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December 2012: Turn Your Website Into a Global Business Magnet

December 2012: Turn Your Website Into a Global Business Magnet

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Published by REALTORS®

December 2012: Turn Your Website Into a Global Business Magnet

December 2012: Turn Your Website Into a Global Business Magnet

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Published by: REALTORS® on Feb 05, 2013
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to local, international & lifestyle real estate
December 2012
Turn Your Website into aGlobal Business Magnet
Global Perspectives
is a benefit of the CIPS designation. Email
for more information on CIPS benefits.
You’ve earned your CIPS designation. Congratulations! Now, it’s time to ramp up yourmarketing efforts to pull in expat clients, overseas clients, and/or local individuals whowant to own property in other countries. Is your existing website optimized to helpyou secure this new business?Like any new business venture, success requires a strategic plan and extra work.As Albert Einstein said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over andover again and expecting different results. You’ve taken the first step by earning theCIPS designation, which provided essential training and access to valuable resources.Now it’s time to take what you have learned and put it into practice, and proactively grabyour piece of the global real estate market.Inside, we’ll show you how your website can support your efforts, by offering specific tips andresources that will help attract the global clients you want. We want you to succeed! You’lldiscover numerous content considerations and design decisions that can greatly enhance yourwebsite’s performance with global buyers and sellers.Some of our suggestions may sound “foreign” if you’ve never dug into the technical side ofwebsite programming. Never fear! You only need to understand the general concepts and let yourprogrammer deal with the details. After reviewing our recommendations, we hope you’ll havea clearer picture of the many steps you can take to turn your website into a global real estatebusiness magnet.
Global Perspectives
December 2012
Focus Your Home (Index)and About Pages
You probably do more than justglobal real estate, so your websitewill need to reflect all of your serviceofferings. However, to capture theglobal market, that aspect of yourservices should appear on your homepage. Select no more than your topthree service offerings to highlighton the first page your visitors willsee, making sure your global niche isone of them.You will not gain more traffic bysplintering your focus. Trying toappeal to everyone will only makeyou look like a generalist. Don’t waxpoetic about all your offerings on thehome page—you can use secondarypages to address those. Designationsyou hold that are NOT related toyour primary area(s) of focus belongon your About page, where you canshow your breadth of knowledge.Remember, target marketing doesn’teliminate potential clients; it focuseson attracting those client types youprefer. Your index page is precious.Treat it as such and dedicate it to thetypes of clients you are most anxiousto attract.On your About page—often themost-visited page after the Homepage—be sure to highlight yourglobal credentials, including yourCIPS designation, your membershipin globally-focused organizations,and testimonials from pastinternational clients. Doing thiswill demonstrate prior experienceserving global customers and helpbuild credibility with visitors.
Crafting Contentfor Clients
Periodically, Google changesits formulas for ranking contentin search results. The latestalgorithms—called Penguin andPanda—were instituted earlierthis year and make it extremelyimportant to ensure that youBack in 1996, Bill Gates first coined the term, “content is king.” Ever since, online marketers have debated the role ofcontent in attracting website traffic. In recent times, however, changes to Google’s all-important ranking algorithms,along with the growing importance of mobile devices, have triggered renewed emphasis on the role of websitecontent. And why not? Aren’t words the primary way humans communicate with one another? As a global agent,what steps can you take to make sure your site’s content is connecting with visitors?
Global Perspectives
December 2012 ~
have original, quality content (a Pandarequirement) and that any incoming linksaren’t webspam or low-quality, suspectlinks (a Penguin “gottcha”).On the human side of the equation,you need to ensure your content isdelivering what visitors want in an easy-to-digest format:
Employ short sentences and usetext links
to escort your visitors topages with more in-depth informationabout any important topic they maywant to explore.
Use proper grammar!
Not only ispoor grammar annoying to natives,it also makes comprehension moredifficult for those who struggle withEnglish as a second language, andit confuses machine translationsoftware. (There’s some evidence thateven Google prefers good grammar!)
Watch word selection and sentencestructures
to ensure global clientsdon’t have to wrestle with your textto understand the information.
Use bullets
to convey informationfor easy scanning and quickabsorption of information. This willalso make it easier for visitors onmobile devices to digest your content.
Keep your pages short
to avoid toomuch scrolling, especially on smallscreens.
Text Links Done Right
Text links make it easy for visitors togain more information and dig deeperinto your site, learning more about whatinterests them most. So make sure you takeadvantage of text links wherever logical.Don’t forget to link images too.Text and image links are especiallyimportant for mobile browsing, since it’seasier to touch a link than to type in searchqueries or scroll around a page looking foradditional information. Effective use of textlinks will permit visitors to quickly skimover the words they don’t want to learnmore about, and learn more about topicsthat do interest them with a single touch.The more information you provide on thetopics they seek, the more likely they’llcall you to help with their global realestate needs. Properly crafted links willprovide all the information they want,while keeping your site clean, unclutteredand easy to navigate.
What About Toolsand Widgets?
There are many useful website widgetsavailable for individuals doing businessinternationally. You may want to adda currency converter tool, a languagetranslation widget
(see page five)
, or amapping tool to your site. If you do, besure the widget(s) you select don’tnegatively impact your site with slowload times or poor rendering in mobileenvironments. (For example, widgets usingJavascript or Flash should be avoided.)Talk with your webmaster before makingthese decisions if you aren’t able to testthe impact of widgets yourself.One of your CIPS benefits is the CIPSWidget, which offers language translation,international holidays, and conversion toolsfor currency, area/measurement, and time.Visit the CIPS Personal Marketing Materialspage (for CIPS designees only!) on
 to obtain the code toembed on your site.
Blogging – Just Do It!
Blogs are a great way to niche yourglobal real estate services, keep yourcontent fresh, improve your onlinemarketing efforts, and reach clients whomight otherwise never find you. Theworld is a big place; carving out your nichein this market is essential. Blogging is thebest way to do that.
Note: If blogging intimidates you, never fear! We will cover blogging for the globalmarketplace, the importance of originalcontent, ways to develop content that willdrive traffic to your site, and how to tap into
social networking with your blog in the nextissue of G
lobal Perspectives
Make Your Site Sticky
How do you keep potential clients on yoursite? In addition to text links, make it easyfor them to discover more about topics thatinterest them while showcasing your depthof knowledge. You can do this by addingrelated posts at the bottom of each blogpage that feature other blog entries andpages from your site with similar content.When people find your site via a search,they will be more likely to stay and readmore (and will see more of your expertise)when related content is only a click away.Helping people find your site also involvesknowing what words and phrases theyare most likely to employ while searching.You can investigate possible keywordsby using a free online keyword researchtool (Google’s is most popular, at
).Also examineyour site’s analytics to determine whichkeywords are currently generating traffic toyour site.
Pulling It All Together
Good content for websites doesn’t happeneasily. Your written content must be strong,but to communicate effectively in our wiredworld many other considerations are alsoat play, including keywords, text links andmore. To better understand how to pull allthese considerations together, review thecase example on page four. By employinga similar approach throughout your site,you’ll score higher points with visitors andsearch engines alike.

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