What Kind of Site Do You Have?

Fish Art

Where are you Going with Your Site?

This is one of the most significant questions you need to keep in mind at ALL times.  It is the first question I ask of potential clients.  The answer determines what kind of site and functionality we build into it.

Let’s take this site.  The Real Estate Blog Lab.  What are they keywords I’m trying to rank for in the search engines?  What are my long tails and Short tails searches?  What do I need to focus on to rank for the search terms I want to rank for?

The Answer.  I DON’T HAVE ANY.  There is nothing I want to rank for with this site.  Do I want more traffic to my site?  I’ll take it, but do I want it?  Not really, I don’t have a bunch of affiliate links or ads I’m selling on the site.  I have a luxury with the Lab.  I’m not looking for business from it, I’m not promoting an event, a service, or selling a product or service.

This means If I want to load down this site with a 100 plugins and it takes 15 seconds to load, so what?

Other types of sites where this applies

  • Hobby sites
  • Event Sites  (There’s no competition, if you are BlogWorld you are BlogWorld)
  • Most Photo Blogs  (very little competition)
  • Niche market sites (again where there is very little competition for the search)

You get the idea.  There are sites like these that have little or no competition for rankings. They don’t need to be careful of page load times.  They can pretty much do whatever they want.  No leads to capture because people want what they have anyway, that’s why they come to their site in the first place.

But if Your Site is a Real Estate Business Site . . .

You don’t have the luxury of kludging up your site with lots of Eye Candy and bells and whistles that slow your site to a crawl.  Well, you might get away with it if you want to spend a couple of thousand a month to an SEO company to “Get You On Page One of Google”.

I troll ActiveRain for Bad Practices

I’ll admit it.  I get a few good post ideas from reading posts on Active Rain.

I see so many REALLY BAD IDEAS there promoted as “REALLY GREAT” that most of the time I can’t read more than one at a time. There are way to many topics to go into.  One of my favorite.  Change your permalinks to something that is better SEO.  Oh do they mention that this will cause your site to return all 404 page not found errors to visitors until your site is re-indexed unless you are some kind of 301 redirection in place?  No, they always seem to leave that part out.

Overselling on your Website – The kitchen sink syndrome

Let me BURY you in information and content.  There was a site a few months back in Florida that was being held up as a “beautiful” example of an RE site, it has accordion sliders (2 of them) on the home page, lots of things like mortgage calculator, (We all need that calculator) and on and on.  And on my High Speed Cable connection it only took 18.9 seconds for the homepage to load.
At Mcds Free WIFI it took over 30 seconds for the home page to load.  Oh, yeah, that’s a powerful example of what an RE site should be like.

Page 1 or DIE

Let’s face it, you have to be on page 1 and preferably position 1 – 5 to be considered viable placement.

The one other location that is sometimes useful is top of page 2 but that is a consolation prize at best.

Therefore, the most important question you have to keep in front of you at all times.

What Kind of Site Do I Have.

The second question?  What is my Target Audience. But that’s another story.

Comments

  1. Great tips! And while it may seem like common sense to have a website that loads quickly, however, many RE professionals are in the business of making things look great to sell. Which means they need a beautiful website to showcase. They’re so focused on the brochure website, they don’t even realize that it’s so heavy with resource-hogging-plugins, etc that it’s extremely slow to load on most people’s browsers. We’ve noticed this a lot in our town and for RE professionals and several. Keep up the great work!

  2. This is something I struggle with in my blog, as a real estate agent and owner of property management business, I had wanted to start a blog for each but time really dictates that I use one for both. I am hoping it won’t hurt me too much in the seo department…maybe it will even help, hard saying at this point. I just am trying to keep it simple now and really focus on quality, interesting content first and worry about design later.

  3. Dave Smith says:

    Mindy,

    As long as you are on wordpress.com a single site will be fine. If you ever go self-hosted you can decide then if you want to split the content into two sites.

    Dave