Posted by: realestatewebtrainer | November 3, 2011

An Organic Website is not enough if it neglects the Consumer Experience

The holly grail of reaching Google’s Page One Organically for a Search Phrase is Not enough for Real Estate Websites; it is an important goal and many work hard and spend lots of money to reach it. But to reach Page 1 and then offer a lousy user experience will not translate into Prospects, let alone Sales. The heart of a Real Estate Website is how your would-be users will interact with it – and not enough work is being done in this area.

I am the Customer! Is your Website tailored for me?

Your Website Visitors have but a few seconds to a few minutes to feel good about your website and by extension you… Don’t squander that opportunity by being overly rigid with your Search Criteria or the flow of your website. Take them to see homes in less than one step!

Let me share some glaring flaws – I ask Website Vendors to start thinking about offering solutions to them.

1. Search Boxes driven by Counties – this is pure silliness. A consumer would need to know that Statesville NC is located in Iredell County in order to search – how shortsighted! If a family is looking to move to Statesville NC they will search for it in your website – they will not know that they have to check the box for Iredell County before they are given a list of cities within it. Let me ask you: What County is Nashville Tennessee located in?

2. Requiring the Refinement of Search – this is also another annoyance for customers. Take them to results based on any broad criteria they type; as they get used to the website they will fine tune their criteria. To tell them that you can only show so many at the time tunes them out. Always return results and trust them to do what is best for them.

3. Remember the User  Search Criteria (Content Form Cookie Tracking) – if a visitor visits your site and selects the City Search of Charlotte and chooses 3 Beds+ and 2 Baths+, views results and decides to refine their Search don’t make them fill out the criteria again – they should be able to click on refine and select a minimum price and maximum price and not have to reselect the city nor the Beds and baths. In fact they should be able to click on advanced Search and not lose any of the pre-filled criteria. Use Cookies properly to remember everything your customers are doing on your website – Think Amazon.com.

4. Fixed Delayed Registration – this should be in the control of the Broker or Agent running the website. This is a big beef of mine – I do not view websites as a game of requiring registrations from visitors, but I do understand that generating leads is important. Website Vendors should offer the choice to the Broker of delay the registration based on their own market. Requiring registration after 1 or 2 Viewed detailed properties is too soon – experimenting with 3 to 7 should be within the control of the Website Owner NOT the Vendor. In fact there is a movement afoot to offer “Suggestive Registration” that are non-binding; Weichert has even taken the step of ‘No Required Registration’ – an inspired move!

5. Email Only Registrations is NOT enough – Visitors should be able to use their Social Media Credentials to register to your website – not just filling out a form with a valid email address. Vendors MUST integrate Social Media Logins to Real Estate Websites. (Note: The Brokers or Agents who abuse the registrations of their customers do more harm for future business than good – threat your customers with the respect they deserve.)

Now let’s talk about the flagrant Silly Implementations or Gotchas:

6. Offering a choice of languages like French, Spanish, Italian, etc… and Not Meaning it – come on… changing navigation only to be in another language is not a solutions. Either translate everything or translate nothing. This type of inadequate implementation only furthers the decline in trust that customers have for you and will make you look like a pretender – the majority of those searching for Real Estate in your Website are local and do speak English. If you wish to open your website to international users develop your Mulch-Lingual website properly.

7. And the Silliest of all is : Requiring Registration before seeing anything on the site. If you think this a Strategy than you have left this planet or are in need of heavy Meds.

Real Estate Websites of consequence are driven to connect in a human way with customers, in fact they are feminine by design – think about what you are offering and ask yourself: Am I connecting authentically with my Web Visitors? The question I have for you is: Have you put yourself through your website to see what if feels like to spend time with you? if you do you will learn a lot about your customers!

Happy Blogging 🙂 Key Yessaad, Real Estate SEO Trainer

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Responses

  1. this is some good stuff!

  2. Great post Key!


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