Did you know that there are 1.5 billion websites on the web? How can manufactured home retailers make their website stand out when there is so much competition on the internet?
Don’t worry, we’re here to help. : ) Read on for 6 tips that will help manufactured home retailers make their website more effective in 2020.
1. Define Your Objective
You know you need a website for your sales center, buy why? Why do you need to speak to customers on the internet? Do you want to sell something, educate consumers, promote an event, win an election, hire new talent, etc? These are all objectives of a website, and there are plenty more.
For most manufactured home retailers, the objective of the website will NOT be to sell something. The objective is to actually draw the user into the sales center, THEN sell them something. This is important. It means that when you’re designing the site, it needs to push them into the sales center, not try to sell them a home.
For now, most dealers are not selling homes online. They need to first build an ‘in-person’ relationship with the customer before they’re able to sell them a home.
In web developer speak, this action is called a conversion. A user converts when they take the action that the designers of the site wanted them to. And for the majority of manufactured home dealers, this means that a user visited the site, then either called or went to the sales center.
Remember the objective when you’re working with your web developer, and make sure they understand its importance.
2. Go Fast
Website speed matters. If your site is slow and bogged down, your users won’t have a good experience. And if your users don’t have a good experience, they’ll leave the site and certainly not want to buy a home.
Google know this. Google ultimately wants its search engine to show the most valuable and useful sites to its users. This means that it looks at load speed, and its index favors those sites that load quickly. If you had two identical sites, and 1 loaded in 2 seconds, and the other in 3 seconds, Google would rank the faster one higher in its index.
If a higher ranking is good, then conversions are great. And website speed helps with conversions. The faster a page loads, the most likely a user is to take action. According to skill.co, 50% of customers expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less. Also according to skilled.co, testing by AI Healthcare software company learned that:
- Pages that loaded in 2.4 seconds had a 1.9% conversion rate
- At 3.3 seconds, the conversion rate was 1.5%
- At 4.2 seconds, the conversion rate was less than 1%
- And at 5.7+ seconds, the conversion rate was less than .5%
To ensure your site is running quickly, just test it. One of our favorite tools is Neil Patel’s FREE tool, Uber Suggest. If you’re sales center’s site is loading quickly, you’re good to go. If it’s a little slow, look at where the site is hosted, and the size of the images on the site. Home photos can be quite large, so you may need to reduce their size before displaying them on the website.
3. Speak Your Buyer’s Language
Even the smallest site will have tens of thousands of words of content, and a manufactured home retailer’s website is no different. There are home descriptions, ‘about us’ pages, blogs, contact pages, etc. All of these have written content, and they all need to be written for the manufactured home buyer.
What does that mean? That means that you need to speak your customer’s language. “2×6 sidewalls, Zone 3 Wind Protection, and 36” batten strips” may describe the construction perfectly, but customers may just want to hear “a modern, well built home.”
To speak to your customer, think about how they speak to you. When they ask about features of a home, what terminology are they using? What features are they interested in? What features could they not care less about? Make sure your content is written in a way that speaks to the home buyer, not a dealer, manufacturer, or lender.
4. Mobile Performance Is Key
5-10 years ago, mobile performance was great, but not mandatory. Today, a manufactured home retailer’s site MUST function flawlessly on a mobile device. Google uses mobile functionality in their rankings, which means that websites that aren’t mobile friend will not rank well. And customer will instantly lose faith in a business if its website is not mobile friendly.
5. Great Photos Matter
Your home photos need to look great. They need to be staged, have great light, and show the customers how amazing your homes look. You need to avoid photos of unfinished homes. It may seem like a better option than nothing, but unfinished marriage lines and half installed carpet will make a buyer turn elsewhere.
If you don’t want to take photos of the home, the manufacturer will typically have some that you can use. If they don’t, you’re going to need to either 1) hire a photographer, or 2) take them yourself. There are plenty of real estate photographers around, so hop on Google to find one. If a photographer won’t work either, you’re going to have to grab the camera and take your own home photos.
How to stage homes: https://www.nar.realtor/blogs/styled-staged-sold/top-10-tips-for-staging-a-home-for-photos
How to take photos of homes: https://www.inman.com/next/8-tips-for-taking-real-estate-listing-photos-that-wow/
6. Tell People What to Do
While your website does need to have beautiful images, it is not just a place for customers to go look at pretty pictures of homes. The manufactured home retailer’s website is a tool to sell more homes, not a photo gallery. It needs to direct the user to their next step in the sales process.
For most retailers, the next step for their customer is a visit to the lot to start touring homes. Th website content needs to be designed in such a way that it guides the customer to the sales center. You will do this using a ‘Call To Action’(CTA). A CTA is is a prompt on a website that tells the user to take some specified action. In the case of a manufactured home retailer website, the user needs to be told to come to the lot to look at homes.
Placing sufficient CTAs will be up to you and your web developer, but there needs to be a clear call to action on every page. For example, on the page for a specific home, you would say something like “Like this home? Call us today to schedule an appointment to come tour this home.”
Want some help with your site? Contact us today to set up a discovery call so we can figure out how we can help.