The Ultimate Payoff

Redefining your company's Web site can offer a solid return on investment.

Executing a successful Web site marketing strategy requires careful planning, meticulous attention to detail, and an investment of company resources. If done properly, the benefits far exceed the costs. Your company can increase customer service and close deals more quickly by allowing clients to access essential, updated information at any time. In addition, you can win new business by communicating your company’s unique strengths, specializations, and values to prospective clients. You also can maintain relationships and stay in front of former clients by offering updated content relevant to their interests. Finally, you’ll save time and increase your own productivity -- and subsequently do more business with less effort.

Creating a Game Plan
To succeed at redefining your company’s Web marketing strategy, you’ll probably want to hire a professional Web site developer to assist you. But before making that move, you should ask yourself a few key questions to clarify the direction you wish to take. Answering these fundamental questions will help you define your target audience and develop an overall strategy.

Who do I want to attract to my company’s Web site?

Defining your target audience is paramount to your ultimate success on the Web: you must determine what types of visitors you hope to attract and tailor content accordingly. Your Web site should serve as a resource for your current clients, allowing them to gain access to relevant information about properties and projects. Additionally, your site should cater to prospective clients with whom you have not yet established a relationship.

How can I quickly capture a visitor’s attention?

The average visitor spends literally seconds deciding whether to surf a Web site or click elsewhere. Therefore, you must immediately offer relevant content that encourages deeper exploration. Good home pages make efficient use of space and aren’t overly cluttered. Avoid using animated graphics or Macromedia Flash movies, which increase load time and seldom impress anyone beyond your Web developer.

Once people find my Web site, what compels them to stay?

Content, content, content! Your Web site should articulate your value proposition, core competencies, and business ethics. In addition to showcasing professional profiles and available properties, you may also consider offering market intelligence, case studies, news, resources, and other information of interest to your target audience.

What makes my company truly unique?

Depending on your market, services offered, and experience, this question may be difficult or easy to answer. Focus on your core strengths and how you benefit your clients. Classic examples include reputation for maintaining outstanding customer relationships, delivery of specialized services, possession of insightful market knowledge, and establishment of superior business processes.

What is the difference between static and dynamic content?

By updating your Web site’s content on an ongoing basis, you attract repeat visits from clients. During the planning process, assign responsibility for maintaining content to the appropriate persons. Your company’s history, philosophy, and mission statement are relatively static content items. Your services offered, case studies, and resources may change periodically -- although probably not often. Dynamic content includes property listings, press releases, market reports, and your client extranet.

What’s your Web site’s call to action?

Once you succeed at attracting visitors and capturing their attention, what next? Your Web site should explicitly or implicitly encourage visitors to take action. Some ideas to further action include scheduling a meeting, establishing a relationship with an associate, listing or acquiring a property, providing information about specific wants, or contacting the company.

Dustin Gellman, CCIM

Dustin Gellman, CCIM, is chief information officer for Catylist Real Estate Software and Catylist Consulting. He also serves as CCIM Institute\'s technology consultant. Contact him at (312) 595-9209 or


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