By Mike Price, IDX Trainer
IDX Home search levels the playing field for any real estate professional that wants to build a high-impact web strategy. It’s one of the 3 elements I refer to as the content foundation of a real estate website. Today’s IDX tools go way beyond providing a way for your prospects and clients to search the MLS. Whether you’re a brand new agent starting out, or a practiced agent looking to grow your business, there are a myriad of marketing options and tools at your fingertips that give you the same power as any big ticket agent, broker or portal site.
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In this article I am sharing a few time and expert-tested do’s and don’ts when it comes to crafting a winning web strategy.
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|Do learn all you can about UX & UI (user experience and user interface) before designing your new site. This link explains the topic well.||Don’t forget to keep your information at the top of the page, also referred to as, “above the fold” Site visitors will not “hunt” for what is most important.|
|Do remember a professional, clean and uncluttered design is the goal. You only have 2 seconds to make a first impression.||Don’t be pushy or “salesy” with your content. People do business with people they like. Your goal is to build trust through an enjoyable online experience.|
|Do test your web site on all operating systems, mobile devices and browsers before launching.||Don’t use too many fonts or colors. A simple palette of colors that are easy on the eye will avoid driving away site traffic. Update: Use this free service from Adobe to generate a great color palette.|
|Do include a prominent way for a site visitor to contact you on EVERY page in your site.||Don’t forget the content foundation of your site. 1.IDX Search, 2.Home Values/Market Conditions & 3.Community/Neighborhood Content.|
|Do think about trust and credibility with your website’s information. Does it convey a reason to be comfortable with you guiding a prospect through a complicated process?||Don’t design complicated CTA’s (calls to action) by making forms busy or asking for too much information. Name and email address is usually all you need to start, and perhaps phone as an optional field. Beyond that, the more fields you have, the lower your response rate will be.|
|Do include testimonials on your site. Site visitors trust third party recommendations.||Don’t place content that is not relevant to your prospect or their transaction on your site. Don’t include videos that “autoplay” when the page is loaded.|
|Do use a wireframe to lay out the content and navigation of your site before you begin the design process.||Don’t limit your community content to the same data as everyone other real estate web site. Visitors want to know what you know about neighborhoods.|
|Do use “landing” or “squeeze” pages to drive qualified prospects to your site. Using IDX saved searches in conjunction with hyperlocal landing pages is a winning strategy!||Don’t ignore the importance of establishing goals before starting your site design. What do you want a visitor to do? Keep them in mind during the design process. Make sure you have ways to measure success 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months down the line so you can determine what tweaks you might need to make to your site to reach those goals. Using Google Analytics can help. Update: Here is a great article I found on how to set up a Google Analytics strategy. ~MP|