Ever wonder why some home builders are more successful than others? Well, 90% of home buyers look to the Internet as a resource when making their buying decisions. Therefore, success often comes down to the strength of a home builder’s Internet marketing efforts. Here are five important ways successful builders differ from unsuccessful builders when it comes to Internet marketing.
Successful home builders have mobile-friendly websites, plain and simple. As of December 2013, mobile Internet users had grown to 20% of all Internet use. That means an average of 1 in every 5 people who visit your website are visiting via a mobile device. For home builders, this percentage may be even higher considering home buyers drive by model homes and do online research before actually entering the model. Do you know if your website is useable and attractive on mobile devices? If you don’t, you should check ASAP. If your website is not mobile-friendly, then 20% of your website traffic probably exits your site within a few seconds of finding you. That’s a lot of missed opportunity.
Mobile-friendly websites (also called “responsive websites” because they respond well on mobile devices) are important for search engine optimization, too. If your website is not responsive, search engines conclude that you are not providing the best possible experience for their users. When this happens, your search engine rankings and exposure suffers.
Frequently and regularly posting helpful content to your website’s blog is important for a wealth of reasons. Here’s why builders with strong company blogs are successful:
- Blogging drives traffic from social networks when you share your posts.
- Blogging enhances your site’s search engine optimization.
- Blogging establishes you as an industry authority.
- Blogging helps convert website visitors into leads when blog posts include calls-to-action.
- Blogging is essential to an effective content marketing strategy.
Bottom line – builders who blog get more website traffic, which means more opportunity for sales.
Content marketing is extremely important for builders because it helps turn website visitors into leads. E-books are a great example of content marketing. If you offer a free e-book on your website and require people to submit contact info before downloading, then you can capture more leads and follow up with them to make more potential sales. E-books should offer information that helps solve a problem for potential home buyers. For example, providing a “Local Market Report” e-book helps buyers learn what to expect during their house hunt, and it positions you as a local real estate expert. Successful builders invest the time in strong content marketing.
Measuring Social Media Marketing
If you are spending time and/or money on social media marketing without an effective way of measuring it, how do you know it’s doing anything for your business? You don’t. Successful home building companies know the importance of measuring everything you do to market your business. Here are some examples of social media metrics to follow.
- Which Facebook posts get the most engagement? – Use Facebook Insights to determine which of your posts are getting the most organic engagement. This includes likes, comments, clicks and shares. Base your future posts on what you see has already been effective in driving engagement. Once you determine what topics drive engagement on Facebook, implement those topics in blog posts, too. Those topics will likely be effective for your blog, and they will definitely drive engagement when you go to share those blog posts in social media. For example, if you find that Facebook posts about ideas for your dream home get a lot of engagement, you might consider writing a blog post like, “The Top 10 Dream Home Ideas for 2014.”
- How much website traffic comes from social media? – Use Google Analytics to determine how much traffic you get from different social media outlets. Identify which social networks are driving the most traffic, and consider how you can benefit from that. For example, if you get a lot of traffic from Instagram, you might want to conduct an Instagram contest because you have a large, interested audience there that would be willing to participate. Also pay attention to which social networks are driving the least traffic, and consider what you can do to change that. If you are getting low traffic from Facebook, definitely follow the tip above to determine what posts drive the most engagement. One way to increase traffic from all your social networks is to blog regularly, and share each blog post within each network.
Investing Time, Money, or Both
You know that old saying, “You have to spend money to make money?” It’s true. Successful Internet marketing requires either time or money, and let’s face it – time is money. So, whether we’re talking about money in the form of time, or money in the form of cash, you’re going to have to invest something in Internet marketing. The problem is, as the business owner or Marketing Director for a home building company, you need all the time you can get to manage huge aspects of the company. That’s why you need to invest in either a dedicated Internet marketing staff member, or hire a dedicated Internet marketing agency with successful experience in marketing for home builders. The latter option is often more economical than putting another person on payroll. That’s why successful home builders hire professional marketers to take care of Internet marketing while they take care of building homes.
There you have it – five things that separate successful home builders from unsuccessful home builders. Do you have other suggestions for this list? Let us know in the comments section!