Back in 1996, Bill Gates first coined the term, “content is king.” Fast forward 17 years, and this adage still holds true− it’s probably more relevant today, than ever before. With changes to Google’s all-important ranking algorithms and the growing importance of mobile devices, content is king when it comes to attracting visitors.
Years ago, the most important thing a real estate website could offer was property listings. Now, there are huge, well-funded sites that offer listings to anyone with access to the Internet. Competing with that information is not feasible for an individual agent. (Fortunately, you don’t need to!)
So if listings aren’t going to attract consumers to your site, than what is the secret ingredient to turning your website into a global business magnet? What steps can you take to make sure your site’s content is connecting with international visitors?
Focus Your Home (Index) and About Pages
You probably do more than just global real estate, so your website will need to reflect all of your service offerings. However, to capture the global market, that aspect of your services should appear on your home page. Select no more than your top three service offerings to highlight on the first page that visitors see. (And make sure your global niche is one of them.) When you are thinking about what to write on your Home and About pages, a good rule of thumb is to incorporate phrases and words that international home buyers are likely to use when asking questions, or searching online.
Be cognizant of the fact that most potential global clients will not know what designation acronyms mean. For example, if you have the CIPS designation, make sure you spell out Certified International Property Specialist. Also, make sure you educate them on what having a designation means. Designations that you hold that do not relate to your primary area(s) of focus belong on your About page. You will not gain more traffic by splintering your focus on your homepage. Remember, target marketing doesn’t eliminate potential clients; it focuses on attracting the types of clients that you prefer.
Periodically, Google changes its formula for ranking content in search results. Penguins & Pandas, the latest Google algorithm, makes it extremely important to ensure that you have original, quality content. Blogging has become the best possible way to leverage your online presence and gain traction with internet searches performed by your potential clients. Learning how capture more traffic via blogging is simple. You need to do a couple of things: 1) Schedule regular blogging activities, 2) Create content that will drive traffic to your website/blog , 3) Boost the SEO attractiveness of your posts, and 4) Stay committed. You won’t appear in the first ten results on Google or other search engines right away, but overtime, it will happen.
For more tips, check out the online editions of two recent Global Perspectives: Blogging & Social Networking and Building a Better Website. These publications specifically address how to optimally design a website for global traffic and how to create a steady stream of original online content.
Katie Stouffs Grimes (CIPS, GREEN) is the Managing Director of Global Alliances, Communications, Marketing and Business Development for the National Association of REALTORS® Commercial & Global Services division. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.