Tag Archives for " Website choices for Real Estate "
It's April 21st today. Unless you've been living under a rock, you know today is the day that Google's Mobile Algorithm sets in.
Actually, there has already been movement in the SERPS for a couple of months now regarding Mobile Friendly sites.
First of all, it is NOT the end of the world. So if you are panicking because your site is still not mobile friendly, relax.
There is a lot of “end of the world for your website” rumors and such all over the internet and on social media and landing in your email inbox.
I am not diminishing the importance of being Mobile Friendly. I just want you to know the facts and what can you do to fix your site if you are not passing the Google Mobile Friendly test.
Your site won't be de-indexed or punished for not being mobile friendly.
Google is not trying to punish us. In fact, this is the first time in the history of Google that they have actually come out publicly to announce an algorithm change. That is unprecedented. That right there, tells us that they are giving us fair warning of this change and they also know that this will affect SO many businesses that they gave plenty of time for site owners to make sure their sites are mobile friendly.
What is going to happen is that if your site is not mobile friendly- it will have an impact on the Mobile Search rankings.
Google will show the mobile friendly websites first in the mobile search results. They are not getting rid of your site.
What this means is that Google is going to detect those who are on mobile devices when they are searching. Those results will appear to the searcher who is searching for keywords on their phones.
So if your site is not mobile friendly your rankings will take a beating. But let's say that your competitors are also NOT mobile friendly:). Well, we shall see what this looks like starting today! It is best to be the first one mobile friendly!
BUT this does not apply to your desktop rankings. And Google has announced this will also not apply to iPads and other devices like that. It does not apply to laptop rankings.
What can you do right now, today to get your site mobile friendly?
Before you do anything make sure your site's theme does not have a mobile update.
Sometimes all you need to do is update your theme in your wordpress dashboard and you are set.
This is a quick band-aid that you can do right now if you have a wordpress website:
1. Go to your wordpress dashboard.
2. Move your mouse over “appearance”.
3. Click on “themes”.
You will see these free wordpress themes:
4. Choose any of these themes. Remember, these are not a permanent resolution. But all of these are updated constantly by wordpress. They are the only safe free themes that you can apply.
5. Click on the theme and then click “activate”.
Warning: You won't lose your posts, tags, categories, etc. You may lose other data. Always do a back-up of your site first. There are no guarantees that some of your data won't appear wonky or have alignment issues, etc. We are not responsible for anything that goes amiss on your site or anything else happens to your site.
Now go to the Google Mobile Friendly testing page here:
Add the URL of your site there and it will run a test on your site.
This fast fix is temporary but it gets your site to pass the test. Then you can start working on getting another theme that is mobile friendly.
Mobile Friendly and Responsive are not the same thing.
A mobile friendly site must be usable, legible and available.
Mobile Friendly means that someone searching on their phone clicks your website they get a mobile version of your website. Here is an example of what that might look like:
What is important for Mobile Friendly:
* Large text that's easy to read ( I've been saying this for years:))
* The content fits on the small screen
* Well- spaced links
* Mobile friendly plugins
You are not alone if you are not mobile friendly. Over 40% of the Fortune 500 companies are NOT mobile friendly.
Mobile search is so important today and Google knows that. That is why they are working to make sure that the search that mobile users receive is a great experience. 67% of all searches are from mobile devices now. Google is not making money on mobile search because people don't like the mobile web experience they are getting. Google needs to make money somehow on all this mobile search.
One way they can do that is to force website owners to make their websites mobile friendly so that the user experience becomes a good one, then Google will be able to monetize better.
Responsive design means that your website will adjust to any screen that it is on. Your site determines what someone is searching on – desktop, laptop, smart phone or iPad. It also fits to the size of the screen that is viewing the site. That means that your responsive website looks good on a 21 inch screen or a 12 inch screen.
It is important that your end goal should be for your website to become responsive. There are a lot of great responsive themes on the market.
Right now it is more important for your site to be mobile friendly versus responsive because that is what Google is focusing on right now.
However, the problem that happens with mobile friendly is that ALL your pages may not be mobile friendly. The question arises is:
Will Google rank your pages or just your site?
Right now Google says it is page by page. But we all know that Google changes:).
If your site is mobile friendly with 50% of your pages but your competitor has 70% pages mobile friendly – is that going to hurt your rankings?
Google has not indicated how this will affect your rankings.
What if you know your site is mobile friendly but you are still failing Google's mobile friendly test?
This could be a very simple issue with your wordpress settings. Check your settings.
Make sure the box is NOT checked where the arrow indicated in the above screenshot.
Google bots can not crawl your site in order to even check to see if your site is mobile friendly and worse yet, your site won't get indexed.
Feel free to contact me to go over your website options. We can go over your site together and figure out your best course of action in moving forward and becoming mobile friendly and/or responsive.
Video – How to Choose the Right Website for Your Target Market – Digital Marketing Strategies.
Here is the video version of “How to Choose the Right Website for Your Target Market”.
In case you don't have time to read the text version and if you are a very visual person, this may be the best way for you to embrace the content.
Here is the link to the text version of How to Choose the Right Website for Your Target Market.
Here is the link to the podcast version in case you like to listen and learn:
Click here to go to the podcast post where you can download the audio file.
Here is the link to my iTunes channel where you can subscribe to my podcast and listen at your leisure:
Make sure you subscribe to my blog to keep up to date with Digital Marketing Strategies.
Welcome to another episode of my podcast. How to Choose the Right Website for Your Target Market. We are going to go over the five most important steps in making the right choice in your website design and application. You can listen to my podcast by subscribing in iTunes too.
If you would like to read the text version of this podcast – click here. There are images of screenshots of different website samples that are not shown on the podcast.[powerpress]http://katerinagasset.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/How-To-Choose-The-Right-Website-For-Your-Target-Market.m4a[/powerpress]
You can click the above player and the media file will automatically download to your media files.
Or you can subscribe to my iTunes channel in the iTunes store:
In the podcast:
0:23 – Step 1 – Find out who your avatar is, your ideal client, target market, etc.
0:41 – Step 2 – Choose a website design that serves a purpose not your ego
7:05 – Step 3 – Make sure your site is mobile friendly
8:52 – Step 4 – Choose the website platform that is going to resonate with your avatar and be easy for you to use and add content to on the blog post at least.
23:24 – Step 5 – Now that you have chosen which website you are going to run with get ALL your content together at once.
Websites – What Kind of a Website Should I Get?
What kind of website do you need to have?
What kind of website do you want to have?
Before you answer either of those questions the first step to choosing a website is to find out:
The famous copywriter Gary Halbert would ask his students:
“If you were to open a restaurant what would be the single most important factor for your success?”
The students would give answers like:
Gary Halbert would say they were all wrong.
What you need is a bunch of HUNGRY customers!!!!
It is the same thing with opening up a website.
You need to be in front of the customers that want something that you have to offer.
If you have these words at the top of your website:
“Our real estate company works with integrity and we are honest” Who cares? I am not saying that people want to work with crooked salespeople but that is just not what they are hungry for when they are searching on the internet.
I highly doubt this is the search being put into google right now by buyers and sellers:
” hard working honest real estate agent full of integrity in Wellington Florida ..”
You MUST first and foremost KNOW what resonates with your avatar, what is she or he really looking for? What kind of information do they crave that they are not finding on the other sites?
The biggest mistake that REALTORS® make is they go out to buy a website BEFORE they even know who their target market is. They buy a website based on what THEY like!
Get over yourself. Your website is not about what you like and want unless it is your vanity page.
If you are going to choose a website for your ideal customers – do your research and find out what they want the site to look like.
Don't buy websites because your other real estate friends are buying a certain site. Don't buy websites and pay for high design fees just to look pretty on the internet. That is a recipe for disaster. When agents hire me to coach them many of them have spent over $10,000 on websites that will never rank in Google or be very very hard to rank.
There are millions of websites that are not mobile friendly now. It has become such a problem that Google is actually sending out emails to website owners to warn them that their websites are not mobile friendly. Read more on this post I wrote about Google sending out mobile friendly notices.
If you are starting all over again or are at the stage of choosing a website there are different options and most of those options now have a mobile friendly version that is a click of a button and some edits. There is no reason to have to pay for two websites, one that is mobile friendly and one for computer screens. A small upgrade in price for custom designed sites to add on the mobile compatibilities is normal.
Choose the website platform that is going to resonate with your avatar and be easy for you to use and add content to on the blog page at least.
There are many different platforms and we have tried most of them. After using different platforms and with Mary McKnight's design input when she was here – these are the best suggestions we have:
1. Custom designed wordpress sites that are high end and highly functional will cost you around $6,000 and up. We know a fabulous custom designer for this area of design- Inna Hardison. Not all agents need a site such as this because not all consumers are looking for this style of a site. Let me know if you need an introduction.
2. Semi-custom designed wordpress sites that you can build yourself or have us build for you. If you want to build your own site with a very flexible theme that can have the blog page running down the home page or on a blog page and then have a home page design with a call to action- these will run you around $2,900.
You will need to have your own hosting account on Bluehost, not godaddy. You can get a hosting account for a very low price. I have seen sales at about $3.95 per month which you pay annually.
This style of site works well in Luxury niche markets and to market to sellers. We do not use IDX on our sites anymore. Instead of a lot of pages of unimportant content and duplicate content from IDX providers- we use home search widgets that serve a higher purpose.
Here is a screenshot of one of the websites that I designed for a REALTOR® in North Carolina:
Her home search widgets go right to her Market Leader site where she can capture them in her Market Leader CRM. That way, everything is in one place, saving a lot of time, effort and money.
The website is not totally finished yet. I am still waiting for items from her in order to finish the site.
Here is a brand new site that I am currently building for a REALTOR® in Canada. Again, the focus on this site is for sellers to contact him. Here is a screenshot of the home page which is the only page nearly completed at this time.
We re-designed his sell my home page and turned that into a squeeze page.
A squeeze page has ONLY one call to action and NO menu bar or navigation to be able to click around. The purpose is to either get the person to call you or give his email address. The email address part is not functional yet. They had a very outdated website before we started this one:
The only cost to these websites is your design services and then yearly hosting fees and on the back end you should have a CRM or at least a place where the visitors land for their home search. You can use RealBird for this as well. Many of you have direct MLS home search widgets that you can use and will do the job just fine.
3. DIY yourself Themes in WordPress: you can build your own websites if you have the time and some eye for color and design.
The theme that I recommend for faster building is ThriveThemes. ThriveThemes has a very nice variety of themes that you can purchase very inexpensively. They also have a wordpress plugin that you can purchase and edit all your themes in a visual drag and drop format that is quick to learn and easy to implement.
Shane, the developer is from Sweden and is very exacting and methodical in his design and applications. He provides great tutorials on how to use his themes and he also have a membership forum where you can ask questions about how to do this and that. The team is very responsive. I always get an answer back within a few hours with our time difference. I suggest the yearly membership because it is very very low cost but high support and also you can use ALL of his themes within your membership and the WP plugin.
Here it the link to go to to get ThriveThemes: Thrive Themes WordPress Website Builder
(I am an affiliate of this product.)
4. Wix Websites: Wix had a great Super Bowl ad this year. If you want something simple and fast, then Wix sites may just be for your audience.
Wix sites are in html5 and with just a couple of tweaks to their mobile friendly site you have a great looking site. Wix sites are templated sites with full customization options that you just drag and drop, hold handles to resize and a lot more. You can customize to your heart's content or be very simple.
The sites are free but for SEO you need to upgrade from the free version. You also need to upgrade if you are going to use your own domain name. The hosting is very reasonable. It runs about $8 per month when you wait for a holiday sale. They offer their sites for 50% off on holidays.
Click here to learn more about creating your own Wix website.
Here is a screenshot of a website I created in Wix for a dentist. He is already getting patients from this website and it was just completed a couple of weeks ago.
Here is the link to his site if you want to browse the menu tabs and see how the rest of the pages were built: http://BestBoyntonBeachDentist.com
You can build these yourself but if you want us to build one for you – the pricing is based on what you want on your website. The site prices for us to build one start at $997.00.
5. If your audience is only buyers, if you are a buyer's agent then you can start with a very inexpensive site at Placester.com at only $10 per month.
The placestor option offer templated clean designs for you to choose from. There is no customization available and you can not add a bunch of widgets etc to the sites. But heck, you can't beat that price!!! It does include a blog page. They have a library of content that you can add to your site but I don't recommend that at all- it will dilute the authority of your website. Create your own content!
Your MLS gets pulled in through their home search results pages and of course, your MLS must approve the site. You can use domain names that you already own on the site.
This is also a great option if you want to test a specific niche market before you spend money on site design.
Here is a screenshot of the home page of the placester site that we just started:
Now that you have chosen which website you are going to run with get ALL of your content together at one time.
The biggest complaint that REALTORS® have about web designers is that their sites are unfinished. Most of the time, the agents have not provided necessary items that are requested by the web designer. Make sure you stop and take the time to put together the items that you will need.
Here is a partial list:
That is a partial list but it is always good to have all of those items in a folder labeled with your name on google drive.
Now you are off to a great start with getting your new website!!
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