The below article comes from RE Technology, a MFRMLS customer benefit. If you're not already signed up, be sure to sign up for articles and news from RE Technology (it's included in your MFRMLS subscription).
The beginning of a new year is a great time to audit your online presence. Take a moment to check your marketing materials, social media and search portal profiles to make sure your contact info is correct and all links work.
It's also an opportune time to take a critical eye to your website, your most important piece of "online real estate," to be sure it's not stale or outdated--and that it's not driving customers away! Not sure how to tell if your site needs an overhaul? These seven signs are a dead giveaway that your site needs a redesign:
1. Lackluster IDX search options. Does your website's IDX search only offer limited search criteria like price, beds, baths, and square footage? It may be time to upgrade to a more modern solution. Basic search parameters won't cut it for today's consumer. They want a search with detailed local information that's lifestyle oriented--like what schools are nearby, or what restaurants and other amenities are in the neighborhood? There are plenty of IDX options available today that offer consumers the granular search options they're looking for. You can research IDX solutions in our Product Directory.
2. Your layout isn't mobile friendly. Have you heard the term responsive web design? It's a method of designing a website layout so that it detects the device that it's being viewed on and automatically scales to fit that's device's screen. This approach eliminated the old way of having to build two separate versions of a site--one for desktop and one for mobile. With responsive design, one version is all any website needs. Responsive design isn't just to appease mobile users, however. Google is now punishing websites that aren't mobile friendly. If your site is difficult to view on phone and tablets, it's time for an overhaul--before your site totally disappears into the abyss of Google search results.
3. Your site's SEO is weak. Speaking of the Google abyss, poor SEO is another way to be sure your site will rank poorly in search engine results. One way to check on the health of your site's SEO is to Google your name. If you don't see your site on the first page of search results, that's a sure sign that your website needs an SEO tune-up. Not sure where to start? Take a look at our archive of SEO-centric articles.
4. You've received no leads in the past month. The primary purpose of your agent website is to generate and capture online leads. If all your site's "contact me" forms are doing is collecting dust, it's time to rethink why you have a website at all--and why you're paying for it without receiving anything in return!
5. You're spending too much. On a related note, even if you are receiving a few leads a month, your return on investment may be too low. Take an honest look at how much you're paying for your website solution and what you receive in return. If you're paying for a high-end site with, say, a CRM and lead management tools that you never use, it may be time to look for a simpler, cheaper option. If you're not using all the bells and whistles, there's no point in paying for them! Instead look at low-cost options from providers like WebsiteBox or Placester.
6. Your bounce rate is really high. A bounce rate is the percentage of people who only visit one page on your site and then leave. A high bounce rate indicates that your site isn't engaging to consumers. This could be due to a number of factors, including a cluttered or confusing design, poor or generic information, ineffective (or no) calls-to-action, etc. For more on website bounce rates, see 5 Tips to Improve the Bounce Rate of Your Real Estate Website.
7. It's not built with the customer in mind. Here's a cold, hard truth: if all your website talks about is you, you, you, consumers are going to bounce on over to your competitor's site. If your want visitors to stick around, be sure your website is giving them the information they truly need--overviews of neighborhoods, how to qualify for a mortgage, and insight into the homebuying process. And don't think that the "canned" content that comes with that templated website you bought is going to cut it, either. Rich, informative content that comes from a real local expert--rather than some tech vendor 1,000 miles away--is what really makes a difference to consumers.