Let’s start off with what a homepage is and what it should achieve.
Simply put, it is the introduction page to your site and to your brand, as a whole. It may be the first interaction someone has with your estate agency.
Like a content page, it should clearly direct your users to the various sections of your website. It should act both as an alluring shop window, to keep people interested, and as a clear place for signposting.
So, what should a really effective homepage feature?
It needs to make a great first impression
There’s no second chance at a first impression, and this couldn’t be more true for your homepage. Did you know that users make a snap decision about whether or not to stay on your page after only 16 seconds? That’s not a lot of time to win them over!
How do you make that great first impression then? Well, it has to be a combination of things. Eye-catching design, unique visuals, and really clear information.
When it comes to design, estate agency websites tend to have a poor reputation. From same-y templates to really out-dated websites, the property sector hasn’t traditionally been a very design-focused industry.
However, that does seem to be changing. And with that comes the chance to stand out. In a sector where stunning design could really differentiate you, a website that looks slick and stylish could be your golden ticket.
We always focus on UX design (design that focuses on the user experience), so that sites are seamless to navigate and really intuitive. But we also love making things look visually striking.
Check out these three sites we’ve designed for estate agents across the country - they all feature a well-designed and eye-catching homepage, but with very different styles:
Wright Marshall's slick and stylish homepage, here
Properly's arty homepage, here
Hop's bright and fun homepage, here
Get across who you are and what you do
Your homepage is your chance to tell the world who you are. You can make a real statement about your brand and your values. If you’re an award-winning agent, here’s the place to shout about it.
Injecting personality into your homepage is an effective way to help users decide if you’re the right agent for them. Lively written content, photography of your team and your area - these are all elements that communicate who you are.
If you’re unsure about your brand, your tone of voice and what your values are, it is worth spending time getting these fundamentals right. Have a read here to find out more.
Make sure your homepage encourages conversions
An effective homepage has to be one that converts.
A conversion is simply a user responding to a call-to-action. This could be filling out a valuation form, or picking up the phone to talk to your team.
It’s a crucial moment where they are pushed over the line by an enticement to action.
In order for your homepage to work effectively, these call to actions need to be visible and functional.
They need to clearly direct your audience to the next logical step (‘call our team now,’ ‘book an instant valuation,’ ‘register for property alerts’).
These call to actions should keep in mind the user’s motivations.
What will someone want to achieve when they land on your page? Are you guiding them well enough?
A well-designed, easy to navigate and visually appealing homepage is an essential part of your online presence - don’t neglect it!