Is Your Real Estate Website Site Mobile Friendly?

mobile ready google algorithm change

…something’s changed in google’s mobile results…

We all know that visitors to websites via mobile devices has been on the increase pretty much since mobile phones became ‘smarter’ by bundling web browsers and internet data connections. Statistically there has been close correlation between the popularity of smart phones and the number of visits to your real estate website using one.

When smart phone screen sizes were smaller than they are today, and websites were built using a rigid or fixed width, visits to them involved a lot of pinching, zooming and scrolling to read the content. If you actually wanted to do something as refined as search for homes, good luck.

The solution at the time to this increase in number of mobile hits was somewhat of a ‘cop out’, otherwise known, and more positively coined, the app. This was a much abridged version of your website that did fit the mobile screen, but it was limited to only showing the IDX search tools. It was a fairly clumsy and limited tool. If the visit came from a laptop or desktop you got everything, the IDX, the blog posts the content pages. If you came via a mobile all you got was the IDX and that was it.

In November 2014, the number of visits to websites via mobile devices exceeded that from laptop/desktops

However the ubiquity of the mobile phone as meant that mobile visits have only increased, in fact in November 2014, the number of visits to websites via mobile devices exceeded that from laptop/desktops. Finally mobile phones and also the stepping stone device the tablet needed a dedicated solution.

responsive-website-diagramFortunately around the same time came an advance in website design, which was to build websites on a framework that was flexible enough to enable the content to adapt to fit whatever size screen it was being displayed on with no loss. And so Responsive Design was born.

Responsive websites are built on a grid system made up of rows and columns. Content is added into those rows and columns. On each device width the dimensions of those rows and columns adapt or shift position to fit the screen size they are being viewed on. Not only is all the content retained and displayed but also, critically the text size also remains the same which improves usability.

April 21st 2015 Google Changed Their Algorithm to Favor Mobile Ready Websites

Google, recognizing that the numbers of visitors using mobile devices in search has reached a tipping point decided that they were going to favor mobile ready websites in the mobile search results pages. This makes perfect sense, google are in the business of delivering a successful search and find process, by directing searches on mobile devices to mobile friendly websites improves the experience of the google user.

Responsive design explained

Are You Marketing an Ineffective Website?

Effective marketing requires a cohesive, considered strategy. Only when all of your marketing efforts are working in concert do you get the best results.

However, most of the real estate agents that call our office are in some way, unsatisfied with their existing real estate website. Of course right? No one ever called us to tell us how happy  they were with their website vendor …apart from our customers!

It seems that each week we hear the same thing:

I hate my website… it’s an embarrassment… I dread my clients asking me to show them my website…

Yet, in their marketing efforts they are still attempting to drive people to it by including their web address on their mailings and printed materials.

In addition, agents tell us they have had a website from another vendor for 2,3,4… years and have never seen anything remotely resembling a lead during the entire time.

It seems clear that some real estate “websites’ are incapable of converting a visit to a lead. This is because these sites were never designed to be a real estate lead conversion tool. Those sites are typically designed to enable the lay-person to be able to upload their resume, link to the township website and little more.

The danger though is that agents continue to spend good dollars  marketing a resource that isn’t working.

If the conversion point of your marketing is ineffective, the entire point of your marketing is being lost.

Speak to us today. We can show you how our real estate websites are different with our free demo. Call (908) 443-1141 or email.

Mozy Online Backup Fail

This post maybe the first in that it’s anyway negative. However the failings of Mozy to perform scheduled backups serves as a warning to those who use such services, that may not be as fail safe as one would have hoped.

Two days, a computer in the office had a bit of a hiccup. Being a bit of a workhorse, I was kind of time to give the old girl a reformat. So, I thought  I would just do a quick manual back up of the software using my Mozy home subscription.

Mozy runs a bit of software on your computer and automatically updates your files, offsite on a scheduled basis.

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$100 Free Google Adwords Coupon

$100 google adwords free[ OFFER ENDED ]

It’s that time of year again when our friends over at google have given limeyboy’s real estate web design’s friends 10 $100 adword coupons.

It be entered into the drawing, please add your email address below and we’ll let you know in 10 days if you one!

[ Offer only eligible for new google adwords customers. If you are already a google adwords customer or have received an earlier coupon from you are ineligible for this offer ]

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New Real Estate WordPress Website

real estate wordpress website, indexable idxWe’ve just relaunched the website below featuring our latest wordpress real estate website design. This site is brimming with the latest tools to make it irresistible to both search engines & consumers alike. 

The website’s idexable IDX tool enables the active inventory to be credit to the site itself, rather than through iframing. This platform is highly customizable in design and fee. See it live here: Basking Ridge Real Estate

Agents Who Make More Than $100k+ Believe In Web Marketing & Technology

The National Association of Realtors, conducted a survey that reveals the qualities of real estate agents who earn more than $100k a year. Their finding were as follows:

  • High earners spend more on marketing.  63% percent of high income earners spent more than $2500/year on marketing
  • High earners spend more on technology.More than 50% spend more than $2500/year, 25% spend more than $5000/year

What was really fascinating was the use of websites and social networking. 

  • Nearly 50% say they updated their website more than once a week
  • 39% of mid income earners update their website or blog only once a month

It’s critical to note a few things. It’s not simply a matter of spending money and assuming that the results will automatically follow. What is most critical is that any dollar spent has to be part of a structured goal focused approach. Spending money without a strategy can be as ineffectual as not spending money at all.

Also, agents who are getting most out of their real estate websites recognize that the project is never finished, and it is the on going addition of new relevant content that is critical to achieving long term goals.

Domain Name Expired?

real estate domain name expirationAnyone who has ever had their domain name registration lapse unintentionally will know only too well the feeling of panic that can set in when you find out, or are told that your website is down.

For many agents, their website is the primary conversion point of their marketing efforts. When their site is down, the marketing $ are all wasted.

Typically speaking, most domain names are set up to “auto-renew” on a yearly basis. This is achieved through your chosen domain name registrar having your credit card information on file. You’ll receive an email saying that your domain will expire or renew in 90, 60, 30, 5 days. You may also see that those emails also say, “If you credit card on file has expired” or has been rewed during this time you will need to update the one on file to ensure there is no break in service…or words to that effect.

In our experience in real estate web design, this is the most common reason for domain names unintentionally failing to renew because, let’s face it, when you get a new credit card in the mail do you immediately think that your domain is directly tied to the old one?

So, to avoid this happening to you, why not log into your domain name registrar today and make sure that the domain name on file is currently update to through the renewal date of your domain name!

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Google+ Profile Gallery For Real Estate Agents & Brokers created google+ profile page banners for real estate agents and brokersWant your google+ real estate page to look like the big guys? Hire us to create your branded google+ real estate page. Make your own real estate business stand up alongside the major brokers by effectively branding your page header. See the limeyboy real estate web design google+ page here

The example above is for our page. Now we are offering this service to individual real estate agents and brokers.

Contact us for more details

Real Estate Blog Photography

Instagram iphone camera app for real estate blog writersI was talking to a friend the other about their new iphone. They were raving about all of the apps, the design and the functionality and I asked if they have tried using the “phone app”! In the space of 5 years phones have gone from vaguely resembling their curly wired old relatives to something so sophisticated and removed from solely being a telephone.

I love the apps for the iphone, looking through the app store to me derives as much fun as looking through a library of books. One of my recent favorites is Instagram.

Instagram is essentially a camera app. What it does is offer you a series of filters to change the appearance of your images once you have take them. Those filters range from black & white, through to differing levels of color saturations and palettes.  One of my favorites is the filter called 1970’s which evokes childhood memories immortalized in pictures form a Polaroid. 

In addition you can also add blur. This enables you to give the effect of depth of field, which traditionally has only been achievable using an SLR. Even though this is an effect it still creates some lovely results.

What is truly amazing about these filters is how they have the ability to transform the mundane into the sublime.

For real estate agents, who are often struggling with “What to post” using an app like Instagram enables lemons to be made into lemonde. You can take a photo of something relatively mundane, tweak it with a filter and you have something stunning for your site.

What I am not suggesting for one moment is that you replace the photography of your listings with a product like Instagram. However I am suggesting that it is a great too to add some stunning eye candy to your real estate blog posts.

Give it a whirl, let us know how you make out!