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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…]

    It’s Official: Home Buyers Have Gone Mobile [Infographic]

    Mobile Phones and the Home Buying ExperienceZillow.com, the leading real estate information marketplace, recently announced record numbers of homes being viewed by mobile devices, and smartphone sales have overtaken PC sales. Interestingly enough, recent studies also show that mobile users may be more aggressive decision makers, three times more likely than desktop users to contact a real estate professional following their mobile search. Can you imagine tripling your call volume?

    It all begins with an evaluation of your website and digital content:

    • How does your site look to mobile users?
    • Is it optimized in HTML5? Or are your visitors hit with blank screens due to Flash?
    • Can all mobile users view your site, regardless of platform?
    • How does it engage home buyers?
    • Is it easy to share video and photos of the communities that pique their interest?

    Now that the mobile “trend” has clearly become a pattern, it’s important to implement the types of features and apps buyers have begun to expect. As printed materials and static presentations become passé, you’ll need to offer newer, interactive, mobile-friendly content in order to keep home buyers engaged.

    See why mobile matters for homebuilders and real estate professionals…

    [Read more…]

    Why You Still Need a Flash Fallback with HTML5

    Why You Still Need a Flash Fallback with HTML5When it comes to web-based interactive content and cross-browser compatibility, the future is here and it’s HTML5. The problem is: not everyone’s on board yet.

    In a previous post, we dove into HTML5 – a programming language built into the latest browsers to support multimedia and graphics display without the use of third-party plugins like Flash. It’s recommended to ensure that your interactive content is accessible by the rapidly-growing population of iPad and mobile web surfers whose devices typically won’t display Flash. With mobile devices driving nearly 7% of US web traffic currently and projected to surpass desktop usage by 2014, mobile users can’t be ignored.

    But you can’t neglect desktop users and slow adopters either. There are still a significant number of desktop users with outdated operating systems and browsers – especially in corporate offices where many people access the internet during the workday. Companies who invested in machines running the Windows XP operating system can’t upgrade beyond Internet Explorer 8 (IE’s last non-HTML5 version) because IE stopped supporting XP with its version 9 release (CNET).

    Corporate users running Windows XP and IE8 are a top reason that you still need a Flash fallback. For many reasons, a whopping 31.4% are still holding out with XP and haven’t upgraded to Vista or Windows 7 (w3Schools). And Windows XP means no HTML5 capabilities without an operating system upgrade or a switch to Firefox, Chrome, or another compatible browser.

    [Read more…]

    Why You Can’t Ignore HTML5 Much Longer

    HTML5 LogoGot questions about Flash®, HTML5 and cross-browser compatibility? You’re not alone. Since we began rolling out our interactive solutions in HTML5, we’ve received quite a few questions. So we’ve decided to address some of them on our blog but feel free to keep the questions coming.

    Why can’t I see my interactive content on my iPad or mobile phone?

    Interactive presentations, games and applications have traditionally been designed in Flash – which requires a downloaded plugin for display. But most of today’s mobile devices and tablet PCs can’t play Flash – leaving your web content inaccessible to many users. Manufacturers like Apple® cite performance, security and drain on battery life as reasons for abandoning the Flash mobile plugin.

    Why mobile users can’t be ignored:

    • Mobile devices are driving nearly 7% of US web traffic and growing. (Cnet) Tweet It!
    • That non-computer digital traffic is made up of tablets (1.9%), mobile phones (4.4%) and “other devices” (.5) namely the iPod Touch. (ComScore) Tweet It!
    • Apple’s non-Flash mobile devices (iPad®, iPhone®, iPod Touch®) account for 43.1% of that mobile web traffic. (ComScore) Tweet It!
    • The iPad accounts for 97.2% of tablet traffic specifically. (ComScore) Tweet It!
    • By 2014, mobile internet usage is projected to surpass desktop usage. (DigitalBuzz) Tweet It!
    • 44% of Americans already own smartphones (redOrbit) Tweet It!
    • 75% of consumers use a mobile device in the retail buying process. (Verve Wireless) Tweet It!
    • More stats

    [Read more…]