Best practices for updating your website’s homepage
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Launching a real estate website, as with all new projects, requires a good deal of planning and consideration. There are a few points that should be considered before undertaking the actual development itself.
Ensure that you have registered the domain that you're going to be marketing and have it pointed to the server that will be hosting your website. If you already have an active website and this is a redevelopment be sure to have let your current registrar know that you will be needing to point it to a new server in the near future and request any additional information that they may require.
Development can rarely start without the relevant content. Ensure that you have your branding and relevant real estate company information available to your development team. Few things can delay the development of a website like the lack of relevant content and associated branding. Without the correct information creative teams are unable to proceed in any direction.
There are now numerous social media channels to choose from. While you may only wish to be an active participant in certain channels it is advisable that you register your company's brand name or trading name in as many as possible. This will reduce the likelihood of someone registering something similar or someone searching for your company and not being able to find you.
Crucial content for launch:
Static Content Pages:
These are the pages that offer consistent information. These pages are rarely updated, usually covering the history of your company, services you may offer or other specific areas of expertise. These pages become reference points for visitors, search engines or even offline marketing efforts.
This section of your website may not be updated regularly but you should ensure that you have profiled areas that you are most active. By adding in information specific to particular areas, especially information that might not be otherwise easily available, you immediately position yourself as an expert in that area.
Much like the area profiles, these pieces should be specific to property or areas that you are most active. This places you and your real estate business as a leader, or authority, for related matters. By doing this you are adding value to your website that might not be available elsewhere and in doing so offer an immediate incentive to subscribe to a newsletter.
Last, but certainly not least, when ready to launch ensure that all listings you have available are active on your website. You are after all in the real estate business, by ensuring that all of your listings are active you will offer visitors your widest range of property available while gaining as much possible exposure for each listing you may have.
Once development of the website is complete, you’re finally ready to launch your website and announce it to the world:
Register your website with the major search engines (Google and Bing). Through their various toolsets, you can track and monitor how often they crawl through your website and quickly identify any possible errors. Sitemaps can be submitted to both Bing and Google, however contrary to popular belief this is not the same as "submitting your website to the search engines" and won't guarantee that your website will get ranked.
Ensure that you have some form of onsite tracking in place. It is important to know how much traffic your website is receiving, where your visitors are coming from and which sources are providing the best quality traffic. This helps later identify marketing opportunities that might otherwise have been overlooked.
It can often take some time for search engines to start generating traffic for your website. That said, one should never rely entirely on search engines for your traffic, their algorithms are constantly changing with traffic volumes fluctuating quite significantly at times. There are other avenues that you can use to promote your newly launched website, including:
• Email alerts - if you already have a website or if you've been in the real estate business for some time, you should already have a database of prospective clients. Let them know of your new website through an email marketing campaign, these are after all people who have already shown interest in your real estate business.
• Press releases - there are numerous real estate portals that are willing to publish your real estate release. A professionally written piece not only helps advertise your real estate business and professional approach to property, but can also help promote your website.
• Paid search - before your website is able to start generating traffic from organic search it is possible to bid on keywords and immediately generate traffic from related searches.
• Social media campaigns - get people talking about your new website through social media. Create a buzz through anticipation of the "next big thing" offering some form of incentive to those that follow or like your real estate brand.
At Prop Data we like the process from concept to active website to be as simple and seamless as possible for each and every one of our clients. The process from concept to completion should be an enjoyable and exciting one. Check out what some of our clients have to say about their Prop Data experience.