Realtors have been displaying MLS listings on their websites for years, so that’s nothing new. And for a few years, indexing property listings to improve SEO has been a best practice. So what makes Wovax WordPress IDX unique?
The easiest way to understand the difference is to explain the available options for displaying MLS listings. Before Wovax, there were three main options for displaying MLS content on Realtors’ websites: iframes, IDX, and indexable IDX.
Option 1: iframes
An iframe is an MLS search window/HTML element that real estate agents can add to their site. This essentially works like a YouTube video that is embedded into a real estate website. Searches through the frame are not recognized as traffic on the site, and the MLS listings are simply streamed in from an external site. Though agents may refer to iframes as IDX, they are not IDX, as no data is actually transferred. Content is not added to the agent’s real estate website, and customization is limited. This means that in addition to being unattractive and clunky, iframes provide no SEO benefit.
Option 2: IDX
IDX–Internet Data Exchange–translates raw MLS listing data (such as a RETS feed) into an attractive format on your site. MLS listings are embedded into your real estate website, matching the design of the rest of your website. However, all IDXs are not created equal. Some host the data on a different website, so it only appears to be on your real estate website. MLS listings match the design of your site, but the content is actually located on an entirely different website. Your real estate website is a window into the website that actually hosts the data–and search engines know that. With this IDX the domain name changes when you search for properties (e.g. www.yourrealestatecompany.com-> yourrealestatecompany.idxprovider.com). This may provide a better user experience than an iframe, but it does not help your SEO.
Option 3: Indexable IDX
Before Wovax, this was the best available option. Each MLS property is given its own domain name that looks like this: yourrealestatecompany.com/real-estate-property-address. These are supposed to improve your SEO, because your real estate website has a URL for every MLS listing. However, although the domain name may help your ranking in Google, the content of the MLS listings is still hosted on an external website. The easiest way to see this is to inspect the photos. When you open a photo from one of the MLS listings in it’s own window, you can see that the photo is actually hosted on a different IDX website. A website user would never know the difference – but Google does.
Wovax WordPress IDX
Wovax IDX creates an individual page for each new MLS listing that works exactly like a blog post. All of the content, including the photos, exists as a copy directly on the Realtor’s own IDX website and may be accessed and edited just like a blog post. If a Realtor wants to add a drone video to a listing, they can easily do this with Wovax IDX. Google sees the MLS data on a Wovax WordPress IDX website exactly as it would see a frequently updated blog. And because the app and website are integrated in realtime, any traffic through the mobile app counts as traffic on the website.
With Wovax IDX, everything on your website works towards your SEO. As it should.
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