APARTMENT IDX CASE STUDY: APARTMENT WORLD
In 2007, I met Tirey Counts, Broker/Owner of Apartment World, apartment locating company in Houston, Texas. He is a formidable business man, and one of the first locators I met that ran his locating business like a business. He had systems, processes, and a website, but he wasn't keeping them updated because he did not enjoy technical tasks. I redesigned his website about five years ago, and I've been handling all of his website and technical tasks ever since.
One of the things I appreciate about Ty is he's always willing to let me try new things on his website. Many of my ideas are new and unproven, so he's always willing to be the first. Of course that means he also receives the first benefits. I developed the first Apartment IDX mapping system and installed it on ApartmentWorld.info on April 1, 2017. As a case study, I monitored the changes to the website traffic, organic traffic, and correlating lead volume so I could show other apartment locators what to expect with the right data and right marketing. Below is a graph that shows what happened to his website after we installed the Apartment IDX.
Tirey Counts, Broker/Owner of Apartment World
Website Traffic: Total visitors each quarter and number of page views as a result of those visitors
Summary of increased apartment locating website visitors
I intentionally installed the Apartment IDX at the beginning of the month because I wanted a clear date on his Google Analytics of before and after the IDX installation. As you can see from the graph, the previous five quarters his web traffic had normal ebbs and flows.
One quarter comparison
- 1st Quarter 2017 (before): 436 website visitors
- 2nd Quarter 2017 (after): 1,031 website visitors
- Increase: 136%
Two quarters comparison
- 4th Quarter 2016 - 1st Quarter 2017 (before): 739 website visitors
- 2nd Quarter 2017 (after): 2,569 website visitors
- Increase: 248%
Comparing two quarters can offer a greater insight because changes to your SEO strategy could take six months to see results.
Summary of increased page views
The corresponding additional page views created by the additional website visitors was impressive. More page views tells Google your website visitors are responding positively to your content. Page views tell you about how to acquire more customers, and the pages they visit most.
- 1st Quarter 2017 (before): 891 page views
- 2nd Quarter 2017 (after): 2,043 page views
- Difference: 130% increase
Website Visitors: Organic traffic provided by Google and new visitors who have never been to your site before
Summary of increased organic traffic
Organic traffic is free traffic Google refers to your website. Google decides to increase organic traffic when visitors return to your website more than once for information. Google also tracks when visitors stay on your site longer than they did in previous visits. Adding new content to your website will accomplish both of these things. Google is the only client you need to impress; play by Google's rules and it will send you more free traffic.
- 1st Quarter 2017 (before): 268 referrals
- 2nd Quarter 2017 (after): 463 referrals
- Increase: 73%
- 3rd Quarter Increase: 51%
- 4th Quarter Increase: 53%
Summary of increased new visitors (vs. returning visitors)
Google measures visitors in two categories; new visitors and returning visitors. New visitors are vital to the growth of your website. Using advertising and marketing it's important to add new visitors each month. As I've mentioned before (and practically become a broken record), one of the best ways to do that for an apartment locator is give renters the ability to check pricing on your website, and educate them about the pitfalls of looking for an apartment.
*To reconfirm, we did not increase marketing or advertising during the first quarter after we installed the Apartment IDX so we could use comparable results. His advertising and marketing channels remained exactly the same.
- 1st Quarter 2017 (before): 385 new visitors
- 2nd Quarter 2017 (after): 849 new visitors
- Increase: 121%
80% INCREASE IN APARTMENT LOCATING ORGANIC TRAFFIC
Compare busy season 2016 to busy season 2017 with the Apartment IDX
During April, May, and June 2017, the only major change I made to ApartmentWorld.info was add the Apartment IDX mapping tool. I realize this time of year is typically the busy season, so there would have been a natural increase in search traffic without the IDX.
To demonstrate the increase, I've compared the 2nd Quarter 2016 with 2nd Quarter 2017 busy season.