When real estate professionals integrate IDX services into their website, they are typically focused on the search engine optimization (SEO) aspects of IDX. While IDX SEO is a worthwhile consideration, we believe it’s the wrong emphasis when planning your IDX strategy and integration.
Instead, when it comes to IDX strategy, we suggest emphasizing lead generation and how the IDX is integrated into the rest of your site to create a fantastic user experience. Today, we’re going to focus on the latter point: using IDX wrappers to create a smooth integration and a great user experience.
What are IDX Wrappers?
IDX providers like IDX Broker generate dynamic listing content for your website. This dynamic content is “wrapped” by other website content such as your header, sidebar and footer. Sometimes the wrapper even includes SEO information such as title tags and more.
How should you use IDX Wrappers?
While many website owners don’t take the time to think through designing various wrappers for their site and instead only provide a single, uniform wrapper around their IDX content, we suggest a different approach. We suggest creating different wrappers for different types of IDX content.
The most obvious way to do this is to consider different categories of IDX listings. Two obvious categorizations are by price and by location or neighborhood. If a page on your site is showing listings for a specific neighborhood in town, it would create a better user experience if the sidebar for that page is showing more information on that neighborhood. Your site should help the user go deeper on a given topic or area if they have the desire to do so. Designing the IDX wrappers to facilitate rather than hinder such navigational ease is a great idea.
How you set up IDX Wrappers will depend on your IDX provider.
If you’re using Wolfnet, for example, you’re somewhat limited. Their “wrapper” setup is nothing more than a static header and footer wrapping. There’s no ability to create different version of content to wrap the Wolfnet generated IDX content.
With IDX Broker, you have a bit more flexibility. With some WordPress themes, you can create wrappers using the same layout as the theme meaning the IDX content is wrapped around the standard content wrapper of a header, sidebar and footer. Moreover, using the IDX Broker system, you can assign different wrappers for different pieces of IDX content which means you customize the wrapper content on a more granular level.
We recommend to clients to focus on the IDX lead generation functionality and using IDX to create a better user experience for your customers.
Simply put, your IDX integration should nicely complement your website and help you generate leads. If you’d like to talk to somebody about how to accomplish these two goals, give us a call. Or, sign up for our email list below to get more tips like this one sent directly to your email.