If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound? The answer is yes, but if you launch a website and no one knows about it, it will not be a success. The truth is, the steps to a successful real estate website launch start well before your website even goes live.
There are so many factors that play into making a successful website launch that we have broken it down for you by pre-launch, web launch, and post-launch. If you follow these steps, you can make sure that your launch is successful, but that you will be able to build on that momentum to keep generating more traffic.
Steps to a Successful Pre-Launch
Before you ever launch your website, you have to get several ducks in a row first. First and foremost you have to make sure that you are building a professional looking website. No matter how sophisticated your design is, if it is not easy navigate and pleasant to look at, you will not hold the attention of users very long.
Once you are confident that you have built a winning website, you have to go beyond the aesthetics and figure out to whom you are marketing. Your audience will factor into how you target your launch, where you announce the launch, and how your launch announcement is crafted.
- Analytics – Install analytics into your web coding to track user behavior and usage. Do this before a launch so that you can measure if your website is working the way that you want it once it goes live. This is the best way to make changes immediately when your website designs are not having the effect that you want.
- Testing – Test, test, and retest to make sure that all pages, outbound links, images, and graphics are working properly. Even if you have gone through your website dozens of times, you may miss typos, broken links, or missing images. Have an independent third party test your site and get feedback.
- Advanced SEO Configuration – Your website has to be optimized to be recognized by search engines. The algorithms that aggregate search results are constantly changing. Using a professional web designer can ensure that your SEO configuration is up-to-date.
Steps to a Successful Website Launch
Believe it or not, there is data that shows that there is a best day of the week to launch a website. Common sense may tell you that you should launch on a Friday or on a weekend when people are off of work and have more time to surf the internet, but you would be wrong. Actually, the best day of the week for a website launch according to Orbit Media is Tuesday.
Mondays are too busy and weekends do not allow for emergency fixes or changes if there are problems. The caveat here is if you are coordinating your launch with a major event in your service area. If a big festival is coming and you expect a lot of people to be out and about, a Wednesday or Thursday launch tying an open house to that event may be better.
Besides timing, a successful launch often starts with a “soft launch.” With a soft launch you can limit who can see the live version of your website to test its capabilities. It’s going live without going live. That will give you time to fix glitches before you make the formal announcement, improve navigability, and get feedback from actual users.
In addition to timing, these are the typical steps for most business website launches that will effectively get the word out to your target audience and to make sure that people know that your website is now live:
- Issue a Press Release – Issuing a press release online to announce your real estate website launch can reach business directories, professional marketing firms, and other industry professionals who list businesses in your area.
- Share on Social Media – Sharing your announcement on social media can help to reach the growing number of millennial real estate buyers. Make sure to link back to your website on social media.
- Send an Email Blast – Targeting an e-mail blast to a close group of colleagues, friends, and associates asking them to check out your new website can produce enough traffic to push up your search engine rankings even if you only send it to a few dozen contacts. Remember to make the e-mail compelling enough to make them want to click your link.
- Pass Out Your Business Card – Hand out business cards at local events and festivals, particularly if your launch is coordinated with an open house in your service area. Always keep your business cards with your website address on it on hand.
Steps to a Successful Post Launch
Your post launch will determine whether or not you will build on your initial success or if interest in your website will fall off. One way to keep interest in your new real estate website high is to continually add new and engaging content. That includes adding more properties and featured listings, more neighborhood information, and great blog content.
Especially in your blog content, you want to include backlinks to promote your content on other relevant real estate information sites. This helps to improve your search engine rankings and direct more foot traffic to your site. Content should also be informative and full of information that will cause other sites to link to your website.
Lastly, remember all of those analytics that you built into your coding? Now is the time to review those statistics to see how your first week has gone. What days saw the most traffic? What content received the most clicks? What pages held user attention the longest? Your website stats will help you to make effective improvements that will keep your site fresh and active.
Are You Ready to Go Live?
Maybe you are and maybe you are not ready. The best way to make sure that you have taken all of the steps to build a successful real estate website is to let a real estate web design team guide you step by step from pre-launch through post launch. To find more information on this and other useful website tools, contact our team today.