When you have your professional photo taken, do you roll right out of bed and get your photo taken without showering or getting dressed in your professional clothes? Do you go there without brushing your teeth or brushing your hair?
Of course not. You want your picture to look like you at your best. You want to look put together, professional and respectable.
Can you say the same about your website? Your website is your professional representation of yourself on the web. It is where prospects go to learn who you are and in some cases it is where your clients go to search for a new home. Does your website represent you and make you look put together, professional and respectable? Or is it a mess?
The following are 12 website mistakes that make you look unprofessional with a few bonus resources sprinkled in.
1. Not Responsive
You are an agent and you have a smart phone and more than likely a tablet. Have you checked out your own website on your phone or tablet? If you do and it does not look good, your website is not responsive. That means it only looks good on desktop or laptop based browsers and that’s not good.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 89% of the population uses mobile devices to gather information on the home buying process and to search for a home. If a prospect is looking for an agent online and comes across your site and it doesn’t look good on their mobile device they will click away. They won’t even give your site the time of day. Make sure your site is responsive and looks good across all browsers.
To see how your site looks on other browsers, tablets and mobile devices check out Screenfly.
2. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is a practice that was popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Agents would take the cities that they work in and stick them all at the bottom in the footer of their site. This was to get Google to pick up the agent’s site when someone would search City Name + real estate. This actually use to work for search engine optimization purposes and agents would get leads this way.
Now did you know Google penalizes websites for keyword stuffing? Google rewards websites by having good content on the site, not keywords stuffed in every paragraph or footer, so pleas get rid of all the keywords in the footer of your website. Plus it just does not look good!
Click to see images with examples of keyword stuffing.
3. Bad Colors
Are the colors on your site too bold or too bland? Are you keeping enough white space on your site or do you have a background color that is hard on the eyes? Today good website design favors a clean website with a white background and one to two main colors as accents throughout the site. Going crazy with the colors is a turn off for your readers and will make them look elsewhere for their real estate needs. Also if the background on your website is black or red stop reading this now and go change it! That is hard on a reader’s eyes!
Check out this infographic of colors on the psychology of good color design.
4. Broken Pages
Have you looked at all the pages on your website to make sure they are functioning correctly? Look for broken areas or pop-ups that don’t work right. Look for broken text or smashed together images that are out-of-place. Also check for broken links to make sure that the links are still working correctly. If you have a slider on your website make sure all the photos are working and are not stretched in a strange way.
Check out BrokenLinkCheck.com to check for broken links on your website.
When a reader goes to your site is it clear where their eyes should fall? Do their eyes go right to the main part of the content or does your reader get a headache not knowing where to look? If your page is full of clutter it is confusing to the reader and they will click away. Things that make a website cluttered are too many font sizes and too many photos. Also if you have any flash graphics or blinking lights from the 1990s design please go remove those immediately!
Check out this post on the top 10 worst websites.
6. Outdated Photos
Just like your picture, your website photos need updates every couple of years. Changes in technology, including photography technology, improves every year and the photos that looked good five years ago will make your website look outdated now. If you blog I am not saying that you need to update those photos, but any static pages like the about me, contact us, home page, etc. need to have updated photos to keep your website looking fresh.
In need of new photos? Check out 123rf.com (affiliate link) for great stock photos!
7. Stale Content
Did you have your website created with content that was available to you by your website provider and then never updated it? Is it the same canned content that is on every other agent’s website? Then please change it! If you don’t have unique content on your website there is nothing to make you stand out from your competition. Your website needs to show who you really are and that can’t happen when you use the same boring content that every other agent uses.
8. Useless About Me Page
Did you know that the about me page is the number one viewed page on every website and the worst one done on each site? People want to know who you are, they want to connect with you and they may want to do this before they meet you in person. They do not want to know all about your designations or awards that you won. They want to know what you like, why you like selling real estate and what you can do for them. Using canned content or general about me content won’t do that so take the time to do it right.
Check out this page for ideas on how to write a great about page.
9. Hard to Navigate
Does your navigation menu make sense? Does it flow well or is it hard to use? Make sure your website navigation lays out well, doesn’t break more than one line and doesn’t include too many drop downs. If your drop downs have drop downs and those drop downs have drop downs, you’ve simply gone to far. Simplify your navigation menu. It will make your website much more user-friendly.
10. Bad Blog
Many agents have unfortunately been advised to start a blog to help them rank higher on Google and they do one of two things. Agents either pay a service to write really bad canned content or they write for themselves until they get bored with it, don’t have time for it or don’t see results from it.
The first idea of using a service to give you copy just to have a blog is a terrible idea because it makes you look bad. Are these your words? Does it even sound like you or is it just a bunch of boring mumbo jumbo that no one wants to read? If you are going to blog be you and use your own voice. This is what will attract people to you, not the silly canned content that bores your readers.
Second if you are going to have a blog and then not post consistently it shows that you are a person that doesn’t follow through with your work. It may make you look lazy and it will most definitely make you look unprofessional. If you have a blog out there now that you haven’t updated in 31+ days do yourself and your website a big favor– take it down.
Think you have to blog? You don’t and here’s 21 reasons why you can and should give it up.
11. All About You
The goal of your real estate website is to educate people and produce leads for you. If you are making it all about how you are the best agent that ever existed you won’t meet those two goals. People want to know that you are an experienced agent, but if you go on and on about you it will irritate them. Just like when you meet a new prospect in person, do you talk about yourself the entire time and how great you are or do you listen to the client and what they need? Your website should do the same. Research what people are looking for in a real estate website and give it to them. Don’t sell constantly on your website and do not make it all about you.
Take a look at your website through a fresh set of eyes. Would you stay on your website for more than 5 seconds? Do you feel drawn in and compelled to read your website or are you bored to tears? If you find that you can’t look at your website neither can the public. Spice up your content and add images that bring the readers in so that they don’t click away from boredom. Boring website are a dime a dozen on the web so do something to make yours stand out!
Too many times agents get a website because they know they must have one (and you must) and they think once it’s up that it never needs to be touched again. Content doesn’t get updated, the colors are terrible, the pages are broken and in general the entire thing needs a face lift. It is overwhelming to make these changes, but your website is your professional business card on the web and that is where prospects are going to find out who you are as an agent. Don’t let them see that you are a mess. Wow them with your website and give them a reason to call you.
Next Monday I am going to write about the best and easiest ways to update your website so stay tuned for some website help!
How do you feel about your website? If you could change one thing about it what would it be? Please tell me about it in the comments below. Thank you for commenting!