How does website development impact lead generation?
Did you know that in today’s digital age, over 90% of prospective renters and homeowners begin their search for a new home online? Miles before most people decide to contact a realtor, online searches are the most common way to discover available properties. How are these properties found so easily? Strong website design and development.
When building a real estate website, there are two significant aspects to consider: your customers and search engines. When prospective customers search for properties, you need a well-optimized website to show up on Google or other search engines. Though, you can’t just leave it at that; you also need a well-designed and user-friendly website so customers can find their desired future home quickly and efficiently.
Additionally, websites are able to do the work when humans are not. Unlike landlords, property managers, and real estate agents, websites don’t have office hours. A prospective renter or homeowner could visit your website at any time, of any day, of any week. Let’s not forget, websites allow you the chance to brand your company as well as your properties. First impressions can be tough, but when it comes to having a well-developed website, the first impression of your property will always be a positive one.
Don’t forget, your website is a way for you to not only showcase your real estate properties but also your organization. Include a section that can showcase all of your accomplishments, and show why you and your properties should be chosen over the competition. Any awards, client testimonials, and other ways to (tastefully) brag on your success is a great way to subtly set you aside from the crowd.
Why is optimized web design important during website development?
Nearly 80% of prospective renters will sign a lease without ever visiting the property. You read that right – without visiting the property. What makes them so sure about making such a commitment? Having all of the information they need right at their fingertips. High resolution photos, videos, and offering virtual tours are more often than not the deciding factors for prospective renters when it comes to committing to a lease. None of this could be done, however, without an optimized website design.
When we talk about optimized site design, we’re referring to the design process that is used during development which allows the site access to prime optimization for search engines such as Google and Bing. It also covers the on-page SEO best practices designers and developers must follow when building websites.
Think about it: how can you expect to generate leads online without a website strong enough to rank on the first page of the SERP (search engine results page)?
Any traffic to your website that is not the result of paid advertising is referred to as organic traffic. These are customers who landed on your site after performing a Google search based on its suggested results. Referencing an article from Smart Insights, the top ranked search result receives nearly 40% of all organic traffic clicks, followed by the second result at only 18.4% – less than half of what the first listed website receives. The third search result? Only 10% of clicks.
Ask yourself: when you’re conducting your own Google search, where do you start?
Because there are an astronomical amount of real estate websites out there to choose from, the challenge for many website owners and developers alike is finding a balance between user-friendly and SEO-friendly websites. Many organizations have independent teams for web development and digital marketing, which – while often formed with good intentions – can sometimes further complicate matters if not handled properly.
While the goal of the digital marketing team is to ensure the site has enough content for Google to rank it effectively for user search queries, the development team focuses on keeping the visual and user aspects of the site as simple as can be. Collaboration is only possible in companies that know the importance of digital marketing even before the site is designed. At companies like Threshold, the marketing team and the development team work hand in hand to give valid inputs to be considered at the time of creation.
How does Threshold Agency develop well-optimized websites?
If someone is searching for a specific floor plan in your area, how can you ensure that your listing will populate first in the Google search results? There are a few ways we can help with that. At Threshold, we know high-intent organic traffic is more valuable than any other traffic form, which is why we develop highly optimized websites to increase search engine rankings leading to more high-quality leads.
During the discovery phase, the marketing and creative teams ensure that we are creating websites that work well and are easy for visitors to navigate so they can find the information they’re looking for.
The designers will then take that information and design the website based on the ideas evolved from the discovery phase. Included in this second phase, a writer from our creative team will develop the website copy, which focuses on the target audience and a high-intent, high-quality organic keyword strategy.
Once completed with the second phase of development, the designers pass on their design to the developers. In this stage, the developers ensure everything the designers envisioned is working effectively with the site’s optimization so as not to cross the search engine boundaries.
To give you more of a focus, here are a few areas that our developers make sure to optimize during the early stages of development that impact the final rankings of a website in a search engine.
One of the most critical factors of Google page ranking is website speed, simply due to the fact that no one likes a website that takes an extended period of time to load. Anything past a couple of seconds and most users will bounce to a new site. To help decrease load time, our developers optimize the file sizes (images, videos, scripts), only use trusted plugins, and use an advanced caching system from the host site.
Mobile Responsive Design
Based on an article from CNBC, in the next three years, 3/4 of the world will use mobile devices to access the internet. A responsive website ensures your target audience has a seamless experience whether they are browsing your site from a computer or mobile device. This also helps to boost your search engine ranking, seeing as Google promotes mobile-friendly websites above those that are only desktop friendly. With 3/4 of the world moving to only using mobile devices, can you blame them?
As the website is created, run data scans and collect metrics through each phase of the development process. This allows for any changes to the website’s design or coding to remain monitored.
Even though search engine bots are brilliant, it’s a good idea for us to point them in the right direction, and we do this through sitemaps. Sitemaps include all of the indexable web pages and links on a website. If we have a sitemap declared in the robots.txt, the search engine bots will first crawl through those pages. Simply said, if search engines are not finding your pages, this means means that organic traffic won’t find your pages. And as we said earlier, organic traffic is the most important traffic you want reaching your website.
While getting customers to the website is the main focus of an optimized site, many forget that the website needs to be accessible by everyone. At Threshold, we use Google Tools and User Way to ensure the website meets all the accessibility standards. This means your site is easily ready and accessible for people with physical and situational disabilities, as well as socioeconomic restrictions on bandwidth and website speed.
Nowadays, in the web industry, we say content is king. Search engines use more AI technologies to crawl through the entire content of websites. If it can’t be crawled, it is not an SEO-friendly site. It means the likelihood of that page appearing in the search engine results is very low. At Threshold, creative writers write content for the targeted audience, and developers use the WordPress editor to apply the content where the content is in HTML and is easily indexable by search engines like Google.
The key to creating a well-optimized site is to bridge the gap between web development and search engine optimization. The collaboration between various teams from the start ensures that your website is fully optimized for SEO and usability. Providing value for customers is the key to impressing search engines. Where there is high-quality content, strong on-page SEO and excellent user experience, you will improve your presence on the internet and increase qualified leads.
As the need for strong digital marketing in real estate increases seemingly by the day, so does the need for having a well-developed website. Today, real estate website optimization is so much more than metrics on a chart, it translates directly into potentially hundreds, if not thousands, of new leads.
So, ask yourself: are you confident in your real estate website?