So you have a website and now you think to your self – Did I do a good job?
Here are some common things you should consider when polishing up your web site presence.
1. The First Glance
In general you have about 4-8 seconds to convenience someone to stay on your website. People tend to look at the top left corner of your website first. You should have your essential information there: what your offerings are and how your potential customers can get it. Some visitors are at your site only long enough to confirm that you property they want, and some are ready to buy. All visitors need to be able to tell what you do right away. Don’t hide behind a splash page or make people wait while something loads – many won’t take the time.
When your prospects want and need more information, they’ll stay and look for it. Make sure they can find it easily. Make your navigation simple to find and stick to the left column or the horizontal top of the page. Make sure you keep it consistent on every page and always have a way for your prospect to easily email or call you. So yes a form of contact on every page and your phone number clearly visible is a must.
3. Contact Information
Expanding on point #2, don’t make it a task for someone to contact you. We live in a click happy world and web surfers LOVE to click, they want to click more than they call. By having your contact information readily available you make this much simpler and a better user experience for your visitors.
4. Call To Action
Call to actions in a Real Estate website are critical. People are using the Internet to evaluate and search in a stress free environment. When they are ready to make the move to contact you, you need to have forms in place to handle all types of buyers and sellers. On listing pages, easily accessible “Request for Showings” or “More Information” forms needs to be stand out.
Don’t have one generic “Contact Me” form for every page. You will get more qualified leads if you have a relocation form on your relocation page and a school request form on a School Information page. Why is this? Forms are a great way to gather pertinent information and the kind of information you want for a relocation lead differs from someone wanting school information. While you do not have to ask for a bunch of information, I think it would be fair to ask on a school form, for the areas of interest. This automatically takes a lead from cold to warm, sometimes even to a hot status.
5. The Prime Real Estate Space
What people see without scrolling is prime real estate so make what they see there count. Don’t put distracting or irrelevant information there. Featured listings, quick searches, your specialty or area of expertise are perfect for this part of your website.
6. Content, Content, Content
If you have read any of my other posts you know this is my motto. REALTORS talk about Location, Location, Location. Web Developers talk about Content, Content, Content. Nothing replaces good quality and unique content. Also content that is dynamic and always changing is the best ticket to successful website.
7. Curb Appeal
While I think Content is King, appealing sites play to our subconscious. In that first 4-8 seconds I mentioned above, we formulate a few things in our minds that we probably are not even aware we are doing. A typical web visitor will do the following;
- Enter you website and spend around 2 seconds making a visual map of the top fold of your website. If what he/she sees is appealing they will continue looking.
- The second 2-4 seconds we tend to read the Header Tags (or as some put it, the large bold paragraph headers on your website). If we find what we are looking for we will continue.
- The final 2-4 seconds are spent on reading the body content and if we still like what we read we continue on from here to engage your website.
If your visitor fails any of these tests you have a good chance of loosing them.
10. Common Sense
Things like grammar, spelling, proper layout, working links, unique and accurate information should all be done prior to launching any website. When people find issues they lose confidence, so don’t give them the chance by doing any one of them. Most people forgive small issues in small quantities.
I hope this information was helpful and good luck in your website Check-up. Still stumped? Give me your website address and I will buzz over and give it a quick once over for you.
RE/Advantage specializes in Real Estate Website Design, IDX Solutions, and Internet Technology. We have been working with the Real Estate Industry for over 10 years so we understand what makes a site work for you and your buyers and sellers. After all we have been developing real estate web sites, Internet tools and marketing strategies since 1997. No one provides a more comprehensive, well-thought-out site and tool set for your Internet presence. We provide you with not only the tools to manage and customize your site, but the peace of mind that comes from knowing we are here to help if you need us.