SEATTLE, WA - Renters aren’t always at home on their laptops. With the rise of the mobile web, it’s now possible for them to get things done on-the-go, including looking for housing. However, attracting quality renters via mobile means that your site needs to be designed and optimized for it. The more user-friendly your site is, the more time renters will spend browsing, increasing the likelihood of you interacting with them.
Mobile search is good for business because it’s largely local. According to Google, mobile search terms are 66% more likely to be local. That means renters could be looking for directions to your office, your phone number, or responding to an ad. Here are some qualities your mobile site should have that will make for an easy and painless browsing experience:
Adapt the screen resolution to a variety of screen sizes.
Not everyone is viewing your mobile website from the same kind of device. Smartphones and tablets vary in screen size, shape, and resolution. Start out by using the specs for the most popular mobile devices, but ultimately you want to get your site to display correctly across many different devices.
Keep design simple.
Your full website may look stunning with cool graphics, rollover text, and other extras – but a mobile website isn’t the place for it. Cut down on unnecessary graphics so your page load time won’t be slowed down. Ask yourself: what are visitors looking for when they land on your page? Your site, at the very least, needs to help visitors arrive at their answer quickly and painlessly. Laggy pages and badly placed navigation will only prompt visitors to go elsewhere.
Cut down on text.
A good mobile site pares down on unnecessary text and utilizes clickable images, headlines, and links. Get rid of lengthy text and limit scrolling to one direction for easier navigation. Keep headlines short and descriptive; visitors can always click if they want to learn more.
Reorganize website content for easier viewing.
Visitors are viewing your content on smaller screens, which means your page’s “real estate” becomes more valuable. Make different parts of your site accessible with tabs at the top and a search bar. Remember that mobile users are most likely using a touchscreen, so links, buttons and images should be larger and more clickable. Fingers aren’t able to click with the precision of a mouse cursor, so space the items on your page accordingly.
Have your full site available.
You’ve created a mobile site for easier browsing, but some visitors like what they’re used to. Add a link to the full version of your website on your mobile site so visitors can easily jump back and forth between the two.
Reduce the need to type.
Keyboards on mobile devices are small and a pain to use. Reduce the need for visitors to type in what they’re looking for by utilizing checkboxes to help them narrow down their search. For example, once visitors arrive at a listing page for a specific city, allow them to check off the number of bedrooms they want or slide a cursor to set their budget.
Make it easy for visitors to contact you.
Visitors are already browsing your site on a smartphone, so take advantage of it with clickable contact information. Add a “send message” or “call” button under a listing, or simply make your phone and e-mail a link so visitors can reach out to you easily when they see an apartment they like. A click-to-call feature places you just a quick phone call away.
A mobile-friendly website is more than packing everything from your full website into one column. Test out your site repeatedly to make sure everything works. Ask friends for feedback. Make the adjustments, and relax: your business is now armed for success in today’s shift towards mobile marketing.
Article Contribution Credit: This article was contributed to MultifamilyBiz.com by Jennifer Chan, marketing coordinator at Zillow. She is also the editor of the rentals section of the Zillow for Pros blog, which brings real estate professionals their daily dose of real estate marketing tips, tricks, and strategies.