A Builder’s Online Strategy: Engage Those “Just Browsing”

Engage Those "Just Browsing"Quick review – the 7 E’s are:

1. EARN Google’s trust
2. ENTICE people to visit your site
3. ENGAGE those “just browsing”
4. EMPHASIZE your differences
5. ENSURE you’re part of the short list
6. ELICIT a response – generate a lead and convert it
7. EMPLOY your happy home owners to earn more trust

We all know that when people come to visit a model home today and they tell us that they are “just looking” that they aren’t being 100% truthful. Prospects who take the time, energy, and money to come see us in person are there for a bigger reason than just to look around.

However, when it comes to the internet – there are hundreds if not thousands of people every month that will come across your brand as they are “just browsing.” They didn’t set out to find you, but they clicked here… then found something interesting there… then somehow a piece of you (an ad, a blog post, or maybe your full site) managed onto their screen and they click over for a few precious seconds. Serendipity and a rabbit trail brought them to your door, but what will happen next?

If there is strong content (original or curated) that speaks to the user where they are now – then at a minimum you can begin to build a sense of trust and respect with them. What I’m really talking about is segmenting your messaging/content as much as you segment your market.

See the chart below for an example:
Engage Your Target Market

Beyond these segmented messages are additional topics that are almost universally heavily researched. Here are a few:

  • Interior design
  • Landscaping
  • Kitchen and bath renovation
  • Home repair / maintenance
  • Home mortgage / refinancing
  • Local housing market insights

The bottom line: The item that enticed someone to come visit your site has to be followed up with strong relative content that will build brand awareness and respect. As an added benefit, that same content will in turn lead to earning more trust from Google.

A Builder’s Online Strategy: Earn Google’s Trust

Earn Googles Trust - Home Builder's Online StrategyI was recently asked to give a brief outline of my online strategy for home builders, and I thought it would make for a great series of blog posts. So here it is in an easy to remember form – the 7 E’s of a home builder’s online strategy.

1. EARN Google’s trust
2. ENTICE people to visit your site
3. ENGAGE those “just browsing”
4. EMPHASIZE your differences
5. ENSURE you’re part of the short list
6. ELICIT a response – generate a lead and convert it
7. EMPLOY your happy home owners to earn more trust

First up…

EARN Google’s trust

Building a meaningful relationship with Google can be harder than it was to find and marry your wife – but the benefits are nearly as great. Recent reports still show Google with a commanding lead of the search market with 65.6% share. The closest competitor, Yahoo! only has 16.1%. By climbing to the top or organic search results for the right search terms you’ll see very high ROI.

Home Builder Analytics Search Breakdown

Here is a sample analytic report showing my builder's search engine breakout - guess who's #1?

Like any relationship though it takes time and you have to build trust. You do this through smart SEO work, and by creating original content that others will link to and find helpful (note – this may, and probably will, mean that the content does not do a hard sell of your product or service). Did I mention it takes time? The good news is that the time will pass anyway, and at least you started before all your competition to get a head start… right? (warning: don’t go cheap on this… remember, it’s your highest ROI)

Before employing a fantastic professional SEO team – organic search accounted for roughly 30% of our website traffic. It now accounts for 60.3% of total traffic. Remember, that’s traffic where my cost per click is now $0!

Home Builder Analytics All Lead Sources

This screen shot shows you the percentage of web traffic currently coming to my builder's site via search engines (PPC = $0)

 

What’s your strategy for earning Google’s trust?

Tomorrow I’ll talk about online strategy #2 – ENTICE people to visit your site