You no longer have to be in the dark when it comes to knowing how to optimise a property search page. Here at Property Webmasters, we know the ins and outs of making the perfect property search facility and are on hand to help you do the same.
Did you enjoy part 1 of our new 3-part series for estate agents? An Estate Agent’s Guide to Optimising a Property Listing Page was all about how to generate leads directly from your property details section on the website. However, to get them there, you need to have a well-thought-out search page. If you want more website tips on how to improve your estate agency website, you’ve come to the right place. You have just successfully downloaded the second part to this series, where you can find out exactly how to optimise your property search pages. This will help to ensure that you’re targeting the right audience and receiving high-quality leads.
Missed out on part one? Here’s our guide to optimising your property details page.
Sound familiar right? Well, much like your property listing page, you must ensure that your property search page is up to scratch. If your search facility doesn’t provide your users with what they want, your target audience won’t even make it to the property listing page and make an enquiry. You don’t have to be a technical expert or a designer to know that if you’re unable to use a search facility, you won’t find what you’re looking for. So, here are some of our top tips for making the perfect property search page.
For your prospective leads to navigate around your property search efficiently, you must ensure that what you are offering is simple and easy to use. A lot of the time we get new clients come to us saying “we aren’t sure why people aren’t submitting enquiries on our website because we get plenty of traffic.” This is most likely because they can’t actually find a property they are interested in in the first place.
One of the main reasons for this comes down to the search facility being too complicated. If there are too many fields to fill in, a user can often get confused and not know what to enter and what to leave blank. Some estate agents may think that a search facility with more in will help to narrow down a search, but that’s where advanced options come into play.
We’ve worked with hundreds of estate agencies, many of which have had an overly complicated search facility. However, once we’ve made it much simpler and easy to use, we’ve seen enquiries shoot up.
To begin with, most people on the hunt for a property will already have a rough idea on what they want. Whether it be a 1-bedroom flat to rent or a 6-bedroom luxury holiday home, searchers typically won’t stray from the path of what they want. After all, if you’re limited on a budget or know you need enough bedrooms for the whole family, you already know you won’t be interested in a property that falls outside of your requirements.
By allowing users to filter their search – by property type, min/max bedrooms, price range etc – you’re enabling them to find properties much quicker. This helps to improve the user experience as it means they don’t have to spend hours and hours scrolling through various properties. Instead, they’re able to keep their search to exactly what they want – hopefully finding the property of their dreams among your listings.
Having a ‘property shortlist’ or a ‘save this search’ option is a great tool that any estate agency website should have. This will allow a user to save as many properties as they want and have them all in one place. Thanks to this, users will not have to keep searching for a specific property over and over again. Instead, they’ll be able to navigate to their shortlist and see everything that they have saved.
When having this facility on your real estate website, you must make sure that it is easily accessible. Many estate agents will have this in the navigation bar as well as next to the search facility. This way, with one click of a button, users will be able to view all of their desired properties.
Have you ever tried using your own search facility? Sometimes you may know exactly what you’re doing, because after all, it is your business. But you’ve got to think about things from your audience’s point of view.
If your current search facility isn’t clear or it doesn’t stand out on the page, how will a user know where to go. Your search facility should be at the top of every property search page, making it the first thing that people see. If someone has to scroll below the fold to search or if it isn’t obvious how or where the search facility is, you’re likely going to be missing out on leads.
Did you know that 72% of property buyers use a smartphone or tablet to search for a home? With this in mind, it’s essential that your website – and especially your search page and facility – are mobile optimised. There will be less space on mobile, so you need to make sure that your search facility elements aren’t too close together. Think about it, how frustrated would you be if you were trying to click on one thing but the thing next to it is in the way?
What works on a desktop may not work on a mobile. You may have elements next to each other on a desktop, but this may need to be switched around so that they are on top of one another on mobile.
A property search page will not be the page you generate the most enquiries from. This is typically the area of your website where users spend time browsing. Your enquiries would mainly come from the property details page itself, and not the search page.
The only way people are going to browse properties on your website is if you direct them to these pages through carefully crafted organic search optimisation and/or paid search. Sounds complicated, but it doesn’t always have to be. By following these tips for creating the perfect search page, you’re sure to be a lot better off than you were before.
When a property is listed as sold STC, you want to make this obvious on the search pages. This is currently where the property in question has had an offer put on it, which means it’s not available for viewing. However, the sale could, unfortunately, fall through for many reasons, meaning it would go back on the market.
To make this clear on the search page, you may include an overlay on the image with a ‘Sold STC’ symbol over it. Only once a deal has been complete would the listing be fully removed from your website.
It’s not enough to ensure your property search pages are optimised well. You need to ensure your whole website is up to scratch. It’s no good just working on one area if the rest will be bringing it down.
To be able to do this, you need to have an understanding of how search engines work – on a technical, on-page and off-page level. All three aspects, when done correctly, will ensure that your property search pages are being found by search engines. This, in turn, will allow your website to be found by the right audience.
Not enough time to do this yourself? Check out our digital marketing package today to discover how we can help you achieve your online goals!