Prime Development: Johnson County’s Home Developer

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This post was written by: Builder Designs

Clay Blair founded Prime Development in 1966. It started as a consulting and land acquisition company, but responded to the growing population of Johnson County, Kansas. Prime has developed projects across the retail, apartment, and residential areas of building.

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Prime Development currently develops in Prairie Point in Olathe, Bluestem in Overland Park, Canyon Creek in Lenexa, Persimmon Pointe in Olathe, Polo Fields in Overland Park, Prairie Brook in Olathe, and Tallgrass at Wilderness Valley in Johnson County.

Their communities are developed all across Johnson County in terrific areas to raise a family in. They work with top of the line builders to ensure that all of their neighborhoods are exactly where you want to live.

Prime firmly believes in giving back to the community that they work in. They have donated the land for the University of Kansas Edwards Campus in Overland Park and the land for the Blue Valley School Outdoor Science Center.

In the 2014 Spring Parade of Homes, Prime is happy to be showing 18 homes from four of their communities. There will be nine homes from Canyon Creek, five homes from Polo Fields, three homes from Persimmon Pointe, and one house from Sunnybrook Villas. Stop by any of these communities to view their Parade of Homes entries between April 26th and May 11th.

We thoroughly enjoyed working with Prime Development on their new website. Their site features a responsive design, which allows it to be seamlessly viewed on mobile or desktop screens. We know that building or living in a Prime community would be a fantastic choice for you and your entire family.

See What’s Being Said: Google Alerts and your Internet Marketing

Categories: Home Builder SEO, Local SEO
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This post was written by: Anna Chandler

Every minute of the day, Google receives over 2 million search queries. And there are always new results to feed people: the amount of data being produced online every day is pretty incalculable. With all of that it’s hard to keep track of every mention of your company online. But monitoring your internet presence and online brand is absolutely required for a healthy future. With 9 out of 10 home buyers starting their purchase online you need to know what they’re seeing and what they’re saying about your business!

  • The Plan: To see everything published online about your company – and your competitors.
  • The Problem: The sheer speed and size of the internet.
  • The Solution: Why not let Google do all the work?

 

Set up a Google Alert. These are emails sent to you when Google finds a new result that matches your search terms, and you can use them to monitor anything on the Web.

Set up a Google Alert today in less than thirty seconds. Just go to google.com/alerts and add your queries. Definitely add your business name and website URL. For example, I’m tracking “Builder Designs”, “builderdesigns” and link:www.builderdesigns.com. That tracks any mention of the company, the domain name, and a link back to our site, respectively. (And yes, the quote marks and grammar there is important – feel free to steal those and edit as needed for your own Alert. Or contact us if you want help setting them up.)

I really recommend you set up an alert for your company name at minimum. Here’s an example of my Builder Designs alert:

Google Alert for Builder Designs, an internet marketing company for home builders

What does that let you do?

  • See what’s published about you online. Track everything from news articles to customer tweets.
  • Respond to positive reviews and questions. Show potential home buyers how involved you are every step of the way by immediately responding to questions posed online or thanking current buyers for a good review.
  • Respond to negative reviews. Handle how your company is perceived by thoughtfully and quickly responding to concerns or badmouthing.

 

You can set those email alerts to come once a day, once a week, or immediately as they happen. Google Alerts also let you specify the result type (news, video, blog, ect), region, and language. (The region specification is great for your Local SEO). Be sure to define whether you want “all results” or “best results”. I have Builder Designs set up for all results, but a mention of our phone number set only to best results, since that’s an unlikely search and I don’t want to waste time checking the results of other people’s phone numbers.

But Google Alerts isn’t just a great way to manage your online brand. It’s also the perfect way to keep track of competitors. Create an Alert for your top 3 – 7 competitors, tracking their company name and URL, and you’ll always stay one step ahead.

How does this help you?

  • See what’s being published about them online. If all references to “green building” or “energy efficiency” are about your competition, and that’s an edge in your market, you’ll know where to focus your Adwords or content blogging.
  • See where they’re focusing their efforts. If they’re drowning your potential buyers in Facebook ads, that’s good to know. So are any articles gaining them free publicity. If they have a good name for local charity involvement, maybe you need to better share your own volunteer work.
  • Read their negative reviews. If buyers are complaining about their lack of customer service or opportunities for customization, you know what to pitch.

 

Set an alert, sit back, and watch the information pour in. Now Google can deliver up-to-the-minute results about your name and your competitors’ activities. It’s the perfect way to manage your online marketing and keep close tabs on your local market.

See what’s being said about you. Your company’s future will thank you.

Simmons Home Collections: Your Tulsa Area Home Builder

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This post was written by: Builder Designs

Since 1994, Simmons Homes has been building beautiful new houses throughout the Tulsa, Oklahoma area. Building a new home is a huge step in a person’s life, and their team will be right next to you every step of the way. They firmly believe in making customer satisfaction a number one priority, and will build your home as if it was one of their very own.

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They currently build in The Villas at Spring Creek, Oak Ridge Park, Oxford Court, Providence Hills, South Bridge, White Hawk Golf Villas, Stone Lake, Glenn Abbey, Breitling Village, Southern Reserve, Burberry Place, Eagles Landing, Lake Valley, Maple Glen, and Park Place at Preston Lakes.

There are dozens of fantastic floor plans ranging in all sizes and styles, so you are sure to find the perfect fit for your family.

If you are looking for more immediate moving options, they have almost forty great move-in ready homes available. Many of these houses are available now, and several are scheduled for completion by the beginning of the summer.

This happy homeowner said, “I wanted to take the time to tell you how much we appreciate Simmons Homes and the house that all of you built for us. All of the personnel we dealt with were always a big help! I can honestly tell you that we enjoyed the experience of building our home. You contractors and salespeople were all a pleasure to work with! Overall, I am very impressed with Simmons Homes’ emphasis on customer satisfaction, and it is evident that you stress this concept to your subcontractors. I would certainly recommend a Simmons Home to anyone and would consider building our next home with Simmons also.”

We thoroughly enjoyed working with Simmons Homes to launch their brand new website. The site features a responsive design, letting it transition seamlessly from desktop to mobile use. Contact them today to get started, and check out their new website to find a beautiful floor plan or available home in Oklahoma to make your own!

The #1 Step to #1 SERP on Google: Site Design

Categories: Home Builder SEO, Website Design
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This post was written by: Anna Chandler

Get a #1 SERP“How do I stay on Page 1?” “How do I get there?”

That’s a question I hear quite often – which is good. It’s a question we should all be asking, because with 9 out of 10 homebuyers starting their buying process online your internet presence is a major factor in their decision making. Possibly the factor. Users only pay attention to page 1, and even on page 1 an enormous percentage of click-throughs are earned by the first three results. So that splashy #1 SERP? Absolutely vital to your business’ future.

Along with the on-page and off-page factors, there’s a division in SEO that has to do with the content of the site and the architecture of the site. The architecture is the skeleton built by your web design team. How you flesh out the site with good content is under your control, and so my immediate response to tackling SEO questions is to make a plan of changes you can take today, for free, with really visible results.

Those SEO changes are all about fresh and relevant content, but may also include a review of your marketing strategy or building a strong Local presence. We may also chat about blogging, social media, photos, and video. I like this content work because it’s something you and I can do together through the Builder Designs CMS today.

But I also want to step back and talk about the site architecture. SEO articles tend to skip over it, assuming you already have a solid site and now want to review meta tags or get into image optimization. But a strong website is key to internet marketing – especially for home builders, where our incoming market is so web-focused – and we need to make sure your website is ready for 2014.

Technology is important. The speed at which a site loads, the ease of usability, the eye for functionality and design, and easy contact information will all effect your SEO. Check out this Contently article example: “By cleaning HTML code, H1 headers, server errors, url structures, and how code loaded to their pages, they were able to boost natural search results to one client’s site by 1000 percent in 18 months.” If your site is out of date, hard to use, not built for mobile, or just a little stale looking – that is the number #1 thing to fix. We have a number of clients (check out the Ideal Homes case study for a great example) who are getting a redesign because, while their site still looks great and functions well, the new responsive standards are shaking things up and they want to jump to cutting-edge.

Response is the new web. Google has officially declared that responsive design is their recommended standard for websites. We’ve talked about responsive before: it’s a fluid CSS that adapts itself to any screen size, whether mobile, tablet, laptop, or TV screen. Because there is now one set of site files (rather than one for a full site and one for a mobile) you’re no longer competing against yourself for SEO. We have seen some very good SEO results for our clients switching from mobile to responsive.

Avoid danger factors. Some site architecture will actually hurt your rankings, like keyword-stuffing words hidden by colors or design, slow speed, cloaked pages, or just bad code. Some of these are clearly malicious plans, but others can be done accidentally on a site (like a free WordPress template) just not designed to handle the specifications the home builder industry needs. This is something that your design team should work with you to check over on a previous site and illustrate their improvements on a new site.

There are a lot of moving factors with SEO (Google says they take over 10,000 factors into consideration), everything from high-level social media marketing to the basics of meta tags. But without a solid site to back it up you’re never going to earn the SERPs you need. It’d be like building a gorgeous multi-million dollar custom home on quicksand.

For the first step in improving SEO, you need to look at your website.

Ernest Signature Custom Homes: The Difference Really is in the Details

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This post was written by: Builder Designs

Ernest Williams founded Ernest Custom Homes with his wife Beth, in 1986. They were a perfect team with Beth managing the finances, sales, and marketing, and Ernest working behind the scenes to help build new homes. To this day, Beth along with their daughters, Jessica and Stephanie, continue building homes across Savannah that live up to Ernest’s legacy.

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Ernest Homes currently builds in Clover Point at Belmont Glen, Dunham Marsh, Rabun Estates, Sweetwater Station, Sweetwater Station Cottages, Tranquilla Hall at Buckhead, White Oak Village, Cumberland Point, and Arbors Circle at Godley Station.

The Sweetwater Station neighborhood will put you right in the middle of Savannah’s thriving Southside. There are two huge lakes in the community that offer fishing and gorgeous scenic views. This community will also put you in close proximity to Savannah Mall, dining, and entertainment options.

Living in Sweetwater Station will gain your children access to the fantastic, Savannah-Chatham County School System. They will attend Southwest Elementary and Middle Schools, as well as Windsor Forest High School.

The Buckingham floor plan sits on a spacious 3,649 square feet and comes complete with six bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms. If you are looking for something a little bit smaller, then the St. Helena is perfect for you. It sits n 1,965 square feet and comes complete with four bedrooms and two bathrooms.

It was a joy working with the team at Ernest Signature to launch their brand new website. Within their new site, you can find all of their current available homes, and designs for their existing floor plans. The site design they chose offers the same beautiful details that all of their homes have to offer.

Contact Ernest Signature Custom Homes today to get started building the home of your dreams!

The Two Steps to Ranking Better

Categories: Home Builder SEO
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This post was written by: Anna Chandler

internet marketing for home builders, builder designsThere are billions of websites out there. Yes, billions – and that makes quite a lot of work for Google’s spider bots. When a user enters a query, Google has to search billions of websites, select the most important ones, rank those most important ones, and then deliver a result – within seconds. (My last search was 0.38 seconds.) So the more we can help Google understand you, the more they are going to select you as a result, and a good result, one deserving of that #1 page rank.

So what goes into Google knowing you? They say they consider over 10,000 factors in determining page rank – but of those, about 200 are the most important, and of those, I’d say about 34 require your regular attention. Those are on-page factors, like speed and mobile friendliness, and off-page factors, like social media or link building. What we do in our SEO is determine:

1.) How your site is currently doing.

2.) What we can do to improve it.

3.) What you can do to improve it.

I want to talk about the difference between #2 and #3. I hear a lot from builders, “How can we improve our page rank? How can we earn that #1 spot?”. And that’s a great question, an important question. At any time call me so I can explain all of the background work we do, like keyword research, meta tag additions, responsive checks, and site architecture.

But all of that is really the basics, the absolute requirements to rank well. There is a lot more we can do. And that “more” are items best handled as a team, builder and Builder Designs working to make changes on-page and off-page. Some if it we can absolutely do for you (like setting up a YouTube channel or managing an Adwords campaign), but a lot of it we like to do with you. Keeping everyone involved makes for the best results, as you get to see what’s important, what’s making a difference, and watch the site grow under your tutelage.

So there are two steps I recommend taking to improve your SEO. If you want to know “What can I do today to make a difference to my site?”, we have the answer. Plus? The steps are simple, free, and totally pay off.

GOOD CONTENT. Content is king. The more information you offer (to buyers, to Google), the better you are going to rank. You need at least 250 words per page. Under that amount and Google perceives your content as too shallow. It’s just a few paragraphs (at this point you’ve read 421 words!) that do two things:

It helps your buyerYou know about the incredible benefits of the communities you build in, the state of the current homebuying market, the steps a custom home requires, the reason buying is so much better than renting. Your home buyers don’t. This is where you come in as the expert to help them learn – and they are learning why they want to buy from you.

It helps your page rank. The more content you have, the better Google thinks you should rank. If most of your pages are scanty you just can’t get that #1 spot you want. But the more you have the better you’ll be.

FRESH CONTENT. This is step #2. Along with having good information, you want fresh information. They more you’re updating your site the more frequently Google will index you, and that means the higher you’ll rank. The easiest way to add fresh information is to blog. Blog once a week. Talk about a home you’re building, the city you’re selling in, what makes your company stand out, a new community you’re opening, a charity you’re involved in – anything that is going to:

Include your keywords. So that Google knows what to rank you for.

Sell homes. So that Google knows how to rank you.

Share information. So that Google knows why to rank you.

And that’s it. Really, that’s it – taking a day to check over your pages, and then starting a blogging plan, is THE way to improve your SEO.

Now the details are a little more complicated, when it comes to keyword density and internal linking, but starting off really is that simple and quick. (And if you want the details, just contact us). Last week you took a NAP, and this week? You need to write.

Improve Your SEO With a NAP

Categories: Home Builder SEO, Local SEO
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This post was written by: Anna Chandler

Today’s internet marketing strategy: take a NAP.

NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number – the “thumbprint” of your business online. This is absolutely crucial to have on your site, because it identifies yourself to both search engines and to users. You want buyers to be able to immediate call you and you want strong Local search results. Having a consistent and correct NAP is the best way to guarantee that.

(Not that we’re saying a nap couldn’t be useful too.)

Local search engines use NAP data as they crawl to judge the accuracy of the data in their own indexes. This information comes from your site and various data providers, like Yelp, Yellow Pages, or Google+ Local. The better their findings are, the better your rankings will be.

This is especially important for Local search results – without it, you can’t get a high ranking SERP, plain and simple. Local results are those “pins” you see when searching, like:

Local SEO, SEO for home builders, Builder Designs

They are the newest and greatest thing in search engine optimization, and very, very good for your internet marketing. Here’s why:

1.) They provide instant access information to mobile searchers. With more than 50% of website traffic coming from a mobile device, you want your number and address to be immediately available to on-the-go buyers.

2.) These results appear very high on the page, disrupting the old organic SERP’s. It used to be if you had a #5 or #6 placement you were still in plain view, but Local results now push that past the view of users. Having a “pin” listing ensures you’ll be seen. It is possible (though difficult) to have both a Local and organic result on the page, like we’ve done for Fischer & Frichtel here:

search engine optimization, Local SEO, Builder Designs

3.) Because they are (relatively) new, market competition for some verticals is not yet fierce – you can beat out the competition with just a little more effort than they’re bothering to take.

So you want these search results, and they way they are manufactured has a lot to do with how consistent and correct your information is online. Check on that information with:

1.) Website NAP. Make sure you include your name, address, and phone number on your website. It is absolutely necessary to have it easily visible on at least one page, but we recommend adding it to as many pages as we can. (That’s why in our website designs we have it in your footer – now it’s on every page of your site.) You also need to make sure it is up-to-date and completely accurate. Triple check and then have a co-worker read it too.

2.) Citation Building. It’s not just your site that lists your NAP. From the well-known yellow pages, to industry specific directories, to weird little sites you’ve never heard of, your information is everywhere. And the more consistent and correct it is the better off you’ll be. Citation building is a major and time-consuming project, but the work pays off. (Having done this ourselves when we moved our office, we know how complicated it is – so we’re happy to help you with it too.)

For the best NAP and Local results, we recommend:

1.) Make sure your name, address, and phone number is accurate and highly visible on your site. It should be text, not a photo.

2.) Optimize your Google+ Local page. Check and add to the information, post photos, check what categories you’re listed under – you want it to be an accurate and interesting “micro site”.

3.) Clean up your name, address, phone number (and website link if applicable) on every reference to your company that you can dig up. Google Maps, Yelp, Yellow Pages, and other major directories are a good place to start, following up with industry specific sites and then anywhere else you can find. Minor variations like “St” or “Street” are okay, but little mistakes like 931 instead of 913 will come back to haunt you.

4.) Keep a record of these passwords, verification codes, and the information (bio, photo, fax number, ect) you’re adding. This makes it way easier to track stuff down later and, if you’re copy-pasting, you know you won’t make a bunch of typos.

5.) Get reviews from your happy homeowners – your Google+ page reviews being especially helpful.

It takes some time to build, and then to be indexed, but with focus on your Local efforts and NAP data you will have some very good results. If you want a high SERP (and who doesn’t) you absolutely can’t ignore Local SEO.

Want to know more? Contact us any time.

Ideal Homes: Your Oklahoma New Homebuilder

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This post was written by: Builder Designs

Ideal Homes was founded over twenty years ago by friends, Vernon McKown and Todd Booze, and real estate guru Gene McKown. They have grown from a small construction group into a successful homebuilding company that has built more houses than any other Oklahoma builder, about 7,000.

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Ideal Homes currently builds in The Canyons, Valencia, Buffalo Grove at Village Verde, Sundance, Country Place, Featherstone, Wildflower, Carrington Place, Green Leaf Trails, Red Canyon Ranch, Trail Woods, Castlewood Trails, Somer’s Village, Somer’s Pointe, Fountain Grass, Springs at Settlers Ridge, and Tradan Heights communities.

These communities span across the Edmond/Deer Creek, Piedmont, Midwest City/Choctaw, Moore, Norman, Mustang/Yukon, and Stillwater areas.

These communities are built in some of the most desirable neighborhoods in Oklahoma. They boast terrific amenities like community-exclusive pools, clubhouses, parks, playgrounds, ponds, and much more. They also build in close access to major highways, restaurants, and entertainment options.

There are over sixty floor plans ranging in all sizes and styles to choose from. There are plans from 1,120 to 3,003 square feet with up to four bedrooms available.

This happy homeowner said, “As a first time home buyer at 58 years old, I was very nervous and skeptical of builders. From the initial sales meeting to the final closing, Ideal Homes personnel were friendly, professional and seemed genuinely concerned that I was happy with every aspect of my home. No matter how many questions I asked, they answered promptly and with as much detail as I needed. My home is wonderful!”

Customize the pieces that make up your new house in the Ideal Design Center. In the 6,000 square foot design center, you will find hundreds of options to personalize your new home. From exteriors to fixtures, kitchens to bathrooms, you’ll be able to choose all the aspects that make your new house truly yours.

We always enjoy working with the team at Ideal Homes, and creating their new website was no exception! Their new site features a responsive design and new modern feel. You can find all of their available homes, if you’re looking for a quicker move in time, or their many floor plan options for building a new home. We’re sure that choosing Ideal Homes for your new homebuilder will be a fantastic decision.

Westerleigh: A Main Street Homes Community in Moseley, VA

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This post was written by: Builder Designs

Main Street Homes is known for developing beautiful communities in only the most desirable locations in Richmond, Virginia and the surrounding areas. Westerleigh is no exception to this and offers terrific amenities, unique craftsmanship, and homes that families will be sure to love.

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Westerleigh offers fantastic amenities to its residents including a community clubhouse, six-lane Olympic sized pool (coming soon), natural green spaces with original hardwoods, a three-acre park and playground, a recreational field, community sidewalks, and much more.

There are twelve unique floor plans to choose from within the Westerleigh community. Their floor plans range in size from 2,719 to a spacious 4,178 square feet. The biggest of the group, The Lancaster, comes with five bedrooms, three bathrooms, formal dining room, first floor guest bedroom, and much more. It even offers optional finished third floor and three-car garage. Almost all of the available floor plans offer additional optional amenities.

Westerleigh currently has one ready to move-in home, and two coming soon in February and March of this year. If you are looking for a quick move-in time, any of these three houses would be perfect for you. These homes reflect several different styles of homes, including craftsman and traditional, that compliment each other perfectly.

This neighborhood feeds into the award winning Chesterfield County School District. Your children will receive a fantastic education attending Grange Hall Elementary, Tomahawk Middle, and Cosby High School.

We thoroughly enjoyed working with the team from Main Street Homes to create the brand new Westerleigh website. The new site has the community amenities, available homes, floor plans, and an interactive map. The map displays Westerleigh with icons signifying available, sold, not available, and model homes.

With houses in all styles and sizes, you are sure to find the perfect fit for your family within the Westerleigh community. Whether you are looking to build a new home or purchase one of their quick move-in houses, working with the Main Street Homes team will be an amazing experience. Contact them today to get started building the new home of your dreams in Westerleigh in Moseley, Virginia.

Saxony Homes: A Shaddock Family Company

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This post was written by: Builder Designs

Saxony Homes is a part of The Shaddock Family of Home Builders out of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. The Shaddock Family has built over 3,000 homes, and started their homebuilding career in the early 1960′s. With over fifty years of homebuilding experience, all Saxony Homes are built with the same quality that you have come to expect from a Shaddock Home.

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Saxony is a premiere homebuilder in McKinney and the surrounding area. They pride themselves in unique and high quality houses, which are also less expensive than Shaddock Homes. A lower cost does not affect their craftsmanship, and Saxony Homes are built in equally desirable neighborhoods as their parent company.

They have several showcase houses in the Villages of Stonelake Estates Phase IIB. Their 14814 Overland Park property sits on 4,267 square feet and is the Ingram plan. It has five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a three-car garage. This home features a study, media room game room, master bay window, extended covered patio, and much more. It is priced at $509,900 and is available for purchase now.

The property at 14836 Huffman Lane sits on a spacious 4,054 square feet and is the Luckenback plan. It has five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a three-car garage. This plan features a study, media room, playroom, master bay window, and much more. It is priced at $499,900 and is available for purchase now.

Their plans offer terrific options to add to your new home. You can choose to add an extra bedroom and bathroom, outdoor fireplace, natural stone elevations, among other customizable options.

This community feeds into the Frisco Independent School District. Your kids will be receiving a great education at Ashley Elementary, Wester Middle, and Heritage High School.

The new Saxony Homes website features the same clean and classic looks that their homes offer. Their new site features a responsive design, making it accessible on all mobile devices, and beautiful homepage slideshow. This Shaddock Family Company was great to work with while designing the new site, and we are sure they will be just as fantastic in designing your new home. Contact them today for more information on their quality houses in Frisco.

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