Imagine you build a marketing site to pull in buyers, sellers, or investors. Is your website really amazing? Or is it coming up short when the time comes for closing deals and moving people from browsing to clicking to filling out a contact form?
Ever heard of a heat map? We’ll show you how motivated sellers and buyers interact with your website and how to make sure that more visitors are converted into leads while they’re browsing around.
There are two main problems that we often see on real estate websites:
1) The website is a ghost town…getting no visitors, and
2) The website’s visitors aren’t submitting their information.
The first problem is usually solved with SEO content when:
1) The website doesn’t have good, user-friendly content,
2) The content is not optimized to reach the search terms that people in the local market are actually using, or
3) The site’s competitors are ranking higher in a search.
We have many articles and resources that focus on increasing your site traffic by using SEO, social media, and paid ads. But today is all about the second main problem we see.
What are people doing on your real estate website?
You only get one shot to make a first impression, and your website is that opportunity. In fact, it takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for searchers to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they’ll stay or leave.
Conversions are often overlooked when average people create their websites. Too often they hire designers who focus more on aesthetics than results… those folks need to quit calling themselves marketing experts because they’re artists (most art doesn’t sell).
The following key points can help optimize conversions by positioning your services in clear view so buyers and sellers know what’s available… including credibility that builds trust with potential buyers and sellers… and the rest of the content that can help eliminate fears or uncertainty.
Are you trying to create art or are you trying to get leads?
When you’re setting up your real estate site, it’s not how it looks… but how productive and successful the design is.
Listen, I get in this argument with designers a lot – so please don’t send me a bunch of angry emails about how design matters…I know it’s really important. But honestly? It doesn’t matter if something is “pretty” it doesn’t convert visitors into leads.
One of the many tools that Carrot uses to test out its theories about web design is heat maps. Heatmaps are useful because they allow us at Carrot, and more importantly you as a business owner who has entrusted your hard-earned cash with our system, to measure how successful something on the page will be before we commit any resources towards it. We want to know for sure whether or not what works in theory also translates into reality!
So what’s a heat map anyway, and how can agents and investors use it to generate more leads online?
Back to the point, thanks… in this context, a heat map is a generated picture of where visitors to the website move their mouse and where they click on the page.
Below I’m gonna put a few examples of a heat map that we generated for a user’s site, and give you a few key points on what works so well on this design.
Brittany (the owner of http://sellmybaltimorehousefast.com) sent us a quick email after watching one of our webinars, asking for help getting more leads… we were able to increase the conversion rate by 80+% with just a couple of simple changes.
Check out these heat maps (the site is greyed out, with little points of light showing where people have lingered with their mouse or clicked – the “hotter” the click spot, the more often it’s clicked).
What did you notice on that heatmap?
See all of the bright spots? The green and blue spots are where a lot of people click… indicating things that the motivated sellers felt were really important.
First off, 94% of clicks happen on the top of the page. The vast majority of web visitors to any given site don’t bother to scroll down.
Side note: That statistic is valid across websites in general – on our investment sites, we tend to get about 8 seconds per page on average – 4 times more engagement than average, but still a lightning-fast choice to stay or go. You only have microseconds to reach your target audience – just another reason that your content and design matter so much.
There are a few great lessons to learn right away from this click map….
1) People are clicking in many spots across the homepage. The clicks aren’t just happening in one spot, and visitors to this real estate investing website are finding what they need when they click through for more information. This site is designed specifically with sellers of properties as its audience, so it’s a relief that different types of people – those looking for answers about how they can sell their home, found exactly what they’re looking for on the site!
2) Titles matter. The title of a menu is designed to appeal directly to people who need to sell their house, and this top one has some great ones: “We Buy Houses in Louisville, KY”, “How It Works” and a contact form right on the front page that asks people to put in their address, phone, and email first thing.
3) Visitors want to know about your home buying process before they submit their info. Having a solid “how it works” page can be an integral part of your lead generation strategy.
Have a truly excellent “how it works” page that includes:
- A breakdown of your service in a series of simple bullet point steps
- Include an informative, personal video
- Include testimonials to build credibility and trust
- Communicate the benefits they gain by working with you
Here’s an example of a well-thought-out “how it works” page
Where is your credibility on your own real estate websites?
It’s a really common problem that hurts a ton of great real estate agents and investors… when people get to the site they need to have a compelling reason to give over their personal information. Think about it… real estate is the largest investment most people ever make in their lives. There’s no piece of real estate more intimate than someone’s home.
So many real estate sites don’t build trust or credibility.
In fact, there are 3 key factors that I wanna mention that are critical to successfully designing a site that converts – and I’ll tell you how we’ve used them to design the Carrot sites like this example that are generating great leads.
Credibility, Content, and Contact
Check out this graphic – I’ve broken down the links on the page into numbers so you can see the percentage of page visitors that clicked on each link type.
Even more great lessons for real estate here…
As you can see, 12% of the clicks are for Credibility, 42% is on the Content (which is written to develop trust and credibility while reducing the fear and anxiety that most people buying or selling a home are feeling), and 46% of the clicks on the home page are actually converting – they’re contacting members using the forms.
Keep in mind that the percentages are recording just clicks on the home page – a lot of other conversions happen on the lead pages that we’ve optimized for the local market. That means that people are most often giving their information over to get a free report, such as a home valuation report, or another valuable tool. 46% of the clicks on the home page aren’t always the main source of leads. It just depends on how the site is being promoted, and where the majority of traffic is directed.
The mix of these 3 factors is critical to a successful lead generation site.
Content is a powerful tool to get your message out, but it needs credibility once people arrive or they won’t contact you.
Content has long been seen as the lifeblood of search engine traffic and so much more for businesses looking to stand out online. However, even though content is king, you must know what happens when someone arrives at their site. What can be done after visitors land on your site in order to make them want to work with you?
BONUS: One Tweak That Could Double Your Conversion Rate
One more thing… this one simple tweak that we did on hero sections doubled conversions… it’s so crazy simple that we were totally surprised that it worked so well.
We actually removed content from the hero sections to move the form up on mobile devices.
Yup, that’s it.
Even after doing this stuff for many years, it’s crazy to see what a big difference such a small change can make.
That’s why we’re constantly testing different sites.
We create websites that give your business the edge with a no-nonsense approach.
We’re all about giving clients an advantage, so we design effective and user-friendly sites to stand out from the competition. We want our work to be as engaging for visitors on desktop or mobile devices alike; you never know what device they may use in order to find your site! In fact, over 60% of Carrot member leads come from mobile.
This Is All Built Into Your Carrot Websites Already!
The best thing about using Carrot is that you don’t have to worry about managing any of the technical aspects. We’re constantly running tests with our members and making tweaks in order to make sure your experience on this platform goes smoothly.
We believe in results over anything else and are continually improving our system to help you get better results.
We’re constantly posting tips, tricks, and techniques we use to improve SEO, conversions and get great results for Carrot members. So if you’re not already getting our weekly blog emails, make sure you sign up now! And if you want a website that truly generates leads for your business, go check out our plans to join Carrot and leverage our marketing knowledge and testing to generate more leads for your own real estate company.