September 18, 2018
Just how often should you update your real estate website?
Depending on who you ask, the life of a modern website is about 4-5 years. And that’s pushing it. Whether you’re updating your website with a fresh look or completely rebuilding it, you should really look to redesign or update your real estate website every 2-3 years to keep up with responsiveness, Google algorithms, and design trends.
This may sound a little aggressive considering it can sometimes take up to a year to develop a new website, depending on the size. However, if your website is the one place that all of your email, remarketing, search, Facebook, and even word-of-mouth leads go to for more information, it’s a small price to pay in order to keep a steady flow of new homebuyer leads.
If the sign outside of your model home is falling down or hard to see, you don’t leave it where it lies. You get a new sign; you move the sign where it can be more easily seen.
The same idea goes for your website.
Updating Content vs Updating Design on your Real Estate Website
Some updates to your website are really ongoing maintenance such as updating your inventory, adding new home pictures, promoting/recapping community events, embedding new walkthrough videos, and writing constant and relevant blog posts. This ongoing maintenance refreshes your content which is great for SEO purposes. Search engines will crawl your website more as you add new content and these engines love serving their users new and quality content, increasing your page rankings.
But then there is the overall design and functionality of a website such as the latest in parallax scrolling, hover effects, pop-ups, structural navigation changes, etc. These major changes are sometimes harder to decide when to make, yet a lot of them can be done without completely redeveloping your website as long as you’re set up on the right CMS and have the right development team to implement these changes.
Latest trends in website design include
- Illustrations and photography take center stage. That is, less copy and more photos on your main pages that engage the eye instantly but still include a few call to actions that push users to where they can find more information instead of overwhelming them with information from the start. Most people begin their new home search just surfing and looking around. You’ll need to wow them from the start in order to stop them from bouncing from your website to the next.
- You’ve heard it before but Mobile, Mobile, Mobile! Your design must be mobile friendly, but don’t let this limit you. Your desktop design can deviate from your mobile design. Just make sure you’re checking both and reducing image size, reducing copy, and moving elements around that make sense for mobile users on your website mobile version.
- Big and Bold Typography. Your fonts and typefaces can be a design within itself. Indeed a lot of builder and developer logos are simply the company name as a recognizable font. The same boldness can be implemented on your website.
- 50/50 Page Design Split. Bold is really the trend for 2018 from large photography and illustrations to big and bold typography. So it’s no wonder the 50/50 split has arisen and broken the rule of thirds. More and more websites are splitting their image and their copy into two rows or two columns – giving content more space and remaining very mobile friendly.
- Minimal Stock Photography that Resonates with your Audience. This may be a trend that doesn’t quite fit with home builder and developer websites. But we’ve included it to point out that along with bold being a top trend, so is minimalism. Photos have to be carefully chosen to represent what you are trying to communicate in your website’s messaging. This goes for any icons you choose or infographics you insert. All of these things help communicate your message and should not confuse or disrupt what you want buyers to know. This can mean choosing simpler photographs and simpler graphics to illustrate and pictorialize your homes without bombarding your audience.
Choosing Real Estate Website Experts SmartTouch® Interactive
Aside from updating your design and content and all of the other eye-catching details homebuyers see on-page, there are a number of off-page implications and updates that must be made to keep your website performance healthy and top of search engine page results. The SmartTouch® Team are experts in on-page and off-page SEO, website design, engaging copy, and more. Contact us today for a website assessment and let’s talk about what we can do to help you sell more homes faster with a lead generating website.