Who doesn’t like coming home at the end of a long day to a warm meal that’s been simmering in a slow cooker for hours?
The “set and forget” philosophy of the popular kitchen gadget is one that’s worked extremely well over the years. It’s easy, convenient, and it works.
But can that same approach be taken when it comes to your real estate website?
Though a slow cooker is designed to be turned on and left alone, a website simply does not work that same way. As information changes, as technology changes, and as people’s expectations change, your website must do the same. Otherwise, it becomes a relic of the past for anyone in the world to see. And, as a real estate agent, being seen as slow, lazy, or old fashioned is not a perception you can afford to have.
Here are 3 ways to make sure your website is up-to-date.
1. Update your content
There are quite a few things you can do that will give your site an up-to-date and well-kept appearance.
Whether it’s changing out old testimonials and reviews with new ones, throwing in a few new pictures, adding new helpful informational pages for customers to read, or posting to your blog, maintaining the content as well as the overall look of your website is key to impressing visitors.
One major update to make as soon as possible, if you haven’t done so already, is to bring your website into the 21st century by making it mobile-responsive. If you’re not sure how compatible your site is with mobile devices, you can check here.
At Pipeline ROI, we provide our customers with a few ways to accomplish frequent updates. Our exclusive technology, called GhostWriter, automatically rewrites and recreates your web pages for you every 30, 60, or 90 days so that site visitors and search engine bots alike will be consistently greeted by fresh, beneficial content. Our design team is also here to help. As a Pipeline ROI customer, you are eligible for free website updates each quarter so that your look, in addition to your content, can be new.
A major key to remember with website content updates is that your goal with your site is to impress as many potential customers as possible. If someone goes to your site and sees content that was last written or updated years ago or a site design that looks like a blast from the past, you haven’t done much in the way of showing them you are professional and on top of things. At best, it makes you look like you’re out of business. At worst, it shows them you just don’t care.
2. Organize and declutter
A great way to attract, keep, and close clients is to make the buying/selling process as easy as possible.
In fact, your website is often the very first interaction with you someone has, and can sometimes be your only chance to make an impression, either good or bad. If they reach your page and are immediately confused, it’s possible you’ve lost your only opportunity to impress them.
There are over a million agents out there. It’s much easier to hit the back button and try someone else than it is to try to figure out your site. So, to avoid these “bounces,” you’ve got to make sure your design and the organization of your content is such that anyone (and I do mean anyone) can navigate it with ease.
View everything you do from a user’s perspective. If you get confused when moving around your website, random visitors will, too.
Most of all, though, just use some common sense. Make sure the most important pages are easily accessed, and make sure the tabs along the top are organized in a logical fashion. Utilize dropdown menus underneath those tabs. You don’t need 10 tabs across the top that lead to every single page. Choose a few main categories and sort from there. Having an organized page in which one thing leads naturally to another is also great for your SEO (search engine optimization).
Search engines are looking to see how much time people spend on your site and to how many pages they go. This metric shows that you clearly have valuable content, and therefore your content must be helping people. Helpful content and a good site can mean the difference between high and a low ranking on Google. Take advantage of this easy opportunity.
3. Give your site “check-ups”
Lastly, a critical part of website maintenance is making sure everything is working correctly.
Far too often, agents have been known to say “I don’t even remember what my website looks like.”
This is not okay.
While, in an ideal world, technology would work perfectly and seamlessly, we don’t live in that ideal world.Links can break, pages can malfunction, and error messages can run rampant.
If you’re not checking on this and making sure it isn’t the case, how are you ever going to know? Sure, you may see a drastic dip in your online lead generation or a drop off in traffic, but at that point, you’ve already lost potential business.
Don’t allow your website to become covered in cobwebs. Every once in a while, go through your site like a customer would. If everything is well and good, move on about your day (or better yet, add some new content). If not, get it taken care of as quickly as possible.
Proactivity is the name of the game here. Updating and organizing your content and checking on your site are all things that can easily fall by the wayside. There’s a reason slow cookers are so popular – outside of the fact that delicious, homey food tends to originate from them. Putting in the work all at once and then leaving it to do the rest on its own is extremely convenient.
It’s great to be able to “set and forget.”
But leave your website alone too long, and you’re likely to get burned.
Don’t let it happen to you.
If you’re interested in revamping your website or starting up some new, exciting marketing for your real estate business (don’t forget, the slow season is quickly approaching), hit the button below. We’d love to talk to you.