Friday, January 16, 2009

Searching for an answer...........

Realty agents and mortgage lenders with a personal web site will find this seemingly unrelated story worthy of note. Obviously, you hope that one way for potential clients to find you is via your web site.

While the importance of being found via internet search is often debated in the real estate community (compared with someone looking for a "used car in Miami" by a search), a story from Hitwise brings up an interesting point.

Hitwise reported yesterday (Jan. 15) that searches for "credit cards" and "credit card" fell 29% and 14%, respectively, during the four weeks leading up to Jan. 10 when compared with the prior year. The story went into percentages and broke the information out even more, which is beyond our scope here. The gist of the story is that it is possible that consumers are changing the way they search for credit card information, by now including a brand name.

For example, there is a rise in the people entering "Bank of America credit card", rather than just "credit card". My feeling is that it gives consumers more confidence in their search results by going with a known brand, as opposed to looking at a search result list filled with "untrusted" and unknown web sites.

You should keep that in mind when it comes to your own web site. I often help clients with the process of adding one or more domain names which "point" to their web site.

I called one of my long time clients in the Chicago area today about this story. She liked my idea about adding a "comparison" mention on a seldom used page on her web site. (Why she still has a seldom used page is for another day - but now it could actually benefit.) If she compares a mortgage program to one from (for example) Bank of America, and her site is already available for the major search engines, then HER site could come up when a consumer searches "bank of america mortgage", per the point of this blog.

Even though business is rebounding for my current (and potential) clients, you need to keep every marketing edge possible to maintain a positive income for 2009. Oh, and this is a good idea for when we are searching for a product in our real life, too. Check for a known and trusted brand or company, and see what happens.

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