Wilsons visit the Site Doctor

What’s in the video?

For this, the sixth in our Site Doctor series, we face the most difficult site analysis we’ve yet had to do.  That’s because the Wilsons Estate Agents site (www.wilsonsestateagents.co.uk) is extremely high quality – which makes finding improvements much harder than normal.  It’s also hard because much of the site’s strength resides in its simplicity.  We don’t want to pollute that.  That said, it’s also been a very pleasant analysis to conduct, as the basics are in good shape, and with this site you have a rare opportunity to go from good to absolutely excellent.

Enjoy the video:

The Doctors Orders…

Summary

You have a beautiful, elegant site.  It has a nice a simple structure – this doesn’t want complicating, so this can’t be a case of throwing the kitchen sink at it.  However, you’ve given us the opportunity – and we’ve accepted the challenge – to see if we could improve the site.  And we do have a few recommendations.

Those recommendations centre on the following topics:

  • SEO advantages
  • Speed issues
  • Minor usability points in various places
  • The opportunity to introduce Mapping
  • Judicious choice of new functionality (especially around user accounts)

The rest of the notes that follow, are not comprehensive, but are aimed as a summary checklist for our designers when taking the challenge to make the site better.

Homepage

  • Super strong header
  • Don’t expose the email address – capture it in an all roads lead to roam
  • Introduce a very simple profile system here in the header – (see Leaders.co.uk)
  • Teeny pop / green colour roll over on the phone icons / mail icon
  • Introduce a CMS to allow you to change the menu items
  • Double button in form UI – maybe a thin green key line separator (but really that’s picking holes where there aren’t any)
  • Touch screen vs mouse drop downs
  • Search areas – we’ll come back to this
  • Image map on carousel image – one more click (LOW)
  • Meet the team double URL?
    http://www.wilsonsestateagents.co.uk/4-meet-the-team
    http://www.wilsonsestateagents.co.uk/4-our-team
  • Numbering in the URLs
  • Consider adding an Implied Search Engine so you can act like a chameleon
  • Click Here > Why Sell (catch eye) – user testing video – also context for SEO
  • Or call us on > Or call us
  • Darker grey in final stripe (LOW)
  • Ditch “Associated with”
  • Greyscale the logos / Centralise them / Positivise them (see locationlocation.com for an example)
  • Exposed email again
  • Add Pop on the social icons
  • Privacy etc.

Responsive points on the Homepage

  • Add a break point for the logo / and another down on mobile
  • Check menu on ipad mini

Grid Results

  • URL structure > Clean URLs
  • Hybrid SEO title / Meta title
  • Dive into the HTML
  • Add Areas we cover (as a clean pop out panel)
  • “Refine your Search”
  • Grid / List / Map – three way colour // Why not colour text of current tab
  • Strip out Breadcrumb – who needs it on a site this simple
  • Add Infinite scroll – (see BOPproperty.com for a nice example)
  • (Map of Taunton area)
  • Results per page (ditch it – nobody uses it – simplify in line with your strength)

The Results partials are gorgeous – but here are a few ideas to take them further:

  • Small tweaks to make list and grid partials consistent.  Prices red on grid view, key line grey on list view (but only if we darken background), and drop inter-partial key lines
  • Slightly darken the background grey – to make partials stand out
  • Drop List & Grid on mobile view, only one makes sense
  • Save property
  • Make the page titles links
  • Adverts for more properties, in the flow
  • Respond upwards
  • Rip out pagination – if infinite scroll
  • Why the key line above “Associated with”?  (Classier footer)

Responsive points on the Property Search Results list:

  • Down arrow on Search Property in the Taunton Area > “Search property down arrow” button

List Results

  • Context switch with a #bang
  • Include more photos
  • Red was a surprise
  • Display address has to be clickable
  • Price qualifiers?
  • Property Search Pathway

Property Details

  • Remove the Breadcrumb
  • Consider Removing the “Full details” – what is this adding – and it may well hurt SEO
  • Consolidate the header generally
  • Titling / H1 in general
  • Make guttering widths uniform
  • Disable scroll on the panel of map with mouse scroll wheel
  • Implied search – see Perfect Property details
  • Larger photo – pop up Carousel
  • Description layout (we may struggle) – put in a drawer
  • No keyline on Associated with – reduce noise

And in relation to the Key Calls to action on this page:

  • Bring out and up primary call to action – Green button
  • Consider repeating phone number – oh you do, diminutive
  • Send to friend – login modal – unify into site registration
  • And an exposed contact form to increase conversion rate (see below)

Add (at least the capacity) for some additional info around each property, eg:

  • Street view
  • Bird’s Eye
  • Video

In the video we also promised we would link to the Perfect Property Details page video.

Separate Request Details Page

  • Consolidate into property details page
  • Rip out spam question > Honeypot it
  • First and Last name
  • Radio button the Have Property to Sell

No Map Views?

We couldn’t find a map view of your property results.  This may be deliberate?  If not, there’s a clear opportunity to add in mapping.   These days it’s possible to do really nice sketch-a-map, (better than the old draw-a-map), if mapping wasn’t left out deliberately, adding this could be a nice touch too.

Our Team

  • Drop the breadcrumb
  • Short summary – Read more green button – one more click
  • Why title first, name second – be people first, jobs second?  And for SEO…
  • Why the key line over the Associated with?

Staff Page

  • Good clean URL
  • Social connections
  • Exposed contact form
  • My colleagues
  • Mini videos of each staff member

Branch List

  • Add Later
  • URL vs Contact us page

Contact Us

  • Drop the breadcrumb
  • Exposed email
  • Big bold phone number
  • Responsive order on mobile?
  • Scroll wheel on map
  • VAT / Company Reg – lovely details – but annexe, or put in footer
  • Branch photo?
  • Call to action Title lead in on contact form / Contact form structure
  • Lighten the free valuation – or move it to base of form to stop it breaking it up
  • Spam question >> Honeytrap on leads

Content Pages / Selling Soon

  • Breadcrumb – highlight main menu if you like?
  • Exposed valuation form – right here, right now
  • Guides / Videos

I feel the Need, the Need for Speed!

At the time of writing, your site scores 63 on Google Page Speed, which we fear may be impacting your SEO very negatively..  (If you are reading this after some speed work has been done, you may see a very different number of course, however at the time of writing the speed is a very real issue for the site).  Have a look how it compares to an average set of agents within 10 miles of Exeter (a broadly equivalent set of agents to those that will be found in and around Taunton).

If you were to choose to use the Homeflow platform, we have a set of guidelines for best practice coding for speed, which you can read more about here.  Certainly we aim to keep our clients above 80, in speed score terms wherever possible, and we put a lot of engineering energy into this.  You can never underestimate the importance of speed on the web.

Boomerang?

It would be great to see you start using Boomerang, that’s something we could get going with before any site rebuild, and it will certainly help your SEO through boosting your repeat visit ratio, once you fix up the structural impediments (and perhaps even a bit before).

Your Prescription:

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