When it comes to generating leads that convert, Bryan Driscoll is crushing it. Using just the standard Carrot site, a few highly-targeted pages, and some PPC, Bryan is bringing in more qualified leads than he knows what to do with. In fact, he gives the majority of his leads away, focusing only on one zip code. Today we are going to discover how he got here, what he’s doing that works, and why he’d choose Carrot time and time again vs. any other platform for his website.
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You’ve probably heard the phrase “conversion rate” tossed around quite a bit over the years. And that can be a great thing if you’re testing your own conversion rates… but not so good if it’s inaccurate and you follow the next “guru” advice blindly without running your own tests (or for Carrot members, we do this for them). Carrot is one of the leading real estate websites platforms. We are confident that our members generate 60,000+ leads per month through our platform and nearly 1.7 million sessions each month because we have such a large data set available to us from which to draw conclusions. So first… let’s dive into the basics of what conversion rate is (specifically for a real estate investor website) and then we’ll dive into why it’s important, how to do it right, and give you a few resources that we use ourselves to improve our conversion rates. What Is Conversion Rate? The “conversion rate” on your website is simply the ratio between the number of people who land on your website vs. the number of people who “convert” on your website to become a lead. That could be a cash buyer lead, motivated seller, tenant, or private lender, for instance. The “conversion rate” is pretty simple to calculate. If you have 100 visitors to that page and 15 of them put in their info on that page and opt-in as a lead for you, that is a 15% conversion rate. In other words, it’s… Conversion rate percentage = (Number of people who converted on your website / Number of visitors to your website) x 100 At Carrot, we’re constantly testing our customer’s websites to see what converts visitors best. A Test In Progress On A Carrot Members Website: This is a shot from an actual test we’re running right now on a motivated seller website. How Do You Find Out The Conversion Rate? There are a few ways to find out the conversion rate of your website. The easiest and most accurate is using a software tool… like the one that we use… VWO.com (about $49/month and easy to use). You just have to get a bit of code from the software, put it on your website (really easy to do inside a Carrot account – hit up our support if you need help), and then you set up the test in the software. Let traffic come in and it’ll tell you how many people convert as a lead. It may take you a few hours your first time to set up a test, and unless you’re getting 100 visitors to your website each month, it’s probably not worth setting up a test (it would take many many months to come up with any real info because your traffic is so low). If you’re on a budget and are not a tech person, you can just count the number of leads you had come in in a certain time period — then look up the # of visitors in that same time period on your analytics and divide the two. *Or, if you’re a Carrot member… and you’re getting over 500 visitors a month to your site and 15+ leads a month, we’ll do your conversion rate and optimization testing for you! Just let us know through support. What Is A Good Conversion Rate For A Real Estate Investors Website? One of the biggest misconceptions we hear all the time (and I once thought the same thing) about conversion rates from our members… is that there is a “normal” conversion rate for a website in our industry. … Continued
Cristina doesn’t come across as your usual home buyer. Her website has lots of pink, lots of smiling photos, and even some emojis tucked in there for good measure. But what the site doesn’t show is the massive amount of effort, learning, and trial and error that got her here. Her website may not look like other Carrot sites you have seen in the past, and that is exactly why she is converting so well. She’s ranking in the number one spot for many keywords in both Los Angeles and Arizona because of her unique approach and high-quality content. Today we are going to learn how she had built the perfect team, modified her marketing, and what she is doing to make herself even stronger.
How Townsend Realty Group is Predictably Growing Business with Carrot The Georgia-based real estate team uses Carrot’s trainings and resources to gain clients online within their community. Snapshot: Industry: Agent Location: Cherokee County, GA Clients Served: served 1,500+ clients Year founded: 2002 Tom Townsend is a real estate agent in Georgia. In 2002, he decided to pursue a career in real estate, fueled by a desire to work on his own watch and spend more time with his family. He started out flipping houses. But in 2013, he pivoted to buying and selling homes, uniquely using his expertise as a Certified General Appraiser to serve his clients. Now, he’s a Keller Williams agent with a four-person team. They are aiming to close 53 deals this year (they’re on track for it!) and, for the first time in a long time, Tom feels clarity and peace of mind about where his business is headed. The growth is steady and predictable. But it wasn’t always that way. All other marketing channels are just tactics, Carrot is the big chunk in the middle that was just missing. – Tom Townsend The challenge: Marketing his business was difficult and produced unpredictable results. Tom will be the first to admit that, before joining Carrot, marketing his business was difficult and produced unpredictable results. He would cold call, send mailers, network, and do anything else that came to mind. Some of it worked. Some of it didn’t. That was the problem. Rather than planting seeds and harvesting leads, Tom was hunting for his deals. And while that worked for a while, Tom realized that if he ever stopped working, his business would crumble… he hadn’t created processes to predictably generate leads and close deals. His business was successful. But it was also exhausting, unpredictable, and dependent upon him working long hours. Tom knew he had the knowledge and the skill to be one of the best real estate agents in his market, but he struggled to consistently get his message out about his business. There was a gap. He knew how to serve clients… but he didn’t know how to find them in a sustainable and scalable manner. His Keller Williams website wasn’t supporting his other marketing efforts like he needed it to — people might visit, but they rarely turned into leads. Even his paid Google Ads traffic was converting poorly. And SEO seemed like something he’d never be able to figure out. That’s when he discovered the power of Carrot: search engine optimization, predictable lead-flow, consistent business growth… allowing him more time for the things that matter most in life. And he decided to give it a try. That’s exactly how he uses Carrot. The tools: Carrot features For Tom, Carrot is the central hub that brings all of his marketing efforts together. He’s running PPC ads to drive traffic to his site in the short term while leveraging Carrot’s easy content marketing tools and strategy to build his SEO for long-term lead generation. And since he’s driving traffic from all of his marketing efforts to his Carrot site, he can track performance across all campaigns and channels, giving Tom the clarity and comfort he needed with his marketing strategy. Here’s how Tom is using Carrot as the central hub to tie together all the marketing efforts they were once doing on their own to become the authority in their area: Trainings & ResourcesTom says he’d be lost without all the content and resources we’ve created and shared to help him build his strategy as an agent. Automated blogs & VideoPostCarrot keeps Tom from … Continued
We talk about it a lot. Testimonials: an element of any website which can build immediate trust and increase conversion rate. But we don’t just talk about it — we drink our own poison willingly… Carrot homepage: The truth is, those testimonials help convert more of our website visitors into leads (we’ve tested it). Remove them and our website’s conversion rate drops by several painful percentage points. The same goes for your website. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Let’s talk about the data, but first watch our “Guide to Building Trust and Landing New Clients” to get some additional testimonial context. Why are high-quality testimonials such a big deal? If used correctly, testimonials do a few important things for website visitors (and for your conversion rate). They can… 1. Completely eradicate concerns that prospects had about working with your business. 2. Build immediate trust for who you are and what you do. And last but not least… 3. Convince prospects to convert (i.e. give you their information via an opt-in form or call you on the phone directly). Consider that 85% of consumers claim that they read at least 10 reviews before deciding whether they can trust a company or not (and they have to trust you if they’re going to work with you) or that 88% of people trust online testimonials just as much as personal recommendations from a friend. To prove just how powerful testimonials can be (at least the conversion rate side of things), Unbounce reports on an A/B test run on WikiJob’s website. Ideal for testing, Version A and Version B are identical save for one difference: Version B includes a testimonial above the opt-in form of the website. (Image Source) In the end, Version B increased the conversion rate by 34%. Let’s put that in perspective for a wholesalers website. Imagine that you drive 1,000 website visits every month, generating 100 leads per month on your website (a 10% conversion rate — typical for Carrot websites) and that you close 1 in 25 leads. That means you’re doing about 4 deals per month, at, let’s assume, $10,000 profit per deal. Boom — you add a glowing testimonial to your website and increase your conversion rate by 34%, from 10% to 13.4%. Now, you’re going to get a little more than 130 leads per month with the same amount of traffic (1,000 website visits). And since you close 1 in 25 leads, you’ll now be doing a little more than 5 deals every month with the exact same amount of website traffic. You just added $10,000 in monthly wholesale fees (from $40,000 per month to $50,000 per month) by putting a testimonial on your website. And the same goes for real estate agents: you can increase your conversion rate and monthly income by adding awesome testimonials to your website. Of course, I’m not promising that you’ll get exactly those results. I’m just trying to illustrate how powerful a small boost in your website’s conversion rate can be on your business revenue (at Carrot, we provide high converting websites out-of-the-box for our members)… and that testimonials can help you achieve that small, powerful boost. But… all of this depends on using high-quality testimonials… So what makes a testimonial great? 5 Qualities of a Great Testimonial Here are five things that every testimonial should include: 1. It’s specific — Do not use painfully vague testimonials (i.e. “It was great!”). When a testimonial is ambiguous, it can work against building trust for your business and actually create unease in the prospect’s mind (If this testimonial is real, why isn’t it more … Continued
Do we ever sleep? Not when it comes to optimizing your websites for conversion. ;-) Constantly, we’re on the look-out for new ways to improve your (our member’s) website conversion rate. But we don’t just want to increase your conversion rate, we want to make it dead simple for you to make those conversion rate improvements. In other words, we want to help you convert more visitors in less time. The Carrot Credibility Bar Here’s a look at what this credibility bar might end up looking like on your website. This is a version with a testimonial. And here’s a version with logos. If that ain’t enough for you, then we even have a custom version where you can add your own text and images to your heart’s desire – like we did with this block quote… Or video… Pretty awesome, right? But this new feature isn’t just remarkable because the dev team here at Carrot did an amazing job designing it and making it easy for our members to use. No. The feature is amazing for another, more important, reason. It’s going to help you build more credibility on your website, instantly. But you don’t have to take my word for it. ConversionXL ran an in-depth test to determine which type of social proof on a credibility bar is the most effective. They used testimonials with and without photos, logos, social sharing buttons, and a whole slew of other types of social proof. Here’s one example. Then, they had a control version that ran without any credibility bar. In the end, one thing was for sure: every single variation of the page with some type of social proof performed better than the control. And the reason is simple: when people arrive on your website for the first time, they have no reason to trust you. You have to show them that you’re trustworthy. Of course, you want to do that as quickly as possible to avoid them bouncing from your website. This is why a front-and-center, top-of-the-page, no-scrolling-required credibility bar is so damn effective at building that necessary trust. People see it the moment they arrive on your website and it confirms for the visitor that they can, indeed, trust you. Just consider massive organizations like Opendoor, insurance.com, or ourselves ( :D ) that count on a credibility bar for building trust with visitors. So, you’re probably wondering by now, What should I put on MY website’s credibility bar? For that, there are a few different options. Consider… Displaying a compelling testimonial from a happy customer. Displaying a series of logos from publications your business has been mentioned in. Displaying a series of logos from other companies you’ve worked with. Displaying awards your business has won. The way you to choose to use this feature will depend on how you want to build credibility with website visitors and the kind of credibility builders you have access to. But, to help you make an informed decision, here are the types of social proof that ConversionXL found (from the study I mentioned earlier) had the highest recall rate among participants, and thus (this part is conjecture) the highest impact. As it turns out, testimonials were the most effective at generating website visitor recall. Whatever type of social proof you choose, every single Carrot member should be able to make use of this feature – whether it’s through a testimonial or a series of company logos. Plus, a credibility bar can help you stand out from other websites online (i.e. the competition), giving you the extra edge you need in your market. If you still don’t want to use the credibility bar, though, no worries. This feature is completely optional, so you can just … Continued
We get this question from our members quite a lot: “My website is converting phenomenally, but how can I make it look different from other Carrot websites?” Sure. We have several different high-converting website templates. Still, though, many of you want to be able to differentiate your website even further from other Carrot members. So, in an effort to give you more customization freedom on your Carrot website without sacrificing ease of use and the highest conversion rates in the industry, we’ve officially launched our new Hero customizer… Your New Hero Customizer Let’s take a quick look at the new feature. You now have three options when customizing your website’s hero section… Columns (the traditional Carrot style)… Stacked… And Inline… Not bad, huh? So why did we decide to give you these optional customizations on your website? Why not just give you a single option that converts better than the rest? Three reasons. Choosing one of these options will help you differentiate your website from other Carrot members – something many of our clients have asked for. These changes allow us, here at Carrot, to continue testing your websites and iterating based on what we find. With different people using different fields, we can continue to test and increase your website’s conversion rate through iteration. We also want you to be able to test different form fields on your website. We’ve run lots of tests on these forms (more on that in a minute) and one overarching thing has revealed itself: different forms perform better in different markets. Depending on the demographics, sophistication, population, and other market factors, one of these three forms will likely win the day. To help further, though, let’s chat about some of the data we collected before launching this feature. Our Hero Customizer Experiment Our test analyzed seven different Carrot websites. On each control version, the hero form was either stacked… Or columned… The variation for each website, on the other hand, was an inline form… As you might have already guessed, we wanted to see what kind of impact an inline, single-field form would have on conversions. The results? Ultimately, what we found was inconclusive. Some of the websites experienced as much as a 49% lift in conversion rate. Others saw a slight lift, between 10% and 20%. And one of the websites actually experienced a 25% decrease in conversions. Here’s the cold, hard data. Similarly, we’ve tested our traditional columned form and found it increase conversions significantly up against other real estate website creators (it’s our traditional form-type for a reason). And yet again, we’ve found the stacked form version to outperform the traditional version on some real estate investor websites. So, what does all of this testing mean? It means two things: Regardless of which form you choose, you’re in good hands. Here at Carrot, we don’t publish a form-type unless it’ll drive a conversion rate that’s higher than the industry standard. Ideally, you’ll do some testing of your own. Like I mentioned earlier, different forms work better in different markets. Play around, A/B test each different hero field, and see which one has the highest conversion rate for your market. Maybe the best part about this new feature, though, is how easy the dev team has made it to adjust your hero field. I swear, we have the best nerds in the industry. Literally, just a few clicks to make the change… And if you want more details on how to adjust your hero field with just a few clicks, you can go here. Happy customizing! And let us know what you think of this new feature in the comments! Want access to this and other amazing Carrot-exclusive features? … Continued
A client of ours reached out and had dropped $5,000 in Google Ads costs over a few months on a campaign he was managing himself, but it wasn’t performing as he hoped and he had no clue what parts of his PPC marketing were working and what parts were costing him money. In this post, we’ll walk you through the simple action we had him take that turned things around from $5k in losses to over $30k in profits… and the #1 mistake most newbie PPC marketers make that prevents you from knowing if your PPC marketing is working for your real estate investing business. I get asked this question all of the time… “How do I know which keywords and ads are generating leads?“ Here’s my answer: if you don’t have the proper recording sources and/or analytic tools in place, you won’t know. Google Ads campaigns will become a frustrating guessing game that may drain your budget. I also hear that Google Ads is just an expensive waste of time and won’t generate leads. Sure, that may be true… if campaigns are not created using an optimized campaign structure. If your PPC campaign is optimized, chances are you’ll be in the right position to be successful. PPC management can test the skills and patience of even the most experienced ad managers. You may be thinking, “My campaign is doing OK right now,” But if you take a deeper look… Is it as effective as it can be? Is it efficient and structured in a way that isn’t a confusing mess? Are you continuously enhancing your return on ad spend? Are you data tracking keywords and ads? Without proper tracking of data, it will be difficult to know if your PPC campaign is working. 3 Tactics You Can Use In Order To Ensure That You KNOW Which PPC Marketing Ads / Keywords Are Making You Money And Which Ones Are Losing You Money Is PPC Good For My Real Estate Investor Business? How do you know? Here are a few of the ways you can track your conversions so you know without a shadow of a doubt that your money is being invested wisely and not just thrown down into a black hole. 8 Real Estate Marketing Tools to Save you 10+ Hours Per Week PPC Tracking Tactic #1: Google Ads (Conversion Tag) The BEST WAY. Really, a no-brainer is to set up your campaign using the Google Ads conversion tag. Without implementing this tag on your site, you’re basically measuring keyword and ad effectiveness with a gut feeling. You or your account manager must know how a searcher landed on your site and what happened after they clicked on your ad. Did they fill in your lead form? Which keyword, ad and/or ad group triggered the conversion? Those are questions that will help you build and maintain a quality Google Ads campaign. Here’s an example of a Google Ads campaign that does not use the Google Ads conversion tracking tag. It’s not that the Investor chooses not to, it’s because they choose to use a different company to host their website. This “other” web service doesn’t allow them to place a conversion tag on their site. Carrot real estate investor websites are built with the high achieving investor in mind and make it crazy easy to add your conversion tracking tags. You can see there has been $2599 spent on 372 clicks and 0 conversions. But… that’s not true. There are actually been 48 conversions (this Investor keeps track of conversions using their own system)… $54 per motivated house seller lead! Not too shabby. But an account manager would have no … Continued
Don’t get me wrong. SEO is critical for any website’s traffic generation. But we’ve all Googled a topic, clicked a result, been disappointed by low-quality answers, and clicked off before you can say “SEO.” In other words, page 1 is great and result 1 is amazing… but only if you continue to sell the “click.” The moment that your bounce rate rises and your time-on-page plummets are the same moment that you lose your positive ranking, meaning your passive lead generation. Why? Which means two things: Old style salesmanship isn’t dead. Your Google ranking and your conversion rate both depend on the “click.” Here’s how to sell the “click” instead of the “crick(et).” Ya know, crickets? It’s what you hear when no one’s listening. Gif via Giphy Let’s discuss how to avoid that silence. What is an SEO Title? An SEO Title is the text title that you designate for your Google result. This does not have to be identical to your permalink or your blog post title, but it should be similar. If you’re using a Carrot site, you’ll find a place for the SEO Title at the bottom of each piece of content: Here is where that same SEO Title shows in Google: What is a Meta Description? A Meta Description is the descriptive copy directly below the title and URL of a Google result. On Carrot sites, you can find the customizable meta description field directly below the SEO Title at the bottom of each page of content. And here is how that same meta description shows up in the actual Google result. Both the SEO Title and the Meta Description are not just critical to SEO, but — as we’ll discuss — critical to generating clicks. All of us have Googled a tricky topic, reading through SEO Titles and Meta Descriptions to determine which result has the answers we’re looking for. And selling the almighty “click” comes down to one lesson: a lesson in honesty and clarity. Let’s start with the title. Real Estate Conversion Copywriting: SEO Title The SEO Title shouldn’t vary too drastically from your content title. Which means your content title also needs to be optimized for search engines. Once your title is ready to climb through the ranks with correct keyword placement, ensure it’s appealing and clickable. If your result is at the top but no one clicks on it because it doesn’t appeal to their interest, that top-ranking result might as well be a sinking ship. Does your result illustrate exactly what your content is going to explain? If, for example, you’re wondering about the process for selling your home and you Google, “how can I sell my house fast,” you’ll see these organic results (in an incognito window). Thinking through this, if you wanted to better understand the process behind selling a house quickly, which are your top 3 picks? These are my top selections. I imagine that yours are similar. Each of these titles promise to tell a number (6,9, or 10) of tips or ways to sell my house fast. So long as I’m looking to understand the process of selling my house fast — and don’t actually want to sell my house right now — these picks are appealing because they promise to show me exactly what I want. Contrastly, the titles, such as “Sell My House Fast | We Buy Houses Cash | HomeVestors,” while great if I want to sell my house now, does not appeal to me when I’m trying to understand the process. In other words, clarity is important because people are looking for … Continued