Having a mobile responsive real estate website is important but it’s only the beginning. With more people accessing the internet from their mobile device, your website needs to do more than fit the small screen. It also needs to be easy to use, appealing, and helpful.
To keep potential buyers and sellers on your website longer, make sure your mobile responsive website does more than eliminate the need for the pinch and expand method.
Assuming your website has different sections and features for buyers, sellers, renters, investors, and other audiences, finding relevant information needs to be simple. Adding large, easy-to-find and use menus will help. You can have the drop down menu at the top of the screen or go further and add separate menus in the center of the screen that lead people to the information they want.
This goes beyond prominent menus to simply making your website easier to use on a mobile device. Some people might be on a tablet but the vast majority will be on their phone. Small screens mean that it’s too easy to tap what you think is the right button and end up on the wrong page. Make sure the buttons on your mobile site are big enough to use effectively. If a potential buyer or seller gets frustrated trying to navigate your website, they’re likely to navigate away to someone else.
Once you’ve got a person on your website, you want to keep them there. If they figure out you’re sharing good information, they’ll want to look for more. Your search bar should be easy to find and big enough to use quickly and efficiently. Test it yourself on your own smartphone. If you can’t easily tap and type, neither can a visitor.
Having a lot of information on your website is a good thing but it also needs to be readable. Instead of a wall of text that’s difficult to comprehend on any screen, break up your paragraphs. Use bullet points and subheadings to give everyone’s eyes a break. On the front page or main page of any topic or category, focus more on images and usability so that a user can find what they need. If they can find an interesting title or topic, they’ll tap to read it. Once they’ve done and they’re looking at the blog post, make sure the text itself is easy to read on a small screen.
Just like you don’t want the notorious wall of text on a small screen, you also don’t want too much clutter on a small screen. If a visitor can’t focus on any single thing, they’re unlikely to stick around. Don’t be afraid to remove some elements or hide them in a menu. The entire kitchen sink doesn’t need to be on your homepage – on a mobile device or not.
What do you want people to do when they arrive at your website? Should they register to save a search? Subscribe to get listing information? Whatever it is, on a mobile device, the call-to-action (CTA) should be clearly visible and easy to use. Once they tap on it, the form should also be mobile responsive. If you make it hard for them to give you their information, they’re less likely to follow through.
You already know how important beautiful images are when listing a property. They’re equally important when enticing someone to stay on your website. You need to find the balance between not enough and too many images. The last thing you want is for the screen to look cluttered, so layout is important. You also want to make sure only the best images show up on your home page, especially on a small screen.
All of these things are important on your website, whether someone views it on a mobile device or a desktop computer. But with such a small space and only a few seconds to catch their attention, what someone sees from their mobile device is even more important. It’s not enough for your website design to move everything around and make it “look okay” on mobile. What you really need to do is stand out and get people’s attention before they click or tap away.
Former Communications Director for a local Realtor Association and a big cheerleader for all things real estate related, Michaela is now a full-time freelance writer specializing in real estate and other business industries. When she's not writing the serious business-y stuff, she's likely to be found writing about the hilarity of being a Mom to two rowdy boys.