One of the most disturbing real estate website design trends is that most realtors never see the results they expected from their real estate website. Century Properties is a perfect example of how all realtors should be building their websites.
The primary reason – they negotiate their web designer down, down, down and consequently have to forgo the “secondary”, yet vital, website development activities of blogging with a purpose, building out community pages, having their keywords and competitors analyzed and implementing an overall SEO and link-building strategy.
This often overlooked phase can cost as much or more that the just the design and setup of an IDX-enabled real estate website. Sherry Campbell, Energy Realty of Houston founder, is stepping up and getting serious about her site’s performance. I met Sherry last December and after some budget revisions her new responsive IDX-enabled website, energy-realty.com, went live on 12/30/2014.
The initial build did include community pages and a blog and included a relocation section and property management section. Budgetary constraints only supported minimal optimization research and no competitor analysis.
We have stayed in touch but her site has been mostly self-managed. Sherry recently reached out to me and let me know that she wanted to really focus the site on relocation and was ready to take energy-realty.com to the next level.
Over the next few posts I will be sharing with you the changes we are making to Sherry’s site and more importantly quantitative results.
Let’s dive right in with some specifics. I am just finishing keyword analysis and recommendations but made several small but significant changes to the site to improve viewability and usability and will soon be changing every page for better searchability.
The first item of business was to sign-up for Google Analytics and to install the Universal Analytics tracking code and verify site ownership with Google.
Next, I rebuilt two of the standard IDX generated pages to include a more flexible design. Instead of having multiple search widgets all over the site, I created a combo search page that includes the Property Organizer, Quick Search, Address Search, MLS ID Search and Advanced Search with Draw on Map on one page accessible via the search menu.
real estate website design trends – more search options
I then did the same with the Contact page. Now that most IDX providers allow shortcodes to access key functionality these combo and customized pages can be created incorporating IDX forms.
real estate website design trends- enhanced contact options
Small changes but cumulatively stronger, more concise and user-friendly pages were the goal.
In my next post I will discuss our new core niche and the giveaway e-book designed to be informative and to serve as a lead and SEO magnet.