Bellus approached us with a fairly limited budget but we were still able to create a lovely new website that’s fully responsive for mobile devices. Our client had a live site which they’d been running for a number of years and they felt it was time for a makeover. They were very happy to hear our advice, “have a browse and find your favourite sites and we can model your website on these”. Within a few days, we had short listed three contenders. The client liked bits and pieces from each site so we created his site with all of these features, all integrated into a new dream website.
We were briefed to base the new website on the Rettie Estate Website design, with a few elements from the Rightmove website and a few elements from Corum Estate Agent website. The main design was based on Rettie and you’ll see how similar the websites are, but the client did want to include a few features from the other sites. This is one of the things we specialise in, cloning existing website designs.
What We Did in Detail
- New Website Design: Cloned competitor site and changed to Bellus colours with added features and functionality.
- Responsive Design: We used a WordPress CMS and ensured that it’s fully functional all all types of mobile device.
- WordPress CMS: The SEO powers of WordPress and the user-friendly admin side made it an excellent choice for Bellus.
- Data Migration: We had to import existing product data from the Bellus site and import seamlessly to the new CMS.
- Rightmove API: We integrated a RightMove API that automatically adds or updates properties from Bellus to Rightmove.
New Website Design
Before Bellus came to us, their website design was old and it did not have the appeal of a modern, real estate website. A fresh new design was definitely overdue and after agreeing upon the layout and architecture, we implemented a new, clean website design. We ensured that every aspect of the site looks rich and professional, with new colours that tie in with their company logo. It only took us three weeks to design, approve and launch the site and the client was extremely pleased.
Their old website was not user friendly at all and it was being marked down in Google SERP’s for mobile search results. It was imperative that the new website was fully responsive and our code took care of this effectively. Since launching the new site, their mobile traffic has increased by over 80% and their bounce rate has come down from a super-high 65% to an average 44%. This has definitely had a positive impact on Bellus’ turnover with more enquiries and more business coming through website enquiries.
WordPress is a popular framework for any Content Management Solution and GWD used this for Bellus. WordPress has so many advantages and we usually always recommend it for small to medium sized businesses. It is quick to install and develop and it’s therefore one of the cheaper solutions but WordPress has a myriad of readily available themes and plugins which give loads of flexibility for website designers like us. The major advantage of WordPress is the extensive SEO capacity. With WordPress, you have the ability to add SEO plugins that will analyse and advise on your on-site SEO. Another massive advantage of WordPress is the ease of which you can update and refresh your website design when you feel like changing the look of the site. WordPress is future proof in terms of design and search engine friendliness. It offers a beautiful range of low cost templates and it’s really easy to use from a website owners perspective. Bellus Property are extremely happy with this choice.
We migrated all of the existing and historic properties from the old website database. This included all of the property details and images from the old website but we improved the quality of the property images dramatically. The existing images were all sized in random dimensions and they were named very poorly like ‘DSC_001.jpg’ instead of ’22-Glenbuck-Drive-Front-Elevation.jpg’ (for example).
This is one of our many SEO techniques to help improve a websites rankings in Google Images search results. Renaming and mapping all of the old images, obtaining a complete set of original product images and re-sizing them with optimised proportions for the web has helped change the look of Bellus and they now look like a professional in their field and sales are booming to the point where they just can’t get enough stock!
Data migration is such an important part of any website re-design. At this stage there are so many things to consider and so much scope for improving from old to new. One of the most critical aspects of a new website is to ensure that 301 redirects are completely correctly so the web page URL’s do not disappear from Google. 301 mapping helps Google see that the old pages have been redirected to the new web pages and many designers will ignore this. We do not as we know how critical it is and we have all of our clients best interests at heart. Bellus SERP’s were positively affected by the new site release and our client was extremely happy with this.
Previously, our client was manually adding all properties to their own website, then again manually adding the same properties to the RightMove website. RightMove is a popular real estate website in the UK where every estate agent lists their properties for sale or rent. RightMove is the largest, most popular property retail site in the UK and if you’re an estate agent then you’re certain to have your properties listed there. We reduced Bellus workload in half by integrated RightMove with Bellus so that all new properties are automatically uploaded to RightMove and all property edits are updated in live time. Basically this is an app that syncs data between the two websites and saves Bellus a lot of manual work.
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