The way that web pages are designed and interacted with changes every year, and estate agent websites are no different. With everything else going on in your business, it can be easy to just let your website tick away in the background. But as times change and technology improves, there are certain things you must have on your site to help you get the best results. Here are 5 things that all estate agent websites need in 2021.
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Responsive design essentially means that your website should look good on all devices, not just on a big screen. As phones get smarter and screens get larger, more and more people are spending time on their phones instead of their computers. In 2020, 68% of website visits came from mobile devices (an increase of around 5% from the year before). That’s why having a responsive design is more important than ever.
If your estate agent website doesn’t function properly or look good on mobile, then users will simply click off and look elsewhere. It creates a frustrating experience for the user that not only means they can’t find what they are looking for but can also make for a bad first impression of your company.
If your website was made within the last couple of years, this should all have been taken care of by your web designer and developer. However, it’s well worth having a scroll around on a mobile and tablet yourself to make sure everything is working as it should. If there is anything that’s hard to read, elements that overlap or it simply doesn’t look great then it may be time for a redesign.
Email Sign Up Form
Social media may be good for brand awareness, but when it comes to generating leads email comes out on top. In fact, the return on investment for email marketing is a whopping 42:1 (or 4200%). The best way to grow your email list is to have an easy-to-find and user-friendly sign up form on your website. It’s up to you how you’d like to display this – on your home page, on numerous pages or even in a pop up. But having one is essential for making the most of this effective marketing strategy.
The form should ask for as little information as possible (first name and email address will usually suffice). This will give your website users fewer barriers to signing up and makes the whole process more streamlined. The form should also be directly linked to your email marketing software so that you don’t need to manually add the information to the list.
To help encourage people to sign up, it’s never a bad idea to have an ‘opt-in’. This is a kind of free gift that you offer in return for your new subscriber’s information, usually in the form of a PDF guide. The goal here is to provide something of real value that helps your client in some way. For example, it could be a guide to selling property in your area or a checklist for preparing a house for sale. Most email marketing providers now make it easy to set up automated emails that will deliver your opt-in once someone has signed up.
For more information about this topic, you can take a look at our blog post, ‘Why Every Estate Agent Should Be Using Email Marketing‘.
If you don’t have any data about your estate agent website, you have no way of knowing what works and what doesn’t. Analytics tools can give you valuable insights that can inform your decision-making. For instance, if one of your most visited pages is a particular blog post, you could optimise it by adding a call-to-action like an instant valuation or sign up form. Similarly, if there are pages that aren’t doing so well, you can take steps to improve them.
Analytics will also show you things like how long people are spending on your website, how many people don’t get any further than your home page and where most of your traffic is coming from. This information can be instrumental in making website changes that will improve your business over time. Without it, any changes you make will be based on guesses which may or may not work out in your favour.
There are plenty of step-by-step guides out there for setting up Google Analytics, the most popular analytics service. If you have a WordPress website, there are also various plug-ins you can get that will show you your data directly on your dashboard with little technical know-how.
We’ve written before about the importance of content marketing and so naturally, having a blog is a must-have for all estate agent websites. One of the main reasons is that it can play a huge part in getting more traffic to your website. By creating blog posts that answer your clients’ potential questions, your posts will begin to show up on Google when people search for those specific terms.
For example, if someone searches for ‘how to choose the right estate agent’, and you have written a high-quality blog post that shows up on the first page of Google, chances are high that they will click on your link. If you are a small, independent estate agent you can also tailor your content to your local area. It takes a bit of skill and some SEO knowledge to make sure you come up with top-performing posts, but this is an area well worth investing your time in (or outsourcing to a pro).
Blogging is a long-term strategy that can bring traffic to you website even years down the line. Not only that, but it helps position you as an expert in your field and delivers real value to your potential clients.
It may surprise you to learn that the ‘About’ page is one of the most visited pages on almost every website. So if you don’t have one, you are missing out on a lot of clicks that could lead the way to a new client on your books.
The ‘About’ page is the one place on your website that gives an insight into the people behind the company and where they can learn more about who you are and what you do. For estate agent websites, this is particularly important. Buying or selling a house is a very personal experience, and vendors like to work with people they have a good rapport with.
Even if you have an ‘About’ page, chances are you haven’t looked at it in a while. Google loves fresh content, and so it’s well worth a look to see if you can give it an update. Marketing expert Neil Patel has a great page full of tips on how to make your ‘About’ page the best that it can be. Set aside a few hours and you can make some big improvements that will boost your web presence and keep people on your site.
While outdated estate agent websites will still serve their purpose, making sure you have these 5 features will help you produce better results and generate more leads for your business. After all, you’ve invested money into creating and maintaining your website, so it makes sense to keep it up-to-date and get the best return on your investment.
You may need some help adding some of these features to your site, but others you can easily take care of yourself with a little bit of research. If you have any questions about anything we’ve discussed in this post, feel free to reach out via Instagram or Facebook and we’ll be happy to help.