In the late 1990s and early 2000s, merely having a website was enough for a company to be considered innovative, but those days, much like 1990s fashion, are long gone. Today every company, both large and small has a website, making the competition stiff. In order for a home builder’s website to garner attention from viewers, it has to be active, well-designed and offer valuable information. In fact, a poorly designed or outdated website can actively drive business away and hurt your reputation. Poorly designed websites that lack proper organization and flow lead to lower conversion rates and poor customer response, according to studies.
So, what are customers looking for in a potential home builder’s website?
1. Elements that display properly across multiple devices and user experiences.
A potential client might find your website using their laptop, but that client might then want to share the site with their spouse, who is using an iPhone to view your content. A potential client wants to see a website that seamlessly adapts to multiple interfaces. Your site needs to display well on a PC laptop just as well as it displays on a mobile device.
Ensure that your website is responsive across all platforms. You will also want to ensure that your website is not using any Flash elements. Apple and Adobe are two companies who can’t manage to play nicely together, so employing Flash elements into your website will alienate a large segment of potential clients. Work with your design team on this.
2. It has to look Professional
Simply put, a website has to look good for it to create a feeling of competency and trust. A website that is ugly, outdated, or doesn’t appropriately utilize color can look amateurish. It also suggests that the brand behind the website doesn’t take its image, or its work for that matter, seriously. For your website to make a good impression, it needs to evoke the same style and feel that your homes do. Viewers should walk away from your site feeling enlightened and comfortable with the level of professionalism your website displays.
To achieve this, you’ll need to work with a designer who can take the aesthetics of the homes you build and translate it into website form. If, for example, you focus on Craftsman-style homes, you’ll want your website to utilize the colors that are found in traditional craftsman homes. You may also want your designer to translate some of the architectural features that are common to the style into your web design. Work with your design team until your website evokes the same feeling as one of your completed homes.
3. Relevant information that is easy to find
A site that looks good is one thing, but a website that shares valuable information while looking good leads to higher customer engagement and conversion. Include pertinent information about your company, your recent projects, the type of products you use, and the design styles you have crafted. You may also consider employing a blog to share tips and valuable information that potential customers need to know. A blog will keep the website active while positioning you as an industry expert.
To achieve this, utilize the rules of news writing to ensure the most important information appears front and center. You’ll want to include information about your areas of expertise and where you build your homes on the main page, while information about how your company came to be can be housed in an “about us” section on a separate page. Your website will be easier to navigate and intuitive for users if you utilize this model of design.
4. A bell and a whistle
When people are searching for a home builder they want pertinent information upfront, but they also want to see a design element that is creative and well-integrated into the design. Some businesses subscribe to the theory that more is actually more, but putting too many moving parts into a website can make it look busy and bog down the entire user experience. Instead, you should focus on one or two exciting design elements that showcase your work and how your company is different than its competitors.
To achieve this, consider adding a slideshow of high-quality photos that feature recent homes you’ve built, both inside and out. A slideshow, especially for a homebuilder, is an easy way to showcase the quality of your work without bogging down the website with a long list of photos and bullet points. The interactive nature of a slideshow will engage users and make them more apt to share your website with others.
These four web design elements are just a few of the features that can take a home builder’s website from outdated to effective. There are plenty of more web tricks you can employ to help your business grow.
Interested in finding out how we can help your business? Contact us today for a customized, no-obligation quote. We’d be happy to look over your current website and give an overview on ways to improve it. We look forward to hearing from you!