- Your website has 20 seconds or less to make a first impression. Make sure your site is up to par with the real estate web design trends of 2017.
We’re officially more than halfway through the year. This is always a good time for companies with a website to stop and reflect on the web design trends that have come forth thus far, as well as which ones should be implemented moving forward.
Before we get into trends specific to 2017, I feel it is necessary to review some that should have already been implemented but might have been missed.
If your site is not updated frequently and is a few years old, make sure these tried-and-tested trends are included:
- A blog on your site
- Fully responsive design
- Video capabilities
- Neighborhood-specific pages
- Lead capture throughout
Now that we’ve covered some of the basics, we can discuss the latest components that are essential for ensuring your website is a 2017 model.
A website has 20 seconds or less to make a first impression, and it’s important to make it a good one. You can accomplish this by looking fresh and new.
A dated site immediately gives the impression of dated practices and subpar service.
To make a site look current, you should use outstanding images that reflect the lifestyle you are trying to sell.
Full-width photos should be used as hero images (large and appealing headers) to get that initial “wow” factor. That said, don’t resort to using stock photography. It simply cannot represent your brand or values like original photography can.
Next, be sure to keep the site’s design simple by removing any unnecessary elements. The goal of good design is to focus the user’s attention on completing calls-to-action. If people are distracted, they’ll leave.
In addition to minimalistic design, the latest trends make use of brighter colors and big bold type. Find a way to incorporate these features in a way that makes sense for your brand.
Content is necessary, as it adds value for visitors and helps position you as a thought leader. Not to mention, it offers a slew of SEO benefits.
When designing a page dedicated to content, like a blog, make sure there is plenty of white space to help users follow along and maintain visual focus while reading the copy.
Segmenting information also helps readers to stay engaged. Feel free to use quotes, headlines, subheads, blurbs and images to break up the copy and make it easy for users to understand and follow.
If you are using an iFrame or widget solution for your IDX feed, stop!
Only use a RETS because it is XML-based and provides the best value and the most flexibility in working with data from the MLS.
If you want to take it a step further, store the RETS data right on your server. This way, you receive optimal SEO benefit and can better manipulate the appearance of listings on your site.
Another trend that will increase your site’s functionality is storing photos in the cloud, rather than on your server.
Amazon S3 provides a great, inexpensive way to store a multitude of photos. Keeping photos on the cloud increases your site’s speed, without sacrificing quality. This is particularly important if you are going to download MLS data on your server.
Interactivity is getting more and more popular, and it’s no surprise why. Whether it is through simple animated features or elements that users can interact with in-depth, interactivity looks great and adds value for users.
Including hover effects and animated logos, there are countless ways to get creative and keep your site fun. However, a word of caution: don’t go overboard, and be sure to only add effects that truly add to the user’s experience.
There are plenty of trends and advances to consider when creating a new website. Of course, there is a lot more to cover than just the latest features.
Laura Ure is the CEO of Keenability, a marketing agency specializing in lifestyle marketing that targets the affluent buyer. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.