Planning Website Architecture for Property Developers
Your website is the most critical component of your digital marketing strategy. It should be thought of as your shop front, or web store – where customers come to browse, and do not leave without completing a transaction. They need to convert, and your website needs to provide that conversion.
Many property developers currently create specific standalone websites for their new developments and consequently suffer the pain of having a new site come online for every new project. This carries with it the obvious challenges of:
» Designing & developing new sites for each new project
» Poor search engine rankings for new sites (it takes time to build search engine
» Duplicating content across numerous sites
» Disjointed technology and centralization of data
Oftentimes, these sites are nothing more than brochure sites, not optimized for mobile or tablet, providing scant information, little real value to a visitor, and no tangible method of converting them into leads.
Planning website architecture
There are a couple of key considerations when planning your website architecture. There is no one size fits all approach, but you should consider how you structure your portfolio, brand site and any project related sites to match your business.
Multiple independent sites
Keeping in mind what we know about the buyer journey, namely that it relies heavily on search engines, and in most cases will have a ‘local’ term (e.g. “new apartments Dubai”), it may be easier to build a portfolio of sites, or “landing pages” dedicated to specific regions to match search queries if your portfolio of developments spans countries and disparate regions. The key is to plan your site framework, and ensure it aligns with your business.
Modular ‘one-site’ approach
A more sustainable and effective approach to your website strategy could be a ‘one-site’ modular framework where dedicated microsites are created within your main website, and rolled out when needed. The key is to plan your site framework, and ensure it aligns with your business. Think of it as having a ‘plug-and-play’ microsite template that can be bolted onto your website, can be reused for multiple microsites and quickly adapted to suit each campaign. It’s not to say having multiple separate sites on different domains is wrong, but the inefficiencies and drawbacks of creating new sites all the time has us leaning towards a one-site strategy.
Microsites are self-contained websites within websites – i.e. on an existing domain – mainsite.com/microsite. What makes them different from pages within your site is their unique, high impact design tailored specifically for your campaign (i.e. new housing development project), dedicated navigation and content. They are treated as sites in their own right.
By creating microsites on your main domain, you will benefit from the history and existing SEO ranking provided by your main site domain (mainsite.com) that has been earned slowly over time.
Website Essentials checklist
» Works well on desktop, tablet & mobile
» Optimized for search engines
» Useful buyer-focused content
» Forms for capturing leads
» Connected to Customer Relationship Management software (CRM)
» Connected to email marketing tool
» Google Analytics installed
» Social media enabled
» Advertising tracking code installed