The best marketing is focused on maximizing your clients’ experience across all aspects of dealing with your company. If you want to deliver an enjoyable experience, you’re kind, look people in the eye, and smile when you show them houses, right? Well, that experience matters in just the same way on the web. Here are 10 great ways to deliver an enjoyable user experience on your website with IDX Broker.
What is UX? User experience (UX) is the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the user and the product (e.g., your website).
Giving your site visitors a good user experience is the single most important thing you can do to keep customers returning to you – and your website – when looking for a new property. Delivering an enjoyable experience can also lead to recommendations to friends and family.
1. Perfect the Onboarding Experience
The onboard experience is your visitor’s first impression. You’ll want to make sure that new visitors are comfortable and can navigate with ease. Here are a few items to consider to making this impression a good one:
- Make your website intuitive to use and as easy to navigate as possible.
- Include a search widget directly on your homepage.
- Add a carousel widget of properties you would like to feature.
- Have your developer work on a welcome tour or tips for first time visitors.
- Make the onboard tour short and easy to end at any time.
- When users exit the tour, allow them to start again but don’t force it on them.
- Include a lead signup or login widget on your homepage or sidebar.
- Hire a web designer to take your design to the next level and make your site look professional.
- Make sure the different areas of your site match your personal or corporate branding.
- Add a few testimonials and positive reviews to your homepage.
- Emphasize where users can search for listings since they’re usually looking for this area.
2. Be Lenient with Lead Registration
One of the easiest mistakes to make with UX is forcing users to register too soon. If they don’t see value in your website before being forced to register, they’ll simply leave your website for a less demanding one. Let your users run searches and browse through at least a couple of properties before asking them to register.
When you do force registration, make sure to ask for as little information as possible. With IDX Broker, they must enter a first name, last name, and email. Think twice before including a dozen fields. Users are hesitant to give more information than the default fields. Only require fields you need to contact them. You can ask for more information after they sign up through other means. Read more about Lead Registration in our Knowledgebase, and also get information on Signup Form Settings.
Giving a great User Experience doesn’t stop when they sign up as a lead. Don’t be too nosy, but at the same time reach out to your lead. Provide great support. If they don’t have any saved listings reach out to them and ask if they would like some suggestions on properties. You can base the suggestions you give them upon their Lead Traffic information.
If they act interested in receiving property update emails but have not verified their account, you can verify it for them within your IDX Control Panel by navigating to Leads > Leads > Manage and changing Not Verified to Verified. This allows them to receive email updates on any saved searches or properties in their account.
3. Prevent Information Overload
Make all the text on your website easy to skim. Visitors often don’t have the time to thoroughly read all the information on a page. It’s important to use headlines and summaries to avoid overwhelming them. Keep it simple and get to the point to keep their attention.
If your post is relevant and interesting to your users, they will take the time to read the information. Use illustrations whenever relevant. It’s a good practice to display limited information. Allow the user to choose to see more, but only if they choose. For example, if you’d like to display your latest few blog posts on your homepage, show only a preview of the post and add a “Read More” button.
4. Keep it Relevant
With Saved Links you can create sub-headers at the top of results matching a specific criteria. For example, with IDX Broker Platinum, you can draw a shape on a map around a certain community and write a brief, relevant paragraph with photos of that community.
Read more about your SEO Settings on Search and Results Pages, which can help provide your users with a good experience starting from the search engine results that lead them to your website.
5. Increase Your Font Size
Having text on your site that’s too small to read can cause users to become frustrated with your site. They may leave your site entirely or return after figuring out how to increase the size enough to read it. Body text should usually be between 10pt and 16pt. Large headlines grab the attention of a user, so use large headlines for your most important content. As explained in the point above, avoid showing too much information initially.
6. Employ Great Design and Usable Interface
Website visitors often leave a website because of poor design. Use only a few colors in your design and make sure they don’t clash. Make sure the colors you choose complement each other. Keep audio and distracting interfaces to a minimum. Complicated navigation can also deter users from staying on your site. Allow users to navigate your site as simply as possible.
7. Serve Fast Loading Pages
While adding many plugins to your site can be exciting and allow you to add interesting animations and other features to your website, it is important to make sure your theme and these plugins do not decrease the usability of your website with complications especially by slowing it down. If your website does not load in a few seconds, locate what is slowing it down. Remove any unnecessary scripts and plugins. Simplify.
8. Focus on Mobile-Optimization
Even today many websites overlook mobile-optimization. As around half of internet traffic is on mobile devices, overlooking mobile-optimization risks providing half of your users with a poor experience. Google has begun experimenting with penalizing website ranking of sites that are not mobile optimized. Here are Google’s thoughts on Mobile Optimization. They now show whether a site is mobile-optimized or not to users browsing search results. Don’t lose out on mobile users by ignoring the importance of mobile-optimization.
IDX Broker offers fully responsive IDX pages with new Mobile First templates. Make sure you have a responsive website and use fully-responsive IDX templates for best mobile experience. Avoid using excessive file sizes. Compress your images (not too much that you notice the compression). Require the user to select a video before loading it. Users will appreciate your actions to keep their mobile data usage to a minimum. This keeps your website faster as well.
9. Inform Your Approach with Analytics
Capture analytics on your website. See which pages are most viewed and take time to streamline these pages as much as possible. See what web locations your users are coming from. Are they coming mostly from Google search results pages, from Google AdWords campaigns, or organic indexing, from Facebook or other social media?
Create a streamlined transition from all referring sites. For example, if you are promoting a certain community, create a post on Facebook linking directly to your Saved Link for that community rather than your homepage. Integrate your featured properties into your Facebook page.
Locate areas in your website that are difficult for users by examining their bounce and exit rates with different pages. Figure out what is on that page that may be causing users to leave the site. Flow reports are a great way to see exactly what users are doing on your website. Do they navigate to your homepage to use your quick search widget every time they want to run a new search? If so, you could add the quick search widget to your sidebar or a more obvious link to a search page.
Are they reading the content on your saved link? If view times are ten seconds on the page, they are only looking at the listings. There are many other ways you can troubleshoot and improve your website’s user experience through the data you receive from Analytics. The most popular analytics tool is Google Analytics. For more information on tracking conversion rates with IDX Broker pages, see this article. You can include any analytics code on any IDX page through your wrapper(s).
10. Create Personas and Conduct User Research
Look into creating accurate personas of your clients. Investigate their needs and purposes for navigating to your website. Research using personas and the part they play in thinking about your user experience.
Think like your customers. Invite a friend or family member to use your website while you quietly watch. See where they get stuck or what they easily understand. Ask them for feedback on what they like or do not like. Collect this data from multiple sources. If three people do not like your design or cannot figure out how to navigate your website without you instructing them, this is a weakness in your website that needs to be fixed.
Are many of your users incompetent at browsing the internet? Or are they advanced with browsing your site? Do they care more about price or other details such as location or building size? If most of your users are looking for low price homes, sort your search results lowest to highest and make the price large and easy to read. Put yourself in your users’ shoes and work on meeting their needs.
Using each of these best practices and researching what works best for you will help improve the user experience for your clients. Providing a great experience for your users from website to handing the keys over to their new home will invite great testimonials and more business and traffic to you and your website!