Thinking of Rebuilding your Real Estate Website?
A real estate agent website is your online shop front. Get the formula right and you will not only drive traffic to your website but you will rank high across multiple search terms in search engines. When i talk about traffic i mean vendors and landlords who either want to sell or rent their property. However, if you choose to build your website with a developer who has little or no experience with real estate agent websites you will probably be in for a fair amount of frustration. Not to mention the additional costs to correct errors.
Have control over your website content. Make sure you can implement edits to visual content and backend content. There is nothing more frustrating for an agent that wants to edit their own site only to be found they are locked out as set out in the terms and conditions. Sure, the developer will make changes – at about $120 an hour. Having control of your content enables you to make edits, create blogs and optimise your website. A website built on the WordPress platform is a good place to start. About 28% of the web uses WordPress. You can create landing pages and add simple forms for browsers to submit. You can create additional pages and simply add these to your menu. Insert social media plugins etc.
- Can i edit my visual content and meta tags? I repeat, you definitely want backend access to your website.
- Does my CMS talk to my website and all my subscription portals such as www.homely.com.au
- Keep your existing Google Analytics tracking code.
- Do your contact address details mirror your Google Plus local contact details exactly?
- Is the website “responsive”? This means what is the browser user experience when viewed on a mobile device.
- Is my website slow to open? See below for pagespeed insights.
- Make sure your website has a SSL Certificate attached.
- Can i post blogs?
- Before you choose a website developer get a list of the sites they have built and call the agency.
- Are your “call to actions” such as – Property Appraisal, How Much is My Home Worth? visible?
Best Real Estate Agent Website Developers in Australia
Agentpoint have a library of off the shelf template websites and they offer custom design websites. You get the keys to your website. Depending on your level of website expertise you can easily edit content. You can also optimise all your pages and add blogs. I rate the support team response as high. All their websites are built with the WordPress platform and come with a SSL certificate.
Stepps are an interesting organisation. They build beautiful real estate websites on WordPress at a price. They partner with Google Cloud and Amazon web services. They focus on content marketing and browser experience. I would enter them as number 1 but they seem to be gearing toward marketing rather than design. However, it will be interesting to see how they evolve over the next 12 months. It will not surprise me to see them as the dominant real estate web developer in the near future.
Siteloft has a number of template websites to choose from built on the WordPress platform. These are clean looking websites. They have recently partnered with Rex CRM Software. The website build takes about 4 weeks. They have a library of client websites you can view.
What is Website Pagespeed?
Pagespeed is how fast your website uploads onto a browsers desktop or mobile device. It is a major factor for search engine algorithms and how they rank your website. Naturally a website that uploads fast will gain more points than a slow site. When you are dealing with a website developer ask for a list of their current clients. Then, go to Pagespeed Insights and input the web address for a report. There are multiple causes that can slow a website down. The main issue is generally the banner images. If the site has a specified size for the images then the images you upload should mirror these dimensions. If not, search engines have to crunch the image to size and thus this is what slows down a website.
What is an SSL certificate?
Purchasing a SSL certificate will make your URL https://www.examplerealty.com.au This is a sign to search engines your site is secure. Any website that captures browser details needs a SSL certificate or search engines will post a warning that the site is not secure.
Is the website hosted on a “cloud”?
Ask your hosting provider if their websites are on the “cloud”. The cloud is a network of servers that stores data such as files, images, videos etc. The cloud serves web pages faster and more efficiently. This gives the browser a more heightened user experience and better search engines rankings.
What you should expect from your website.
- Good User Experience in relation to navigating your site.
- Easy to upload on a desktop and mobile device.
- Top 3 search engine rankings.
Your website is your online front door. When a browser enters your site what questions could they ask and do you provide answers? Typical questions could be – i need a rental, i want to purchase a home, can you manage my property, how much is my home worth. Is your site providing this information and if so, how easy is it for the browser to enquire?
Finally, when deciding on your design do a straw poll of at least 10 independent people to gauge their response. Ask them what were the pros and cons and how the website could be improved.
Director of SEO For Real Estate
Former Head SEO for Century 21
12 years online real estate experience.