According to a study by Nielsen Norman Group, your website visitors will leave your homepage within 10 to 20 seconds unless you give them a reason to stay.
“To gain several minutes of user attention, you must clearly communicate your value proposition within 10 seconds.”
Lose visitors here, where they land, and you’ve lost them forever. This page is your curb appeal – your first chance to make such an unforgettable impression that they will register and return.
Who is landing on your site’s homepage?
Knowing your audience is marketing 101, and figuring out who comprises your site’s audience is a no-brainer: a real estate consumer, either a buyer or a seller.
Naturally, a homebuyer wants to see listings, but that’s not all your visitors are searching for. A NAR study found that these visitors also crave information on the purchase process, from getting a loan to closing on the purchase.
Homeowners thinking of selling want information about that process, and many visitors will want to learn more about you, your services, and what you’re like to work with.
To keep these people on your site long enough to convert them to a lead requires making your home page the best it can be. Let’s look at one of the most important fixes you can perform on your real estate website.
Customize your homepage
The area that shows up before you begin scrolling down the page is known as “above the fold.” It’s your homepage’s most valuable real estate, so not one inch of space should be disregarded.
The most common mistake agents make on this part of the page is not mentioning their location. Most of the sites we viewed before writing this included the name of the brokerage, the agent’s name, and his or her phone number and email address.
Aside from a handful of agents, all sites lacked any mention (above the fold) of where the agent works. None of them mention a city, a community, or even the state that the agent serves.
Let visitors know, above the fold, that they’ve landed in the right place. The best way to do this is to localize the text that came with your site.
Something as simple as changing “YOUR DREAM HOME AWAITS” to “YOUR DREAM HOME IN ANYWHEREVILLE AWAITS” will let visitors know they’ve found a local real estate site, and it will help search engines get that too.
Scroll down your homepage, and you’ll find plenty of other localizing opportunities on the homepage. For instance, “SEARCH FOR HOMES” can be “SEARCH FOR HOMES IN ANYWHEREVILLE” and transform “Selling your Home” to “Selling your Anywhereville Home.”
Aside from posting your best and most flattering review above the fold, customizing and localizing the first page a potential client might see will help visitors and SEO.
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