Breaking Down A Real Estate Wbsite’s Home Page
When it comes to a real estate website’s home page we first need to establish that all themes are not the same, though they do follow a similar pattern. The initial view that an audience comes across when clicking on a website usually consists of the sections; Header, Menu Bar, the “body” which can consist of multiple sections, and a sidebar if included. These few sections are where you need to make your first impression and get the readers full attention by giving them what they came looking for. Not only does it need to be relevant but it also needs to be presented in a professional way. Making sure a viewer feels like they found the perfect site for what they need is key. They will the follow to scroll down the body of the page to find more information and eventually reach the end of the page, or the Footer section.
Starting with the “Header” section we need to establish your Real Estate companies name. An example for a single agent would be their name followed by the name of their website URL, for example, “*location* Realty Company”. By choosing the location you want to serve as an agent in you companies you are more likely to get traffic from those looking to buy or sell in that area. We will talk about how to create target audiences in greater detail in another post. For the second portion of the header you will need to include a few more important things. If you chose to leave out your name in the Companies Title, then this second part is where you will need to tell everyone your name and title (Real Estate Agent). Under this should be the telephone number that you wish people to call you on as well as an email link where people can reach you for questions.
This is all that is really needed for the header section of your real estate website’s home page. You don’t need to clutter it with too much information and visuals. The header section isn’t necessarily what will grab the attention of the viewer at first. This will come with the first section following the menu bar.
Navigation is an important factor when it comes to finding what you need. When a visitor clicks on your real estate website and can’t properly find what they want, more that likely they will close out of your site. A good menu bar will consist of all the primary search requests that a viewer will look for, followed by drop down menu’s that go deeper into the main topic. Whether it be a home search request, community pages, info about buying or selling a home, or simply how to contact you. These are all important and should be readily available for your viewer.
Image – First Section of the Body
What would be the most likely reason someone would click on your website? To buy or sell a house. Since visuals are key in capturing someones attention on any page, this section of the home page requires an image of some sorts. You can have one custom made to fit what you think would look great as an attention grabber, or you could choose a visual of a house to represent what you do. Either way, this image needs to be directly implying what you’re all about. The image will not be alone though, it only serves as a background for a more important feature.
A search bar for current listings in the area of the viewers choice is necessary. This way when a person first comes across your website they will be immediately drawn to the image and the search bar, which is hopefully what you want them to use in order to look for listings.
Features – Second Section of the Body
Most Themes will have a “Features” section followed by the initial sections of the home page. This is where you start adding certain key points into what you want the viewers to be interested in. Whether it be featured listings in your areas, or a more broader featured communities section, you need to show what you as an agent are trying to do personally. For example if you only want to showcase houses that are listed in 4 out of 10 areas that are around you, then these 4 features would be focused purely on those areas and not the rest. Also, if you are in a state that has a certain niche to it, this section can be useful for information about these niches and the housing within them.
Body Text – Third Section of the Body
Within your Home Page, you will also need to spell out what you do and what your goals are. Typically speaking you want to write a paragraph or two about who you are and the communities you want to serve. This not only helps the readers to understand who you are as an agent but it also tells the search engines what your page is all about. If you have never heard of the term SEO (search engine optimization) then now is the time to learn. This section is focused on both readers and the algorithm that, for example, google will use to determine your standing in the results page for what is said on your home page.
These text sections can be limited to only one section, but don’t be afraid to include more on your home page. You can have as many sections as you like, however keeping it neat and relating to your primary key points is what you should focus on more.
Blogging is a crucial part of your real estate websites success. Mostly having to do with SEO, a blog can also be very important to any readers that are looking for information. Your website needs to be the best place to go for info about the areas you take business in. This means that you need to intimately know the areas ins-and-outs and creating blog posts around it is the best way to relay all that knowledge to the readers. By having your blog posts featured on your Home Page you show that you are very knowledgeable about the area that a person is interested in, and gives off the professional feeling.
There are many options within WordPress in how you shape those articles to appear on your home page. You can show them with a featured image, which all blog posts should already have, or you can place them in a sidebar on multiple pages that correspond to the blog post topics. It all depends on what layout your choose for your Home Page and where you specifically want the blog posts to appear.
The Primary Sidebar is what will show if you are using a specific layout option for your real estate website’s home page. Most websites lean more to a full page layout as they want to focus on the first section of the body as mentioned above in this post. However there are plenty of websites that still prefer having a sidebar on their Home Page to showcase a number of different items. You can also use this sidebar as a place to show your blog posts instead of having them in a separate section within the body of your page.
The Footer section is used for all the legal information and disclaimers that are necessary. You can also place a secondary menu in this section that allows people to navigate to sections of your site that aren’t listed in your primary menu bar. Placing your Logo here is also good alongside the other legal logos that a real estate agent must use.
Occasionally a Theme will have more that one footer section. You could use these extra spaces as extra body sections if you wish to add any more content to the Home Page. An example would be to have a footer section dedicated to a question form for readers to fill out. This is easily done with a WordPress plugin and directly sends any questions to the email of your choice.
Your Real Estate Website’s Home Page
After filling out each of these sections above your Real Estate Website’s Home Page is nearing completion. However there is now a greater task of filling out the rest of the information on all the other pages that your Home Page will link to. To learn more about the types of pages your site should have, please continue on to our blogs posts in the sidebar.