There are many Internet marketing tactics that home builders should be using to ensure they attract website visitors that turn into home buyers. We write about many of them several times a week. However, there are several common Internet marketing practices that just aren’t helpful to your bottom line. Check out these four Internet marketing tactics home builders should stop implementing.
Stop Obsessing Over Keyword Rankings in Search Engines
Within the last year, Google made changes that make obsessing over keyword selection and rankings obsolete. For one, Google has stopped providing a lot of information on which keywords drive traffic to your website. Google Analytics used to reveal most of the keywords that drove traffic to a website. Now that Google has implemented secure search, they only provide a fraction of the keyword information they used to provide. That means, if you decide you want to rank high for a specific group of keywords in Google search results, it will be almost impossible to know how many visitors those keywords drive to your website, even if you were to rank #1 for all of them. Additionally, when Google implemented its Hummingbird algorithm, they began to focus more on semantic search. Semantic search seeks to enhance search engine results by better understanding searcher intent and the contextual meaning of search terms. For example, Google now better understands that someone searching the term “custom home builder” and someone searching the term “custom built homes” are both looking for companies that build custom homes. So, if your site includes content optimized for the term “custom built homes,” you might also show up in search results for “custom home builder.” In other words, you may be ranking high and getting a lot of website traffic from a keyword you aren’t tracking or paying attention to.
So what should you do instead of obsessing over keyword selection and rankings? You should focus on how much website traffic you are getting from all queries related to a key topic. You should use Google Webmaster tools to analyze this. Identify a topic such as “Boston custom home builders.” Then, each month, use Google Webmaster tools to determine how many clicks you received from search queries related to this topic. Related keywords might include “custom home builders in Boston,” “custom home builders Boston,” “Boston home builders,” etc. If the amount of clicks you receive from these key topic-related search queries increases each month, then you can feel confident that your search engine optimization is strong. Your search engine ranking for keywords should not be your ultimate determining SEO factor. The amount of organic search traffic your website gets each month should be. If you are practicing good SEO strategies and your organic search traffic increases each month, you should feel good about your SEO.
Stop Focusing on Email Open Rates
If you are implementing email marketing, your open rate should not be your focus. The only thing an email open rate indicates is how motivating your subject line is. If someone opens your email but takes no further action, your email was not successful. Therefore, you should concentrate on the click rate of your emails. Your main concern should be how many people clicked on a call to action in your email. If you aren’t including calls to action in your emails, then you should start. A call to action is an invitation for the reader to engage with you further. Examples of calls to action include a link to a landing page on your website or an invitation to subscribe to your blog. Do you have a buyer’s guide or some other type of downloadable content to generate leads on your website? Include a link to download that in your emails, and focus on how many people click that link and download your content. It’s a much more relevant indicator of email marketing success than the open rate.
Stop Talking About Your Company So Much in Social Media
Some of your social media posts should be directly promotional. MOST of your social media posts should not. Most of your posts should be content that is interesting to your audience and engages them in conversation. Posts about your services, your homes, and your employees might interest you, but they probably don’t interest your target audience enough to make them talk about and share your posts. Keep in mind why your target audience is on social media in the first place. Their primary purposes are to interact with family and friends and to do research prior to making purchases. If you provide them truly interesting information, they will stop and interact with your brand, and possibly share your information with their family and friends. A good guideline to follow is the “80/20” rule. About 80% of your social media content should be helpful or interesting, and not directly related to promoting your company. The remaining 20% should be directly promotional and include a call to action whenever possible. So what kind of non-promotional information should you share? Here are some examples:
- Ideas for creating your dream home
- Tips on buying a home
- Information on local schools
- Mortgage tips
- Helpful information people need when deciding where and when to build a house
Stop Obsessing Over “Likes” and Followers
When it comes to measuring the success of your social media marketing efforts, the number of “likes” and “followers” you have is irrelevant if that audience is not engaging with your brand. If you have a large number of Facebook likes or Twitter followers, but none of them are commenting on or sharing the content you post, then that audience is not doing you any good. On Facebook, not only does it indicate that people aren’t paying attention to you, but it also indicates that Facebook may not even be placing your content in your followers’ news feeds. Facebook uses an algorithm to determine who to show your content to. This algorithm is based on how much engagement your posts get. If people aren’t engaging with your posts, then Facebook assumes they aren’t very interesting and, therefore, does not place them in a large number of news feeds. To ensure your content fosters engagement, follow the 80/20 rule described above. Instead of obsessing over the number of likes and followers you have in your social media accounts, place more emphasis on how frequently people comment on, share, like or click on your posts.
There you have it – a solid set of common Internet marketing tactics that you should stop implementing, as well as what to implement instead. Have you discovered other common Internet marketing tactics you feel home builders should stop using? Share them with us in the comments section!