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What is Conversion Rate Optimisation, and why is it important for estate agents?

by Laurence Knopf on 2nd January 2018

Every estate agent should consider conversion rate optimisation an essential pillar of the digital marketing mix, and a vital part of their digital strategy overall.

What is your conversion rate?

When users land on a page on your site, they are blank slates. They could take any number of actions, including hitting the back button or closing the site to go and look at a competitor. Of course, the ideal scenario is that the user has landed on your page because they think that page will provide them with whatever it is they’re looking for.

Let’s take your Request A Valuation page as an example. Obviously, the ideal scenario is that the user has landed on this page because they are looking for a valuation. What you would want to do, then, is convert the user from a blank slate into a genuine lead. Your page should be set up in a way that whoever lands on it looking for a valuation will immediately see where they can get one, understand intuitively how to do it, and learn almost instantly that you are the best person to provide the valuation they’re seeking.

When there is an action on the page that you desire the user to take, and the user takes it, then we say that user has been converted. In this case, that action would be filling out the Request A Valuation form and hitting the SEND button. You would measure the number of times users have requested a valuation as the number of conversions that page has seen; you would then work out the conversion rate of the page as the rate at which ‘blank slate’ users on the page convert into leads.

What is conversion rate optimisation?

Conversion rate optimisation is part of the wider digital marketing mix alongside social media and SEO, and it’s one that is likely to directly affect your bottom line. It describes the strategy of altering your website to encourage more of your users to convert into leads.

As an estate and/or letting agent, you will probably have different conversion goals depending on the user: a set of goals each for buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants. This can cover a range of different types of conversion – including things like doing a property search, submitting an enquiry, arranging a viewing, requesting a valuation or registering a new account – and can be site-wide or specific to individual pages.

For your business, therefore, conversion rate optimisation involves getting a greater proportion of your users to convert into potential leads. This involves two elements:

  1. Ensuring you get the right traffic to your website – it is much better to get 50 leads from 500 website visitors than 10 leads from 1,000. In other words, the focus should not be on simply getting as much traffic as possible but rather on getting the right traffic.
  2. Converting as high a percentage of that traffic as possible – ensuring you get as many leads as you can.

The Benefits of Conversion Rate Optimisation

  • Improved ROI – to get traffic to your website, you need to invest in digital marketing. Your strategy could involve promoting your listings and services via the large property portals, using Google ads, advertising or promoting on Facebook, through SEO, and more. Optimising your website for conversions will ensure you get maximum return on this investment.
  • More efficient and effective – it is easier to convert more of the visitors you have than attracting new visitors.
  • Beat the competition – it is likely the potential seller, buyer, landlord, or tenant will take action at some point in their search. By optimising your website for conversions, you increase the chances they will come to you rather than a competitor.
  • Improved customer knowledge – many of the steps you go through in the conversion rate optimisation process will give you a better understanding of your customers. For example, you will have a better understanding of why they take the actions they do and why they choose to you.

What Does Conversion Rate Optimisation Look Like?

The actual conversion rate optimisation steps you should take will vary depending on your website and what you currently achieve. Some examples include:

  • Adding a call-to-action to pages that don’t have one
  • Making a call-to-action more prominent on the page
  • Changing the text of the call-to-action or the colour of the button to make it more attention-grabbing and appealing to the visitor
  • Making the process of completing the call to action easier (for example, this could involve making the process of requesting a viewing as simple as possible). This could involve reducing the number of fields visitors need to complete on forms. Research shows reducing fields from 11 to four increases conversions by 120 percent.
  • And more

Conversion Rate Optimisation Strategies

As with the above section, the precise conversion rate optimisation strategies you should use will depend on your website. Here are some of the most common:

  • A/B and multivariate testing – for most estate agents, A/B testing will be the best choice. It involves testing two different versions of an element to see which one gets the best results. For example, you could test the position of your request viewing form in two different locations. Multivariate testing involves testing multiple variations at once, so works best on high-traffic websites.
  • Visitor journey analysis – understanding your website from the point of view of your visitors. This could be through heatmap analysis, for example, so you see how a visitor interacts with the different elements on your page.
  • Copy optimisation – the text on your website should be appealing and it should be written from the perspective of the visitor, i.e. how you can help them and solve their problem instead of how and what they should buy from you. For example, helping a potential buyer or tenant imagine what it will be like living in the property you’re listing.
  • Online surveys/customer feedback – asking real website visitors what they think of everything from the style of the website to how easy it is to use to how fast it loads and more.
  • Segmentation – you probably have four distinct target audiences as an estate agent. The most common are buyer, seller, landlord, and tenant. You may also have audience segments by location. Segmenting your website with content that appeals to each of these audiences will improve your conversion rate.

Finally, conversion rate optimisation should be ongoing, and it requires a structured approach. This is the only way you can keep track of what works and what doesn’t. The benefit will be more clients on your books, more viewings, and more enquiries, all of which are good for your business. Request a free performance review of your SEO strategy here.

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