Real Estate Marketing Academy

12 Tests to Improve Your Real Estate Website

By Matthew Bushery

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12 Tests to Improve Your Real Estate Website One performance test isn’t enough to truly understand the effectiveness of your real estate website. Rather, multiple experiments should be conducted regularly to ensure your site is doing its job. Below are some tests you can carry out to determine just how well your website is performing and the metrics you should look to improve with each test.

1)  Menu Items

Never underestimate the impact a navigation bar can have on your real estate website’s performance. Visitors won’t stay long unless they can find what they’re after quickly and clearly. Changing which pages appear in your main menu, and in what order, can have an enormous impact on how users behave. And there’s some additional pages you should consider adding as well, like neighborhood pages or featured listing pages.

Example Test to Run:

  • Links to your homepage, about page, listings, and blog are must-haves, but add links that lead to buyer and seller information pages or area pages (for specific neighborhoods) that offer distinct value to your visitors. Implement each of these links one at a time for a month, and then swap them out for the next specialty page. After a few months, you’ll get a clear notion of which generate the most traction and are worth keeping in the nav bar and which don’t and should be linked in another area (like in email newsletters).

12 Tests to Improve Your Real Estate Website - Total Site Visitors

2)  Text of Key Links

It’s important to craft the right copy to explain where links lead to. Seemingly minor changes in wording can make a big difference in the number of clicks a link gets, so optimizing the text of links to key pages is important.  Link text should be very short and direct. For instance, a page that offers a free home buyer’s guide for your audience should simply be titled “Home Buying Guide” or “Home Buyer’s Guide.”

Example Test to Run:

  • There are many iterations of link titles you can try, so change copy on key links once a month to test different options. You’d be surprised how one version of link text can appeal more than another to site visitors, even if they are very similar. Just take a look at this post from Unbounce that notes how minute changes can lead to greater site performance.

3)  Copy Tone/Voice

Successful real estate agents have uniformity across their online marketing to provide a consistent experience for leads as they move through the inbound sales funnel. This consistency includes site copy. Whether you prefer to come off as professional and formal or more laid-back and casual is up to you. Just be sure to use that style and voice on every page so users can best understand who you are.

Example Test to Run:

  • It can be difficult for agents to decide how they want to be perceived through their marketing copy. If you’re unsure what tone will work best for your audience, implement one style of copy for a while — perhaps a Hemingway-esque, right-to-the-point voice — and then try the opposite style, offering up more of your personality (and humor even) in the language used across your site.

12 Tests to Improve Your Real Estate Website - Click-through Rate

4)  Copy Length

As Quick Sprout notes in this detailed infographic, there are three main considerations for how to form your homepage copy: what you want your visitors to accomplish, what information they need to make a buying/hiring decision, and their awareness of your services. Having said that, the shorter the copy you implement on each page of your site, the better, since most people scan sites quickly and rarely read every word.

Example Test to Run:

  • Write blog posts of different lengths to see what works with your readers. Time how long it takes you to read each post, then compare to your average time on page for that post. If it takes you five minutes to read, but the average time on page is only one minute, your copy is too long. Conversely, if all your users are taking enough time to read the full post, try increasing the length to see if you can engage them further.

12 Tests to Improve Your Real Estate Website - Conversion Rate

5)  Call to Action Types

Every page of your site needs to have a call to action (CTA). It could be something as small as a link telling a blog post reader to check out a listing you represent, to a more overt CTA, like a button that directs viewers on an area page to contact you to learn more about the community. The point is you should include at least one of these across each page — and in noticeable fashion.

Example Test to Run:

  • Banner, button, and text link CTAs are the most common types used, so put these head to head via A/B tests. Promote the exact same component of your business using the exact same copy, but in different formats: one a text CTA, one in banner form, and one a button. After a few months, analyze which got more clicks, and make that your primary CTA type.

6)  Call to Action Locations

Tossing a couple CTAs in every blog post can help keep visitors perusing your site, but they need to be strategically placed in your site, not just tossed anywhere. One prominent, well-placed CTA on a page will work better than tons of buttons and links that look spammy.

Example Test to Run:

  • Include a CTA (banner, button, and/or text — whichever works best for you based on the previously mentioned test) after the first couple of paragraphs of each blog post for a period of time. Then, for the two months following that, include them mainly at the end of the posts. Eventually, you’ll find the best use case.

12 Tests to Improve Your Real Estate Website - Time on Site

7)  Call to Action Color

Much like the text of a CTA button, its color has a huge impact on viewer attention. ConversionXL highlights a few tests performed by multiple outlets in which different colors were used for CTA buttons. The results for each varied, but it appears that the brighter the color, the better its chances are of leading to clicks.

Example Test to Run:

  • Create a few different CTA buttons promoting the same page on your site and use a different bright hue for each. Since the aforementioned article on colors shows red and orange were highly ranked on the conversion scale, you could experiment with those for your banner CTAs.

8)  Pop-up CTA vs. Static CTA

Few things annoy people more online than regular pop-up ads and offers. Having said that, the conversion rates on these types of promotional messages are high (when done correctly and sans these common mistakes). If your site allows for it, consider these types of CTAs, but be sure whatever you promote really is of use to your audience, like an informative ebook download offer.

Example Test to Run:

  • You don’t know ‘til ya try: Give pop-up CTAs a chance for a short period on your site to see if it prompts clicks and conversions. If it ends up irritating your visitors, it’s best to end the test early and revert back to text, button, and banner CTAs. Should it work, however, still use it judiciously across your site.

12 Tests to Improve Your Real Estate Website - Bounce Rate

9)  Form Fields and Length

Lead capture forms serve multiple purposes: from allowing site visitors to download content, like local market reports, to providing visitors the chance to set up a consultation. Be sure to set them up properly. The fewer the fields, the better, as the data for countless brands’ sites shows people don’t want to offer up too much personal information online.

Example Test to Run:

  • The three definite fields to include in any form are first name, last name, and email address. You can take it a step or two further by testing out different forms that also ask for phone numbers or the reason visitors are on your site (whether they’re looking to buy or sell).

10)  Search Filters Provided

Whereas fewer form fields typically leads to better chances for conversions, that’s not the case with search filters. Offering filter options for your listings search affords visitors the opportunity to find the exact types of homes that interest them. Most real estate websites offer a variation of search capabilities, meaning it’s best for you to test which filters are ideal to have available.

Example Test to Run:

  • Aside from the filter mainstays like denoting which listings are for sale and for rent, how many bedrooms and bathrooms there are, and price, experiment with a mix of other search options, like square footage, lot size, or days on market.

12 Tests to Improve Your Real Estate Website  - Exit Page

11)  Video Length

Just as few visitors want to take 20 minutes to read lengthy blog posts, not many will want to watch overly long real estate videos (even if they highlight some amazing listings of yours). Having said that, you can still develop videos that resonate with your audience and come in from anywhere between 15 minutes. Your expertise in video production may mean the shorter the better to start, but as you gradually master the art of filming and editing, taking on long-form videos may suit your marketing needs better.

Example Test to Run:

  • When you publish your next video to your real estate website, track the length and how many people view it. Most video platforms allow you to see how many people viewed your video and how long they watched, so you can hone in on the best length and determine if you’re testing your visitors’ patience with too-long clips.

12)  Blog Post Type, Format, and Length

The long game play is with your blog posts because they’re probably the most common type of content you’ll produce for your real estate marketing strategy. This means it’s optimal to conduct tests on the three main factors that lead your visitors to read your content: type (e.g. evergreen articles, newsjacked posts), format (Q&A-style, listicles), and length.

Example Test to Run:

  • Your typical buyer is likely someone who wants to keep abreast of the latest news concerning your local housing market. So, see what niche content has the most interest to them: Statistic roundups featuring home prices, sales, and value data or top-10 pieces concerning news about area businesses, school updates, and local government initiatives. This is more about broadening the types of content you produce for your real estate blog right off the bat, and then slowly but surely narrowing those topics, formats, and lengths to ones that lead to the most traffic and keep visitors reading.

Do you conduct website testing for your real estate agent website? Tell us what kinds of success you’ve seen with site experiments below!

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