I can tell you from experience that client content is the biggest challenge to launching websites in a timely fashion. Yes, strategy, vision, wireframing, design, and development takes time — but so does content. And great content is an absolute requirement to an amazing website that buyers and sellers will return to over and over again.
After speaking with one of our Geek Build 2012 participants, Greg Fischer, I realized most agents and brokers don’t really understand what is needed for a website from a content perspective. Hence, I thought it would be a useful exercise to produce a content checklist for a new brokerage or agent website:
- Comprehensive bio for yourself and every member of your team
- Professional bio photo for you and your team members
- Unique descriptions of every city within your coverage area
- Photographs of each city within your coverage area. Ideally, several photos per city. These should be photos that you own and have full copyrights to.
- Unique descriptions and photos for each neighborhood, ZIP code, or HOA that you cover.
- Listing photos – ideally, high resolution. You don’t want to show your sellers a website that showcases THEIR property with crappy, low resolution MLS photos, do you?
- List with Us – a page detailing why someone should choose you as a listing agent/brokerage rather than the dozens of others a seller could pick. What’s your UNIQUE value proposition?
- About – for a brokerage site, you need an about page that details the history of the company
- Blog posts – you should always launch a website that includes at least 5 blog posts. You don’t want someone visiting your site for the first time, and all they see on the blog is the default “Hello World” blog post that comes standard with every instance of WordPress.
- Landing pages – there is no simple answer to how many landing pages you need. It depends on how much time you have, and what your specific areas of expertise are. For instance, if you are a short sales expert in Seattle – a page dedicated to “Short Sales in Seattle” that gives a buyer everything they need to know about short sales and direct access to see short sales listings makes sense. You can always add landing pages as you go, but it’s good to create your most important ones first so the pages are given time to “age” in the search engines.
- Testimonials – the more testimonials from past clients you have on your site, the better. If you can get video testimonials? Even better.
- Bonus: MORE community content for all cities, neighborhoods, ZIPs, HOA’s that you create pages for. What to do, school information, local parks and amenities, recommended weekend trips, local festivals, etc
- Bonus: A professionally produced video for your about page (both for yourself and your company)
- Bonus: A professionally produced video such as the one seen here for Scripps Ranch
Remember, you can always outsource the content to a professional writer. Frankly, if you aren’t a great writer, finding a freelance writer (I know a few if you’re looking for one) is probably the best route to take. Same with the video content. I certainly do not recommend you try to shoot, edit, and produce your own videos.
That should give you a good start producing some content for your new site. Anything I am overlooking?