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    What’s Hummingbird and Why Homebuilders Should Care

    Hummingbird BuilderAh, Google – always changing.

    Its most recent algorithm change (called Hummingbird) is the next step in Google’s move toward semantic search — a change that should help it better understand what users are searching for. Rather than just indexing pages and scanning sites for relevant keywords, Google’s latest tweaks will allow it to better infer context and intent.

    The result? Superior, highly-accurate search results.

    Google will now consider the following:

    • Who searchers are connected to (with a bias toward members of Google+, Google’s version of Facebook)
    • Searchers’ geographical location
    • The type of device being used to search

    What Does This Mean for Homebuilders?

    With Hummingbird, it just became even more important to have quality content on your site — content that’s easy for everyone to understand — including search engines.

    First, Fix the Foundation

    Hummingbird & Homebuilders: First, Focus on the Foundation of Your Website & Take Care of Your SEODespite the changes, one thing remains the same. Quality content is still king. But in order for that content to serve you well on the search engines, you’ll have to do some basic keyword optimization.

    Tidy Up Your SEO

    The best content won’t do you any good if no one sees it, and that means impressing the search engines first in order to get maximum homebuyer eyeballs on it.

    Don’t be tempted to neglect the SEO elements on your website. Making sure your SEO is in order is no different than putting the final touches on a model before you invite visitors to take the tour. You want to make the right impression.

    [Read more…]

    Model Home Cost Comparison: Build or Go Virtual? [Infographic]

    3D Virtual HomeFor the traditional homebuilder, the model home is an essential selling tool that lets prospective buyers see, touch and experience a home before it’s built. But, as the cost of building and merchandising multiple models continues to rise and homebuyers go increasingly more mobile, builders must cut costs and create the online experience savvy buyers demand. 3D virtual technology accomplishes both – making it possible to demonstrate an entire home, including alternate floor plans and premium kitchen and bath upgrades, without breaking ground. Virtual models start selling before anything is built and can even be demonstrated on a mobile device.

    Already, top 10 homebuilders have begun supplementing a single physical model with 3D virtual tours to sell into additional floor plans and options from the sales center and online.
    [Read more…]