The Agent Directory: Who Will Actually See It?
Every website can easily track its number of visitors. Tools like Google Analytics (which we use) make it a breeze.
For example, here’s a screenshot we took last November. It represents one year’s worth of traffic which, in our case, averages out to about 1.6m visitors per month.
That’s all well and good, but Sally brings up a legitimate point… one that I’m happy she raised.
The short answer: The vast majority of our 1.6m / mo. website visitors are regular, non-real estate folks (i.e., potential buyers and sellers).
The better answer: Although traffic stats can’t determine the profession of every visitor to your website (boy, that’d be nice!), here are six points that support my short answer above.
About 95% of our website traffic comes from Facebook, and the Lighter Side of Real Estate Facebook page has 178,000 followers.
Now let’s make two assumptions.
- All 178,000 followers are real estate agents.
- All 178,000 followers click onto each article we post (on Facebook) to our website.
Neither of those are remotely true, but let’s just assume they are.
Now look at the traffic numbers of some of our better performing articles.
Here are the number of pageviews for this article:
Here’s another article:
Here’s how many pageviews it got:
And one more article for good measure:
And here’s the number of pageviews:
Now, tying all this together…
If 95% of our traffic comes from our Facebook page (which consists of 178,000 followers)…
… and even if we assume that all followers are agents AND they all click each article…
… then who’s making all the rest of those clicks?
The general public.
Agents saw these articles first, yes, but once they were shared, the articles reached beyond the real estate community. This was by design. Many topics I publish have broad appeal, which is what point #2 is about.
The majority of our Facebook posts (and articles on our website) are created with broad appeal in mind. This is how the Lighter Side attracts more than just agents.
I can, however, see why Sally posed the question she did. And I can also see how one might assume that we only attract real estate folks.
After all, we DO strive to entertain agents, but that’s only 20% of what we do.
See, as the ‘Chief Chuckler in Charge’ of Lighter Side’s content, I follow my own 80/20 rule. Meaning 20% of the things I post are what I’d classify as “inside humor”. They’re articles, videos and memes that are not really designed to be shared. I mean, it’s cool if you do, but it really isn’t my intent. For this 20%, my goal is to entertain YOU, the real estate agent, and only you.
The other 80%, though? That’s where the ‘magic’ lies.
These posts have two purposes:
- To attract a broader audience (i.e., normal folks who may be homebuyers and sellers).
- To tell your story when you share it. Whether it’s “I love what I do,” or “I’m here to serve you,” or “this is what my life is like as an agent”.
This is how we attract a much broader audience than just agents.
According to Buzzsumo (the most highly used search tool for tracking social media content), we’re the most socially shared brand across all networks when it comes to real estate articles. See image below.
But forget all the “big boys” of real estate that we dominate… heck, we get more shares per article than CNN!
(stats above represent the average share count of articles over the past year)
I don’t tell you this to brag, but to prove my point.
How in the world could Lighter Side rank so high with the search term “real estate” if we only appealed to agents? Impossible. We dominate socially because our topics have a broader reach.
I stated above that 95% of our web traffic is driven by our Facebook page.
However, in 2016 we are focusing on getting more traffic through SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
This means we’ll reach even more non-real estate folks.
We’ll do this by optimizing our site for search terms like “home tips” and “home design” and other home related interests. You know, stuff that homebuyers and sellers search for.
When they search for those terms, our articles will appear. And there are many articles we’ve published on these sorts of topics (see Point #2).
But we also want them to browse the directory, too — not just the articles. So of course we’re going to optimize in a way that leads buyers and sellers directly to the directory.
When it comes to sending traffic to our directory from Lighter Side articles, here’s how we’ll do it:
By placing ads in each of our articles that lead to the directory.
You’ve been to our site, right? And I assume you noticed ads?
Like every other media company, that’s how we keep the lights on — through ad revenue.
However, when we roll out the directory we’ll forfeit some of those ads and substitute them with our own ads for the directory.
The purpose of this directory is not only for people to find you (and your listings), it also has one other function: to give and receive agent referrals.
With that in mind, you actually want other agents to browse the directory. Because they’ll use it to find agents outside of their area (YOU).
The Bottom Line
I don’t fault you if you scratched your head and thought, “Why would I want to be showcased on a site full of agents?”. I get it. But I hope you now realize that we cater to (and draw in) a demographic far beyond just real estate agents.
EDIT: Here’s a screenshot of an email that was sent in after I published this article. It perfectly demonstrates what I’m talking about!
Questions? Comments? Would love to hear from you. Just hit reply on the email that brought you here.
Chief Chuckler in Charge