Anatomy of a Global Real Estate Website

Logo - Place it in the upper-left corner of every page and make it “clickable” to return to the home page.

Navigation - Your primary navigation links should define the focus of your site and help people find what’s most important to them. Avoid drop-down menus (which are difficult for mobile visitors to navigate). Ask your programmer to add metatags for all site navigation. Use clickable “breadcrumbs” (e.g., Home > Communities > Smithfield) as another helpful navigation tool.

Graphics - Use relevant and visually pleasing imagery. Video is a good option, but let visitors decide if they want to view it (no auto-play upon landing on your site). All graphics should have alt-tags and give visitors a good idea of what you do before reading your text. Be sure you have the legal right to use all images appearing on your site.

Text - Keep a good balance between too few and too many words (with an eye toward search engine optimization). Use conversational language and don’t be afraid to use (but don’t overuse) your focused keywords. Keep your text (and the design as a whole) constrained to avoid long scrolling. Incorporate occasional text links directed to other sections of your site.

Translation - This feature sends a strong signal that you’re interested in serving global clients.

Social Connections - Include social media buttons and encourage interaction.

Property Search - Place this on the upper half of the page, where visitors can find it without scrolling.

Call to Action - Encourage visitors to contact you and make it easy to do so.

Blog - Boost your performance in search engines by regularly adding new, keyword-rich content.

Testimonials - Build your credibility by using the words of satisfied customers (get their permission, in writing, and identify them by full name and location, if possible). You can even use video for this, if your clients are willing.

Footer - Use a basic navigation line at the bottom of each page, reflecting what is at the top of the page and making it easy for visitors to dig deeper into your site without scrolling back to the top. Also include a site map, copyright, terms of use, contact information, physical location (for search engines) and perhaps another set of smaller social media icons. Keep the footer tidy and useful.

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About Global Perspectives

Global Perspectives in Real Estate is a resource for global professionals, aimed at helping them globalize their local markets. Produced bi-monthly, this newsletter serves as a how-to guide and is full of useful and actionable tips. A free subscription is given to all Certified International Property Specialists (CIPS) designees.

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