Conversion Rate Optimization for Realtors: 9 conversion rate optimization mistakes that real estate firms should avoid

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Real Estate Conversion Rate Optimization

Is your real estate business stagnant? Are you finding it difficult to get new leads? If you answered a ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you should consider digital marketing for your real estate firm. With the use of digital media, you can get quick leads at low costs provided, you do it right. In the digital world, it’s easier to promote your firm and reach out to a large group of people. However, the main aim is to target the right individuals and convert them into your clients. For this purpose, you need to optimize your conversion rate. But, optimizing your conversion rate is not easy. Often the conversion rate optimization process gets affected when you do not have the right expertise or knowledge. As a result, you end up making mistakes that can ruin your entire effort of acquiring new clients. So, if you are starting with digital marketing for your real estate firm, then here’s a list of conversion rate optimization mistakes you must avoid.

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Real Estate SEO & PPC

1. Changing Your Website Without Testing

Do not be under the impression that switching to a new website will get you more traffic to your website. If your traffic count is less, it doesn’t mean you have to change your entire real estate website. In fact, revamping your website will not guarantee you a higher conversion rate. Change in web design may not be enough to convince your visitors into clients. Even if your conversion rate improves, you will not realize which changes had an effect on your conversion rate. To add more, you may end up spending a lot more in redesigning your website instead of carrying out a few modifications with the help of A/B testing. Therefore, ensure you start with A/B testing to identify which elements in your website need to be changed instead of designing a completely new website.

2. Adopting Changes as Per Competitors

What is working for your competitor’s website may not be ideal for your website. If your competitor focuses more on talking about the quality of services he will offer, then it doesn’t mean you need to do the same on your website. Instead, you can add multiple property pictures across different areas that are available to you. On seeing the pictures of different properties, you may be able to get more clients to contact you.

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Unless you test your real estate website, it’s difficult to conclude whether creating a website like your competitor’s will be beneficial in improving your conversion rates.

3. Testing When Traffic is Low

If you consider testing, make sure your website is fully developed. Also, it’s important that you have a sufficient number of visitors on your website. Even if there are at least 100 visitors on an average for 15 days, it’s good enough for you carry out tests on your website. When there are sufficient visitors on the website, it helps you get some valuable insights. Moreover, you are clearly able to distinguish whether variation A is better than variation B or not. Therefore, test webpages that have a substantial number of visitors such as your home page, property webpage, rental webpage, etc.

A low traffic represents a small sample size of your target audience and so, the data obtained from this size often tends to be misleading. At the same time, you will take a long time to get significant results from your testing process. Hence, if your web traffic is low, focus first on increasing the web traffic by optimizing your website and then look at optimizing your conversions.

4. Ineffective Targeting

You want visitors who are your potential clients. Indeed, having a significant number of visitors is important for testing but they should be the right kind of visitors. This means that people who visit your website should be interested in your real estate services. It can be anything from buying a property to renting one. Here it’s important that your SEO focuses on getting the right people to your website. This includes targeting the right demographics and geography as well. A person living far off from the area of your operation may not be interested in your rental services. Hence, you want people who can be converted into clients on your website. Or else, you will have high web traffic but a poor conversion rate. Therefore, target users with the help of online ads, SEO, and email campaigns, to get the relevant audience to visit your website.

5. Testing for a Short Period

Another common mistake when it comes to testing your conversion rate is to carry out testing for a very short period of time. Once you see a particular variation performing better, you decide to conclude the testing process. When you have started the testing process, give it some time to show accurate results. Allow your A/B test to arrive at a statistically significant result. The best thing is to remain patient and wait for more people to visit your website in order to select a clear winner. The only exceptions when you should cut your testing process are when it’s affecting your web traffic and your SEO efforts or the test is resulting in a significant loss of revenue.

6. Testing Multiple Variations Simultaneously

Test one element at a time. Testing multiple elements simultaneously makes it difficult to identify which change in an element is affecting your conversion rate. For example, you test the images on your landing page. One landing page has an image of an apartment and the other of a condo. You also decide to make modifications to the background color of your website where the first landing page has a lighter background and the other has a darker shade. Now, if there is an improvement in your conversion rate where the first landing page performs better than the second one, it becomes difficult to know whether the apartment image was the reason behind increasing conversion rate or the lighter background shade. In fact, it becomes even more complex to determine which landing page to choose if there is a minimal change in your conversion rate. Hence, it is recommended that you avoid testing multiple variations at the same time. Test and analyze one element and then move on to the next. Set a considerable time period like at least 15 days for testing each element. If the results are not conclusive, then stop the testing. It’s better that you focus on testing other elements than wasting time on the one which doesn’t provide a proper conclusion. You may decide to go back to it once all the other elements are tested.

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7. Mismatch Between the Ads and Landing Page

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This is one the major mistakes that should be avoided at all cost. If you do not, it will cost your business dearly. Most of the times, the online ads fail because there’s a mismatch between what the ads communicate and the content on the landing page. A person clicks on the ad and comes to your website only to see that it’s not relevant to what he clicked it for. For example, you conduct online ads for rental services in Edmonton and a person clicks on the ads and arrives on your landing page. The landing page should contain information about the rental services in Edmonton or some rentals available in Edmonton. If you show your visitors rental services in Nova Scotia or purchasing an apartment, then there’s a mismatch between the ads and the landing page. As a result, the visitors will immediately leave your website and your bounce rate increases. To add more, you will have to spend on every click and that too without acquiring any leads or new clients. Thus, your entire ad campaign will be a big failure.

A simple way to avoid this mistake is to add some information or details on your landing page that is similar to your online ads. Also, you need to ensure your ads are shown to the right target audience. If you are selling expensive condos, then your ads should be targeted to working professionals or people who are above 30 years old and not college-going students. Apart from creating relevant content, you have to provide excellent user experience. This means when a user visits your landing page, it should clearly state the information and the user should be able to easily navigate your website. Your website should load quickly and should work on all the possible browsers and devices. All your efforts of testing your conversion rate are affected if you do not focus on the basic user experience. Your web traffic will increase because of ads but you won’t be able to get any results for optimizing your conversion rate. Hence, advertise and provide the same information on your website before you start with any testing process.

8. Expecting Unreasonable Results

Do not expect your conversion rates to improve by a significant margin such as 75% increase. Although there can be a 75% increase in conversion rate, it depends on the time period as well. If you say 75% increase in the next 2 years, then it is to some extent a reasonable expectation. But, then again, it depends on how many people visit your real estate website at present. You will find many case studies that boast about double-digits increase in conversion rate within a short time. However, when you perform testing, you will find a minor change improvement in your conversion rate. You may think that there’s something wrong with your testing and you may have to do more to enhance your conversion rate.

Do not fall for such tall claims that you find online. For a high involvement product such as purchasing an apartment, even a small improvement in the conversion rate means a significant increase in revenue. Just imagine you get a new client every 10 days with minimum investment. Isn’t it beneficial for your business!

Also, you may want to discontinue when the results don’t match your expectations. Ask yourself whether the investment made is fair enough to boost your conversions by higher margins. Therefore, be realistic and reasonable when it comes to determining the increase in your conversion rate.

9. Neglecting Major Changes

Modifying your background color, call-to-actions button, adding a new image, etc. are all minor changes that are tested. In doing so, you may tend to neglect the big picture. Your website may have some server issues, there may be broken links and other back-end problems with your website. These problems have to be resolved before you even start with testing and analyzing for optimizing conversions. You cannot expect smaller changes such as adding another image or modifying your visual elements to improve the overall performance of your website. Hence, conduct your website audit to find major faults and fix them as soon as possible. Go ahead with the testing process once the major website problems are resolved.

These are some conversion rate optimization mistakes you must avoid. So, if you want to enhance your conversion rate, make sure you take a note of these mistakes. If there are multiple elements on your real estate website that needs to be tested, then it’s best that you take help of a professional digital marketing firm. The professional firm will ensure that all your website elements are tested rightly and your conversion rate is improved. Moreover, the skills and the experience of a professional firm will help you to avoid making any of the above-mentioned mistakes.

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Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches. Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.

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