Many loyal readers have emailed or called to ask why I have not published a new real estate article in the past 3 months. The answer is simple: I am upgrading. As many of you know, I have self-built and maintained my Nashville real estate blog since 2005, but I felt it was time to call on the professionals to take my website to the next level.
You will see many new upgrades rolled out over the next several weeks such as a refined look, new search ability, new categorization for easier reading, new social sharing and you will notice the site loading seven times faster than before. This is all thanks to a collaborative effort between Creative Shift Design and Ah So Designs. There will also be several upgrades you don’t notice like cleaner code, new Genesis framework, enhanced SEO and a click through flow. These upgrades are thanks to a partnership between John Householder at Ah So Designs and Ross Jones at 2 The Top SEO (I don’t mind telling you who my SEO is…I have Nashville exclusivity in the real estate category, sorry guys).
When I began this project, like many real estate agents, my goals were simple. I wanted users to have a better experience and I wanted the site to rank better on the major search engines. What I realized is the process to accomplish these goals were more complicated than I had anticipated. Half way through the project, Google executed the Penguin update which shook up the real estate search results quite significantly and caused us to rethink certain aspects of the site. Additionally, I struggled with locating the perfect IDX product to display MLS listings. Ultimately, had John and Ross not been involved, I most likely would have failed to accomplish my second goal.
Serious Money, Serious Real Estate Results
Performing a custom redesign of your real estate website is serious business and not for the faint of heart. Many have asked and I have been very honest, before this project has concluded, I will spend in the neighborhood of $15,000 on designer time, coder time and SEO time. You can literally purchase a brand new Honda Fit or Scion for what it costs to blow out your real estate website. But, this does not bother me one bit as this is an investment in my clients and my readers. It is money well spent and will provide a return.
Ranking Progress and Conservative Prediction
There are in the neighborhood of 45 real estate agents and companies in Nashville who are actively competing for ranking for the major keyword searches in Nashville. On my own, I was never able to rank higher than #4 for the most competitive keyword phrase in the entire state, “Nashville real estate”. I was quite proud of this effort, but I was never going to rank any higher. After our initial relaunch, the site dropped to #12, but that is simply the case every time you redesign and relaunch. Within a week, the site is now back to #9 and climbing for many secondary and tertiary search phrases as well. Conservatively speaking, the site should be back up to #4 by the end of 2012 and continuing to make progress in 2013. Personally, this is the most exciting aspect for me…breaking the glass ceiling just in time for the spring real estate season.
Sharing my Experience and Giving Advice
It is always a goal to help fellow Realtors enhance their business and I am always open to sharing. I intend on periodically updating readers on our progress and I will do my best to answer all of your questions. I do speak at RE BarCamp as well as at several other real estate related conferences and meet-ups, these will be the best places to speak with me in person for a more in-depth conversation. That being said, feel free to leave a comment below with any questions, advice or opulent adulation ♥ It’s good to be back!