Thank you to Braden O’Neill of The Real Estate Social Network for contributing to this blog post!
I’m no scientist.
But I do like to blow things up.
Everyday I sit down, and think up how I can make the next explosion even bigger and better than the one before.
I want shock waves.
Absolute tidal waves rolling through town.
Seriously, everyone and their grandma’s agent should feel it.
…We are, of course, talking about blog posts.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned through my years in the lab, it’s that there’s a not-so-secret equation to success when it comes to building a great real estate blog.
Establishing a solid content marketing strategy is part one.
That’s your engine.
But the second part?
It’s the design aspect of your blog.
It’s the body of car.
The two are equally important – one can’t exist without the other.
But design isn’t just an aesthetic pleasure; it’s more than a red stripe and black tinted windows. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Design is all about function.
You want your blog posts to be effective? You want to generate leads online?
Then stop wasting your time.
I’ll tell you how it’s done.
Step 1: Keep It Simple!
I just spent the last two months overhauling RESAAS Blog. Lots of research, development, tests and explosions were involved. But when the dust cleared I was left with a magnificently efficient machine, if I do say so myself.
The underlying concept?
The problem with most websites is that there’s too much clutter, too much distraction.
I don’t blame anyone, though. It was a trend that emerged over a decade ago, but one that soon gave way to minimalism. (You can thank Apple for that).
And for good reason!
If you have too many bells and whistles pulling your audience’s attention in multiple directions, then their green-as-money eyeballs will glaze over and close your page without a moment of hesitation. They can’t handle the information overload. And just like that – poof! – they’re gone, never to be seen again.
So take a step back and strip it all down to the bare minimum.
You want them to land on your site and feel calm.
Easy on the eyes.
Step 2: Now, time to direct their focus.
Once you’ve removed all the obstacles, the time has come to pick up the wooden staff and shepherd them towards the goal.
(…There is a purpose to your real estate blog, right?)
My personal recommendation is to build a quality email list. This way you can continually follow up and provide them with useful content, listings they might enjoy, or other creative ways to remind them that you are, in fact, a real estate agent. Mailchimp is a great, easy to use tool to get this going.
Or maybe you would rather send them directly to a page of your listings.
Or to a contact page.
It’s up to you.
The point is that you’re directing them towards a specific target, one that you want them to click on.
This is where a thing called page layout comes into play.
In general, we as humans tend to read websites the same way we read books, magazines, or anything physical. That is, from left to right, from top to bottom.
This results in four (4) main terminal areas.
These are where you want to place your big-ticket items.
On RESAAS Blog, for example, this is what I’ve placed in those areas:
- Brand logo
- Link to www.resaas.com
- Featured article
- Email capture form
Step 3: Good work! Now make it better.
We scientists get very little sleep.
Our job is never done.
As soon as one experiment ends, you see, we pick up our tools and begin anew.
Why, you may ask?
Well, the pursuit of perfection is a long and arduous road full of obstacles and illusions, dead ends and secret passageways. All it takes a dash of tinkering, a small dose of tweaking, a stick of Menthos, and voila!
Your real estate blog is even better than before.
What am I getting at?
You always need to be testing something. Never sit back and think your blog is over and done with. It can always be better. SumoMe and Google Analytics are great tools to start tracking stuff.
Can that button get more clicks?
Can that form capture more emails?
Can that article get more shares?
As the legendary 80’s rapper Big Daddy Kane once told me, “this ain’t no half-steppin’.”
Go big or go home.
If you’re going to bother designing your real estate blog to become the most efficient lead-generating machine on the World Wide Web (which, since you’ve read this far, I assume you do), then don’t accept anything less than that.
James Joyce didn’t write Ulysses in a single draft. So don’t expect your blog to be the crème de la crème without a couple readjustments here and there.
Take it seriously.
Or else your audience won’t.
With that, I personally guarantee that if you follow these three steps, then your brand new scientifically-designed real estate blog will be churning out hot leads in no time.
(Sorry if I have offended any real life scientists out there. I clearly have no idea what you do.)