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28 January 2017

6 Signs Your Website May Need an Update

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Technology is constantly evolving. It seems every day, a new feature, mobile app, device or operating system is being rolled out that changes the way businesses operate. To succeed in the real estate industry, you need to ensure your real estate website is in the best working condition. According to ExperienceDynamics, 79% of users will search for another site to complete a task if your website is not optimized. The slightest delay, broken link or faulty system can instantly send prospective clients looking for a real estate website that actually works! Take the time to review your web design and see if it’s in need of a mandatory website revamp, and plan accordingly.

Here are the top 6 most common signs your website may need an update, and what you can do about them:

1. Your Website Isn’t Responsive

You’ve taken the time to design a website that provides valuable information to engage prospective clients. However, not all websites are created equally and this is especially true across the different forms of technology available in today’s digital age. Just because you have a good website design when viewed from a desktop does not mean your website is optimized to be viewed from other devices, such as a phone or tablet. Mobile digital media consumption now outranks desktop, with 51% compared to 42%, according to SmartInsights.  If your prospective clients are using mobile devices to access your website and it’s not performing properly, they are 5 times more likely to abandon the task, according to ExperienceDynamics.  No wonder it’s crucial to check your web pages for mobile compatibility. There are many ways you can get started, including this easy to use online tool.

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2. Your Real Estate Website is Too Flashy and Complex

Simplicity is key in today’s digital age. If your pages still contain Flash content, chances are it’s been outdated for a significant period of time. Many devices no longer support Flash, and it can also harm your SEO rankings, as many search engines can’t index the content. Thus, there’s no benefit to running a complex, Flash website, and it can do much more harm than it can good. Simplify your website by implementing some best practices design changes, such as:

  • Opt for a smaller “hamburger menu” (three-line icon that expands when clicked on to show the menu)
  • Use a hidden navigation
  • Use non-scrolling and hover-animations

 

3. Your Real Estate Website is Slow

A slowly loading website is the root of all evil. According to WSI, 40% of people will abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Fortunately, if you’ve taken care of the previous tip and have simplified your website, this could fix the loading error. Having a slow website can also negatively impact your Google search engine rankings, making you appear further down in the search engine results pages.

 

4. There’s No On-Page SEO

If you haven’t been utilizing Search Engine Optimization, it’s time for a website revamp. SEO is the process of making your website appear higher in search engine result pages. However, even if you have been implementing SEO throughout the course of your real estate career, it may still be time to update your website. Google is constantly changing its search engine algorithms, and what was once acceptable by Google a couple years ago, may actually cause them to ignore your website today. For example, SEO was originally about adding as many keywords in as possible. However, today keyword stuffing is highly frowned upon. Instead, SEO is all about providing original, quality content that includes the following:

  • Keywords
  • Links
  • Alt Tags
  • Meta Descriptions
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5. The Performance Tools Say It’s Time to Update

There are many online performance tools that can quickly tell you if your website is in dire need of an update. Run various tests across your site to spot any and all errors, whether it’s broken links, poor loading speeds, bad on page SEO, etc. It’s crucial to run tests to ensure all problems are discovered. Here are some examples of tools that can help perform these tests:

  • SEOSiteCheckup scans your on-page SEO and informs you of any discrepancies, as well as viable solutions
  • Pingdom analyzes your site’s speed
  • Google’s PageSpeed can automatically optimize your site

6. There’s No ROI

It can be hard to upkeep a real estate website when you aren’t seeing an ROI. Analyze your metrics and see if you can discover what is driving your clients away. If you have a high bounce rate, it could be the result of a slow website. If your metrics show visitors spending a short amount of time on your website, it could be that your content is not relevant. You may have a high amount of traffic, but if the traffic isn’t converting to leads, this could be the result of a poor web design. Analyze the following metrics to see if you can discover why you aren’t receiving a high ROI:

  • Unique visitors
  • Returning users
  • Page views
  • Time spent on site
  • Bounce rate
  • Conversion rate

Fortunately, fixing a poorly designed website is easy. It’s spotting the problems that are impacting your retention rates that makes it a difficult task. Once you’ve discovered the errors following these common signs, it’s time for a website revamp!

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