6 Reasons a Responsive Real Estate Website Will Improve Your Business
By Matthew Bushery
About Website Design
So, your real estate business is doing… okay? You may have a pretty detailed website (including a comprehensive blog, of course… right?). You also may have garnered a moderate amount of leads, thanks to your online marketing, and closed your fair share of deals in recent months. Things are going decently, but you wish they were better. Long-term business prosperity doesn’t just mean having just any presence on the web, it also means staying on top of technology so it can work in favor of all of your marketing efforts.
With 89 percent of new home buyers using mobile search engines, it’s time you upgraded your website to a responsive design.
Still a bit hazy on what makes responsive design such an important facet of your overall marketing strategy? Here, we offer 6 top reasons:
What Does Responsive Design Mean Exactly?
Essentially, having a responsive website means that your site’s design will give your audience the same wonderful experience on your site, regardless of the device they use to view it. The look and goals of your site will stay consistent across all devices (desktops, smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices) and function as if they were custom built for each but with one URL structure. With responsive design, everything from your site’s SEO value to your content’s shareability on social media will be greatly enhanced.
For a quick example of how a responsive site looks on desktop and a smartphone, check out images from the site of tech manufacturer Garmin:
6 Reasons You Should Implement Responsive Design
Now that you’re familiar with the responsive design concept, let’s dive into specific ways in which it can help your real estate business and make your site a step ahead of those of your competition.
1) You’ll make Google very, very happy (which is very, very important).
Yes, Bing and Yahoo still matter (somewhat) as far as search engines go, but make no mistake: Google remains — and likely will for some time — the premier search platform. Because of its stature as the King of Search and its amplifying influence on how companies/professionals are found online, it’s more imperative than ever to ensure your website is doing all it can to please the search giant.
Google smiles upon those who utilize responsive designs for a number of reasons, mainly because it’s simpler to index responsive sites and crawl them to retrieve content, since all of a website’s pages have the same URL and because these sites are more user-friendly and have a higher “click” value.
Google makes it crystal clear what its recommendations and preferences are when it comes to creating responsive sites here. The company even provides several examples of businesses that saw benefits with the move to responsive design and offers up some advice for website developers to ensure their sites’ page performance doesn’t suffer.
“Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.”
— David Ogilvy
2) You’ll be able to better reach mobile users.
Responsiveness has shown to increase mobile conversions for a variety of businesses. For example, as ConversionXL notes, just three weeks after going responsive, clothing company O’Neill was able to improve mobile conversions nearly 66% on iPhones and an incredible 407% on Androids. Similarly, tie retailer Skinny Ties saw its iPhone conversion rate bump up more than 70% in a matter of weeks after implementing a responsive site.
When searching for the latest trends and data in mobile device usage, it’s easy to locate seemingly innumerable reports, studies, surveys and polls the relay just how much smartphone and tablet adoption has grown (and will continue to do so). This growing adoption means it’s more important than ever for real estate professionals to ensure their sites are high-quality… and in this case, that means fully responsive.
3) You won’t have the multiple-website blues.
As mentioned, responsiveness means the same user experience on every device your visitors may be using. Another way to put it? You don’t need to worry about the potential hassle of developing a unique website designed specifically for mobile or even a mobile app. The work’s been done for you, and it’s all under one URL.
With one website unified across different devices, you won’t have to worry about monitoring SEO efforts and analytics for multiple websites. The amount of time this can save you could be sizable. With those extra hours in your week, you can catch up with qualified leads or blog for your site.
4) You could save a considerable amount of money.
We’re sure you’ve heard other agents and brokers complain about how much money they feel they’re throwing away with their websites. Chances are, though, the reason their hard-earned dollars are going down the drain is their websites aren’t responsive. It’s simple math: Multiple sites typically require more maintenance than a single site. Setting up a responsive real estate website will save you money on additional design and development. In a short period, you can go from having a convoluted web presence to a single responsive site — one that can make you more noticeable online (and to the right segments).
5) You will increase your content’s shareability.
When visitors deem your site’s content as worthy of sharing, that’s an accomplishment in and of itself. However, if they learn the blog post they want to spread to their Facebook or Twitter networks via their smartphones or tablets only showcases a desktop-only version of the content, don’t be surprised if they pass on the chance to share.
In today’s tech climate, mobile device users want to see (surprise, surprise) mobile-oriented sites. When your site isn’t responsive, that means it very likely looks awkward and bunched up on their devices, and many links and pathways may be inaccessible or hard to click. This can prevent new users from becoming dedicated ones and even cause your current visitor/lead base to avoid your site. Don’t believe us? Well, consider this: In an SEOcial case study of more than 5,000 mobile device users, nearly half of all users complained about websites not being responsive. What if half of your site’s audience was mad it wasn’t responsive? Exactly — not the headache you want to deal with.
To ensure visitors to return to your site regularly, you’ll want to make the transition to responsive design. It can’t be said enough: The social effectiveness of your content is increasingly dependent on whether that content is responsive or simply the desktop version only. Fail to enter the “Responsive Age” and that effectiveness could dwindle dramatically.
6) You can get ahead of the curve. (Take that, competition!)
Okay, so this benefit isn’t necessarily one you can entirely quantify, but it’s certainly clear to real estate pros who have a hand in their agency’s marketing efforts that not everyone is on the responsive design train just yet. This presents a unique opportunity for you to move your website up in the search engine rankings and into Google’s good graces, while simultaneously improving things clicks, conversions and returning visitors.
Considering the switch to a responsive design? Also check out nine other signs your website may be outdated.
Published on May 28, 2014
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.