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Make Sure Your Listings Can Be Seen on All Devices

 

A lot of people like to search for homes whenever it is convenient, which may mean they are standing in line at the store, riding the bus, or sitting on their couch. Depending on where they are they may not be viewing listings from a computer, but instead they are looking on their smartphone or tablet. If your website or listing isn’t optimized for these users, chances are they won’t look at your listing for very long. Pages that haven’t been optimized are make it difficult to see pictures, read descriptions, click on links to other homes, or navigate menus. Majority of people prefer something that works simply and smoothly, and if it doesn’t, they aren’t going to bother with it. If you make sure that the listings on your site are viewable for mobile users, you will in turn get more people viewing your listings.

Mobile Optimized Sites

Of course, if you post your listings on other sites like Trulia, you know that your listing can be seen on either their site or app using a mobile device since they keep everything optimized for you. However, if you have your own site or your company has a site, you should consider making your site viewable on several different devices. When you are creating the mobile version of your site, there are a couple things you can do. You or your web developer may want to include some coding to your site that will recognize if a user is on a smartphone or tablet. Once the code determines the device they are using, it will redirect them to the mobile version of your site. This will make it much easier for potential buyers to navigate your site and listings. Of course, there is always a chance that your site may glitch which is why you should always include a way for the user to go to the desktop version of the site. Add a link to the full desktop version of the site on the mobile page so users can easily get to it and you should add a link to the mobile version of your site on the desktop page in case the redirect code doesn’t work. This will give your viewers several options to see your site.

Displaying Media

A photo is worth 1,000 words, especially when you are trying to sell a house. If your visitors aren’t able to view your photos, or other media you have for your listing, chances are they will not be calling you about that property. Changing the size of your photos and how they are displayed on your site will let them be seen on different mobile devices without a problem. Images that are still the original size are normally large files that can slow down how fast a page downloads on a mobile device. Try to keep images that will be seen on phones or tablets to 500×500 pixels or smaller. Another thing that can affect the download time is the image’s file type and quality. When you upload a picture, you should save them as both a PNG and a JPG or GIF then you can use which ever file is the smallest. Something else to worry about is if you use flash to display any of your photos, or even your contact forms. Devices like iPhones and iPads can’t display flash pages. Instead, you can use HTML5 which is supported on devices like iPads, iPhones, or even Android phones.

Cursors vs. Fingers

While some tablets and phones can use a stylus, others simply use a person’s finger to navigate the screen. This is a big change from small cursors that new ultrabooks and computers use. Since a finger is much larger than a cursor you need to take that into consideration when setting up the mobile version of your site. Make text and picture links a little larger than they would be on a desktop so there are easier to select. You should also add in more white or empty space between links to prevent the user from clicking on multiple links at one time or the wrong link all together. If a user is unable to navigate through your listing, or keeps accidentally clicking a link they don’t want, they will move on to something easier to use.

Test it

After all of the work that you put into getting your listing together, you want to make sure it actually works. Testing your page on different devices lets you know that someone on an iPhone is seeing the same thing as someone on a Samsung Galaxy. With all of the different types of devices that are on the market, you want to make sure they can see your listing no matter the display size or operating system. You can simulate the different views and operating systems by using sites like CrossBrowserTesting.com. Of course, the best way to test it out is to try out different devices.

These few things will help make sure the people will be able to view your listings no matter what device they use. Whether you show your listings on different housing websites and/or your own personal realtor site, you want people to be able to see pictures of the house, read details about it, and request information quickly and easily. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, most users won’t mess with it for very long before moving on to something else.

Guest Post

Nicky Elkins

Staff Writer

BBGeeks | AndGeeks | Prepaid Reviews | Going Cellular

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11 Comments

  1. Larry T. says:

    Great information here Nicky, I am learning that with all of these different technologies merging together, there are still lots of problems with being able to view sites on every mobile platform. Letting the web developer know and having a link to view the full desktop version of site will enhance your audience and can have the potential to ring in more clients. Thanks for the helpful tools here!

  2. Sam Rath says:

    This article is perfectly times for me. Just a few weeks ago I came to the conclusion that I needed a site that potential customers can easily navigate with their mobile devises. I tried switching to a worpress theme that claimed to supported mobile device browsing. This is where your “test it” advice came in to play. While it worked ok on the tablet it didn’t well on a mobile phone. Thanks for the great advice Nicky.

  3. Responsive design is an enormous competitive advantage on the web right now and I plan to make mine a priority as well. Rending properly on all devices will be crucial going forward.

  4. Alana says:

    Hi there,
    I think the proliferation of mobile and tablet devices means that web designers and developers are going to have to think long and hard about considering to make the switch to include people who prefer using other devices apart from laptops to access the internet. Do you have any figures which point to a higher ROI for websites optimized for mobiles and tablets?
    Alana

  5. Daniel Mower says:

    Great points! Those not mobile optimizing their content are missing the bus!

    Thanks for the read!

  6. Sinjin says:

    Great write up. I have a WordPress related question I was wondering if you could help me with. If you look at my blog http://www.allstarkievrealty.com/blog/ from a mobile device (iPhone in particular), All Star Kiev Realty Blog is written VERTICALLY, creating a long ‘ugly’ page. Is there a way I can remedy this?

  7. Steve Pacinelli says:

    I am sure there is, but unfortunately I do not know the answer to that one Sinjin.

  8. Alana H. says:

    Hi there,

    Loved the post; some great actionable tips that an individual can use as a foundation for creating a mobile site. Now, another option to this would be to have a banner that prompts your site’s visitors to download mobile browsers in order to view your site on their hand-held devices. They compress the data on a website to make it easier for people to view your site. This can help as you transition to mobile, since one may not have the immediate resources to come up with a mobile site.

    Alana

  9. Rob Jansen says:

    I was having a problem with my Nav on mobile and Ipad. So I had to create “landing pages,” (you know – the only reason they are there are to get to the sub pages in my Nav.) They work but they are not that great.

  10. One way to make sure that your website (including your listings) can ALWAYS be viewed with ease is by making sure that your website’s design is Responsive! At Brilliant Agent, we make websites with Responsive Design especially for Real Estate Agents to ensure that your customers will be able to easily view your website on any type of device they might be using.

    Click our NAME above for more information!

  11. Chung M says:

    Great post Steve, indeed we need to have proper mobile web presence to reach out to more people; and we need a strategy using cloudHQ.net to get proper backup of our website

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