What the Hell Just Happened?

Scott CostelloAll, Blog, Featured 8 Comments

Playing sports my entire life I’ve grown up loving competition.  I compete at everything I do and when there is not a competition going on I’ll most likely create one…paper football anyone?   I don’t win all the time, but I always give my all.  I believe that competition is really the only way to push yourself to the next level.   Whether i’m playing basketball with my friends or trying to beat your last 5k time I crave the competition. 

It irks me to no end to see society taking away competition in our lives.  Not keeping score in our kids town leagues or giving everyone Participation Trophies…REALLY??.  No wonder why there are so many people growing up with an entitlement mentality.   Experiencing the pain that goes with losing is how we learn and build character.

I used to play a lot of sports video games growing up (shocker I know) on Nintendo, Genesis and the Xbox.  The football, baseball and hockey games I loved the most where the ones that I would actually lose sometimes.   I wanted the thrill of close games, fighting for a playoff spot and even losing on last second field goals.  Beating the other team by 100 points in Madden was not fun at all.

I don’t give up until I succeed because the battle to get to the top is the fun part.  Plus that feeling you get when you finally achieve a hard fought goal is like nothing else in the world.  Getting my lead generating websites to rank highly in Google search results is going to be one of those battles.


Must be in the top 3 spots

It has always been said that if you want your website to get leads through organic traffic your website must rank in the top 3 for your main keywords.  At the very least you need to be on the first page.  I’ve seen the stats and completely agree with the notion.  I myself rarely click on anything past the first few sites when I do a Google search.

Not only do I agree with it but I can now confirm this as well.  From around February 25th till March 11th, Google was kind enough to jump my SellYourNJHouse.com website up into the top 3 for some of my main keywords.  I found this out because I suddenly started getting many more “Congrats!  you have a new Lead” emails from my investor carrot lead website.

Since I started up the website back in June 2013, my average leads per month have been around 5.  Over that two week period I got 17 Leads! That is about a 700% increase over what I was getting previously.

Dropped back down

Unfortunately the euphoria didn’t last forever and my site returned to showing up mostly on the second page of Google.   From what I understand, this is common for sites that are becoming relevant but don’t quite have the credibility (backlinks and age) just yet.

As I keep adding to the site and building backlinks I will slowly regain my first page status.  What will also happen is that my rank will become more consistent and I won’t bounce around like I just did.

The experience was huge validation for what I can expect once I get to the top of Google Rankings. What would this mean in the long run?  Lets do some math…

  • 8.5 leads/wk  (based off my 17 leads I got over the 2 weeks)
  • 42.5 leads/mo (based off a 5 wk month)
  • 442 leads/yr 

How does this compare to my direct mail campaigns?

At my current response rate of 5% for direct mail, i would have to send out almost 9000 letters.

  • @ $0.60 per letter I would have to spend $5400/yr ($450/mo)
  • Lead Website =  $600/yr ($50/mo)

My Cost per lead is…

  • DM = $12.22 ($5400/442)
  • Website = $1.36 ($600/442) 

Did I Get Any Deals?

The one question I’m sure you’ll ask is…”Have I gotten any deals yet?”.  The answer is…. No.  However the quality of the leads has been better then my direct mail campaigns on average.  You still get tire kickers, but what you NEVER get are people calling you to tell you to stop mailing letters to them or to YELL AT YOU for being a lowly scumbag.

Remember, they sought you out by doing a search.  They are interested in selling their house.  What you have to do now is figure out how motivated they are and are they willing to sell at price we need to buy at?  What I also always need to remind myself is that I am building a relationship with them.  They are more likely to contact me again in the future if there motivation increases.

P.S. – If you have any lead generating website questions feel free to post a comment or send me an email at scott@strugglinginvestor.com


Scott Costello
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Comments 8

  1. Have you tried Google AdWords? That would make sure you are at the top of rankings, and let’s you get ranked in many more keywords without really working on those keywords. in my market it’s about $3-$5 per click to be on the first page, which is still better than direct mail

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      I’ve only tested out Adwords here and there and it is in my plans for the future but right now I don’t have the funds to give it a go however. Just think of the power of having your site organically ranked couple of spots and also have a paid ad show up as well. That would give you high credibility in the eyes of the searcher.

      One thing to make sure though is that you have fine tuned your conversation ability because what good are clicks if you can’t get them to contact you.

      Great suggestion Matthew! I really appreciate it

  2. Hi Scott,

    I only recently found your blog through a comment made by Sharon Vornholt about your lead management software on bigger pockets. Anyway, I’ve been working on my site (because it’s something I know how to do) and SEO is one of those things that there seems to be a lot of assumptions that people already know what the distilled basics are, even when looking for information on it. Since you asked… my questions are: How do I set key words ( just meta data or through content like site copy and blogs), how do I track key words (I’m using google analytics and bing), how long does it take (realistically) to see results from tests on stuff you do in an effort to make your lead site more relevant?

    Good blog so far, at least what I’ve gotten through. You have a pretty good “voice”. Thanks in advance!


    1. Post

      Hey Dante! I know Sharon well and she is awesome!

      You are correct, SEO is all about assumptions because Google and bing keep their ranking formula behind lock and key. What makes it even harder is they keep tweaking and making changes. In the end though those changes are meant to help show the most relevant sites and get rid of the spam.

      I’ll try and answer your questions the best I can, I’m no expert just learning the stuff as I go….

      How do you set keywords? – Meta tags are for the most part ignored by search engines these days so that won’t help your keywords strength. The only way I know how to “set” your keywords is to use them and related terms/phrases in your content. If your keyword is “we buy houses nj” you’ll write content about buying houses in NJ. Just by doing that you’ll set your keywords for that content. Every keyword you want to target should get it’s own content. A wordpress plugin from Yoast is great for helping you write good seo content.

      How do I track Keywords? I use to do that with just Google Analytics but they now hide most of that information behind Adwords and I’m not paying for adwords at the moment. It’s unfortunate, but about 90% of all keywords show up as “Not Provided” now. It sucks as they claim security is the reason they won’t show the keywords. Secure searches and all. My Seo Guy uses some tools from MOZ. You’ll have to pay for them.

      How long does it take? It could take a a few weeks or up to a year to see results. It all depends on your target market and the competition in it. Most local Investors are not spending time on SEO and continually updating their sites to keep the active and relevant so it should only take a few months to start seeing your site pop up. I haven’t developed a good testing strategy yet. But basically I’d take a new keyword, create some content (blog post, video or podcast) and then pick a few mediums to try and get back links from and work those. Try different combinations for different keywords and see what jumps up the rankings the fastest.

      Thanks again Dante for the great questions and for finding my blog!

      Best of luck

  3. Awesome! Thanks. It does help. I’m glad I’m at least heading in the right direction with my assumptions. I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog. You mentioned your seo guy uses tools, any that you’d be willing to share?

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  4. Moz is a great tool to track your progress and their blog is great as well. If you need education then try distilled.net. They have online learning modules that you can take advantage of.

    You’ll eventually get to a point where you don’t want to do the content marketing/SEO and you’ll need to hire it out because you’re too busy working deals.

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      haha, I’m already to the point where I don’t want to do the content marketing/seo. Once I get enough money I’m going to hire that out as well. I’m not a good writer so it takes me forever to put the articles together.

      Thanks for the link to distilled.net

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