Now more than ever, your website is your first impression with potential homebuyers. Have you made the necessary upgrades and changes to ensure that every home shopper has the same positive and consistent experience they would otherwise get in your showrooms or models?
Our website team has come up with the top 10 ingredients you need for a great website. Read on to get the recipe for success!
- Let your brand shine through
Since your website may be the first “virtual” handshake extended to a potential buyer, your brand personality must shine through. How does it feel when someone walks into a sales center or model home? What is your company known for? Are you more casual or formal? You want your website to be consistent – its messaging, content, and design – as if they were physically meeting with you.
- Create a personalized experience for the home shopper
It’s important to create a personalized experience based on the user who is visiting your site. Easy changes include modifications to your calls to action, messaging, and even some design elements based on several different user behavioral triggers. Examples include the time of day visiting your site, their location, and what type of device they’re searching with. Your ultimate goal is for a user to complete an action and convert to a lead.
- Build shopper confidence online
Trust is an essential element in starting any relationship. Especially for the largest purchase, someone will make in their lifetime. And while we can all toot our own horn, what creates credibility is hearing from other home buyers who are your customers.
Showcase testimonials and ratings & reviews on your website that talk about a variety of experiences – amazing homes, personalized attention, exceptional customer service – that bring validity to your brand and homes.
- Adaptive Design for different devices
It used to be that if a website functioned on any device it was a win. However, companies today are taking it a step further and developing websites that are designed with content tailored for each device – a desktop, tablet, or mobile view.
The reasoning is this – how people consume content is uniquely different by device. If someone is on your website, they are more likely to spend more time consuming more content. It’s the full-blown version.
But if someone is searching on a mobile, they’re probably not going to read your entire company history. Or even want to peruse through 30 different renderings vs. showcasing your bestselling five. You’ll want to hide “bloated” content that will deter vs. encourage mobile users to view your site.
- Feature the best content
Another old school discipline was to hold back your best content so that home shoppers are forced to call or reach out to you for the good stuff. But in today’s world where shoppers want complete control of the buying process, this will only deter them from engaging. Make sure your best renderings, galleries, and virtual experiences are front and center.
6. Have a solid CTA strategy
Complementary to featuring your best content is having a solid call to action (CTA) strategy on your website. The ultimate goal is to drive leads so be sure to make any and all ways to get a hold of you or a sales rep front and center on your website. “Sticky” navigation bars – online chats, social floats or click to call CTAs are easy ways that allow the shopper to control the process.
Another concept is virtual CTAs that create a sense of scarcity or urgency like a countdown timer for a promotion, inventory, or a schedule Zoom model home tour. And don’t neglect your landing pages – the same strategies apply to them.
- Provide unassisted shopping tools
Shoppers want to control the terms of their shopping experience. This includes when and where they shop. Meet them where they are by providing a chatbot on your site. Chatbots are the perfect complement to your customer service or sales rep. Statistics show that websites with chatbots have double the conversion rate than those that do not. And for those that can’t visit your models during banking hours, unassisted tours like UTour are a secure and ideal solution for home shoppers. Rumor has it, they’re the new Saturday night date!
- Select a flexible and easy CMS
In today’s world, not pivoting fast can cost you. A website with a flexible and easy content management system (CMS) is critical to being able to edit content and move quickly. What are the essentials of a good CMS?
- Makes it easy to update the website with coding
- Provides a simple interface that allows for previewing content
- Can replicate templates or content
- Provides flexibility to design for any device
- Manages all of your listing data in one place
- Leveraging metrics for decision making
A great website provides a wealth of data to leverage. A simple way to slice your data is based on these three metric categories:
- Acquisition metrics – this data helps you understand how you are acquiring visitors. Where is your traffic coming from? What pages are they landing on?
- Behavior metrics – this data helps you understand what someone is doing once they land on your site. What is the bounce rate for the site? How many pages per session is someone viewing? How long are they staying on your site?
- Conversion metrics – the ultimate holy grail. How many direct leads and sales calls is the website driving?
- Bring your entire ecosystem together
Your website should welcome a visitor no matter where they are in the customer journey – whether they are just starting to the process of building their dream home, virtually visiting homes to determine the model they want to purchase, or are ready to make design selections online. Doing this will ensure that every visitor feels welcome and engaged on your website!
Want to go deeper and get more information on creating a website that makes it easier for home shoppers to purchase a new home? Check out our whitepaper, How Home Builders Can Create a Killer Website.
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