Make Sure Your Website Isn’t Suffering from TMI!
TMI. It's a term I think I first heard used by Katie Couric back when she was on the Today Show. It stands for Too Much Information.
Can a Website Have Too Much Information?
YES! It certainly can.
How Does a Website End Up with TMI?
It's a pretty common disease, usually contracted when a conscientious real estate website owner either hasn't developed an effective site map for their website, or they go overboard trying to make their website information-rich.
Why is TMI a Bad Thing?
TMI is a bad thing because it does not help you meet your real estate marketing goals.
Certainly having an information-rich website is important. It helps establish your authority with search engines, and it makes your website "sticky", meaning that your visitors will be movtivated to explore your website, return often and tell their friends!
However, you need to keep the objective for your website in mind.
The objective for your website is not to be a "wikipedia" for your target market and real estate in your target market. You are not investing your time and marketing dollars in creating a website so that people interested in your area's real estate can use it as an encyclopedia.
The objective for your website is to market your real estate consulting services. Period.
What Does TMI Look Like?
Here are some ways to identify TMI and what to do about it:
- Lots of Links - You have a community page on your site with a description of a city in your target market. On that page, you also have links to every possible website referred to in the content. Links to the city's website, the opera's website, the school district's website, websites sponsored by any local attraction mentioned on the page, and the list usually goes on... and on.
- If your visitors are interested in delving into 10 other websites related to your town, they'll search for those websites. Don't use links to other sites as an excuse to avoid writing an original page about your town! Include an overview of the community on your page, and if people have questions, encourage them to contact you.
- Multiple links on a community page simply send visitors away from your website and drain the page's authority with the search engines.
- If you must have a bunch of links on your site, put them all on one page, and hide that page from the search engines.
- Framed Websites - You haven't added links to your community pages, but you have framed in any website you think might be of interest to your visitors.
- First of all, if you read the terms of service for all those sites you've framed into yours, you'll probably find out that framing the site is in violation of the site's rules.
- Second, as before, your visitors probably don't want to spend their time wading through another 10 websites. Give them an overview, and if they want more info, they'll go after it - or hopefully, call you!
- Lots and lots of detailed information pages - Every time you add a page to your site that is expanding on something mentioned on another page, ask yourself this question: Could I set this information up as a "compelling proposition" rather than just placing on a web page?
- If you have all the inside scoop on local taxes, for example, do you think that might be something a visitor would gladly give up their contact information to get? If so, set it up that way. The best approach would be to send a PDF file to the visitor in an autoresponder. If you don't have that capability on your site, you should. But, you could try setting up a form where people can request the information, and then you'll have to send it to them manually.
Take the time to sit down and thoughtfully define what each page on your website will contain and why. Give your visitors the information and tools they need to do basic real estate research. But, don’t take that objective too far – you’ll end up with visitors who have absolutely no reason to call you!
Kathleen Allardyce is the founder of Getting It Write, Inc. The firm specializes in providing Web-Centric Real Estate Marketing services to agents and brokers – a one-stop service that establishes clients as true Internet professionals. Services include developing brands, logos and lead-generating websites. Visit her real estate marketing website, real estate marketing blog, and Point2 Agent real estate website.