“Smart” Pages with Custom Layout and Content

What are “Smart” Pages?

Much of the showcase website’s content and certain page structures are automatically generated by custom php coding that uses WordPress “custom fields” extensively. These custom fields provide city name, zip codes, property types and other key information used by the plugin to build pages with standardized layouts, lots of special SEO friendly heading tags, hyperlinks for IDX/RETS searches and to other pages on the site, and in some cases, even some of a page’s textual content. This allows the site to provide a wealth of information to the end user in a very standardized and easy to modify way. This technique also frees content writers from having to be concerned about basic page layout and styling, and rigidly enforces site-wide design standards.

Prerequisites

You must have a WordPress website with MyBuyingBuddy IDX, or a website with an integrated IDX generally comparable to the MyBuyingBuddy IDX product. This includes:

  • Obviously, the website must be based on the WordPress platform. This is a WordPress plugin after all!
  • The IDX must support searches using parameters in the search url. i.e.: /searchidx/?city=cityname&type=residential&subtype=detached&pricemin=100000&pricemax=200000 …  You get the idea. The exact parameters used by the IDX product is not important. Those will often change depending on the MLS anyway. When we install and configure the plugin for your IDX product and MLS, we will sort all that out and setup its parameters accordingly.
  • It must not block our user agent that incorporates IDX content into the page. If it does block some user agents, we may still be able to make it work, but results are not guaranteed. The good news is that if you purchase the product, and we find during installation and configuration that it can’t work, 100% of the purchase price will be refunded.

If your website meets the above criteria, and is not using the MyBuyingBuddy or UltimateIDX product, then we will do some testing and verification of compatibility our before selling you the plugin. For example, based on preliminary research, we believe that our Smart Pages plugin will probably work with the iHomeFinder WordPress plugin product, but may have significant limitations based on the typically limited number of IDX searchable fields provided by that product.

Pricing

The plugin is easily adaptable for any MLS supported by the MyBuyingBuddy WordPress integrated IDX products. Because each MLS feed is different and each website’s page organization will vary, some site and feed specific customization may be required. We only sell and build this plugin for one client per major market area. Call for a discussion and specific quote for your MLS. This plugin also requires that the client license our and IDX Include plugin. In most cases, we can provide a complete “bundled” package that includes our “IDX Include” plugin, this “Smart Pages” plugin, plus our “Create Communities” plugin, along with all consultation and technical installation work needed. Call for your custom quote.

Types of Smart Pages

Some of the types of pages that are generated and take advantage of this technique include:

  • City/County “About” pages (Example) have standard heading tags and layout, tabs with on page links to the various sections of content, and include blocks of applicable content into the page in the appropriate places. Even custom text is created by content writers as custom fields with standard names, but are otherwise free form at the discretion of the content writer(s). If you also license our “Create Communities” plugin, this page becomes the primary “seed ” page for automatic generation of the other pages described below.
  • City/County Property type pages (Example) are “child” pages of a City/County “About” page. There can be up to 25 pages for different property types per city or county, provided that the MLS IDX/RETS database for your market includes searchable parameters for those property types. They have a standardized page layout, which includes navigation “go to” tabs at the top of each page, customizable “boilerplate” textual content, sections with special hyperlinks to custom IDX/RETS searches by zip code, price ranges and for special property sub-types for that particular page, and automated inclusion of IDX/RETS summary search results for that community and property type. Each property type page creates 20 or more more search engine crawl-able pages applicable to that community and property type, multiplying its SEO values immensely!
  • Subdivision pages (Example) are “child” pages of four primary property types: residential detached, condo, townhome and patio/cluster home. They also have standard heading tags and layout, including top of page navigation tabs, predefined content block locations and automated inclusion of IDX/RETS summary search results for that subdivision. If your IDX product and MLS support it, they can optionally including search results on a map, and recently Sold results if applicable and available from your MLS. By including custom fields for the subdivision entrance or clubhouse address latitude and longitude, plus your own custom content based on your knowledge of the subdivision, subdivision pages can also utilize a special version of the “Simple Real Estate” plugin that we have customized to generate demographic information about that subdivision, including nearby schools and businesses, real estate market statistics and walk score information. This makes building new subdivision pages with lots of SEO friendly content very quick and easy. See an one of our enhanced / featured subdivisions pages.
  • Featured Listings can be displayed in three different formats:
    • A featured listings index/summary page (Example) lists all of your specific agent and/or office listings in the main page content area. This can also be set up to be a list of specific listings by MLS numbers from the IDX feed, even if they are not your personal or office listings, since all MLS compliance required elements and disclosures are included.
    • A complete property details page for one specific featured listing (click on any listing in the listings index example page). If the property is not an office listing, then all required MLS/IDX elements and disclosures are also included in the listing details. If it is an office listing, then full listing broker/agent contact details are included.
    • A set of one or more property summary snippets, also generated by IDX search results, one for each featured listing, that can be included in any sidebar or other WordPress widget location. Since these snippets can be independently generated, and the property detail links go to the normal IDX pages, they can also be random listings meeting specified search criteria, such as a given price range and property type in a specific town or subdivision.

Smart SEO Helper

On each of the above smart page types, if the page is brand new and does not already have a manually created meta title, then the plugin will automatically create and save predetermined meta content for title, description and keywords SEO tags, based on the custom fields present in that page and the site owner’s preferences. The meta content is stored as meta content custom fields by the php code, and used by the “Platinum SEO Pack” WordPress plugin that we recommend and require on all sites that use our plugins. Once the title meta and its custom field have been created and saved, the meta content will no longer be dynamically generated, reducing run time page load overhead. This enforces minimum SEO standards for the site, but also allows some latitude for future changes. The SEO tags can be manually modified later if required, using the functionality of the WordPress custom fields and the Platinum SEO Pack plugin. This advanced SEO capability is not available with any other WordPress SEO plugin we know of!

Standardization Requirements

Because the plugin builds lots of intra-site hyperlinks for search results, many parts of the site’s basic technical design and page structures need to be standardized to some extent. This is actually a very good thing, as it reduces initial and ongoing site content development time and costs, and it enforces the site technical structures and design!

  • Page url structures are standardized, including use of special high level folder names for certain page types, IDX/RETS search results repository, and other link structures. These can be customized to some extent on a site by site basis, but must always be consistent within any one website. Because of the standardization, site urls can be built that are both very SEO friendly and also user readable.
  • The WordPress custom fields used by the plugin are standardized, and most are reused across several “Smart Page” page types. In fact, when any of these custom fields are present in the “parent” or “grandparent” page of any particular smart page, then the values are “inherited” by all of its child pages.
  • For IDX products that support lead allocation to specific agents, like MyBuyingBuddy, our plans are to enhance this custom field “inheritance” scheme to include providing specific default agent IDs that would be assigned any leads resulting from a search engine query that lands on a particular “Smart Page”.

For example, the folder names and hierarchy of our showcase Denver website include:

  • /city/ is usually the parent folder for all city “About” pages. However, you may choose another folder name if you wish.
    • /cityname-statename/ is the page/folder name for all city “About” pages. i.e.: /aurora-colorado/. The zip codes in this page are inherited by its child /proptype/ and subdivision pages.
      • /proptype/ is the page/folder name for all city/proptype sub-page. i.e.: /single-family-homes/ or /townhomes/ or /condos-lofts/ or /patio-cluster-homes/
        • /subdivisionname/ is used for that page name of all subdivision sub-pages, which are ‘child’ pages of one of the four primary property types as explained previously, depending on what property type(s) may be present in that subdivision.

Therefore, the final “long tail” url for a subdivision page looks like this real life example: http://www.denverhomevalue.com/city/aurora-colorado/single-family-homes/conservatory-at-the-plains/. As you can see, this url, though it is relatively long, contains all of the most important keywords to match a particular search phrase that might be used by a consumer when searching for homes for sale in that community or of a particular property type in a specific city or town. In addition, because it is user readable, the user can easily see that the page url matches what they were wanting and expecting to see. This improves user retention, or “stickiness” on the site.

Other Smart Content

Some of the SEO benefits from this approach are a result of inherent technical capabilities of the vendor’s IDX/RETS product, including MyBuyingBuddy, basic designs and capabilities. These basic capabilities allow us to build custom search engine readable IDX search results content for inclusion in WordPress pages. These search results pages include summaries of the most recent listings matching the specified search criteria. Because these are automatically included into the applicable pages, and there are new listings added every day, it appears to the search engines that the on-page content is changing on a daily basis, which it really is, and this is great for SEO. Yet no manual intervention or content updating or special SEO work is required! Each of the on-page links built by the smart page code for community / property type pages create additional IDX summary search results pages that have their own unique summary results content. These links also pass variables that allow us to generate appropriate content heading tags and SEO meta tag content, including unique title, description and keywords meta tags in the page’s “head” section, all of which provide strong SEO benefits.

Contact us for discussion and a custom project quote.