Broward Council of the MIAMI Association of REALTORS

                                                                                                     

                

Case Study: Creating the Local Search Experience

by | Apr 15, 2014

Most people searching online are looking for something local. They're searching for real estate or restaurants or parks in a very specific geographical region. A smart broker will be aware of this and will respond with appropriate online marketing strategies. But how do you create the local search experience? One of our local brokers is doing it right.

Century 21 Hometown Realty ("C21 Hometown") is a leading broker in San Luis Obispo County, with a presence in Ventura County and Southern California as well. They use technology wisely – for consumers, their brokerage, and agents. They've created community pages to satisfy their customers' desire for the local search experience.

Here's a peek at one of their community pages. Since this image is pretty small, you may just want to check it out here.

wolfnet_c21-comm-page

So, what's on this community page?

  • Copy. At least 300 words describing the area and detailing any factors that might influence the local real estate market.
  • Graphics. People love visuals. Using a graph or chart to depict real estate trends is a great way to capture your visitors' attention. Photos of the area are also nice – just be sure they look professional. 
  • A custom search. A button that leads them to a custom search for that specific city, zip code, or neighborhood is a MUST.

 

What are the benefits of community pages?

  • SEO. Because the graphs in our case study are updated automatically, the pages that contain them are re-indexed regularly, which gives you an SEO bump. The community-focused pages also allow you to emphasize search terms like "santa maria real estate" or "real estate santa maria." You'll include the search terms in the on-page copy as well as the meta data (which the search engine spiders will see but actual people won't).
  • Enhanced property search experience. Your visitors will appreciate these pages. Your custom search saves them time. The local information and data you provide will help inform their real estate sale or purchase. This results in loyalty – to your website and to you.
  • Neighborhood Expert status. We've talked ad nauseam about becoming the Neighborhood Expert. So, I'm not going into the nitty gritty details of the concept here. Suffice it to say that you do want to be the neighborhood expert and community pages are just one more way to prove that you are.

How did they do it?

If you want to emulate C21 Hometown, you'll need to find a website provider who allows custom pages and custom IDX searches. C21 Hometown's website developer is WolfNet. WolfNet offers WordPress based, custom designed websites as well as IDX or VOW that integrates quite neatly. If you already have a WordPress site, they also offer a plugin that features IDX and the ability to create custom searches.

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