Real Estate Website Best Practices
Having a website isn’t optional: to be considered a reputable broker, much less a successful one, it’s a must. But if you look at the variety of websites agents market, it can be confusing. How useful are client testimonials? How many pages should your site be? How easy is it for prospective clients to find your site?
- Search Engine Optimization. It’s vitally important for prospects to easily find you online. Most web designers don’t do SEO, but it’s worth investing in a company that does or an SEO specialist. The higher your site ranks, the simpler it is for buyers to find you.
- Fresh, useful content. One of the key ingredients to a successful site is posting frequently so viewers have a reason to come back. Post content that is specific to your area and is the expert buyers want to connect with. What neighborhoods are hot? Which area has the best school systems? You might consider a blog post with local, family-friendly events and notes on good restaurants, so your site becomes a one-stop shop for buyers considering a move to your market.
- The main reason clients are coming to your site is to see listings, so you must use IDX integration, which allows prospects to see every available home in the area – yes, even those your competitors are listing. But if prospective clients can’t see the entire inventory on your site, they will go to other agents’ sites.
- Simple, uncluttered layout. Don’t overwhelm the eye of the viewer: fancy details don’t equate with good design. People are coming to your site to look at listings – not your finesse with web design – so make it easy for them to find the listings.
- Excellent photography. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? You want potential buyers to be able to envision themselves in the homes you are marketing.
- Google analytics is an effective tool for tracking and reporting not only website traffic but goals, including sales and lead generation. You can see which pages viewers are visiting. Even better, Google offers free service and customizes the presentation of data, from a high-level, dashboard-type for casual users to finely tuned, detailed data for the committed techie. Google offers plenty of training so you can learn their system.
- Social media links. Just like the website itself, social media is no longer an option, but a must. You need not only links to your pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but you also need ‘share’ buttons so users can share your page with their own networks – and that’s what helps you build your base of viewers.
- Contact info. And finally, if they buyer can’t contact you, it doesn’t matter how good your site is. Have a ‘contact’ page and make it prominent.
Don’t let the creation of your website overwhelm you. Remember: simple but high-quality content with a strong SEO function is the key to driving views and ultimately creating clients.