Every real estate agent is told that they need to have a website to market homes and market their services.

But simply creating a website doesn’t do any good if no one sees it.

Why am telling you about website traffic?

If you hire an agent to sell your home, and that agent tells you that they are promoting your home on the internet, you need to understand that all websites (and agents) aren’t created equal.

There are two main ways to get visitors to a website – search engines and networking.

Websites Get Traffic from Search Engines:

Google It has become a phrase that we all understand.

Regardless of which search engine you prefer to use (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask…), it just takes seconds to type a few words into a search engine and find websites that will give you the information you need.

Good websites use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques so that the search engines understand what the website is about and will post it on the first page of the search results for relevant topics.

For real estate agents, SEO techniques are used to tell the search engines which areas or types of properties an agent sells.

If we didn’t use good SEO techniques for Arch City Homes, then people searching for homes in St. Louis would never find this site. Without website traffic, our clients’ homes, highlighted on the Featured Listings page, would not be seen.

Most agents find the technology behind websites overwhelming, and opt to use a template website. These websites are mass produced and allow an agent to choose the colors, edit their personal information and the content on the pages. Most agents don’t even bother to edit the stock content, making their site look like every other agent website on the web rather than taking the time to write about how they are different from the other agents in town.

These websites get ignored by Google and the other major search engines.

While all of our traffic doesn’t come from search engines, 59% of the traffic to this site since it went live in November 2008 has come from search engines.

Arch City Hoems traffic-sources-thru-7-23-11

Networking Results in Website Traffic:

Networking has been the way businesses succeeded long before the internet was around, and continues to be a major way for real estate websites to get noticed.

I spend a lot of time talking to people. Some of those people are looking for a home, but most are not. But, you never know who has a friend who IS looking for a home. Plus, some of the people I get to know today, who learn that I am someone they can trust, will pay attention to my listings when they are ready to buy a home next year. The clients who hire me now benefit from years of networking on twitter and Facebook and at live events. These people pay attention when I talk about a new home for sale. They forward my links and videos, and help get more attention to my listings than I could do by myself.

But networking online isn’t enough. It’s important to get out and meet people in person.

St. Louis Social Media Chicks Weekend:

St. Louis Social Media Chicks founder - The Cubicle Chick

I’m not sure how I first met Danyelle, but we’ve been chatting on twitter for a few years. This weekend, I finally met Danyelle in person.

Danyelle, aka The Cubicle Chick, decided to start a new group for influential social media women in St. Louis. The group will have events to bring local women together to network and share social media tips, along with showing our sponsored hosts how locally connected women can bring a lot of attention to their business through social media.

St. Louis Social Media Chicks Lumiere Place event

I was invited to the inaugural event at Lumiere Place.

Six of us were treated to complimentary rooms at Lumiere Hotel, dinners at the Stadium Bar and 1904 Steak House and spa treatments at the Four Seasons hotel. The hotel also provided food & soda for about 15 women who gathered together at the hotel on Friday night for an evening of networking.

While an outsider might not see how me getting a free staycation is good for business, this is a prime example of networking in action. While I met about 10 women who I didn’t know before on Friday night, I was able to really get to know the 5 other women staying at the hotel over 3 days. I’ve spent some time with Robyn and Sharon before, but sharing a hotel room or spending 3 days straight together builds a very different relationship than getting together in a group once in a while. Even more important was the chance to  get to know the other 3 women, all very influential in their own networking circles. Since they interact with a lot of people who I don’t know, my reach just expanded tremendously by connecting with these women.

St. Louis Social Media Chicks - lunch at Burger Bar

I have no doubt that the next time I post a video of a new listing, Roshini, Danyelle and Lakesha will take a look. And if they know anyone who might be a good match for that home, I’m sure they’ll pass it on.