Consider these statistics:
• 92% of homebuyers search for their new home using digital media.
• 76% say they drove by a home after seeing it online.
• 62% do a walk-through of a home they first viewed online.
With buyers placing so much emphasis on the online search, shouldn’t you be sure you’re making a powerful impression here? The best way to be sure that you’re communicating the message you want in a website that’s user-friendly is to conduct usability testing.
I’ve seen many builders treat their websites like a necessary evil, doing just enough to create an online presence. And they expect great things. “Here’s who we are and some photos of the homes we build. Let us build yours.”
Does that sound like a unique and impactful presentation? Sure, I’ve simplified it (maybe…maybe not), but then again, there are plenty of sites out there that are merely adequate. Is that how you want your prospects to perceive you? Adequate?
I recently chatted with Steve Shoemaker of Ideal Homes in Norman, Oklahoma. He recommends Usertesting.com. This company conducts usability testing on websites to see how site visitors actually use your website. It’s like blind-shopping your website, using pre-screened testers who match your demographic. They offer objective feedback that will help you fine-tune your builder website so that it keeps your prospects on the site. Steve says you want to make sure your site is relevant and friendly—in the user’s eyes, not necessarily yours. You can add all the bells and whistles, but if the user can’t find what they want, they’re gone—and so is the lead.
With a marketing tool as important as your website, don’t settle for good enough. Be great!