real estate websites

7 Deadly Mistakes To Avoid for Your Real Estate Website

There are too many real estate websites on the internet today that are not marketing themselves properly due to lack of knowledge or an outdated mindset on internet marketing. This article will hopefully give you real estate professionals a new perspective on how-to view search engine marketing (SEM) as a whole.

Below you will discover what I call the 7 Deadly Mistakes To Avoid for Your Real Estate Website:

7. Have A Marketing Plan & Follow It!
6. Flash Is NOT Discoverable By Search Engines
5. No Natural Updated Content Systems (Blogs)
4. No Sitemap? Not Crawler-Friendly?
3. Link Building Too Fast = Negative Results
2. IDX & Iframes KILLS Your Website’s SEO
1. Mobile-Friendly (iPhones, Blackberry, iPads, RIM’s Playbooks etc)

Have A Marketing Plan & Follow It!

A marketing plan gives you something to focus on so you can track your progress. Treating a website like a separate business or as your sole medium for advertising will give yourself a new perspective on how you view marketing it. In your plan you should consider the following: Goals (“250/visitors/day by jan-01-2012”), Advertising Mediums (“facebook, twitter and linked in”), Completed Leads (“5/leads/month by jan-01-2012”). By having these three aspects within your plan it will clear up any gray areas.

Flash Is NOT Discoverable By Search Engines

Flash is nice but it should consist of more than 5% of your overall website content. It should not be responsible for your navigation bars or any important links. The reason is a search engine crawler can not penetrate flash code and thus will not be able to find your pages. This is probably the most frequent mistake that I have witnessed. The rule here is limit flash.

No Natural Updated Content Systems (Blogs)

This may seem like a new concept to many of you but it is vital to the success of your real estate website and having it viewed on the first page of Google for your desired keyword/keyphrase.

Naturally updated content systems are things like blogs, forums, surveys, news sections or anything that is frequently updated. This gives Google a reason to rank your website higher because you are giving them more and more content to index.

No Sitemap? Not Crawler Friendly?

Sitemaps are like maps for search engine crawlers to quickly be directed to the pages you want [and do not] want them to index (store in the search engine). Without a sitemap the crawler simply goes to your website and follows the links on each page so if you’re website link is not easily discoverable the crawler will miss it entirely. Remember a crawler is a computer script/robot and not human so even though it may seem like an obvious link to you it may not be visible to the crawler. The rule of thumb is to always make sure your website is easily crawlable by search engines and there are many free tools online to see how crawlers view your website. Simply Google, ‘free crawler viewer’.

Link Building Too Fast = Negative Results

When considering link building as a part of your search engine optimization (SEO) campaign it is vital to remember;

Too much & too fast = negative results

When a website builds links at an “unnatural” rate it is red-flagged, so to speak, by the SE’s and that particular site is actually bumped.

Of course there are ‘blackhat’ (unethical) ways to build links fast and get one Google’s first page within one cycle however there is no telling how long that will last.

Building the links the old-fashion way will certainly be the best way to get ahead. For example, press releases accomplish building backlinks as well as exposure and not to mention that search engines absolutely love it when authoritative websites link back to you.

IDX & Iframes KILLS Your Website’s SEO

IDX is great for real estate websites to make them look populated as well as giving your visitors a broader range of listings to view. But let’s face it 9 out of 10 of the real estate websites that use IDX do not have them incorporated correctly that is why you will notice your IDX features do not blend right into your page or the IDX feed is too basic.

Aside from the designing blunders that IDX brings to the real estate website it also negatively scores your website to search engines because the IDX is not crawlable/discoverable. Depending on the type of IDX you use (Iframes or Hard-Coded API) it varies on how your website is discovered.

For instance Iframes are absolutely the worst method for IDX integration as your website is not getting the credit for the content and in actuallity your website is being hurt in the rankings for not having your own unique/natural content. The reason is Google and other search engines love original content for their cache/index and if you’re not adding to it you’re hurting it.

Hard-Coded API’s are only better than iframes because they only take a bit of the content from a website database whereas an iframe steals the entire website. Of course this hurts your website, greatly, because again Google sees your website as a director of traffic rather than a producer of traffic.

Mobile Friendly

The most recent analysis I have read regarding the percentage of users whom use their mobile devices to use the internet consists of almost 22% of ALL the traffic on the internet!

This number is alarmingly high and proves that your website must be mobile-friendly for all popular formats: iPhone, iTouch, iPad, Blackberry and RIM’s Upcoming Playbook.

Many online real estate website providers do *not* have their websites ready for mobile devices even though that is where the industry is headed. So make sure you are ahead of the curve by having your website be mobile-friendly.

Features of an Effective Real Estate Website

With the growing competition in the real estate industry, it is imperative to do something extra so that you get an edge over others. A real estate website will certainly help you to get the desired benefits. For this, it is better to hire a professional website designing company that will provide you with an advanced yet impressive realtor website.

With the advancement in technology, use of the Internet has increased. Apart from being an entertainment and information source, it is widely used as a marketing and promotional tool by almost every businesses organization today. Moreover, it has become one of the best platforms to mark your presence in any business. In fact, the real estate industry also uses the Internet as an effective marketing tool to appeal their future clients. As a real estate agent, you can take the help of the Internet to make yourself visible to your prospective clients, and a real estate website will certainly be the best option.

If you want to stay ahead in the real estate business it is necessary to create an attractive website that can influence people. Your website must be capable enough to draw the attention of your potential clients and they must find it useful. It is advisable to get your website designed by a professional designing company that will design a content rich website, which will satisfy the clients’ objectives.

A reliable and skilled website designing company will equip your real estate website with all the latest tools and features to make it powerful and help you to sustain in the business. It will strive to design such a website that will be advanced and user-friendly. The professionals will provide features to add, edit and even remove numerous listings to your website, upload photographs for listings and provide virtual tours.

You can even publish or edit multiple web pages to your website in just few simple steps. In addition to this, a professional service provider will design a website that will have clients’ testimonials served in past, personal greeting on its home page, free articles, blogs and other informational materials. Moreover, the website developer will focus on the lead generation and client management areas of your website.

The lead generation area of a website deals with the contact form, property request form, relocation request form and home value finder request form as well. The professionals provide the lead generators on every listing page to make it easy for the clients to contact you. In fact, they provide your website with a chat feature that allows the clients to have an open discussion with your executives.

Contrary to lead generation, the client management system is present at the back-end of your real estate website that provides a complete contact database to manage leads. The system also helps you to create reminders, notes and follow-ups with your clients. Moreover, newsletters also help you to keep in touch with the clients that are not visiting your real estate website.

MLS/IDX is an essential feature of a technologically advanced realtor website. It allows the users to search through the listings provided in your website. It also helps you to turn on/off MLS (Multiple Listing Service) lead capture, associate your website with other public MLS and even search through your MLS without any charges.

Is WordPress the Best Platform for Your Real Estate Website?

WordPress has become a popular choice for the development of real estate websites. However, is it the best content management system (CMS) for your real estate website? We’ll examine why it may not be the best choice for website owners.

Why Real Estate Website Designers Are Using WordPress

With WordPress being an open source and free platform, it has become the popular choice for website providers and developers. Whether you are building a community website or a store with shopping cart, the availability of third-party themes and plugins allows you to achieve just about anything you would want.

WordPress gives website developers a great starting point and tools to build a website. Back in the early years of our company, our website developers developed websites from scratch with the code using NotePad. WordPress now allows people to build websites even if they have no knowledge of coding. In fact, many who know how to build websites using WordPress now call themselves “website developers” even though they have no knowledge of the actual website coding.

Doing It Yourself – The WordPress Learning Curve

If you have little or no knowledge of website development, the WordPress learning curve will be steep. Hosting and installing WordPress can be an intimidating and daunting task. Even with the availability of installation guides, the installation of just WordPress itself can be a nightmare if you have no knowledge of the hosting lingo. When you do get WordPress installed, you have a generic website that requires the installation of third-party themes and plugins. This is where we see most users just throw in the towel and contact us. They have a project they wished they never started, and the time they’ve spent trying to launch their website could have been spent towards growing their business and getting more clients.

Having Somebody Build Your WordPress Real Estate Website

Even if you have somebody build your website for you using WordPress, we still see many users coming to us for help. They still feel their website content is hard to manage and the change of their design nearly impossible. The main reason is that since WordPress was designed for everybody of all industries, there is so much in the backend that it becomes overwhelming. Most website owners only require a small percentage of the features available in WordPress.

Design

WordPress can build beautiful and attractive real estate websites with many real estate themes available to install. Themes give you a great starting point, but they still require customization to achieve the website you really want. A WordPress theme comes generic, requiring quite a bit of customization to personalize it for your business. From our experience, a WordPress theme will only get you about 50% of where you actually want to be with your website. The other 50% requires stripping the loaded theme to only the things you want, adding your own relevant content and images, installation of plugins, and design customization.

WordPress Vulnerability

With the popularity of WordPress comes many struggles for real estate website owners. One such major and vital struggle is website security. Once a hacker finds one vulnerability in WordPress, all WordPress websites become open to an attack. In November 2014, a vulnerability was discovered that left almost 86 percent of the 75 million WordPress websites open to an attack. Just a month earlier, 800,000 banking credentials were stolen from hacked WordPress websites.

If your website is built on WordPress, most likely it is using third-party plugins. These third-party plugins can also contain vulnerabilities making your website open to an attack. If a vulnerability is found in the plugins, you are then at the mercy of the third-party developer to fix the security issue.

Now, it is up to you if you are going to use WordPress as your platform for your business or not. It is also your choice if you will do it yourself or you will hire somebody to do it for you.

The Profusion360 Platform – The Best Solution for Real Estate Websites

Profusion360 wanted to develop its very own CMS platform that was designed specifically for real estate website owners. From our years of experience and feedback from agents, we’ve taken the features that website owners really need and put those in our own platform. We’ve also developed our own proprietary system that will give users a website that is over 90% complete with only minor customization needed such as adding your photo, logo, and contact information. The results are beautiful, professional, modern real estate websites with an easy-to-use and powerful backend control panel that allows website owners to easily and efficiently manage their content and design.

101 Tips for Effective Real Estate Website

1. Never use pronouns like we and us in your website, instead, write a name.

2. Make your visitor comfortable by encouraging his/her confidence in your
website and remove every uncertainty you can.

3. Your website should focus on lead capture rather than drawing useless
traffic.

4. Offer listings or virtual tour of your website to your visitors.

5. Do not burden your website with too much stuff.

6. You cannot control visitor’s action but try to move them along a preferred
path.

7. Avoid spelling mistakes and other grammatical mistakes in your website
content.

8. Compare your website with the competitor’s website but do not copy.

9. Include a ‘Resource’ section for your website.

10. Add excellent quality articles to your website in order to improve real
estate marketing. Adding articles to your website will make it search engine
friendly.

11. Improve the keywords on your home page and every other page by following SEO
guidelines.

12. Add useful content in order to attract leads from your website.

13. Try to offer online support using online forms and emails.

14. Publish your press releases.

15. Submit your articles to other article directories.

16. Create a blog for your website and write on it regularly.

17. Add a forum to your website or add link of your website to other forums

18. Add your website to major and minor search engines, so that any person can
see your website.

19. Try to expand your website by adding more of quality content that is not
only appealing but attractive enough to catch visitors to your website.

20. Increase your knowledge of internet technology and the tools you can use to
promote your website.

21. Share your website link with other websites and vice-versa, irrespective of
their page rank.

22. Eliminate all points of attrition present in your website.

23. Use RSS Feeds on your website to provide visitors with fresh news every time
they visit your website.

24. Never relocate your blog once it has been there for a long time.

25. Promote your blog by listing the same in blog directories

26. In order to capture maximum leads from your website, use both online and
offline marketing tools on your website.

27. Get your website address printed on your business card or every postcard you
send.

28. Try to add keywords in hyperlinks as search engines do read the text within
hyperlinks.

29. Offer an eye catching report about real estate on your website and offer
them to the visitors for free.

30. Offer tips for first time home buyers and other relevant information in your
blog

31. Allow users to choose the option of contacting them by phone or not.

32. If you are losing visitors to your website then add more valuable and useful
content.

33. Use pay per click advertising method for your website. Go for Google AdWords.

34. Work in partnership with other website owners and try to overcome your
weaknesses.

35. Never use same real estate strategies on your website as found on others.
Use new strategies of real estate that could not be found on any other website,
as this will help the visitor to remember your website.

36. Design your website for your visitors and not for the competitors.

37. Research the top keywords for your website and dedicate one separate page
for each of the top keywords.

38. Add a sitemap file to your website in order to get listed in search engines.

39. Provide easy navigation to the visitors.

40. Add an html sitemap for your visitors to read and follow the links present
within your website.

41. Use imagination while framing new real estate marketing strategies.

42. Never repeat your real estate strategy.

43. Adopt modern ways of communication in your website.

44. Visitors who sign up on your website must be sent a professional and
enthusiastic message.

45. Provide a clean and simple home page to the visitors.

46. Offer direction to visitors even though they will make their own move.

47. Be interactive with your website visitors.

48. While linking to other websites try to capture the links wisely.

49. Add another website along with your first website, in order to attract other
visitors. Sometimes, the visitors who aren’t satisfied with your first website
may become a lead on your second website.

50. Clean up the unnecessary posts from your blog regularly

51. Ban users from blogs that are real estate agents and are trying to take up
your business.

52. Never post your email address directly on your website otherwise you will be
spammed daily with tons of junk email.

53. Provide your visitors with a free real estate book that should title
something like, “XX Secrets to real estate marketing” or “Make money with real
estate”.

54. Improve your website’s credibility by making it more attractive and
inviting.

55. Use every weapon you have got to beat your competitors.

56. Use all the latest technologies on your website but in a wise manner.

57. Add your blog to real estate encyclopedia like Inman Wiki.

58. Improve your website presence by adding your website in each and every
search engine.

59. Check your website statistics and analyze the weak points.

60. Track your website’s visibility using Google Analytics.

61. Spread your website link through emails, blogs, posts, forums, etc.

62. Foremost objective of your website should be lead generation.

63. Provide your visitors the option to create and add pages of their choice.

64. Provide promotional tips to your visitors for free.

65. Make your website Google friendly.

66. Target negative keywords also for your real estate website.

67. While adding articles go for quality and not quantity.

68. Make your website load faster.

69. Reduce the size of images you use on your website.

70. Add Google ads on your website in order to generate revenue.

71. Choose a domain service that offers uninterrupted service with 24 hrs.
Uptime.

72. Provide your visitors a free eBook when they contact you using the contact
form.

73. For a real estate to be effective, answer your customers within the least
possible time and not more than 24 hrs.

74. Provide other valuable downloads to your members.

75. Put pictures of the property you are selling on your website.

76. Point links that are useful to your visitors.

77. Don’t make your website page too lengthy. It should not me more than 1000
words.

78. Provide specific information to the visitor instead of useless and lengthy
content.

79. Include meta tags in your website

80. Target a specific market first instead of targeting the entire country at
once.

81. Be patient while promoting your website as the effects are seen in long
term.

82. Use MLS feeds

83. Provide a Google map of the area or the property you are selling.

84. Allow multiple listing enquiries.

85. Update your website content on a weekly basis.

86. Allow the users to see the listing in one click instead of following a long
path to see a particular listing.

87. Add Google feedback to your website.

88. Add a mortgage calculator to your website.

89. Add testimonials from your past clients so that visitors can learn about
your credibility.

90. Do not use pre-designed templates or frame-based sites as they hurt you on
the search engine rankings.

91. Let the user know about your background by creating an about us or about me
page.

92. Try not to use Flash technology on your website as it also hurts the search
engine rankings.

93. Arrange home buying seminars on your website.

94. Make sure you retain ownership of your website; a lot of web design
companies will own the site even after payment.

95. Do not overwhelm your potential clients with useless cookie cutter articles
provided by a lot of web design companies; instead try giving them useful
content yourself.

96. Gain control on the content of your website. Ask your web designer to give
you the ability to easily edit and add content to the site yourself.

97. Do not use pop-ups to annoy to potential client on your site.

98. Always post your website link within the signature of blogs and message
boards.

99. Make sure your website appears on all resolutions without having to scroll
horizontally.

100. Check the site in multiple browsers to ensure browser compatibility.

101. Finally, post your links in any relevant online resource but make sure not
to spam. This will not only help you in your rankings but also build your online
credibility.

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