A Website That’s Sticky
Creating a sticky website, a site that keeps people looking and coming back, is an ongoing process. There are currently more than 1 billion websites on the internet. It’s not clear how many of them are real estate websites, but any local search will reveal how many web pages are available. [A local search in my city reveals about 2,760,000 results!]
Stand Out in The Clutter
When you’re working on your website, always remember you have two sets of eyes to please: The Human Eyes, and the Search Engine Eyes. As you develop content for your site, always keep two questions in mind, what are people looking for in a website, and what are the search engines looking for in a website.
What are People Looking For?
People are generally looking for two things: buyers want to see houses; sellers want to know how much their home is worth. There is a third item people look for, information. There is a growing subset of buyers and sellers who want information. If a website draws someone in, they will be more interested in reading your informational content, but only if it is good.
Good content is the most important overall feature of a sticky website, both in written copy and in visual content. Important real estate website content includes:
- IDX (Information Data Exchange)
- Mortgage Calculator
- Easy, logical navigation
- Clean and Free of clutter. This takes constant effort.
- Easy to find contact information.
- Pictures, Videos, and lots of eye candy.
- Alternative media like podcasts, infographics
- Mobile Friendly
What Are Search Engines Looking For?
The state of search today is that Google is the giant, with up to 69% of the market. Bing and Yahoo are second, and Ask is third. For ease, I usually focus on Google search in my efforts. Google search has been working on a better search experience for internet searchers for several years with their ongoing Panda updates and Penguin updates. Search has become more local and more social. These updates seem to just keep favoring bloggers, IMO.
Search Engines tend to favor:
- Ongoing, updated content
- Local Expertise
- Keyword rich content, but not keyword stuffing.
- Context (see What is Sematic Search)
- A variety of Media, including local geo-tagged pictures, video, podcasts
- The importance of Social Signals is increasing
- Read the best tips from Google’s Webmaster Academy
This is great advice from Google’s Webmaster Academy:
“One key element of creating a successful site is not to worry about Google’s ranking algorithms or signals, but to concentrate on delivering the best possible experience for your user by creating content that other sites will link to naturally—just because it’s great.”
When you’re writing a post or article, think about:
- Would you trust the information in this article?
- Is the article useful and informative, with content beyond the merely obvious? Does it provide original information, reporting, research, or analysis?
- Does it provide more substantial value than other pages in search results?
- Would you expect to see this in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
- Is your site a recognized authority on the subject?
Blogging regularly is one of the best ways to manage creating a Sticky Website. Sharing your expertise in written content, video content or pictures and other media is a great way to get people back to your website. Remember, the questions people ask you in person are the questions people are searching online.
In the information age the information is out there, just make sure that you’re the one getting credit for giving the information.
For Further Reading: