We’re often asked if Wovax IDX is like IDX Broker, since they are currently one of the largest IDX providers. The answer is yes and no. Yes, we are both IDX providers – we bring MLS listings from the raw data feed (RETS) and display them in an attractive way on your website. But the IDX is very different.
Let me explain:
IDX Broker pulls the MLS listings onto your site so that they appear to exist on your website. However, when you search for properties, you move from yourwebsite.com to yourwebsite.idxbroker.com, which is really the IDX Broker website. The MLS listings are hosted on IDXBroker.com which displays them in a way that mirrors your site. Since the property search is visually consistent with your website, the end user experience is essentially the same as if the content lived on your website.
The downside to having all the listings hosted on IDX Broker instead of your website is that the MLS listings do not benefit your website’s SEO. SEO – search engine optimization – is the process of making your website more appealing to Google so that you rank higher in the search results. There are many ways to optimize a site for premium search engine placement, and one of the most crucial is adding fresh content. Google doesn’t want its users to encounter dead websites up on top. A website that hasn’t been updated for a while will eventually lose its ranking to one that is being updated on a regular basis.
This is where Wovax is unique. We built Wovax IDX to use the MLS listings to work toward your SEO by hosting all the content on your own website rather than on a third party server. When we index the MLS listings into your website, each listing becomes a custom WordPress post. Let’s say that you have 18,000 listings on your MLS board. You now have 18,000 separate pages on your website. Each time the feed from your MLS board refreshes (which is multiple times a day), any of the indexed MLS listings that have been changed or removed are updated automatically, and new properties are added. Each new listing appears as fresh content on your site – just as if you had added new pages or blog posts.
Some premium options of IDX Broker (as well as other IDX providers such as Showcase IDX, Diverse Solutions, Real Geeks, and iHomeFinder) appear to keep the MLS search and listings on your website. But a quick inspection of the elements on the website will show much of the content is still being hosted on an external site. An easy way to tell if a site is doing this “streaming” technique is to right click on one of the MLS listing’s pictures and select “Open Image in New Tab.” Look at the URL. Unless you are using Wovax or a custom-built IDX, that image will not be on your website domain.
A visually attractive design will make clients love your website. Wovax IDX helps those clients find you by making Google love it, too.
If you’d like to learn more about Wovax IDX or take a tour of the back end of one of our websites, drop us a line in the chat window here on the Wovax website or give our office a ring at (208) 874-5014.