audience to buy more
So let’s break this down and compare it to a web site like HomeVestors.com. (no we are not affiliated with HomeVestors in anyway, but they do have an excellent example of a highly paid web site)
Your web site should educate your audience in a way that is easy for them to understand and allows them to make a decision to buy from you or use your services right there on the site without any further interaction from you or your company. Check out HomeVestors online and you will find tons of information about many topics and testimonials, all designed to get their customer to buy or sell or to become a lead.
Your web site should back up your company brand and image. Have your branding and image consistent from your primary web site on all pages to alternative sites. Have it flow through to signs and office / store décor. Match your business cards and company stationary. You want to present a cohesive image and message all across the board. HomeVestors does a great job of this, from web site, to billboards, to shirts, they all match and keep their brand front and center. Who does not know that they “Buy Ugly Houses” or recognize their mascot “Ug”.
Your web site should also allow you to establish yourself or your company as a leader and authority in the industry. A quick look at HomeVestors will show you that they do this in well, with content on the various pages, testimonials, and articles from the News Media.
Your web site if it does not directly generate sales, should generate leads. Go back and see each section on the HomeVestors site and you will find that almost every page generates a lead. The main page directs you to what you want to do – Buy, Sell, Invest, or Own. Then each of those pages directs you to sign up where you become a lead. They do this very well.
Building lasting relationships with your audience, is a very important role and is often overlooked. If you sell something that you would buy over and over again, like books, you want to find a way to get book readers to come back to your site on a regular basis. If you buy houses, you want potential sellers to come back and visit your site as their situation changes and their motivation to sell gets stronger.
One way to do this is through subscription sign ups that allow your viewers to subscribe for more info and your site sends them new information automatically. Historically this has been email newsletter lists, but today more sites are directing visitors to sign up for their blog, to become their fan on Facebook or Twitter. And by becoming a fan, they become advertisers for you as the fact that they are your fan shows up on your page on the social networking sites and it shows up on their page.
If we look at the HomeVestors page, they have the sign ups for the email newsletters, and links to Twitter and Facebook.
Your Primary site should also empower your audience to buy more frequently, consistently and or become your customer more often. By showing value and the fact that other people use your products or service, you can give them this power. And the more you educate your audience, the more likely they will buy. Just think about that insurance company that invites people to come to their site to see what the competition is charging, this was their entire marketing message for quite a few years.
Need help with Social Media? Check out this article from Fortune Builders.
So in a nutshell, that’s what your Primary Website should do for you, but what are some things that it will not do:
1. It will not magically generate traffic. You have to take steps to direct people to find your site. Believe me, when I say, “the Build it and they will come concept, just does not work”. Some ways to generate traffic to your web site include search engine optimization, organic searches, blogs, articles and more. But let’s not overlook one of the easiest ways – include your web site in all your other marketing: business cards, signs, letterhead, print media, etc. By telling people to go to your web site in all your other marketing efforts you will generate some traffic.
2. Replace personal attention and connection. Ok some web sites are designed to be 100% online sales generation sites, but even they have a back end help desk for when things go wrong. But the majority of our businesses in the real estate arena are relationship based. Your web site and online tools will help you be able to connect more with your customers, but it is important to remember that just because your web site will interact with people does not mean you can stop. You still need to have good solid customer service and interact with them on a personal level.
3. Can’t take the place of good effective marketing and message. Just because you can build a web site, does not mean to just throw one out there and it will work. Take some time to plan your message and test and adjust as you go.
And don’t forget that as a member of MAREI, you get a FREE basic Real Estate Investor website and if you want to do more than basic and have all of the above, you can design your own site at something like www.WordPress.com (free) or get a hosting Site and www.GoDaddy.com or www.BlueHost.com and design your own site or our FREE member site that we offer can be upgraded to a premium investor website.