Web design and SEO (search engine optimisation) are two vital components in making your brand visible online. In the process of designing a real estate website, there are several key factors to keep in mind regarding design and SEO. This is what we’ll be discussing in today’s blog.
Table of Contents
- Know your target audience
- Compelling CTA (call-to-action) buttons
- Mobile responsiveness
- Website speed
- Use of photographs and video
- Maintain brand consistency
- Use of long-tail keywords
- Improving under-performing content
- Enhancing user experience
Web Design for Real Estate
There are several elements to consider when designing a real estate website. In this article we bring you 6 of them:
1. Know your target audience
Before you start the web design process, identify who your customers are first. Properly understand their needs as well so that you can address them effectively. Establish what it is they’re seeking or the problem they’re trying to solve and build your site accordingly. Establish buyer personas based on demographics and integrate design elements that match their profiles.
2. Compelling CTA (call-to-action) buttons
Make use of multiple CTA’s across your website that resonate with each target audience. Include CTA’s that are direct and/or informative to help you improve your click through rates. Consider using “request a demo”, “email us”, “call now”, “download our brochure”, “subscribe”, “grab your whitepaper today”, etc. Also pay attention to critical elements like visibility, placement, surrounding images, legibility of text, colour of the buttons and background colour. Finally, don’t forget to customise your CTA’s according to device and user intent. How one uses a tablet for instance may not stand true for how they use a laptop. Usage, display, and search differ. Be mindful of this when designing your CTA’s.
3. Mobile responsiveness
According to Statista, “almost 4.66 billion people were active internet users as of October 2020, encompassing 59 percent of the global population. Mobile has now become the most important channel for internet access worldwide as mobile internet users account for 91 percent of total internet users”.
Continuing from these stats, Safari Digital offers additional insights in terms of mobile internet usage and responsiveness:
- 60% of all Google searches are done through a mobile device.
- 92% of mobile phone users will access the internet from their mobile device.
- The cut off load time for a mobile device is 5 seconds.
- 57% of users would not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile website.
- 88% of customers will call or visit a store within 24-hours of making search from a mobile device.
Taking these numbers onboard, it’s clear that to see results, your website must perform well across all mobile devices. Web design must incorporate UX/UI best practices for simple and quick website navigation. Images must be high quality but optimised to display properly on all screen sizes. They should also be assigned keyword-rich titles and ALT tags for search engine indexing. Text and CTA buttons must be visible, easy to read and see.
4. Website speed and web design
The speed at which your website loads can severely impact bounce rates and other engagement metrics. In fact, Ezoic reports that as page load time goes from 1 second to 3 seconds, the probability of bounce increases 32%. From 1 second to 5 seconds, bounce probability increases 90%. At 1 second to 10 seconds, the probability of bounces increases 123%. Read more about what Ezoic has to say on this topic here, including the measures you can take to improve load speed.
5. Use of photographs and video
In real estate, a variety of visuals is a great way to engage homebuyers seeking a property online. In terms of photographs, quality is key. In fact, according to Zillow, “79% of buyers use online resources to buy a home — and real estate listing photos are often the first thing they see when looking at homes online”. Other Zillow design tips include avoiding the use of real estate stock photos or intentionally covering up a bad view. Other tactics to avoid are focusing on artistry to the point that you sacrifice accuracy; or using a fisheye lens to make a space appear larger (it only distorts the image).
Video ideas for real estate include:
- Property listing video – a great way to highlight your real estate portfolio, pairing photos with video clips
- The video walk-through (tour) – showcase a property virtually without the need for a physical viewing
- Educational real estate videos – this could be a video on how to find the right home for you, how to make an offer, how to close a deal, scouting a neighbourhood, etc
- Explainer video – an introductory video about your real estate business to prospective homebuyers
- Client testimonials – social proof demonstrating what your clients think about you
6. Maintain brand consistency
Maintaining brand consistency is key so that your business stays recognisable and top of mind. Set branding guidelines that are integrated during the web design process. This includes the use of your logo, colours, typography (font styles, sizes, spacing, etc.), icons, voice and tone, and imagery.
Find out how we helped this real estate business by building a powerful website that highlighted their property portfolio across Greece and delivered a top quality, lead generating user-experience. The website is packed with a range of multi-functional tools to drive lead generation and engagement, and boost property sales.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) for Real Estate
Semrush says that “SEO is the art and science of persuading search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, to recommend your content to their users as the best solution to their problem. It brings you the most precious traffic (also known as organic traffic), which is “free” — when a search engine shows your content to its users in the organic part of a SERP (Search Engine Results Page), you do not pay for the ranking. When the user clicks on the result and visits your site, you do not pay Google for a visit. And that briefly describes what is SEO used for.”
Below are 3 ways that SEO strategies can be implemented on your real estate website:
7. Use long-tail keywords for SEO
According to Yoast, “long-tail keywords are keywords or keyphrases that are more specific – and usually longer – than more commonly used keywords. Long-tail keywords get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they are more specific. They allow you to gradually get more traffic to your site and be found by new and motivated audiences.”
SmartInsights adds to this. “In highly coveted SERP positions 2-5, the (4 word) long-tail SEO technique outranks generic (1 word) search by 2 to 4%. Typically, this will be because long-tail searches occur further down the sales funnel, plus at this stage, there is less competition (organic and paid) as searches get more niche. Finally, when considering the ever-evolving SERP layout features, SEOs in 2020 must recognize the benefit of targeting long-tail keywords from their gap analysis”.
8. Improve under-performing content
Getting your under-performing content to perform better requires several actions. You could try to:
- Access the Search Analytics report in Google’s Search Console to review all Clicks, Impressions and Position; and identify what keywords are generating the most traffic and SERP impressions, and their average position. Look at which keywords fall between positions 10-25 and can be pushed up to page 1 to increase traffic substantially. Understanding which pages your keywords are ranking for gives you the opportunity to make improvements.
- Optimise your headlines to boost CTR’s. Clickthrough behaviour impacts how Google ranks your content so improve headlines continuously to improve your position in search results.
- Adjust your existing content so that it resonates with your target audience and properly addresses their needs. Ensure your content matches search intent.
- Include strategic external links to add credibility and to make the content less of an opinion piece.
9. Enhance user experience
Semrush offers the following tips to improve website user experience:
- Use subheadings: Proper use of subheadings (H1, H2, H3) helps Google understand your content better and makes your text more accessible to readers.
- Make your content visually appealing: Several studies indicate that visuals help people understand your content better. Use relevant images, videos, and screenshots to illustrate your points.
- Avoid using intrusive popups: Popups are not just bad from an SEO perspective, but they also end up annoying your visitors. Since 2017, Google has been penalizing sites that use intrusive popups. So, use popups sparingly.
- Use white space: White space is a fundamental aspect of good design. According to Crazy Egg, white space between paragraphs and in the left and right margins increases comprehension by 20%. So, consider using white space to make your content more legible and grab user attention.
At Qobrix, we build websites that will help you improve the visibility of your real estate business online, attract and convert leads, highlight your property listings, and boost sales. Discover more of our work here.