This is a question few people really ask themselves. From a design perspective your site may be the best looking out there. Heck, you may even a huge volume of traffic, but have you thought, “What is wrong with my site?” Usually, people ask this type of question after they see a low return on their investment. They have a great design, great traffic, but a low number of conversions which cuts into the bottom line and ROI.
This post comes from a recent conversation I had with a client from Las Vegas. His site has close to 2,000 unique visitors a month, and about half of those are returning visits, people that stopped by earlier in the month and then stopped by at least once or twice more. He has put a great deal of money into his site, and as the real estate market in his area changed dimensions he was interested, as so am I, in reevaluating what his site was doing with all of that traffic. His site garners great visibility in both the natural and sponsored results, but since October the number of conversions has steadily dropped.
Clearly, real estate as a whole as changed, and taking that into account we are taking steps both in the marketing of his site and the actual architecture to accommodate these changes. For the client, a big part of his new direction is taking into account the amount of Foreclosures and Bank Owned Homes in his market area. This is something that we did not include in the original marketing and design of the site, but as his conversions dropped, and traffic remained the same if not better, this is the new direction we are headed. On his home page we are taking the designs from general information about the market to “Calls to Action” including sign ups for a newsletter that includes recent Foreclosures and buttons on his page that sends visitors to listings of Bank Owned Homes he represents. His market has changed and his site needs to reflect this progress.
From a marketing standpoint we will be updating his PPC campaign with new ads and keywords reflecting our new direction and with his content pages we will be adding articles about market trends. There are two things I expect to happen from the new direction we are taking:
1. A Higher Number of Conversations
2. A Smaller Amount of Traffic
I expect a higher number of conversions because his site is accounting for the change in his market. I also expect a smaller amount of traffic because we are no longer just focusing on general real estate but the many facets of real estate in his area. By targeting a smaller, select audience visitors will probably go down, but his ROI will go up. I will keep you all updated on the progress of the site, but is it time for you all to reexamine your site? Take a look at your market and evaluate if your site is truly serving the needs of your marketing and your ROI. Whether it is design elements or your marketing dollars that need evaluating it is probably time to update.