Estate agents considering a new website a new web design must tread carefully
11 November, 2009 | Web design
A new website can be a scary thought. Estate agents might think, 'What content do I need?', 'What web design suits my brand?', 'What features am I going to have?', 'How will the website provide its own leads?' When estate agents chose a property professional specialist in website design, they can be safe in the knowledge that Resource Techniques has the experience and knowledge to safely take estate agents through the process of constructing a website that they can be proud of.
Throughout the whole process of designing a website, estate agents need to bear in mind the audience that will be accessing their estate agent website. These people will have turned to the internet to casually view any potential properties that they will be interested in.
For new websites, users will be accessing the estate agent website by directly typing in the website URL/website address or they will directly search for the estate agent's name in Google. These types of customers are extensively aware of the brand and may see the estate agent as the leading property professional in the area.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is not instantaneous, even white hat SEO can take longer as it is considered as the ethical way of moving estate agent website up Google results page. Once SEO has taken affect and the estate agent website starts to move up the Google rank for targeted key terms, estate agents will find that a new type of customer will start accessing their website. These customers are not brand aware and have started with a search engine and simply searched for 'property for sale in [their local area].'
The first thing that needs to be considered in the design stage is the purpose of the website. The purpose of many, if not all, excellent estate agent websites is to provide online property searchers with the resources to fully experience a property without being there. This can include, embedded Google maps with enhancements that show local amenities, the latest viewer technology, printable brochures on a pdf format, virtual tours, video, Google Street view and many more.
With this in mind, web designers will suggest that the property search button is the biggest call to action in the design of the website. This literally means that the property search button is calling to the user to be clicked. Viewing properties is what the estate agent and the user both wants. By integrating your property search button into the website design, estate agents are ensuring that the website fulfils its purpose.
The next thing to consider is the content of the website. Studies have shown that internet users do not read web pages, they scan them. Interesting news articles may be an exception, but there will still be many people scanning articles just to access the information that they require. You may be scanning this article right now!
Estate agents and web designers need to work together to ensure that the content of their website contains easy to access information and limited/no waffle. Again with the end user in mind, estate agents want a website that pushes its users along the pre-designed website process; establish the estate agent, the area they are in, move onto an easy-to-use property search and then clear contact details so that they can arrange a viewing.
From there, estate agents need to make sure that their web designers make their website compatible for all browsers and Operating Systems and design languages. Major UK Browsers include; internet explorer, safari, Google Chrome, Firefox, and AOL. Major UK Operating systems include; Windows XP, Windows Vista, Apple's Mac OS X, Windows 7, and a smaller extent, Linux.
Resource Techniques is the ultimate Resource for estate agents that are looking for web design, SEO, software and general web sites for estate agents. We are contactable on Facebook, Twitter or via our telephone number 0208 457 4777.