The 10 Commandments for Making Money from Your Website
(Editor's note: This is part two of a series on getting the most out of your website.)
Do You Understand the Meaning of This Word? Compelling
What is a “dynamic” web page? To some degree it would be safe to say it is the opposite of a “static” web page. It’s content can be modified by the viewer and the page can pull from back-end databases. Some examples of “dynamic” web pages that prospects love are Search the MLS, Loan Calculator pages, Drip Marketing pages, Quick Search and much more.
“Dynamic” web pages add a real zing to the website. These make the website more of a “tool” than a marketing piece. Interactive rather than advertising. The best part of all is that most of the successful template website companies already have these tools for you to use in your website.
While a blog site can be construed as a miniature website, it actually is much more. Blog sites by their very nature are communicative and “chatty” by their very nature. Not only are they meant to be read like newspapers and magazines, but they are meant to be commented on by their readers. Many agents are now shifting all their emphasis to just having a blog site, as they are so easy to put together and maintain.
However blog sites are best used in conjunction with an effective website for a 1-2 punch. Think of the website as the mother ship and the blog site as the satellite that can bring in visitors. The power of the blog site is its use of text, audio and video. If linked to the website, search engines will read the website much more frequently, giving you higher rankings and more search engine visibility.
For years, many agents have been using the “virtual tour” which uses the technique of overlapping panoramic shots to showcase an entire room. While early versions of this software was flawed, later versions have been easy to use and very effective for sharing the various rooms of a home.
However, new technologies have given us the ability to take a video camera and “shoot” a home or neighborhood with voiceovers (that are much more difficult to be done with virtual tours). Once videos are shot, if they are shot using a digital camera, the file can be copied over to a standard computer. Typical digital video computers (especially the new HD digital video) have a very large file size that would never be conducive to the Internet. So these files can either be uploaded to YouTube or preferably converted to a “flash” file and then uploaded to your website or blog site for distribution.
I lump the term “social marketing” to include “social networking” (Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc.), “social bookmarking” (Digg, Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, etc.), and “video and photo sharing” (YouTube, Flickr, Revver, etc.). And particularly a site such as realtown.com that offers the best of both worlds.
So much can be done now with a simple digital camera and/or video camera that one can almost produce their own commercial. “Social Networking” is an excellent tool to become social as in working crowds in a cocktail party. “Social Bookmarking” is well used to market and distribute your website to other subscribers. And “Video/Photo Sharing” is perfect for sending/retrieving video and photos from anywhere around the world.
With social marketing, only your mind is your limitation. It used to be that your limitation was a budget and whomever you knew that could create the marketing piece you wanted. Now it is almost all free and is getting easier and easier to use.
Our final important word – “convergence”. Convergence is the combination of several tools. In our case it is the combination of the MLS listings, Yahoo maps and other GPS tools. I’ve even seen virtual tours and video combined with mapping MLS searches. MLS searches that utilize the new “mash-ups” have a much more elegant look and feel and definitely will hold the attention of the view far longer than the typical MLS search.
The one downside of using mash-ups (at least right now) is that they are the one tool that is a little more costly. In most cases, vast sums of money have been invested into creating the technologies used. This is typically paid back in the form of royalties for the use of the technology.
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