If you’re about to embark on a website redesign project, there are several considerations you should make besides the look and feel of the pages that can have a tremendous impact on driving more visitors, converting more leads, and the bottom line of your real estate business.
1. Look for inspiration
There are plenty of great sources to help you find inspiration for your new website, and this doesn’t always mean benchmarking your competitors or other real estate websites. Look outside of the real estate industry! Web design galleries such as Awwwards, Webcreme or Creattica are great places to start browsing around and explore design elements (colors, layout, structure, etc.), content (images, calls to action, etc.), and communications (copy, headlines, tone, etc.). Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries past the conventional cookie-cutter real estate website and stand out, even if it’s on just one aspect.
2. Optimize for the bottom line
Although, it’s good to have some input on aesthetics and design, don’t get lost in the nitty-gritty details; a good web designer will do this for you. Spend your focus and energy on the thing that matters most: leads. A website redesign is a chance to improve and optimize your website for better lead conversions to maximize inquiries from potential buyers and sellers. This should be one of your most important objectives for redesigning your website. So have a close look and ask questions like:
- Is my main call to action above the fold of the pages?
- Is my contact information visible and accessible from every page?
- Do my contact forms provide a sense of trust and confidence?
- Am I tracking all the inquiries that come from my website?
- Do I know which pages of my website bring me the most inquiries?
3. Refresh the content
One of the key considerations of a redesign project is the implications it can have on SEO. Of course, there are certain steps you should take to avoid any issues that might have a negative impact; however, with a new page design and refreshed content you will almost always see a nice boost for your search engine rankings. Take some time to improve upon and add new copy to your most important pages. This doesn’t necessarily mean starting from scratch, but adding new, unique content can provide you a bit more muscle to improve your search visibility and visits from active keywords.
4. Get rid of heavy code
Although not very sexy, technical and code improvements “under the hood” are well worth considering, as they can have a positive impact on the performance of your website and also have big implications for SEO. Ask your Web developer to do what he can to make your pages lean and fast. That means getting rid of excess, heavy code and optimizing page load times for speed. Google loves fast sites just as much as humans do, and page performance is one of the ranking factors that can impacts your visibility in search engines.
5. Consider mobile and tablet versions
Mobile Internet usage now comprises 20 percent of U.S. Web traffic and doubling year over year, a growth rate that cannot be ignored and will surely have an impact on your business. With the advent of HTML5 and responsive design, creating a mobile version of your real estate website is a lot easier now, and if you haven’t already thought about it, now is definitely the time. A redesign project lends itself well to launching a mobile- and tablet-optimized version of your website following your designer/developer’s vision of the desktop version. This can not only improve the likelihood of converting visitors into leads but can also gain your business more visibility in Google’s separate index for mobile.