The confusion surrounding IDX (Internet Data Exchange) is that it keeps getting confused with Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and RETS (Real Estate Transaction Standard). An IDX is a site that will allow public consumers to search for MLS properties in a specific area. They’re the main reason why people like you and I are able to browse MLS listings online. This has dramatically improved the state in which real estate SEO has thrived.
IDX is a set of rules, licenses, and technologies that allow real estate agents to access MLS listings, integrate them on their websites, and display them publicly. Another name for IDX is Broker Reciprocity because of its cooperative exchange between brokers. Any realtor who has hired a real estate SEO company can rest assured their website is getting its maximum potential of listings because of IDX. The implementation of IDX varies but most IDX options are:
- iFrame/Widget – The search tools and property listings run externally on the IDX software vendor’s site. Hiring SEO for real estate websites is a good decision because you’d want a professional handling the task of getting you in the top of the listings.
- CSV/Flat File data feed – The MLS listings are accessible on an FTP server as comma-separated or another formatted text file.
- RETS – A framework that allows an efficient download of MLS data. Gives brokers, agents, and third parties access to listing and transaction data.
We can safely say that all three work with one another to make life easier for realtors and clients alike. MLS systems are the source of IDX listing data and can serve one association or board or multiple. The listing data is never actually transferred from the MLS to a realtor’s site, it only displays the listing data.
RETS simplifies the process of getting listing data from an MLS to an agent’s site. Key benefits include customization of how the listing data is displayed, fresh listing data (constantly being updated), and fresh new content is always being added (Real Estate SEO). Before RETS, listing data was stored in flat files on FTP servers and it was impossible to perform queries or only get updated listings every night.
How Is IDX Used For Real Estate SEO?
Think of what the number one objective might be for a real estate agent? If your answer was lead generation, you got it right on the money. Organic IDX models are the best match for search engine visibility because of the data migration it offers. IDX framing only gives the illusion of the listings being on your site, and what we mean by this is that according to Google, your site will not result when looking for the search terms in your listing.
An organic system will provide your site with integrated listings. These pages are native to your site and they are indexable by search engines. When google crawls your site it will be stored in an index as a possible search result.
SEO for real estate websites rely heavily on ranking on their listings to be found by potential clients. A real estate SEO expert needs to be able to get your listings indexed and ranked highly by Google.
Another great tip of SEO for realtors is to know exactly where your listing data is residing in. For the best possible real estate SEO, you want to host your data on the same servers that you host your website so that all IP addresses from your property listings pages lead back to your website.
Finally, as with any website looking to improve their organic rankings, optimize your keywords, titles, and metadata. Your listings should automatically generate titles, keywords, and metadata to give search engines more information about the pages on your site to help users know exactly what they’re clicking on.
We gave you advice to utilize IDX to improve your real estate seo and we offer real estate seo services if you’d like to reach out to learn more. SEO for real estate websites is not that much different than others but tools like IDX, RETS, and MLS make it much easier for realtors to generate more qualifying leads.