From outdated designs to lackluster content, these errors can significantly impact your business. But with some insight on how bad each mistake really is, you can avoid the worst ones and create a website that’s an asset for your business.

In March’s Marketing and Branding Month, we’ll go deep on agent branding and best practices for spending with Zillow, and more. Top CMOs of leading firms drop by to share their newest tactics, too. And to top off this theme month, Inman is debuting a brand new set of awards for branding and marketing leaders in the industry called Marketing All-Stars.

Real estate agents, your website might be holding you back. Although the internet has revolutionized how homes are bought and sold, many agents still make common digital marketing mistakes that can turn potential clients away.

From outdated designs to lackluster content, these errors can significantly impact your business. But with some insight on how bad each mistake really is, you can avoid the worst ones and create a website that’s an asset for your business. Below, you’ll find 10 marketing mistakes ranked on a scale from “It’s pretty bad” to “Not so bad,” in hopes of helping you prioritize your time, money and energy.

Not updating website tech

Keeping your technology updated for your website is vital to keep it functioning correctly and providing a good user experience for visitors. No matter what kind of website you have (WordPress, Squarespace etc.), there will be periodic updates. If those are addressed, your website will likely retain functionality and may even crash. Keeping it updated will also make your site more vulnerable to hackers. Search engines like Google will penalize it in search rankings. Be sure to log into your website at least once a quarter to keep it updated.

Bottom line: It’s pretty bad

Using a DIY Web Builder

Squarespace and Wix are some of the most popular DIY web builders out there, and they often get a bad rap. They can be an excellent solution for a new business needing a website. Just be sure to avoid using the exact templates they provide without making edits. You don’t want your website to look just like others. Change the colors, fonts, pictures and copy to match your branding, and it’ll do just fine.

Bottom line: Not so bad

Using a video header

Video headers on a website look great; they were such a trend not so long ago. However, they are likely slowing your website down, sometimes a lot. If your website takes more than mere seconds to load, you’ll lose whoever came to look at it in the first place. A high-quality professional photo is usually better than a video for your website’s header. Be sure the image isn’t too large, though, since that can also slow down the load time of your website.

Bottom line: Kind of bad

Having too many pop-ups

Those pop-ups that ask for information like email addresses or phone numbers for texting can be very useful in capturing new leads or signups for your newsletter. More pop-ups can affect the load time mentioned above and can also be annoying to a website visitor. If you want to, limit it to just one and don’t have it pop up when the page loads, but when the user goes to leave the page; that way, it won’t affect the initial load time.

Bottom line: Kind of bad to pretty bad

Using ChatGPT/AI for copy

Everyone is talking about ChatGPT and how to use AI to help with digital marketing. It can certainly help your website, but should you use it for something like your website copy? Yes and no. It’s fine to use AI to help you start writing copy for your website, but make sure you are making heavy edits. Having duplicate copy from another site will significantly hurt you with search engine optimization (SEO) and how high you rank in search results.

Bottom line: Kind of bad

Too much copy

Nobody likes a wall of text, and website visitors are no exception. However, many websites need more copy on them to reach good SEO standards. Please ensure the copy is well-formatted and readable for users, not a wall of text. And remember, even though having more copy is usually good, quality is always more important than quantity.

Bottom line: Not so bad

Too little copy

Having enough words on your website makes it very difficult for Google to rank it in search results. Also, your website should be there to provide information for clients and potential clients, don’t waste their time by not saying anything of value. Having enough copy on your website can help its performance.

Bottom line: Pretty bad

Not enough SEO

SEO is an elusive subject, and the best practices constantly change. Some guidelines are more important than others. Covering the basics, like having a clear and organized site structure with easy-to-navigate menus and internal links, is critical, but paying for expensive software isn’t.

Bottom line: Kind of bad

Ads on website

Putting ads on your website can be a great way to earn some money through your website. Be sure not to overdo it, though. Not only will many ads affect the precious load time of your website, but they can make it look cluttered and less trustworthy to visitors.

Bottom line: Not so bad to kind of bad

Not blogging

Blogging is a popular component of many content marketing strategies, and for good reason. Blogging brings regular original content to your website, keeping it updated and SEO-friendly. However, it’s not the end of the world if you’re not blogging. Plenty of great websites don’t include active blogs. Determine if you have the time, talent and resources to put into blogging, and if you don’t, then worry about it later.

Bottom line: Not so bad

The most important thing to remember about your website is to pay attention to it. Don’t neglect it. Think of it as a living document that should reflect your business as it currently is.

Jessi Healey is a freelance writer and social media manager specializing in real estate. Find her on Instagram or LinkedIn.

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