Improve user experience on your Estate Agent website
10 August, 2011 | Web design
A website owner needs to like their own website, but this shouldn’t be the only main consideration when Estate Agents are looking to build a new website. This is because your website isn’t for you; it is for the visitors to your website and is put in place in order to turn them into your customers.
For the best website experience for these visitors is for them to find exactly what they want as easily as possible. They are looking for easy accessibility, quality content, appealing call to actions and to know if the company provides the services that they are looking for.
Although the website really should be around the user’s needs, many site owners still want something else. They want something overly flashy that pushes the sale and grabs the visitor’s details and information. The user and the site owner want different things, which can be hard for the site owner to understand what’s best for their website and to find a middle ground between being user friendly and having the website the owner desires.
For the site owner to realise that a website is primarily for visitors, here are a couple of points for site owners to recognise what keeps visitors on their websites for a longer period of time by improving the on-site experience.
1. Easy Navigation
Your navigation has to be so easy that anyone can figure it out. If the visitor is lost or confused they are gone.
Your Navigation should be:
- In the same place on every page. Consistency makes it clearer
- The link should be described clearly, don’t try to be clever
- The homepage link needs to be clear and obvious, in case the user wants to restart
2. Every page is a sales page, you don’t need to shove it down the users neck
Though some pages may not seem like you are selling your services you usually are. The About Us page for example is one of these pages, but it does provide valuable information to the user about your business. It gives a history of your business, when you were founded, your location, services and information that makes the user trust you more.
You may not be pushing the properties on your website but you are convincingly selling your business to them which is likely to lead to them using you over using a competitor.
3. Easy viewable contact info on every page
The user could be on any page once they decide you are the Estate Agents for them. It could be on the About Us page or a specific property so make sure all pages have a telephone number and office address visible.
We know you have a Contact Us page already but the simpler it is to make contact, the more likely it is that they will contact you.
4. Strong call to action
Call to actions help the user find what they want quickly and helps you drive users to where you want them to go.
5. Don’t make the site slow
Everyone hates slow websites, that’s why Google have added Site Speed into its algorithm. You should try and avoid using things that can slow down your website.
Every Estate Agent wants a unique and flashy website and most of the time this leads to them wanting Flash based website or a website that uses an excessive amount of Flash. Avoid doing this at all cost as you will not only lose customers from having a slow website but you will rank poorly within Google as well.
Having an excessive use of images either covering your homepage or within a slideshow will also have the same effect as it takes a long time to download the images.
Consider the users time and avoid slowing down your site.
6. Include the trust factor
Helping the user trust you is a big part of keeping them on the page and encouraging them to use you as their estate agents. Here are some ways in which you can do that:
- A website that looks professionally designed creates instant trust, a website that looks like your nephew built it doesn’t.
- An association logo also has the same effect; if you are a member Association such as Team Association or Mayfair Office make sure you put the logo in front of the visitor’s faces.
- Staff profiles with pictures and small descriptions about the employee will help the user put a face to the business making them trust you more.
7. Help the visitor
Providing free help makes the user feel the need to give back for that free service.
Giving free advice can generate more business, this could be anything from having a mortgage calculator on your website to offer free support where users can ask question.
Remember user experience is everything to a website and its success; don’t let personal preference harm your website.
By Luke Stanley