Today I am wrapping up my how to build your own real estate website series. The last topic I want to cover is the sidebar of your website. The sidebar of your website is prime real estate. It is location, location, location personified. What is the sidebar exactly? Let’s take a look at mine as an example. Look to the right of this page and you will see:
1. My photo and a blurb about me
2. My email newsletter sign up (if you haven’t signed up please do!)
3. My most popular posts
4. Topics I write about
The items in the sidebar are what I want people to key in on when they are on my blog. I want people to get to know me better as quick as possible. I want people on my email list and I want my best writing showcased for everyone to see. I am intentional with my sidebar and am focusing on the goals I am trying to meet in my business.
Your sidebar will be different than mine though unless you are writing a blog. You will still want to use your sidebar to attract people to the best parts of your site. But if you aren’t blogging you won’t have the same elements.
What should you include in your sidebar? Here are 7 ideas to get you started:
1. Your Photo & Bio
If your photo is not in the header of your website then you should include it in your sidebar. It gives people an opportunity to put a real face to the website. It helps personalize your website without being invasive.
I would also recommend a 2-3 sentence bio about you. Please don’t make it something like “I love to help people buy and sell real estate.” Instead be you and be real. What motivates you? What do you enjoy? What’s your favorite part about selling real estate? Capture that in your bio to let people get to know you.
2. Contact Info
Did you know that most people won’t keep your business card? Instead they track you down by your website or give a referral a link to your website. Don’t make people search for your contact info. Put it right there in the sidebar where they are going to look. Include your phone number and email address in your sidebar if they aren’t in your header. Make it easy for prospects and clients to find your contact information.
3. Social Media
If you have active social media accounts add them to your sidebar. Include icons with links to your social media pages to make it attractive. Include a simple “Let’s Connect” headline to invite people to connect with you. I wouldn’t list all the social media sites. I would only include the ones you are most active on.
I love testimonials in a sidebar! Here are real people talking about how great you are in the prime location on your website. I recommend doing rotating testimonials from your clients. Do you have a buyers or sellers only page? Have the testimonials on the sidebar for those pages be from buyers or sellers. Also if you can add a picture of your client even better!
5. Newsletter Sign Up
If you have an email newsletter that you publish include the sign up form in your sidebar. If you are working to build your email list like I am, include the sign up form above the fold on your website. Above the fold is the area people first see on your website. This is the area before they scroll down to look at the rest of the content. Add your email sign up form plus the details of your opt-in offer.
6. Popular Pages or Posts
Do you blog or have great landing pages for your website? Include links to the most popular content on your sidebar. If you can add images to these links it will increase the chance people will click on them.
7. Pinterest Board
Pinterest is a great way for real estate agents to get leads from social media. If you have a Pinterest board you want to share put it in your sidebar! Or include a link to your most popular pins in the sidebar. Pinterest’s red theme color plus graphics from your boards make it eye-catching to your website visitor.
Much like real estate, location, location, location is the name of the game for your website sidebar. You want to use this location to drive people to the areas you want them to see on your website. This helps keep people on your website longer and helps build engagement. Use this prime spot to your advantage!
Do you have a sidebar on your website? What has worked for you in the sidebar? What hasn’t worked? Please share with me in the comments below!