WordPress Real Estate Site Design – a case study of a phoenix site evolution

WordPress has been pitched to real estate professionals for years now as the platform of choice, the magic blue/red/pick-your-color pill for your real estate business, and with good reason.  But not all wordpress sites generate the same results.  This particular case study details the evolution of http://forsalephoenixhomes.com – a site that was originally built on wordpress and relied on Diverse Solutions IDX for IDX integration.

Here is the home page of the original site:

forsalephoenixhomes.com homepage

home page – before

This is what we in the biz refer to as a navigational cluster****.  In layman’s terms, an average user would have no idea what to click on and what to expect from anything that they might click on.  Just as importantly, Google and other search engines are going to be just as confused about what sort of content is on the site and how and if any of it is connected to each other.’

Here are the stats for the last time period before the redesign:

before google analytics

google analytics before

For the redesign, we chose to build a brand new site on the same domain instead of attempting to restructure existing elements.  We stayed with Diverse Solutions IDX and exported the same content, which was then restructured to make sense to both, the search engines and visitors.

Here is the new homepage, and of course feel free to click to go to the live site:

forsalephoenixhomes.com homepage – after

As you can see, the important elements from the user perspective are front and center, with quick home search in the most prominent visual position.  An average user will not be easily confused as to what they should click on.  Additionally, we restructured all of the content on the site, down to the level of renaming categories and tags and addressing link structure issues, so that all of the posts on the site could be found by both, users and search engines.  The new site went live at the end of December (last few days really), and we connected Google Analytics to the site on January 2nd.

Here is a screen shot of the current time segment (30 days) from Google Analytics:

Google Analytics segment after

So in less than two months, with the same IDX and essentially the same content, the site went from under a 1,000 visits to over 6,000.  It is also now showing up on pages one and two of Google for some of the important communities that this broker services (Desert Ridge, for example).

I am not going to go through too many other details here about exactly what we did and how we did it.  Suffice it to say that we approach website design for real estate slightly different from most other shops.  We approach everything we do from the  perspective of the consumers you are trying to target.  Every CTA, every title of every page and even every custom search or results link in the IDX is thoroughly researched.  The interface and site design are based on what your visitors will be expecting; on the visual pictures they already have in their heads of what your hood or town looks like and feels like.

The rest of it is then is up to the client – and Bob Hertzog has been a great student.  Thanks Bob for letting me publish the details, and for being an awesome client and a friend.

If you want to chat about your real estate website design – give us a call or contact us here.

Follow this link for a few additional case studies of our wordpress real estate designs>>

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22 Responses to WordPress Real Estate Site Design – a case study of a phoenix site evolution
  1. June
    October 13, 2012 | 8:46 pm

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    October 13, 2012 | 2:01 pm

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    October 6, 2012 | 3:12 pm

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    October 6, 2012 | 2:15 pm

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  5. Spencer
    October 5, 2012 | 11:45 pm

    Hello, you used to write excellent, but the last several posts have been kinda boring… I miss your great writings.

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  6. Albuquerque Real Estate
    September 26, 2012 | 2:06 pm

    Great job I am very pleased with the new site.

  7. Albuquerque Real Estate
    September 26, 2012 | 2:05 pm

    Great job I’m very pleased with the new3 site.

  8. Nancy
    September 13, 2012 | 8:17 pm

    Lovely site! What WordPress theme did you utilize?

    • Jon Hardison
      September 14, 2012 | 10:40 am

      This site, as well as the vast majority of our previous work, use Headway Themes 2.X. Headway has since upgraded to 3.X, but it’s still not ready for prime-time, so we’re not using it at the moment. That said, Headway has been a great way for both Professionals and Novices to get started building custom WP sites. We can’t wait for the new version to really be done.

  9. Norman Risner
    June 8, 2012 | 11:47 am

    Nice Website!!! My compliments to the web designer.

  10. Newcastle Real Estate
    June 3, 2012 | 10:16 am

    In Australia we’re fortunate enough to not have to rely on IDX for property integrations, we use a simple XML feed. Good job however, looking great!

  11. Dallas
    March 6, 2012 | 11:34 am

    Love this post, there’s a great book out there called Don’t Make Me Think that deals with this very topic and it’s so true. You only have a few seconds to capture a site visitor’s attention, so make it count! Keep your site clean and simple and if they want more info, they will seek it out.

  12. Jeff Chalmers
    March 4, 2012 | 1:51 am

    How about mortgage websites?

  13. Eric Estate
    February 29, 2012 | 7:43 am

    Such a great before and after review. Incorporating Analytics makes it really easy to see the results. Every morning, the very first thing I do is check my analytics – even before the coffee is done brewing. Without visitors, there is no business.

  14. Jimmy Williams
    February 28, 2012 | 3:46 pm

    Front Page/Site looks good and is very user friendly.

    • Inna Hardison
      February 28, 2012 | 4:13 pm

      With people’s attention spans being what they are nowadays, user-friendly is the least we can do to make it easy for folks to find what they are looking for:-) It’s a must in any design, imho.

  15. Jake Hagler
    February 28, 2012 | 2:13 pm

    The updated page is absolutely more appealing to the eye, the layout is easily navigable and intuitive to use and the results speak for themselves and are admirable.

    Cheers to your new site.

    • Inna Hardison
      February 28, 2012 | 4:15 pm

      Jake, thank you. Of course we didn’t just change the front page – the whole site was rebuilt:-) Numbers tend to follow when solid design practices are employed and when content is positioned in the way that makes sense to a user. thx again.

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