Like it or not, people do judge a book by it’s cover. This is especially the case when people come to your website. When visitors come to your website, they’re going to make a decision as to whether or not they like what they see within the first few seconds of having landed on your site.
Within those first few seconds, they’re asking themselves:
- Does this site look trustworthy?
- Is the information here up-to-date and reliable?
- Who’s the person behind this website (the author)? Does he/she look reliable?
- (If I have a question) can I easily contact someone? Is there a phone number/email/address somewhere?
Based on what they see and read, and what they’ve determined as the answers to those questions they’ll either stick around on your website a little bit longer, or they’ll click away to find information elsewhere.
Think about it this way, it’s like when you go to the mall. You walk into a particular store to look around (maybe for a new pair of shoes). You causally browse around, and you either like what you see or you exit the store before a sales rep can approach you to see if he/she can help answer any questions.
You do this all the time, even if you don’t realize it. You walk into a store, a restaurant, the local cafe and immediately, you make a decision on whether you like the place or not. You’re judging the look, the feel, the ambiance. And within a few seconds you decide right then and there whether you’re going to come inside and stick around, or leave and go somewhere else.
Guess what? Consumers are making the same candid decisions on whether they like you enough to want to stick around and shop a little when they visit your website. You either have what they’re looking for, or you don’t.
Elements of a great real estate website design:
- Simple Navigation – Your website should have a clear and simple site navigation. Think about what the most important pages on your site are (home search, about, contact, testimonials) and link to those pages and those pages only. What do you want site visitors to do when they come to your website? Where do you want them to click? Where do you want them to go next? Give them too many options and you overwhelm them and lose them in the process.
- Professional Design – If you can afford to hire a professional web designer, do it. You’ll save yourself money in the long-term. If you can’t, don’t worry, you can still get a professional looking website by purchasing a professional theme like those offered by StudioPress.com. Themes like this are designed with the professional in mind – clean design, simple navigation, point-and-click design controls and more.
- Effective Call To Actions – What do you want website visitors to do next once they land on your site? Register? Subscribe? Contact you? Are you making it easy for them to perform each of those functions?
- Consistently Updated Content – If you’re content is out-dated, think of the message that sends to first-time site visitors. It says that the “information here is out-of-date and un-reliable.” You’ve just lost a potential customer to someone else. In real estate, the market is always changing so you need to update your content to reflect those changes. (Related: Check out Real Estate Blog Topics Pro for targeted topics sent to you weekly – simple writing prompts to put into action.)
Put yourself in your customers shoes…
What are you looking for when you visit a real estate website? What are you there to do?
- Search for homes.
- Find out how the market is doing.
- Find out what your home is worth.
- Learn about the local community – things to do, places to eat, fun activities, best neighborhoods to live in, best schools, etc.
Pretend you’re a first time site visitor, can you quickly and easily access each of those things? Furthermore, is the information accurate and up-to-date?
If the answer is “yes,” congratulations. Your site communicates trust, reliability and it serves as an excellent resource. If the answer is “no,” you’ve got some work to do.
Author, Real Estate Blog Topics
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