Your website is where your business resides — as a real estate, insurance agent or agency, it’s like the online headquarters of your business. In today’s real estate market, many potential buyers will be using the internet and your website to find the information they need before making a decision. Whether you’re an independent realtor, insurance agent, or the owner or manager of a large agency, it is important to practice good design principles to make sure your site reaches out to the maximum number of buyers and and makes the process of requesting quotes and viewing listings as simple as possible.
When shopping for car insurance, health insurance, or trying to find real estate listings, within 3 seconds, shoppers will decide whether to engage with your website or leave. Even though your website is probably full of quality information that they would be interested in, the general flow and look of your site can be the deal maker or breaker. Real Estate and Financial services are such exciting industries to be in, there is always something innovating taking place and you have a chance to deliver an engaging and informative experience for would-be buyers. There are also lot of websites have been poorly designed and frustrated users, leaving them to rely on services like Zillow real estate and insurance marketplace websites.
In this article, I’ll discuss the 7 best practices you should follow to create a truly engaging experience that will attract buyers to your website.
1. Know Your Target Audience
It can be easy to get caught up in the concept of building your website and forget about the end user. What is your target audience? As a real estate agent, are you selling upscale, luxury apartments? Single family homes or Commercial real estate? As an insurance agent are you selling personal or small business insurance? Buyers in each of these segments will expect different shopping experiences online and knowing exactly who your target audience is will help with creating a strategy for building your website. When done correctly, it’ll be more than just a lovely visual piece. It’ll be a portal for attracting your target audience and giving them all the information they need for making the decision to purchase.
2. Make Sure Your Site Loads Fast
No one wants to wait for your site to load. Especially when trying to get a car insurance quote, an insurance quote of any kind or applying for a personal loan. The best way to ensure your website loads quickly is to reduce the number of images on your website. Having too many images makes your site load very slowly and more often than not you won’t need all these images to sell your services. If an image is truly essential to the service you’re providing, then make sure it’s optimized. There are many online imaging sites that can optimize your photos for you, or you can contact an experienced digital marketing agency to handle the formatting of your images for the web.
3.Keep Your Branding Consistent
As a real estate agent, insurance agent or financial planner, it can be easy to misunderstand how branding works. More specifically, it’s easy to misunderstand how the branding of your website can influence conversions. Whether it’s Hiscox, The Loan Exchange, or some other well known brand in the insurance or financial service industries, working as an agent gives you the benefit of having a brand name, so you should showcase that brand name is a neat and professional way and align it with your own personal brand message so your potential buyers are clear about what you stand for. Your logos, product photos, graphic images, and descriptions should be clear and appropriate. Think of branding as telling a story. You want to be sure that your website is telling the right story about who you are and how you can help.
4. Make Sure Your Design is Responsive
Having a responsive design ensures that your website is usable and looks great, regardless of the device being used to browse the site. It can be tempting to load plenty of brand and product images, but these also have to be coded to be responsive. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a website that isn’t user friendly when viewed on a tablet or mobile phone. When building an agency or independent agent website, it’s important to consider the following:
- Dropping out the less important chunks of information. Instead use a lead form to capture that information and deliver it via email or with a phone call.
- Reduce the number of processor-heavy components. Optimize your images, and make sure any embedded videos are coded to adjust with the screen size.
- Reduce the amount of text content to only the most important and relevant information.
5. Make Sure Navigation is Easy
When shopping for auto insurance, or browsing real estate listings, being able to easily find what you’re looking for is crucial! So, navigating around a website should be easy and intuitive. Think of the navigation of your website’s design is a road-map to different sections of your site and the information they’re looking for. You don’t want your visitors getting lost. An easy to navigate website increases the time a potential buyer remains on your site because they are less likely to grow frustrated and leave for a better online shopping experience.
6. Leverage Machine Learning And Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is no longer a futuristic, high-tech term and has successfully worked its way into our everyday vernacular and online experience. With all the information collected by Facebook, Google and all online social media platforms, it’s become significantly easier to deliver a personalized shopping experience. You can have your website remember the last life insurance quotes they received, or the last listings they reviewed. You can also have your website provide suggestions that are related to the listings and services they’re currently reviewing on your website. While it might seem daunting, or even scary what can be done with all this information, shoppers actually prefer having a personalized experience as it makes them feel like you’re communicating directly with them at that exact moment.
7. Put Thought Into Fonts and colors
Having bold and great fonts are one of the main trends in the industry today. All fonts should be easy to read and catches visitors attention. Efficient use of typography can compensate for sparse usage of imagery and animations, making your website visually attractive. Using different font settings create hierarchy, telling your visitors what’s important and helping them navigate the pages. Choosing certain colors also plays a vital part. You can perform some market research or even use social intelligence data to know exactly what color to use to invoke a response from the potential buyers on your website. Having vivid backgrounds call for attention and capture the user’s gaze. When using bright colors, mix them up with more soothing, toned-down complementary hues, throw in some black or white typography, and have yourself a beautiful bright product.
These 7 best website design practices are a good place to start. Then you need to test everything on your website so you know what works for your specific audience. Successful websites don’t need to have boring designs, but they do need to have smart design with a great user experience. Maybe a few trial and error will lead you to create the most beautiful and smart website design that Is yet to enter the internet.