Published: 25/10/2021 By Mark Tew - Senior Website ConsultantWe know that there can be so many different elements to website design and knowing what to include in your estate agency’s website can be daunting to say the least. So, to help out your business, we’ve rounded up everything your website needs to stay looking fresh and ahead of your rivals with our ultimate A to Z guide. So, without further ado – let’s begin!
A is for Area guides
Informative and inspiring, area guides provide prospective buyers and tenants with all the relevant information needed during their property search. They’re packed with local school information, transport links, local hospitals, as well as the local attractions and events, all with the aim to help buyers decide whether they would like to move to their dream location.
Fancy knowing a bit more about area guides? Just click here to read our blog.
Loney Miller Area Guide. 2021.
B is for Blogs
Next on our list are the all-important blogs. Discussing the latest property industry and community news, blogs are a brilliant way to show your customers that you are in touch with and at the heart of your community. You can also update all your customers about how your business is doing whether that’s charity work you’ve taken part in, fun competitions or even perhaps the great reveal of a new website for your agency. Either way, they’re definitely an essential part of any estate agent’s website strategy.
Moreover, they’re also a fantastic way to boost your website’s search engine rankings as by continuously uploading new content to your site, Google will propel your brand up the rankings and boost your brand reputation – what’s not to like?
C is for Call To Action
Moving on, we have calls to actions. Calls to action buttons couldn’t be more important as they’re crucial in guiding your user through your website in the smoothest way possible. They’re especially key on property pages as they provide the next step between applicant and agent with CTA’s including ‘enquire about this property’ or ‘book a viewing’.
Note: Make sure your CTA buttons are highly visible, placed where they will be seen, and using colours that make them stand out on the page.
BR Estate Agent Property Page. 2021.
D is for Data Security
With cyber-attacks on estate agent websites becoming much more common these days, a strong data security system is definitely worth considering for your website.
SSL certificates are one line of defense to think about as they authenticate a website’s identity and enable an encrypted connection. In a nutshell, they’ll make your website safe and secure! Additionally, they’ll also make your website better trusted by users who will be more likely to fill in enquiry forms and payments on your site making your business a greater success.
Not having an SSL Certification is now also seen as a big negative by Google and other search engines impacting estate agent's search engine rankings.
E is for Editable Website Design
Next up is editable website design. Now we hate to break this to you; but a great website is never truly finished. Estate agents should have an ever evolving relationship with their website and should have the ability to freely edit and manage their website as they so please.
This is because you may need to make changes to your website such as new images, video and blog uploads or even creating new content and pages. Therefore, it’s vital that you have a powerful, innovative CMS to manage this – which of course, we will go into in greater depth (just scroll down to letter P)!
But anyway, another excellent advantage of editing your website continuously is that you’ll boost your website ranking considerably with a greater chance of landing on page 1 of Google - impressive, right?
So, if you’re keen to seek the rewards of editable website design, just give us a call today and we’ll be pleased to have that conversation with you.
F is for Filters
Next on our list are property filters. Filters are incredibly important as they allow prospective buyers to be much more specific in their property search. Advanced filters are also becoming increasingly popular amongst estate agents as they narrow down the search even more with additional filters such as’ ‘Newly Refurbished’ and even ‘Historic’.
But what’s also great about this feature is that it significantly boosts the agency’s search engine ranking. With so many more filters, their website will come up with all the possible searches associated with them to help score them more leads and more business.
Noah's Advanced Filter. 2021.
G is for Google Analytics
A platform your estate agency should think about is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a web analytics service which is completely free of charge. In this platform, you can view the number of visitors on your site as well as get much more specific like the number of visitors on your site in a specific time frame, the bounce rate of your site and which pages visitors spend the most amount of time on. Useful, right?
The Webdadi platform integrates with Google Analytics with key data presented to you using our reporting function, so you don’t need to be an ‘Analytics’ expert to benefit from this powerful tool.
H is for Homepage
Homepages are normally the first page users will see on your site and so it’s vital that you leave them with a good impression. What’s more, according to Microsoft, users will leave your website in 10 seconds if they don’t find it interesting. So, time really is of the essence!
That’s why your homepage should be beautifully and clearly laid out as well as encompass everything about your brand identity effectively (see below for an example!). What you really don’t want is a disjointed and disorganized design which will turn off visitors and make them leave your site.
Abode Italy Homepage. 2021.
I is for Instant Valuation Tool
With the acceleration of digitalization, especially in the last year, it’s vital that your property agency has an instant valuation tool on your website. Instant valuation tools provide prospective seller’s an online estimate of their property’s value. This is particularly useful if they’re in a hurry and don’t have enough time to fill in a form and receive a call back from an agent. So, if your website doesn’t have this tool, it’s definitely worth investing in.
J is for Joined-up
Your website should be fully joined up with the other activities on your site whether that’s from a sales or marketing point of view so that your business can save time and be more effective. For example, your site should sync up with your CRM and Lead Manager ensuring you website leads can be automatically saved as records, marketed to with property alerts, send newsletters, send emails and SMS directly.
K is for Keyword Research
As we spoke about already, you should be uploading blogs and content to your website on a regular basis. However, it’s also important to make sure that the content you decide to upload includes key words people are already searching for. This is because the top key words will enable you to rank higher up the search engine, and of course lead more visitors to your site and land you more leads.
That’s why you should continuously research the top key words whilst you blog, to ensure your SEO game is strong.
L is for Lead Generation
Arguably one of the most important aspects of estate agent website design, is lead generation. Ultimately, your website is there to generate a higher number of quality visitors and effortlessly convert them into new opportunities for your estate agency. With a smooth user experience and one that includes many of the features covered in this blog, your website should be able to do this.
However, if you feel that your website isn’t up to the task of generating enough leads, book a meeting with us today and we’ll be happy to have that conversation with you. Alternatively, download our free lead generation presentation for our lead gen tips and tricks.
M is for Mobile Responsive Design
Having a website that is mobile responsive is absolutely essential. According to Statista, in 2021, 92% of people in the UK own a smartphone and between 55% and 75% of estate agent website site visits are now made through a mobile device. Subsequently, if your website isn’t mobile responsive you may risk losing out on possible leads and business opportunities.
Cadzow Homepage - iPhone X. 2021.
N is for Navigation Menu
Arguably one of the most important parts of your website design is your navigation menu. A navigation menu is the menu at the top of your website and allows users to easily navigate across your site and find the content they are looking for. On your estate agency website, you may decide to include (see below an example) separate drop downs for sales and lettings or even one button that takes the user to your instant valuation straight away. Either way, a navigation menu is imperative to your website design.
Househandlers Homepage. 2021.
O is for Opportunity
Estate Agents website are fundamentally built to drive opportunity and ensure you don’t miss any of value. Converting visitors into leads is critical and you need to be able to capture information about your visitor before they disappear back into the ether.
Signposting and calls to action take the visitor through a meaningful experience that improves this conversion rate, convincing them that you can help them market their property. Webdadi has innovated its technology to capture this information so you can react quickly to all enquiries and ensure the opportunity doesn’t pass you by.
P is for Powerful Content Management System
As we spoke about already, editable website design is crucial– but what will deliver this? Well, it is indeed a powerful content management system.
You should have a CMS that is flexible for both the design layout and content of your site so that you can build brand new website pages and edit existing ones anytime.
But that’s not all it should provide for your business; a good content management system should provide reports and statistics to convey how well your website is performing as well as easy integrations of third party providers such as Google Tag Manager.
Not sure if your current CMS is up to the task of managing your site? Just click here to get in touch with us today.
Q is for Quality traffic
Whilst an amazing and sleek looking website is desirable, does your website have enough quality traffic?
Website traffic is the number of visitors which are engaging on your site. It’s essential that enough of them are visiting your site so that they become possible clients for your business. One such way to increase your traffic is by boosting your search engine rankings so that you’ll be on the first page of Google. This will ensure a greater visibility to prospective clients and more clicks to your site.
Moreover, as spoken about already, you can view your traffic numbers by downloading the innovative platform, Google Analytics.
R is for Responsive Website Design
Next we have responsive website design, and what’s responsive website design you ask? Well, it’s a type of design that renders your website to fit different screen sizes and remains functional for the user. This could be your phone, tablet, or laptop for example, but either way, it makes sure that your website design layout is proportionate to the screen and laid out correctly to ensure the smoothest and most streamlined user experience.
Pedder Group Homepage - iPad view. 2021.
S is for Search Engine Ranking
According to Hubspot, 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results. This isn’t surprising considering the digital age we’re in, and therefore it’s even more important that your agency ranks highly on Google. Moreover, if you’re not on the first page, you’re more likely to have less visitors to your site, and down the line, less leads for your business -basically, it’s a domino effect.
If your website isn’t ranking highly enough, book a meeting with us today and we’ll be happy to discuss how we can help you fix it. Or, alternatively, download our free SEO guide for estate agents.
T is for Testimonials
It’s all very well and good having a company vision and about us page, but can you prove to your customers that you can truly deliver your impeccable customer service and unparalleled expertise? Well, one such way to show this, is by having testimonials on your site.
Testimonials are reviews of your agency by your previous clients and they are very helpful for prospective applicants when deciding which agency to go for. You may decide to lay them out in a moving carousel so users can get an overall opinion of the agency and integrated on your homepage.
U is for User Experience
It may sound like an overwhelming and confusing term, but user experience is critical to the success of your business. This is because if someone has a drawn-out and difficult user journey they’ll be more likely to leave your site and click on your rivals instead – scary, right?
So, you must be thinking now – how I do stop this from happening? Firstly, review the overall navigation of your site and ask yourself - was it easy to navigate across to different pages? Were certain pages easy to find? Or did I take a lot of time trying to find it or to fill in that form? Secondly, decide whether the website provider is best for your agency - is it preventing you from winning from instructions? If so, perhaps it's time for a refresh...
V is for Value data
Now, what would the property search journey be without value data? Value data such as schools’ information, and transport links, is vital in helping prospective buyers to choose their dream property. Whilst we have already covered their importance in area guides, valuable information on property pages is equally vital. This is because this information is specific to where properties are located and is very helpful for applicants when deciding between properties.
Perhaps more importantly, your prospective vendors and landlords will also recognize the value in providing this information with their properties; this could be the difference between winning and losing their instruction.
Loney Miller Property Page. 2021.
W is for Website Design Trends
In terms of maintaining your sleek and modern website, make sure to research and implement current website design trends. By staying on top of the latest trends and innovations, it shows your customers you’re a thought led business which will make them place more trust in you as their agent. Not only that, but you’ll be the chosen agency instead of your rivals.
Keen to know the top designs to integrate into your website? Just click here to find out more.
Rocket (Icon). By Mako Tsereteli.
X is for eXperts
Whilst we were running out of ideas for letter X (we did indeed check the dictionary), this is still a crucial one.
With so many different elements to estate agent website design, from a lead generation or design perspective, we know it can feel overwhelming at times for businesses.
That’s why it’s important to talk to website experts whenever possible, so that they can provide you with their knowledge and expertise when you’re looking for solutions to your current website challenges.
So, if you have any issues with your website, book a meeting with us today and our website consultants will be happy to help your business.
Y is for You’re In Control
Your estate agency should have full control of your website. You should be able to freely make the changes you need to your site when and so you please. Websites shouldn’t restrict nor hold your business back from reaching their true potential but rather allow you to flourish and generate an effortless number of leads and opportunities.
Z is for Zero Costs
Last but certainly not least, is zero costs. As we’ve already emphasised, your website should be flexible, editable and should grow with your business. But making such website changes, shouldn’t have any added costs. It’s crucial that you are able to make content changes easily, without being charged every time, so that your website can reach it’s true potential and continue to land more leads for your business. You’ll be pleased to know with our websites and CMS, this is certainly the case.
In summary, we hope our ultimate A to Z guide has been able to help your agency so that your website can be high performing, innovative and with the potential to grow your business. Keen to have a website that is fully editable with a powerful content management system? Just hit the link below!