Is your real estate site mobile friendly?

stock mobileMobile is becoming a more and more popular way to access information on the internet.  Whether it someone searching from their iphone while parked in front of one of your listings, or a couple in bed at the end of the night looking for their dream house on a tablet, having a site being mobile friendly and responsive is critical.  And even more important, the number of people visiting your real estate site from a mobile device are just going to continue to climb.

Even more crucial is the fact that Google is looking at ranking sites from Google searches on mobile devises differently depending on how well – or not – your site performs for mobile users.  So if you are getting organic free search traffic from Google – meaning you have visitors (or you want to have visitors) that find your site by typing in a keyword search your site ranks for – then making sure your site is mobile friendly is crucial.

What are “mobile devices”?

While most people consider mobile devices to be only smart phones, they actually also cover things like tablet computers such as the Surface or iPad and all screen sizes in between.  Essentially, anything that isn’t from a desktop computer or a regular sized laptop is lumped into the “mobile devices” category.

Is your site ”mobile friendly”?

A site being “mobile friendly” means that visitors who visit your site on a mobile device find that you have either a mobile version of your website, or your website uses responsive design, so that the website changes width based on how wide the screen is for each of your site’s visitors.

Many people only bother visiting their own website while they are sitting at their desk because they are working on their site or they are talking with a client about something that appears on their site.  It just never crosses their mind to see how it looks on any other kind of device.  Due to this, not many people visit their website on a regular basis from a mobile device such as an iphone or ipad.  First, you should check and see what your site looks like in mobile.  Is it clear and concise, or are you forced to site scroll to get the information you need?

How much of your traffic is mobile?

If you have an analytics program, such as Google Analytics, you can see the percentage of your traffic that is mobile versus desktop.  You particularly want to look at the mobile bounce rate, meaning how much of your mobile traffic goes to a page on your site and then leaves immediately without clicking another link on your site.  However, if your site takes a long time to load, you might not see all the mobile traffic you really have, since many people hit the back button before your analytics code loads.  If you have a high bounce rate and a high percentage of mobile traffic, you need to fix this immediately before it costs you more potential home buyers or sellers.

Navigation

While poor navigation can be a detriment to a website from a desktop experience, and can make a site completely unusable in mobile.  Can you easily find the link to your listings?  Your contact information if they want to give you a phone call?  Your biography page?  What about your property search button?  These are the things you want to ensure people can find easily and quickly but which are often pretty difficult to find when viewing a realtor’s website on a phone.

Color Usability

Often, color schemes that look great on a desktop computer look horrible on a mobile device – or even when you view the site on a laptop versus a desktop.  Make sure that the colors of your website also work on an iPhone.  Make sure your color choices, particularly font (text) color choices are still easily readable.

How fast is your site?

If your site takes too long to load on a mobile device, people are simply going to click the back button and go to your competitor’s site instead.  There are lots of sites that load with the seemingly speed of light, while others  are loading at a snail pace.  You want to make sure your site loads quickly, so you aren’t sending that potential home buyer or home seller to your competitors instead.  Often mobile versions of websites are “lighter” and load less items (such as not loading widgets or videos automatically) that it would load for a user on a desktop.

Having a mobile friendly version of your real estate site is crucial, especially in the years to come.  If your site doesn’t perform well on mobile devices and you haven’t looked into redesigning your site to handle that traffic better, you should definitely consider a plan to recrify that within the next year.

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