When selling a home, you’re kind, look people in the eye, and smile, right? Well, that experience matters just as much on the web. For my first post in "The Rain" I wanted to go back to basics with some best practices on how to improve your client's experience. Simply put- invest in your online presence to enhance user satisfaction and drive leads!
Mobile Friendly Design
In 2016, 40% of internet traffic came from mobile. Even so, many real estate websites overlook mobile-optimization, risking a poor experience for about half of their users. Mobile friendly websites are not only better for visitors, but also for SEO. For users browsing search results, Google shows whether a site is mobile-optimized or not. Don’t lose out on mobile users by ignoring the importance of mobile-optimization.
One of the biggest movements in search engine discoverability is the introduction of AMP – which stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, a Google-backed project, designed as an open standard for any publisher to have pages load quickly on mobile devices. Google has recently begun showcasing articles that are AMP-enabled at the top of mobile search results pages, giving you that extra SEO edge!
Targeted Landing Pages
Your homepage is a great source of information about your business, but it isn’t always the best place to send a hot lead. Dedicate your landing pages to a single purpose. For example, one of the most successful Calls to Action in real estate is “What’s My Home Worth?”
Targeted landing pages are effective and strategic. Find out what your visitors expect to see when they click through. Optimize your pages for them by including that content. Direct them right to a page containing the property types they want. This kind of experience is much more personalized and effective. You’re providing value because your leads won’t have to hunt for the listings they want.
Use your knowledge with a good IDX to create saved searches, links and widgets. Such as a carousel of homes in a desirable neighborhood. Optimize your website for finding a home, not searching for a home. Searching is stressful. Anticipate the need and ensure your visitors are one click away from finding their dream homes.
Easy to Read
Being mindful of what search engines love is obviously important, but even more important is creating content that your readers (and future readers) will engage with. A lengthy paragraph that your college English professor would love, isn’t ideal for the visitor skimming your website in the line at Starbucks.
Short paragraphs of 3 to 4 sentences are ideal for your website blog or other content. Visitors can quickly scan and evaluate if the information is relevant or interesting to them, helping them determine if they want to stay longer and browse for more. It's also vital to make it easier to grasp the ideas you’re presenting. This isn’t the time for real estate jargon and lingo. Leave out your technical terms and your acronyms.
With shorter pieces of content, it’s vital to deliver interesting information quickly. Quality content grabs the visitor’s attention (and keeps it). If you focus on providing value to the reader, they stay around longer. Search engines know this and use this as a factor to rank you higher than if you had a lengthy article with a bunch of fluff, causing the reader to lose interest and bail.
IDX Home Search
IDX home search is imperative when it comes to standing out in today’s competitive marketplace. 44% of home searches start online, so if your site doesn’t have listings readily available, buyers are on to the next one. This includes larger real estate websites such as Zillow or Trulia. When you send your visitors to third party portals, every single one of your competitors that is PAYING to be on these sites is introduced to your client.
By adding IDX Home Search to your site, you encourage visitors to keep coming back. What sets you apart from 3rd party portals is your local knowledge and experience. You know what the communities are - their price ranges, etc. You can make neighborhood or specialized search pages that focus on just the area that your clientele is seeking. Saved searches are an invaluable tool, taking the guesswork out of searching for homes. You can link to them from your site or add them as widgets to specific community pages.
Your website and IDX solution are not set and forget it. To get the most return on your investment you must maintain them, build them and breath freshness into them. Put a little work in on a regular basis for maximum payout.
Keep it Fresh and Engaging
Think about return visitors. So many agents focus purely on first time visitors, but you want them to keep coming back to your site. One of the easiest ways to keep things fresh is to use saved searches to push IDX links and widgets onto your website… so that every time the inventory of the MLS changes, your website changes with it.
Another way to keep your site engaging is with photos. Having a picture in your post breaks up the text in your content and gives the reader a reason to continue scrolling to read. Be sure to use images relevant to your business or locale to boost SEO. Plus, if your photos are tagged correctly, this can also make your content more searchable, increasing your likelihood of getting more traffic.
Delivering an enjoyable experience will not only lead to recommendations to friends and family, but to your visitors in general. Testimonials from past clients are one of the most powerful tools you can use. Be sure to create a dedicated page on your website, so that positive feedback is easy to find!
Giving your site visitors a good user experience is the single most important thing you can do to keep customers returning to you – and your website – when looking for a new property.
Reach out to our team to find out how we incorporate these principles into our TurnKey websites.