BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE
If you are a member of the Manufactured Housing Association of Oklahoma, I’ll be presenting on Wednesday, June 24th and I would love to see you there!
BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE
If you are a member of the Manufactured Housing Association of Oklahoma, I’ll be presenting on Wednesday, June 24th and I would love to see you there!
MHVillage is proud to be a Silver Sponsor for the upcoming FMHA Annual Convention in October. I’ve seen the schedule of events and it looks like it is going to be a great meeting. Want to attend? Contact the Florida Manufactured Housing Association for more details. I’ll be attending, so please let me know if you are going so I can say hello!
In other news, we had a fantastic August here at MHVillage with over 2 million website visits! As we move into fall, make sure your whole inventory is listed so you can take advantage of this traffic!
Did you know that 33.5% of MHVillage users are between the ages of 25-34? Or that if all the homes sold on MHVillage were lined up end to end, it could almost go across the United States twice? We put together this great infographic on MHVillage User Data for the 2014 National Congress and Expo. Take a look!
Click the image above to enlarge, or you can click to download a pdf copy.
MHVillage and our family of sites hit an important milestone –
Over One Million Unique Visitors in March!
To put this into context, the population of the United States is 316,128,839. Approximately 250,000,000 of those are over the age of 18.
So, in March 1 in 250 adults in the US visited our websites.
You can bet we are celebrating!
First of all, let me breakdown “MHVillage and our family of sites.” You already know MHVillage. MHVillage is our flagship site and is the most widely used and recognized website in the Manufactured Housing Industry. We also have several other websites. Our family of sites include:
Why so many websites? We use them to reach different audiences, try out new web tools, and implement new marketing techniques. For example,we recently launched a new phone friendly look on Mobilehomes-for-sale. We take the best of the ideas and successes and bring them back to MHVillage.
The majority of people find us by searching Google or other search engines. There is also a large percent (33.5%) that already know our site and type in the address directly. We also get traffic from social media, email campaigns, paid advertisements and other sources.
Here’s an interesting fact about the million plus people that came to MHVillage last month: there is an almost perfect split between returning users and new visitors to the site. As you can see in this chart, 50.4% of visitors to our site are brand new, while 49.6% are returning. This tells us that once people have found MHVillage, they come back again and again. We also know that the average user looks at 8.64 pages per session. So, people spend quite a bit of time browsing communities and manufactured home listings!
There were 1,000,392 people on the MHVillage family of sites in March. All of them were interested in manufactured homes. We are reaching our goal to help manufactured home buyers and sellers connect. And we are not resting on our laurels, we have much more in store for the year ahead! Keep an eye on this newsletter to learn more in the upcoming months!
Note: want to learn more? Stop by Booth 601 at the National Congress and Expo in Las Vegas later this month! Or, follow along on Twitter @MHVillage #NatCongressLV
As we round out November, we’re looking back at a very positive October. Even though the kids are back in school and people are thinking about the holidays, web traffic continues to be strong and, even better, web leads are up! (Are you getting the web leads and traffic you are looking for? If not, we can help! Give us a call and we can go over your account with you and help you take advantage of all the benefits MHVillage has to offer. Or read my Missed Marketing Opportunities series to find some simple ways to make your listings more attractive to home buyers.)
Check out the October sales results on MHVillage:
October 2013 – 1,631,101
Year to Date – 16,686,705
October generated slightly fewer web visits than September, though both months had over 1.6 million visits. In fact, we are well on the way of having 19 to 20 million web visits in 2013! Keep in mind when you look at these numbers that MHVillage.com has information on manufactured and mobile homes only, so these numbers show the power of our industry and how many people are searching for affordable living solutions.
October 2013 – 52,132
Year to Date – 586,199
Though web visits were slightly lower this month than last, sales leads were up! In September we sent 47,050 leads out to sellers like yourself, last month we sent over 52,000. The upshot? People shopping MHVillage are serious about buying homes. They aren’t just browsing, they are also calling, emailing and asking for more information. Most importantly, they are also buying. You can see that in this number –
October 2013 – 5,053
Year to Date – 50,656
Over 50,000 manufactured homes that were advertised on MHVillage were marked as sold in the first 10 months of the year! And just because we are in the holiday season, don’t think that now is the time to slow down. In fact, December 26th is traditionally an incredibly high traffic day on MHVillage, kicking off a great new year! If you want to take advantage of this spike in traffic, use the next 6 weeks to get all your inventory online (Read “One Simple Step to Getting More Leads” to learn why this is important), make sure your company information on MHVillage is up to date (Eight Missed Marketing Opportunities – Your Sales Center on MHVillage) and make sure your company website is linked on MHVillage. (Link to Your Web Site!) Don’t wait until spring – now is the time you want to get ready.
Up here in Michigan the leaves are turning gold and the apples are showing up on the fruit stands. As we move into fall, now is a great time to take a few moments and review your online advertising. Are you getting the web leads and traffic you are looking for? If not, we can help! Give us a call and we can go over your account with you and help you take advantage of all the benefits MHVillage has to offer.
Following are the September sales results on MHVillage:
September 2013 – 1,660,899
Year to Date – 15,055,064
September generated over 1.6 million web visits, and we are well over 15 million for the year so far! As you can see from the numbers below, these folks are shopping MHVillage and sending inquiries on purchasing and renting manufactured homes.
September 2013 – 47,050
Year to Date – 533,952
As I always say: don’t miss the fine print on those numbers – these numbers do not include the estimated 40,000 phone inquiries generated each month! I travel a lot, speaking to professionals in the manufactured home industry, and I can’t tell you how many tell me that over 50% of their leads are coming from MHVillage. Are you getting your share? Here’s a quick tip – read my Missed Marketing Opportunities series to find some simple ways to make your listings more attractive to home buyers.
September 2013 – 4,694
Year to Date – 45,629
As you can see, before the end of the year, over 50,000 homes on MHVillage will have marked as sold. That’s incredible! And we are constantly working behind the scenes, ensuring that MHVillage is one of the very first places people go to shop for affordable manufactured homes. Need help selling yours? Or Email us, we are happy to look over your account for you and offer suggestions to help.
Note from the Editor: It is time for another in our Missed Marketing Opportunities series! We’re highlighting simple tips and options on MHVillage that can dramatically increase the performance of your online advertising. Today we are revisiting an article from the archives on Well Crafted Caption Lines. Caption Lines are available on all Premium and Featured Listings, Showcased Communities and Pro+ accounts.
Our research has revealed that certain manufactured home listings attract far more home buyers than others – often getting as much as three times the number of views as other listings. These high-performing power listings aren’t always the first ones in the list, or the cheapest, or even the fanciest homes. However, they do have some special listing details all in common – and here’s the best part – these details can be added to any home listing – regardless of the home!
The Well Crafted Caption Line
On MHVillage the Caption Line is your first opportunity to tell buyers about your home. When someone does a search they’ll get a list of manufactured homes for sale and rent in their area. The Caption Line is how you draw people in.
Here is a great example taken from a search in Bradenton, FL. The Caption Line is the line of text at the top in gray. In this example it is: Beautiful…Fully Furnished……In Great Gated Community…Pet Friendly….
Caption Lines Are A Great Sales Tool
A well crafted Caption Line can attract the right customers – and weed out the ones who won’t qualify. With just a few words, Caption Lines can showcase a home’s best features, grab people’s attention, and encourage the right buyer to click on your listing and learn more. They do this with specific details that target a particular audience.
Let’s look at some examples of Specific Details and the Audience they are geared toward:
To compare, here are some examples of poor–performing Caption Lines that we frequently see. Any of these will result in below average traffic to your listing:
One Special Case: What if your home is priced much more higher than that of comparable homes in the area? Listings that appear overpriced in the search results will not be clicked on. In this case, you MUST use the caption line to explain why. Here are a couple of examples:
Use this space to tell buyers exactly what makes your home special – and more than worth its price!
Creating/Editing Your Caption Line on MHVillage:
The Caption Line is created from the “Listing Caption” text box located under the home’s description when you list/edit a home. Here’s a screen shot of that page:
You can add or change your Caption Line at any time. Here’s how:
Note: only Featured and Premium listings have a Caption Line. If you have a Basic listing, consider upgrading to one of the other listing types so you can add a Caption Line.
You can also add Caption Lines to Showcased Communities and Pro+ account Sales Centers. If you have questions, or need assistance adding Caption Lines, email us and let us know. We’ll be happy to walk you through it.
As we step out of summer and into fall, let’s take a look at the results from last month. (Click the image above to enlarge.)
August 2013 – 1,812,034
Year to Date – 13,394,705
We thought July was great month with 1,799,561 web visits, yet we manged to top those numbers and beyond with 1,821,034 visits in August! Traffic is continuing to grow on MHVillage – this is what makes us the largest online marketplace for manufactured housing. (Read this article on it is essential to have your entire inventory on MHVillage: One Simple Tip To Getting More Leads.)
August 2013 – 63,749
Year to Date – 486,616
As I always say: don’t miss the fine print on those numbers – these numbers do not include the estimated 40,000 phone inquiries generated each month! Over the past year we have sent almost a half million leads to manufactured home sellers, just one more sign that there are a lot of folks out there who appreciate and searching for affordable housing.
August 2013 – 4,943
Year to Date – 40,972
Nearly 5,000 manufactured homes listed on MHVillage were marked as sold in August. Are you getting your share of leads and sales? If not, it could be that you are missing some of the powerful opportunities and tools offered on the site. Read my Missed Marketing Opportunities series to find some simple ways to make your listings more attractive to home buyers. Or email us, we are happy to look over your account for you and offer suggestions to help.
What makes a link so powerful? We are talking about sending a steam of people who are currently planning on buying a manufactured home directly to your site. Not only that, but adding a link will significantly help buyers using Google and other search engines to find your site. This is a very effective piece of advertising!
First of all, we know:
Information sources home buyers use in home search
- Internet: 90%
- Real estate agent: 87%
- Yard sign: 53%
- Open house: 45%
- Newspaper ad: 27%
- Home book or magazine: 18%
As you have seen from our own sales statistics and sales results, the number of manufactured home shoppers is growing. I mentioned last month we had record-breaking days in July – hitting over 50,000 individuals on MHVillage per day! So, we know people are shopping for homes… but are they finding you? We offer a number of opportunities on MHVillage for adding a link to your site – and to bring our traffic straight to you.
Every home you sell can have a link to your website. Our Premium level ($8 per home/per month) has a field where you can add that link. Premium listings also come with a number of additional features like unlimited photos and the ability to link to a virtual tour, and get four times the views of Basic listings.
Seller Tip: Instead of just adding a link to your homepage, consider linking to a page within your site that motivates a seller to action. Consider a pre-application page or a page to set up an appointment to view your homes or community. Or take an idea from the Real Estate world and encourage buyers to sign up for a regularly emailed list of your new home listings.
Do you manage or own a community? You can also put a link on your Showcased community. Showcase community pricing varies by location starting at $16.00 a month. Like Premium listings, the Showcase feature comes with a lot more benefits – unlimited home photos, better search placement, and more fields for information. There is, however, one other big advantage to a link on your Community page: it is “permanent.” Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t change it – like everything on MHVillage, you can upgrade or downgrade at will and edit your link address at any time – however, one of the big reasons to put your link on MHVillage is something we haven’t even talked about yet: SEO.
What is SEO?
According to Wikipedia: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. Basically, SEO is the process of trying to get your website higher when people browse the web using Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search engines. There is a lot to SEO, more than we have time for in this article, but one of the techniques for improving where your site appears is having links from other companies to yours. If you want, think of it like balloons. The more balloons you link together, the higher a they can go. However, you don’t always need a lot of little balloons – sometimes all you need is one big one. That’s where MHVillage comes in.
Search engines are smart, though. If all it took was putting a link on a company website to a large site, everyone would just put links to Amazon, Yahoo or Facebook on their websites and be done with it. Instead, what search engines want to see is links from big sites going to yours. If you could somehow convince the New York Times to run a story about you on their website, you can bet that search engines would pick up on it. What search engines like to see is similar sites, with common factors, providing relevant content to their users. Remember, search engines have a goal – get the user to what they want. So, they try to find ways to organize all the data out there. If you are selling manufactured homes, how do you think it looks to them if there is a link on MHVillage (the nation’s largest site for our industry) to your site? MHVillage becomes the big balloon that lifts you off the ground and up towards the top.
Home listing links are great way to attract buyers, but links on your community page are also great for SEO. Homes on MHVillage sell all the time and are removed. Community links have plenty of time to show search engines that you have permanence. Of course, a community link isn’t the only place you make this happen. There is one more:
Not too long ago I wrote an article, Eight Missed Marketing Opportunities – Your Sales Center on MHVillage, that highlighted the Sales Center page on MHVillage and how you can use it to attract home buyers. The Pro+ account, like a Showcased community, lets you add a long-standing link from MHVillage to your site. (Pro+ accounts also let you add your company logo to MHVillage and will help you appear higher in retailer searches.) This is another great place to add a link to your web site. It is easy to do and attracts home buyers, while helping with your SEO. Just log into your account and click the Edit Sales Center Information link.
You’ve spent a lot of time, effort and money on your web site. Now you need to take the next steps to make sure you are getting enough traffic to it. Adding a link to your site on MHVillage home listings, communities and sales center pages is a great way to do that! Want to know if it is successful? We’ll track it for you – every time someone clicks a link from our site to yours, we’ll add that to your statistics. So, each month, you can see the results.
Need more tips for improving your online marketing? Check out the whole Missed Marketing Opportunities series and don’t forget to meet us at the International Networking Roundtable in Bloomingdale, IL next week and The Southeast Community Owners Symposium in October!
It’s that time again – let’s take a look at the results of another strong month!
July 2013 – 1,799,581
Year to Date – 11,582,671
Last month was such a great month for web visits that we hit some record numbers. MHVillage typically has about 46,000 viewers a day, but in July, we started seeing a trend, with days with well over 50,000 viewers! That certainly kept us busy. In fact, we are working hard to keep those numbers high. You might have noticed a few small changes to the site. We’ve been updating the look, the tools and search results on our site, in order to generate the most manufactured housing leads for you. Speaking of which…
July 2013 – 64,296
Year to Date – 422,867
As I always say: don’t miss the fine print on those numbers – these do not include the estimated 40,000 phone inquiries generated each month! Remember too that we’ve also created an easy-to-use mobile website for home buyers to help them quickly shop for manufactured housing right on their smart phone. This mobile site doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of our full website (though you can easily switch over to the full version anytime you choose.) Instead, it was designed to help home buyers and potential residents find the communities and homes they are looking for.
July 2013 – 4,805
Year to Date – 36,068
Are your homes on MHVillage selling? If not, it could be that you are missing some of the powerful opportunities and tools offered on the site. Read my Missed Marketing Opportunities series to find some simple ways to make your listings more attractive to home buyers. Or email us, we are happy to look over your account for you and offer suggestions to help.