Are Your Apartment Websites Killing Leads?
User behavior testing can help ensure your apartment community websites are funneling visitors to the online application—and not sending them away in frustration.
Are your apartment community websites helping you squeeze out every possible lead? Or are they turning off potential residents before they even get a chance to know what any community has to offer?
If you haven’t invested in user behavior testing you probably don’t have the information to answer these questions.
User analysis will tell you how your visitors navigate through your site, what they care about and what they don’t. With that information, you are better equipped to create websites that convert visitors into applicants and new residents.
“When I go to Amazon, it already knows what I’m interested in and what I’ve looked at before,” says Kelley Shannon, vice president, consumer marketing, with Bozzuto. “It’s making it easier for me to navigate through the information. That’s where we want to get to, in addition to making sure that the websites tell a great story.”
Why analyze user behavior?
User behavior testing can include visitor session recordings, heat mapping, conversion funnels and scrolling behaviors. This data will point out where your website is failing you and affirm changes you’ve already made or were thinking of making. The ultimate goal is to determine the visitor workflow that leads to an online application.
“Apartment communities spend so many resources on advertising, SEM and SEO, and social media campaigns to get the right traffic to the website,” says Tudor Manole, project manager, development, at Yardi Systems. “Once they are on the websites, visitors are facing so many challenges, and they find themselves confused or frustrated.”
Often, says Manole, the way a user wants to interact with the website is in opposition to its design. And the company doesn’t know that.
Of course, as with any analysis, the information is only as good as the actions it provokes. Bozzuto has created usability standards from its user analysis data.
“We have an elaborate document at Bozzuto that we give to every designer and developer who’s going to be touching our websites,” Shannon says. “We do it at the beginning of a project so there are no mistakes about what we expect to have from a usability perspective.”
Shannon notes that Bozzuto updates its standards at least three times a year to keep up with online trends. Because the way we consume information online is constantly evolving.
“Everything has become more visual these days,” Manole says. “If your website is not presented to [potential residents] in a way that they want to consume it, they will no longer interact with that website.”
Learn more and potentially win a site analysis
Shannon and Manole, along with Alex McGhee, digital marketing manager at Pinnacle, will go into much greater depth on this topic at the 2017 NAA Education Conference & Exposition in Atlanta, June 21-24.
Attend their session, “On Your Best Behavior: User Behavior Testing and Optimized Website Conversion,” and you could win a free usability analysis of an apartment community website. Even if you don’t win the site analysis, you will still walk away with an actionable checklist on website conversion that you can start applying as soon as you get back to work.