BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE
Did you know the most magical time of the year is almost here? No, I am not talking about the holidays – I am talking about the Two Weeks of Web Traffic! You don’t know about the Two Weeks of Web Traffic? Gather ’round, and let me fill you in –
The Two Weeks of Web Traffic
Each year we see a particular trend in website traffic. Starting the day after Christmas, web traffic on MHVillage starts to ramp up. Over the next two weeks, the traffic on the website will increase to over and above the highest traffic day in the previous summer.
Let’s break that down a little – “Web traffic” is simply a term for people using, shopping and browsing MHVillage. So, take the busiest day last summer, when web traffic was at its peak, (we were hitting over 50,000 people per day in July and August,) and starting Dec. 26th we’ll see the daily traffic ramp up to over and above that number during those two weeks following Christmas.
Notice that I keep using the word “ramp.” That’s not by accident. This isn’t a traffic spike, it doesn’t shoot up and then shoot back down. It literally begins to ramp up and set the baseline for the rest of the year. Nor is this a one time thing, this has happened every single year since we started MHVillage in 2004. In fact, each November our tech department does a review of our servers and technical systems, just to make sure that we are ready for the massive increase in traffic!
What’s Going On? Who Are All These Home Buyers on MHVillage?
The Buyer Life Cycle (Click to Enlarge)
In the manufactured home industry, much like in the Real Estate industry, we tend to think of spring as the time to buy. That may be true, but what that doesn’t take into account is the buying cycle. People don’t decide to buy a home one day and pick one out the next. Typically there is a several month lead time between deciding that it’s time to move and actually making an offer on a home. During those months they are researching properties, and the number one place they look? Online.
Every single day events happen cause people to reconsider where they live: children move out, parents move in, divorce, death, marriage and separation. People get new jobs and raises, and others get laid off. They have to relocate, decide to go to a warmer climate or simply become tired of their neighbors. Even on Christmas Day there are people standing in their living rooms thinking, “I’m not spending another Christmas in this house!” All sorts of things happen, but the holidays act as a bottleneck. Starting in the fall and through Christmas Day, web traffic is a bit sluggish. It doesn’t disappear entirely, (In November we were still averaging 30-40,000 people each day – there were even thousands of people shopping on Thanksgiving!) but it slows down. Once the holidays are over, literally starting on December 26th, people resume their home searches.
How Does This Increase in Traffic Effect You?
To use a surfing analogy, the best time to catch a wave is at the beginning. While it is tempting to sit back and relax through the next week, that’s the last thing you want to do. Now is the time review all of your online marketing. Do an audit of your MHVillage advertising: Are your listings up to date? Have you added a link to your website from MHVillage? Are phone numbers and email addresses correct?
In the next week, here are 5 things you should do on MHVillage:
- Make sure your entire inventory is online. I suggest this one a lot, but it is for a simple reason: more home listings = more leads. Remember, Basic listings are free, so it doesn’t cost you anything to get all your homes up and online. (Learn more here.)
- Make your Sales Center page Pro+. This one will cost you a little extra if you don’t already have a Pro+ account, (Pro+ accounts are $20 more a month than our standard Pro account.) Once you’ve upgraded your account, add a link to your website. This will not only allow the MHVillage buyers to click over to your site, it will also help in how your company website shows in Google searches. (Learn more here.)
- If you have a Community, make it a Showcase. Again, this will cost a bit, (Showcasing starts at $16.) but you want to look your best to all the buyers. Also, home shoppers do not need to log in to view Showcased communities, so that means more people are going to see your information. (Learn more here.)
- Review your own website. Once you’ve put links to your site from MHVillage on your listings, Sales Center page and Community, click over and look at your website as a buyer would. Is your website up to date? Is the contact information easy to find? Is there an online form for them to get more information?
- Take advantage of our Branding sale. We’ve got a great sale going on right now with 50% off Professional branding for the life of the listing. For just $1.00 you can completely dominate your listings, removing all other ads and adding all your own information. (Learn more here.)
Remember – there is never a contract on MHVillage. We only charge you for the services you use. So feel free to upgrade for a few months, get the boost in traffic and ride the sales wave until spring. You can downgrade at anytime. Need help? Let us know! We can assist your company and make sure you are ready for the two weeks of web traffic!