By Patty McNease, Director of Marketing, Homes.com
How user-friendly is your website? If consumers can’t easily navigate your site from their mobile device, you’re as good as closed. Seventy-nine percent of consumers are more likely to leave a non-mobile friendly site, never return and will likely visit your competitor’s site (Google). That experience will not bode well for your reputation, either.
Consumers Won’t Tolerate Non-Mobile Sites
Think of your site as your virtual storefront – you don’t want customers to walk into your business with obstacles like a locked door, poor lighting, and no staff to assist their needs. They will walk out and not look back! Take a minute to review your website to see how it performs on multiple devices to ensure you’re providing an optimal mobile experience to your customers. Plug your web address into a site like Browser Stack to test how your site displays on a variety of devices.
Move Over Desktop – Mobile Search Is Taking Over
The gap between desktop and mobile search is narrowing. Of the 94 million consumers who visited a real estate site in May, 58 percent came from mobile devices (comScore). Eighty-nine percent of home buyers search for homes via their mobile device and 68 percent of them actually contacted a real estate professional based on their mobile search (NAR). Suffice it to say, it’s imperative that real estate professionals maintain a mobile website to engage with buyers and sellers to grow their business, or else face lost opportunities to the competition.
Responsive Web Design Technology Is Superior
Some businesses maintain a desktop site and a separate mobile site, commonly differentiated by “m dot” at the beginning of the URL address (i.e., m.domainname.com). However, there are significant advantages to having just one, single responsive design website, and here’s why.
1. Customized User Experience: Rather than using your fingers to pinch and pull to view text and images, responsive design sites seamlessly adapt, or as the term implies – respond, to a device’s screen size and orientation. Plus, site load time is reduced and performance is increased. In short, your site will look and operate the same across all mobile devices (and desktop) and provide a dynamic experience for buyers and sellers that will encourage them to stay longer and inquire more.
2. Improved SEO Benefits: Search engines seem to favor responsive design websites, especially when the search comes from a mobile device. Responsive design offers the same content to desktop and mobile visitors in a format suitable for each device. If the content found on the mobile site is vastly different than the desktop site, consumers are more likely to bounce from the site. Search engines view higher bounce rates as a sign the website is not providing searchers the content they were seeking, which can lead to a decrease in search engine rankings.
3. Forward-Thinking Technology: Responsive design is built with the future in mind and will accommodate subsequent versions of devices without having to be programmed. Real estate websites and virtual tours are critical marketing vehicles that are typically designed with Flash technology and tend to provide a poor user experience. For mobile users looking at a virtual tour built with that technology, they are redirected to a slideshow of images, which may not carry over your forms, calculators and other bells and whistles associated with it. However, this is not the case with responsive design, which allows mobile viewers to have the same experience as desktop viewers, with listings displaying beautifully and lead forms and other widgets fully intact.
With this in mind, be sure you choose a forward-thinking technology partner that offers a mobile-responsive platform like Homes Connect Fusion ™ from Homes.com. Schedule an appointment to have your site reviewed for its level of friendliness in the mobile world.
For more information, visit Homes.com. http://connect.homes.com
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