Web Design Best Practices for Home Builders

Web Design Best Practices for Home Builders

Web Design Best Practices for Home Builders

There are some general best practices for modern web design, which you may already be aware of. But there are also some web design best practices for home builders to implement in their website design to ensure that their sites are reaching their ideal clients and converting them to leads. 

Images of Your Homes—Front and Center

Beautiful homes are going to be what’s compelling to your prospective clients, so put high quality, professional photography of some of your best homes right in front of their noses. 

Images of gorgeous homes are going to be attractive to your website visitors, since what they want to see, and ultimately, what they want to purchase, are gorgeous homes. 

Good photos of the homes you build should be the center of your design, and your content should support that, rather than the other way around. Plus, images are easy to share on social media platforms, which is the new word-of-mouth.

Social Media Integration

Ensuring that your site integrates social media can increase the buzz about your homes and can make your site more user-friendly. People are going to want to share images of your homes via social media.

Make sure that you not only have those attractive, high-quality images, but also social sharing buttons. Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Houzz are all possible mediums that visitors might use to share your photos.

Additionally, if your company is on any of these social media platforms (and it should be, especially Houzz!) they should be integrated into your site so users can easily navigate to your company’s profile on any of those platforms so they can engage with you there.

Mobile-Responsive Design

Any site in 2019 needs to be mobile-responsive. More than 60 percent of all web searches are done on mobile devices, which means that there’s a big chance that your website visitors are looking at your site on a smartphone, tablet, or other small screen. 

If your site is difficult to navigate for mobile users, you’ll miss out on a lot of valuable mobile traffic. Google penalizes sites that aren’t mobile-friendly, and mobile-friendly sites are easier for users to share, getting your name in front of more potential future clients.

Quick Loading Time

Since people are going to be visiting your site on mobile devices, on the go, a quick load time is essential. While your visitors are going to want to see gorgeous images of your homes, they don’t want to wait for tons of pictures to load.

If it takes more than 3 seconds (just 3 seconds!) for your site to load, more than 50 percent of visitors will navigate away from your site to somewhere else. Click To TweetKeep them on your site and off your competitors’ with a design that facilitates quick loading. 

Explain Who You Are and Why You’re Different From the Competition

If there’s something you can do to ensure that your site isn’t just generating leads, but quality leads, it’s to explain who you are, what you do, and why your company is different from the other home builders in your area. 

Your niche and market need to be clearly outlined on your website. If they’re not, you’re going to miss out on calls from your ideal clients—and get a bunch of calls from people who aren’t good fits for the homes you build, such as people outside of your location or looking for a home that’s not in your price range. 

If you’re a luxury home builder in the Grand Rapids area, make sure you specify that clearly on your site in a place that’s impossible for site visitors to miss. 

Calls to Action

Calls to Action (CTAs) are crucial design elements for home builder sites. Why? Because you want visitors to your site to take action… by getting in touch with you. CTAs make it easier for people to do just that. 

CTAs are usually bright-colored buttons that invite website visitors to click on them. They usually have text that asks a user to do something specific, like “Request a Quote” or “Schedule a Consultation.”

Landing Pages

Landing pages are pages where a visitor “lands” after clicking on a CTA or a digital ad. It restricts their navigation options and allows the visitor to complete a form with their contact information in exchange for information that you provide them.

That information needs to be something of value to your visitor, to make giving you their contact info worthwhile. Things like ebooks and guides offering information about “How to Design Your Dream Home” or “Everything You Need to Know About Home Design,” motivate visitors to convert by completing the landing page form.

Landing pages are a critical design feature for home builder websites because they can help you:

  • Convert qualified visitors to leads
  • Direct visitors to information relevant to them
  • Build your authority and credibility by providing valuable information to visitors
  • Track where visitors are coming to your site from
  • Capture analytics that you can use to determine marketing ROI and optimize your digital marketing efforts

Check out this blog for more information about optimizing landing pages.

Outline Your Homebuilding Process

Also, explain your process. Prospective home buyers are going to want to know how you build homes, how long it takes, and what else they should expect before they will put down any money on their new home. 

Outlining your process right on your website is transparency that your clients will value, and it can head off a lot of the initial questions you frequently receive from interested parties. Click To Tweet

Don’t Over-Focus on Content

Content definitely matters, on any site, and we’ll always say that, but content shouldn’t be the centerpiece of your home builder site. Images and calls to action are going to be center-stage on your site, so don’t write 2,000 word essays for each and every page.

Using good SEO practices and keyword optimization are essential, of course. But long blocks of text are going to turn away site visitors who don’t need to read in so many words that you build homes—they need to see what your homes look like, and know how to request a site plan or pricing. 

As a home builder, your website is your digital portfolio—it’s what potential clients look at to see if your houses are what they’re looking for. If you don’t have a stunning website that’s image forward, let’s chat. We can build you a site that’s not only beautiful but also functional. 

And if you’d like to know more about our experience with home builders and real estate developers, be sure to check out the case study below:

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Real Estate Marketing 101: Create a Content Calendar That Sells Homes

Real Estate Marketing 101: Create a Content Calendar That Sells Homes

Real Estate Marketing 101: Create a Content Calendar That Sells Homes

Creating a content calendar that fills houses and sells lots:

If you’re a housing developer, you know that any marketing strategy you use has to be time-efficient. You need to fill homes and sell lots quickly to see quality returns on your investment. If you’ve been considering content marketing as a part of your digital marketing strategy, but aren’t sure if it’s an effective use of your time, we hear you. It’s not always easy to write blog posts regularly, get them posted, and then promote them. That said, content marketing is one of the easiest, most cost effective ways to get eyes on your site. All it really takes is time.

But, if like many housing developers, you’re a little short on time, know that you can still have the best of both worlds by creating a content calendar. Content calendars help take some of the work out of creating a regular blog posting schedule by outlining the topic, description, and keyword for each upcoming post. We develop content calendars for each of our clients at the beginning of the year. We outline exactly what it is we’re going to write about and when, and then we give the calendar to the client for approval. That way, once it comes back approved, all we have to do is write the posts for the year. There’s no guesswork or question about what we’re doing, and when it needs to go out.

Content calendars outline the topic, description, and keyword for each month’s upcoming posts.

A content calendar is a great solution for busy home developers, because it allows you to stick to a schedule, and it makes it easy to hand off the blog writing to whoever has a little extra time that month. Since the topics are already created, any decent writer can write the blog. So, how to create a content calendar that draws in qualified leads?

First, think about who you’re writing to

This goes back to that target market we’re always talking about. To whom would you like to sell your homes? Are you developing a community that’s largely centered around seniors? Or are you building homes for young, growing families? It’s important to pinpoint who your target buyer is before you start developing your content, because the age range and general lifestyle of that buyer will influence the types of content that you put out.

Then, pick three categories

After you’ve identified your specific target buyer, it’s time to start creating content, or at least topics to write about that speak to your buyer. To make sure your content calendar doesn’t become stale or boring, we recommend picking three or four categories to center your content calendar around, and alternating between categories each month.

For example, one of our developer clients is working on filling a sustainable mountain living community near Asheville, NC. Our content calendar revolves around three major topics: things to do in Asheville, home ownership, and lifestyle blogs that focus on the activities that their target buyers most enjoy. For them, that’s biking, hiking, kayaking, and backpacking—outdoor activities that encourage appreciation of the natural world.

By segmenting our content calendar into these three categories, we’re able to reach the client’s target buyer in more than one way. We’re appealing to the sense of place that their development offers, we’re drawing in potential buyers who like to do activities that the other residents like to do, and we’re also targeting the thing that’s most relevant to the development, which is home ownership.

Your content calendar can focus on similar topics.

  • What is interesting about the location of your development, and what’s happening in nearby cities?
  • What content will homeowners in your area want to read about?
  • What activities are your target buyers interested in?

By filling your content calendar with topics that aren’t always the same, you’ll have a number of different, interesting blogs that will work to draw new people to your site. By writing content about your area, you get the added bonus of identifying your location for both search engines and consumers, making it more likely that you’ll pop up in local search results.

Remember that your content strategy is never about you. Rather, it should be a resource for your target buyers. You want them to love the content you’re putting out so much that they subscribe and never miss a post. The only way to do that is to create content they care about, which isn’t going to be monthly updates on how the development of your community is going.

Finishing up

While creating the topics is definitely the hardest part of any content calendar, don’t just stop when you have the right number of ideas. A content calendar should also include a keyword, title for the post, and description of what you meant when you came up with the topic. To save yourself extra time, consider adding in your call-to-action.

Save yourself additional time by writing your CTA into the content calendar.

This is often a tedious part to write at the bottom of your blog post. It talks about how great your community is, and where people can find you if they’re interested in one of your homes. Add that right into your content calendar now, and you won’t have to worry about it later.

Schedule

Once you’ve got the calendar fully filled out, create a publishing schedule. Put a date on each post, both to give yourself a deadline, and to make sure you don’t have any long gaps between posts. With a posting date, it’ll be clear when you need to start writing, and you’ll have something holding you accountable to get that content out into the world.

When your content calendar has a posting schedule, topics for every month, descriptions, keywords, titles, and CTAs, you’re done!

Well, done with the content calendar at least. You’ll still have to write the posts themselves if you’re looking to draw in those qualified buyers, but you won’t have to worry in the future about deciding what to write, and getting it out in a timely fashion. With a schedule and plenty of topics already set to go, writing a blog post is easy.

Content calendars are a seriously handy tool for any housing developer short on time. If you want to create one, but still aren’t sure what to write about, or how to go about getting started, get in touch. We’re sort of content calendar experts, and would love to help you optimize your content marketing strategy for success. To see how we’ve helped other housing developers boost revenue and sell homes, check out the case study below:

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