Ten Simple Estate Agent website fixes
14 June, 2011 | Web design
Following a recent spate of horrific Estate Agent websites through our web review service, we at Resource Techniques have decided to list our ‘top ten’ simplistic website changes.
Remember that each of the points below are only the fundamentals of an Estate Agent website and can be easily changed by a professional web designer.
- Clean up your shop window to the world
Luke Stanley and I have written many articles stating that your website is your shop window to the world. Since that 72% of your customers first see you on the internet, it is imperative that your shop window isn’t cluttered, confusing and instantly gives a professional impression. By doing the right spring-cleaning, Estate Agents will really see a positive change to their website.
- Clarify the navigation
Navigation is the treasure map to a property searcher’s dream property, and if you want the treasure hunter to find what they want, why would give them a tattered, brown treasure map with vague markings? Make sure that your navigation is simplified into clear categories or ‘signposts’ so users will know exactly where they are going and how they will get there.
- Update your news feed
As stated in my 2011 wish list, many Estate Agents forget that since Google’s caffeine and panda algorithm change, it is important that your news feed is not only regularly updated, but also well written. For more information, read our article on ‘Seven heavenly ways to improve your articles’.
- Get rid of that flash intro
Flash, flash, flash. There are times when a web designer should use flash, but Estate Agents should certainly make sure that their website is not completely designed in flash.
Going one step further there are many Estate Agent websites out there that insist on still using a flash intro.
Now think about it for a second. Every time you’ve gone to a website with an intro page, have you watched the whole thing or just pressed that little skip button as soon as physically possible?
Do the right thing and don’t force other people through that experience.
- Build a contact form
You’ll be surprised by the number of websites still lacking this functionality. It’s not good enough to put down your phone number and address. Websites have used a contact form for a long time now to give website visitors the choice on how they want to get in contact.
- Clear contact details
This doesn’t just mean contact details on the ‘contact us’ page. This means that your contact details are visible on every single individual property page that you have for sale or rent so that every single user has to click on the contact us page just to get in touch.
- Tell a story on your company profile
Everyone has a story. The company profile page or the about page is your chance to not only tell that story but to tell it in whatever way you want. Try not to get bogged down in boring details, but do try to tell potential buyers the services that you offer.
- Demand higher resolution of photos
Ok maybe not the unbelievable picture sizes in this article, but I thought we would have passed this point by now. Still to this day Estate Agents aren’t demanding a photo resolution that they can be proud of. Instead we regularly see small and grainy pictures that give us less of an idea about the property than if you just described it.
- Property search button
Again another no-brainer: People that want to go onto an Estate Agent website will surely want to see the properties that are relevant to them. Give your website visitors a helping hand by placing a clear call-to-action with your property search button.
- Get rid of those Popups
Popups don’t just apply to adverts. There are a countless number of Estate Agent websites that host their features (such as EPCs, floorplans, photographs) on popups. If we all know that using popups is out-dated, there is only one question that you have to ask yourself - why are you still using it?
James Coyne eMarketing and Social Media Consultant