Every real estate agent knows a website is critical to a lead-generation strategy. Learn how to determine if your real estate website is doing more harm than good with our handy checklist.
Web sites aren’t like cartons of milk with a clear-cut expiration date stamped prominently on them. But that doesn’t mean that your web site will never spoil. With new trends and technologies constantly being introduced, weblogright the web is the most fluid media format in the history of mankind. Studies, technological innovations and constant testing are shaping (daily) how “best practices” for web marketing are evolving. That’s why it’s essential that you periodically ensure that you’re not falling behind the curve. An outdated web site can do more harm than it does good, making you look out of touch. The trouble is that it’s not always easy to know when your site crosses that line and becomes a liability rather than a benefit to your business.
With that in mind, we’ve assembled a list of 10 key indicators when analyzing your personal web site to determine whether or not you might be due for an update. Let’s get started.
1. Size Does Matter
Today’s best websites look different from the moment your browser lands on them. Naturally, the web grows along with technology. A few years ago, it was customary to find people browsing on a 13- or 15-inch monitor. As a result, the width of most web sites was designed to match these screens. These days, 19- to 24-inch screens have gained widespread popularity, making the narrow-width sites designed for smaller monitors look outdated in comparison. This prevents the breathing room that allows today’s most impressive-looking websites to create a stunning visual impression on their visitors.
From a purely technical standpoint, if your site is not a minimum of 800 pixels wide, it’s time to consider a redesign.
2. Get Social
Integration of social media into his or her personal website is a sure sign that an agent is on the cutting edge of technology. Does your site include links to all of your social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Some agents may be afraid of this new technology, but it can’t be dismissed as a trendy marketing gimmick. Not only are social media platforms a great way to establish relationships with potential clients before they need your services, but integration of your social media accounts can be highly beneficial to your search engine optimization. The more you can integrate social media into your site, the more it will provide the valuable “new content” that leads to high rankings in search engines.
With its relationship-building capabilities and search engine benefits, it’s important that you integrate your social networking sites into your own personal website.
3. Branding Matters
Branding is all about creating an emotional response in your target. Far too often, however, agents fail to convey their personal brand on their web site. Branding is more than just a catchy slogan. It’s a gut feeling created in the consumer that either attracts them to you or repels them from you. You want visitors to your web site to come away with something memorable and a feeling that they know you and would feel comfortable working with you. And oh yeah – you only have a few seconds to capture their attention while they’re quickly making decisions about whether or not they’d ever call you.
As home buyers and sellers use the web more and more as a screening device in selecting an agent, the more important it becomes that your web site conveys your unique personal brand. For better or worse, people are going to make the decision whether or not to call you based on their perception of you that they get from your web site. So it’s time to take a long, hard look at your site and ask yourself the following questions: How will visitors to your site come away thinking about you? What will be their first impression? What emotional response will they have to your site? Does your web site differentiate you from other agents? Does it convey a sense of high quality? Does it give insight into who you are, or does it read like generic information that could apply to any real estate agent?
If your site isn’t doing a good job answering these questions satisfactorily, it’s time to consider making a change to your web site.