Tag Archives: website visitors

How to Get the Most Out of Your MHVillage PPC Ad

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

Jason Adams and I recently created several videos about Pay Per Click (PPC) Ads on MHVillage:

Learn all About Pay Per Click (PPC) Ads

How to Run a PPC Ad Campaign

and now, the final video in the series:

How to Get the Most of Your MHVillage PPC Ad

In this video learn how to see if your ad is successful. We’ll also show you how to understand your statistics and make updates and changes to your campaign.

Bonus: Want to try it out for yourself? In the month of June,we’ll give people trying their first PPC ad a $50 credit to their account!

How to Run a PPC Ad Campaign

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

Jason Adams and I recently created a video, Learn all About Pay Per Click (or PPC) ads. That video walked you through what a PPC ad is and who can use them on MHVillage. Now, here’s the second video in the series. This second short video (1.54 min.) will take you through the ad creation process, and then, how to maintain your PPC campaign. Want to know how it all works? Check this out:

Your MHVillage PPC Campaign

(BONUS: Watch until the end for a special promotion we are running for new PPC ads in month of June!)

MHVillage User Data (Infographic)

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

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!

MHVillage Infographic page 2

 

MHVillage Infographic

 

Click the image above to enlarge, or you can click to download a pdf copy.

March Milestone: Over One Million MHVillage Visitors!

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

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!

Where Do All These People Come From?

Crowd of peopleFirst 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:

MHVillage.com

Mobilehomes-for-sale

Mobilehomes-for-rent

Senior-Retirement-Living

ManufacturedHomeFloorPlans.

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.

Who Are These Folks?

New vs Returning Users

New and Returning Visitors over the last 30 days.

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!

The Future

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

 

Use MHVillage to Get More Likes on Facebook

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSEFacebook Infographic

Did you know that there is an easy way to invite buyers browsing MHVillage to like your Facebook page? There are over 50,000 people on MHVillage every day. By inviting them to like your company page on Facebook, you can continue to engage these motivated home buyers.

The process is simple:

  • Log into your account on MHVillage
  • Click “Edit Sales Center Information”
  • Click “Add a link to your Facebook page”
  • Copy in the link to your Facebook page and click “OK”

Add Facebook

That’s all it takes!

Please note that in order to add your Facebook page, you must have a Pro+ account on MHVillage. If you don’t already have a Pro+ account, the website will walk you through the process to upgrade and then you’ll be able to add your link.

Haven’t created a company Facebook page yet? Here are some reasons you might want to look into it:

According to recent research by Postling, nearly 80% of real estate agents are using Facebook to market their practice and properties.

“Social media has definitely become the wave of the future for real estate advertising,” says Melissa Savenko, a RE/MAX Commonwealth realtor in Richmond, VA’s affluent Fan District. “I use Facebook to promote my listings, to market open houses and to notify other agents and the public about price drops and additional incentives. In this economy, I think many agents have embraced the social media world to promote their brand and their listings because it is free, easy and efficient.”

In addition to offering cost-effective methods of promoting properties, Facebook also offers a range of new opportunities to grow and cultivate a robust community of prospective buyers and sellers.

(For more great tips, read the rest of this article: 5 Best Practices For Real Estate Pros on Facebook on mashable.com)

Facebook link on MHVillage

Get Facebook followers with your MHVillage account

Also be sure to follow MHVillage on Facebook – we’d love to see you there!

facebookicon2

Review Your Online Presence – Three Simple Steps

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSEonline homes for sale

As we round out the end of January, I have one question for you:

Are you ready for 2014 manufactured home buyers?

As we ramp up into spring, now is the time to review your company online. How does your company website look? Is it easy to find? Are your home listings online? If you own a community, can potential residents find information about it online as well? As for why it matters, take a look at this quote from Google:

Real estate professionals know that their customers are uber-connected and informed. Nine in 10 home buyers today rely on the internet as one of their primary research sources, and 52 percent turn to the web as their first step. In fact, real estate related searches on Google.com grew 22% year-over-year. Additionally, approximately one-fifth of real estate related searches happen on mobile devices, and Google real estate related searches on mobile devices grew 120% year-over-year from 2011 to 2012.

(Source: The Digital House Hunt, Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate)

There are a number of simple first steps you can do right now to get started:

Do Your Own Google Searches –

Did you know that 69% of home shoppers who take action on a website begin their research with a local term, i.e. “Mobile Homes for Sale in Miami”? on a search engine?* Remember, many buyers might not know the name of your company (yet) but they know where they want to live. Do some searches – does your website come up? If not, adding links to your site on other webpages might help. Here’s how to do it on MHVillage:

Missed Marketing Opportunity – Link to Your Website

Critique Your Website –

Take a look at your website. Is it up-to-date? Better yet, ask a trusted friend who has never seen your site to look it over. Is it easy to find information? Can buyers contact you through the site?

If you don’t have a website, did you know MHVillage offers a customizable webpage that displays your listings for you? You can even create your own web address. Here’s how:

Eight Missed Marketing Opportunities – Your Sales Center on MHVillage

Don’t Forget Mobile!

Did you know that 89% of new home shoppers use a mobile search engine at the onset and throughout their research?** Have you checked how your website looks on a smart phone? The MHVillage mobile website for buyers receives over 6,000 views per day. Grab a smart phone and take a look. Some sites look great on phones, others don’t. While you are at it, make sure people can easily click links and navigate through your site on their phone. Things that work great on desktop computers don’t always translate well to mobile.

The Take-away:

Spend a little time acting like a buyer. If you were looking to buy a manufactured home in your area, what would you do? What would you look for? Remember, the internet is constantly changing and more and more people are using it. In fact, real estate related searches on Google.com have grown 253% in the past 4 years!* The web is just as popular with people looking for manufactured homes – there are now 50,000 people on MHVillage per day! Take a little time to look at your online presence now and it will pay off this spring!

 

*Source: The Digital House Hunt, Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate
**Source: Google & Compete Home Shopper Mobile Survey, 2012

Quick! Web Traffic is Set To Climb, Don’t Miss It!

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSEsales chart going up

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)

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:

    1. 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.)
    2. 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.)
    3. 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.)
    4. 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?
    5. 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!

October Results on MHVillage

MHV-OctoberResults

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

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:

Website Visits

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.

Sales Leads

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 –

Homes Sold

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.

September Sales Results on MHVillage

MHV-SeptemberResults

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

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:

Website Visits

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.

Sales Leads

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.

Homes Sold

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.

Missed Marketing Opportunity – Link to Your Web Site!

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

Find a home on computerDoes your company have its own website? Are you linking to that website from MHVillage? If not, you are missing a great marketing opportunity – and a powerful tool for your own website.

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%

From the 2012 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

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.

Home Listings

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.

Community

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?

SEO Internet businessAccording 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:

Sales Center

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.

In conclusion:

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!