More Website Redesign DOs
By Colin Ryan
About Website Design
We’ve already given you three DOs for redesigning your website. Now, here are five more.
More Things You Should Do If You Decide to Redesign Your Site
4. Empower your agents.
As a broker, if you want your Internet presence to deliver real results, building one website for your agency isn’t enough. In most other industries, the majority of your employees, however indispensable they may be to your company, are irrelevant to consumers. In the real estate industry, they’re all-important.
Your agents are independent contractors, working for themselves and you at the same time, which means they’ll need to establish their own individual presence on the web. Encourage each of them to set up their own real estate website or page. Help them build it. Pay for it. Do whatever it takes.
The efficacy of your marketing relies in part on the number of inbound links to your site. Having all of your agents linking to the home office, creating content, interacting with their own audiences — this creates online synergy, driving more leads to your agency. You’ll get more leads with more opportunities to turn them into customers.
5. Spend money on great content, not on fancy design.
Graphic designers serve an important purpose when it comes to building your website, and it’s important that everything works well. But consider how people view web pages. Sure, they spend a few seconds here and there absorbing and judging the appearance; the rest of the time, however, they’re reading, watching, listening.
Your site needs provide great answers to people’s questions, whether it comes in the form of text or video/audio. Producing content that people are interested in will do more for increasing your traffic than hiring the best graphics person.
That being said, don’t assume that having a large volume of videos or blog posts on your site is the same as having great content. After all, a big portion of your site traffic will come from links shared among users, and people only share what they think others should see. Anyone can write a blog, sure. But a great blog, a successful blog: That’s an entirely different matter.
Naturally, once you’re producing a lot of quality content, it’s also important to highlight and promote it via Twitter, Facebook, and the homepage on your site.
6. Develop an ongoing plan for creating content.
As you grow to understand what your clients and leads want from you, chances are the content you churn out initially for your redesigned site will be significantly different from the content you’re creating, say, three months later.
That being said, it’s important to establish a plan for what kinds of content you want to create (Tweets? Blog posts? Facebook posts?) and when (daily? weekly? monthly?). Even if you have no idea what you should be doing yet, you should still set a schedule for the week ahead. Otherwise, you may get to Friday and discover you’ve spent five days thinking about what content to produce, instead of actually producing it.
7. Syndicate your properties.
Yes, this is a guide to redesigning your own website, but it’s worth noting that this shouldn’t be your only avenue for increasing leads and awareness about your company. There are many channels out there for customer engagement, and you should be pursuing all of them.
The big property aggregators operate on a national level. This means that, although they offer leads that are often much more preliminary than those on local sites, they also have the potential to give you massive exposure. And that means as you list properties on your website, you should also send them to aggregators.
At the same time, the leads you create by syndicating will ultimately want to come back to your dedicated website. With that in mind, make sure that each of your syndicated listings has a landing page geared to convert visitors once they reach your site.
8. Build in flexibility.
You shouldn’t need to call a designer or IT person every time you want to create a new page or add some content. Your site needs to be flexible and easy to edit on the fly. Whether that means scheduling a blog post, testing a new landing page, or correcting a typo, your site need to be responsive so you can better engage your audience.
Published on January 5, 2012