Updated and republished 6/11/2020.
Have you ever considered giving your property management website a grade? Just like you did in school, ask yourself: does it earn an "A" for "excellent" or an "F" for "failure?" It can be challenging to take an honest look at your website. However, you might not realize that you're losing traffic and potential customers because your website annoys users!
If your website isn't generating traffic and providing leads for your property management business, it's time to conduct an audit and give your site a grade.
Your website is no longer merely a place for visitors to learn the basics of what you do and how to reach you. Today's websites are the inbound marketing voice for property management businesses.
RentBridge creates sophisticated property management websites for our marketing clients free of charge as part of the many services we offer. This gives us a unique perspective on what's hot—and what's not—in the industry. Read on to learn if your property management website needs an upgrade!
Your Website's Content
How is the content on your website? Is there any content on your website beyond your company's name and contact info? You might have heard this before: Content is king. It's true!
For property management websites, for marketing, and for any kind of communication with prospects and customers, what you say and how you say it makes all the difference.
However, there's more to content than written words. Your website should have engaging content in a variety of formats:
- Details about your business
- Links to social media
- Free offers
- Icons and elements that help to tell your story
Engaging new leads is not only about how they find you. Robust and interesting content helps keep visitors interested in your property management business!
That isn't to say your pages should be walls of text! Long walls of text are boring, and property owners aren't going to bother to read them. They'll find a site that is more visually appealing. Just like your property management blogs, your pages should use headings, bullets, images, and short, easy-to-digest paragraphs.
Finally, be sure you have some social proof.
- Reviews and video testimonials are powerful tools that build consumer trust.
- Show testimonial videos and written reviews on multiple high-traffic pages to make them easy to see.
- You can automate this process so that only high reviews display on your site to net you more qualified leads.
If you're missing any of these content elements, you might need to give your website a "C" for "complacency." If visitors aren't staying to read, watch, and ultimately share your content, knock your site down to a "D" for "deficient."
Your Website's Structure
Today's websites look vastly different than sites of five or ten years ago.
User-friendly website structure evolves over time. It's not enough to have excellent content on your website: visitors need to find it easily and navigate without issue to see more content and engage with your CTAs (calls to action).
A lot of testing goes into strategic website structures. Today, most websites have a wide, open feel. That's in contrast to sites from a few years ago that relied on a series of columns and headers with a lot of navigation. As user patterns change, so does the way we layout websites to keep them engaged.
Often, simpler is better: you want visitors to find answers to their problems and quickly find out how to engage with you as their solution. Other benefits of a sleek, clean design are reduced loading times—a great benefit for SEO and user experience.
Be sure to pay attention to your navigation as well; keep it streamlined and efficient. Remember, every page does not need to be in the navigation menu.
- Put yourself in the shoes of a property owner: what information are they looking for?
- Can you find it within a few seconds, or do you have to try and find it by clicking through many pages?
- Ensure your highest value pages are found by the path of least resistance.
If your website is easy to navigate, makes good use of your content, and keeps visitors coming back for more, give your site an "A" for an "awesome" structure!
Your Website's SEO
Do your SEO efforts help make your website (and, therefore, your business) visible to the right people? Your website's SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is critical to helping people find you. You can have a brilliant website—but if no one can find it, it's useless.
When people type keywords (such as McKinney property management) into a search engine, you want your website to be the first to appear at the top of the results page. These are the fruits of excellent SEO.
- Strategic SEO practices help drive more quality traffic to your website.
- Search for property management in your area and see if your website is near the top.
- If you're not in the first or second results page, your website earns a "B" or below for "broken" SEO.
Your Website's Responsiveness
Too many websites are still hard to use on a cell phone in 2020. The iPhone was first released in 2007, so with 13 years to get it right; property management website owners are obligated to have a responsive site—or lose traffic.
- Your website's responsiveness across all devices is a critical component of success.
- When building or updating your website, keep in mind how it needs to look and function—no matter what platform a visitor uses.
- How do you test if your site is responsive? Grab the corner of your browser window and change the size. Do the elements of the page move around to look the best no matter the size? If not, your site is not responsive.
- This lack of functionality forces users to scroll more to see everything. This is a missed opportunity to showcase your company.
Responsive design allows your website to operate seamlessly across all web browsers, laptops, desktops, and mobile devices. If your website looks great on a Macbook browser but loses all functionality on an iPhone, give it a "D" for "defective."
Your Website's Design
If your graphics look like something you'd see on a late-night commercial, it's time to update. Just as fashion changes throughout the years, there are some elements of good web design that are timeless and classic. Think little black dress versus JNCO jeans from the 90s, and you'll quickly see what we mean.
- Your property management website is a sales tool. If you're not still using sales brochures from 2010, your website probably needs a facelift.
- You don't have to redesign an entire website to significantly improve the design, either.
- Updating your header and footer globally and the home page can be enough to make an old site new again.
If you build your website on an easy-to-use platform like the HubSpot CMS, making changes to your website is something that anyone can do! No need to fuss with complicated systems, just use drag and drop modules and simple WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors. No developer or support tickets are needed for most changes.
Your Website's Security
Your property management website is a tool to get leads, which requires the collection of personal information. If you don't have web security such as SSL, your website could become the source of leaked information about your owners and tenants—not something you want to risk.
Savvy web users look for the "s" in https, and won't send personal information through forms on an unsecured website. This could cost you leads at worst—or cause wariness on the part of leads at best. Hosting your property management website on a platform like HubSpot comes with a free SSL certificate, so you can rest assured your forms and data transmission are protected.
Your Website's Reporting
Data-driven improvements will help you continually optimize your website. It's why all HubSpot websites come with built-in, easy-to-use reporting. As you make changes to your property management website, you want to be able to measure whether they are improving your site or frustrating users—and the only way to know is by recording data.
- Your website should be connected to tools like Google Analytics and Search Console, but you should also be tracking things like CTA clicks and page views, average view time, and bounce rate.
- You'll want to group pages by type to see the overall performance of blog posts or landing pages compared to the rest of your website.
- This is just one reason we chose to make websites on the HubSpot CMS: these features come standard and are so simple anyone can make sense of them!
Don't Go Easy on Your Website!
Your website is one of the most important tools in your marketing tool bag! Don't go easy on yourself when it comes to grading it. If you're struggling with an honest look at your property management website, or you don't know how your site's grade stacks up to others in your "class," RentBridge can help.
We are experts in content audits and creating or upgrading property management websites. When your website brings in the right kind of traffic, your business grows. If you're wondering how the structure of your property management website stacks up, you can request a free website audit here! Click the green banner on the right that says "Instant Website Audit."
If you already know you're interested in a new site, you can schedule a discovery call with our marketing team to learn about the free property management websites that come standard with our inbound marketing packages!