It’s important for real estate agents and agencies to keep their Web sites fresh and updated. From Google’s perspective, your website should be a growing resource, with accurate content. But what should you change to make your site work harder? Here are some things to do:

1. Add a lead-generating offer. You can boost leads with a rewards-based offer. Write a quick one-page report such as “The Top 10 Ways to Sell Your House Faster and For More Money.” Make it easy to read (and write!) with some bullets and a few great insights. You can also try a fear-based report, such as “Top 10 Biggest Homebuyer Mistakes.” Post new reports every few weeks as ideas come to you. Ask visitors for a valid email address to download the reports. Then follow up by emailing them another offer — a free consultation or another service, coupons from local businesses — to further the relationship.

2. Replace stale content. Don’t delete old content that may be indexed in search engines, but direct old content to newer articles. Tired old info sends people away. At least twice a month (say, the 1st and the 15th) add news items, info related to your business, local events, and links to your latest e-newsletter and blog. Keep copy brief.

3. Take a good look at your home page. This is the first thing people see. Make sure your contact information is EVERYWHERE. Don’t make visitors dig to find your phone number. Keep the home page to 6 to 8 major points above the scroll. Use headlines and bullet points that link to more detailed info.

4. Check that your site loads quickly. Slow loads make visitors go elsewhere. Music and flash applications take time, so you might want to get rid of them. Not only are they annoying, but search engines cannot read Flash unless you have a website developer who has done a lot of additional work. Avoid it and stick with search engine-friendly HTML and Javascript.

5. Make sure your site is easy to navigate. Confusing navigation drives visitors away. Ask people who have never seen your site to try it while you look on. Notice where they get tripped up, but don’t help them out. Then have them tell you what would have made things easier. Better yet, add Google Analytics tracking code to your website. You can see what content is your “top content” and where you lose visitors. Google Analytics is a top-of-the-line, free tool from Google.

To have a great website, you  need to get your hands dirty with your website. Get involved, and ask your web developer for the changes you need. A great site can do a lot for your business, but you have to stay on top of it…. Have a great month!