When we first met Manhattan Miami Real Estate, they were working through an outdated WordPress version of their website that was riddled with errors and causing performance issues across the site.
Ricardo Mello and Anthony Guerriero, the co-owners of Manhattan Miami Real Estate put a lot of trust in us by sharing their concerns and realistic need for results.
"We don't have time to waste," Ricardo shared on one of the earlier calls while exploring options.
As a company in the real estate industry, Ricardo and Anthony had a major need to showcase their business in organic search results, specifically the markets of Miami and Manhattan — two of the most saturated and most difficult markets to break into in terms of search ranking.
SEO meant a lot to them from the start of the relationship, and it was clear that this was an intrinsically important facet of their company's growth goals.
"Buyers in these markets are not simply searching on Zillow for something in their price range," we were reminded by Ricardo in the early stages of our journey with them.
These buyers are looking for top-of-the-line luxury, class, and amenities, and expected the company they work with to deliver an experience to them that matched this same level of sophistication — something the team at Manhattan Miami were complete experts in.
Showing up in relevant searches for what their unique buyer types were seeking was not only a priority, but it was a necessity for Manhattan Miami Real Estate to grow. The problem was the website just missed the mark for this experience.
As you can see above, there was a lot going on just on the homepage alone, not even exploring interior of the site. For new visitors, there was no clear path for what they should be doing or where they should click or explore.
"I want my website to show the luxury," Ricardo and Anthony shared with us.
It can be easy to distract visitors unknowingly because the message is not clear. This was a user experience problem that needed to be addressed and clarified.
So what's the problem? Seems simple right? Increase the organic search volume make the website prettier, and, voila! An over-the-counter solution to fix this brand's need.
Ha! If only it were that easy...
We had our work cut out for us. Knowing this was going to be an intense project that would bear the weight of either being a complete success for our client or end in massive failure, we did not take the project lightly. Here were the biggest problems we knew we needed to solve in order to help them grow their business:
- Their current WordPress installation was bug-heavy, with plugins that were causing compatibility issues across several browser types. In turn this hurt their ranking capabilities even more.
- A previous SEO specialist had given advice that was not "best practice" in performance, meaning much of the on-page structure across the site needed revision because it was causing damage to the way the blogs and the site were structured.
- They were working in a market that is completely saturated and dominated by numerous large real estate brands who eat up the bandwidth and ability to rank for anything relevant (with what seemed like an unforgivingly endless budget).
- Their target audience was vastly diverse, with several different use cases for needing to invest in these properties coming from people of different backgrounds from all over the world. This meant understanding their personas and what they ultimately needed was going to be extremely difficult.
- The design of their current site and brand missed the mark of showcasing the luxury that they delivered to their buyers.
- Lastly - their messaging was inconsistent, not clearly communicated, and was not well aligned. At the root of their problems, this was one of the worst because when potential buyers would find their site, it was unclear what they were supposed to do.
At Web Canopy Studio, we have a proprietary process we use called "The Foundry," which is how we start virtually all of our engagements with clients, regardless of size and scope. Why is this important?
We learn the audience.
We learn the brand voice.
We research what has worked, and what has not.
We define the goals.
We build a strategy to hit those goals.
The Foundry is imperative for our team to find success with our clients. In our eyes, this is what sets us apart from so many other companies who build websites and perform marketing tasks.
What good is a beautiful website if the right audience doesn't see it? What good is a beautiful website if the message is not perfectly designed to be on point with how that audience needs to feel, helping them find solutions to their complex problems? What good is a beautiful website if it keeps suffering from the same mistakes performance-wise as it has for the last 5 years?
As we started working through these foundational components of the project with Ricardo and Anthony's team, we started to see some patterns emerging that were quite fascinating.
Did you know that real estate in Manhattan is one of the safest investments you can make, especially if you live in a foreign country where the markets can be unstable?
We uncovered not only that Manhattan Miami Real Estate's best clients are foreign buyers who are looking to invest in these markets (in many cases, in order to preserve their wealth), but that Anthony and Ricardo's team have an immense knowledge of the US Tax Code, how foreigners can navigate this code, and effectively purchase their property safely, securely, and efficiently — one of the most compelling reasons for why people don't end up making that purchase decision.
This was also one of the most compelling reasons why people would talk to Anthony and Ricardo in the first place. They were experts at this level of discussion, and knew how to not only deliver that knowledge, but deliver an entire experience of class and sophistication that wowed their buyers and gave them a sense of comfort, ease, and professionalism.
To back that up, we discovered in an SEO audit that the best performing content on their site, surprisingly, was not about the properties they sold or the beautiful and luxurious amenities that came with them. We use SEMRush as a way to breakdown keyword performance and visibility for all of our ongoing client research.
The best performing content, as it relates to site visits, interaction, and engagement, was a blog post around a simple question: "Can foreigners buy property in the USA?"
(ranking history for the foreign buyer related content above)
Even with a current website that was struggling with performance issues, struggling to get site visits, and struggling to convert any real leads, this content was surpassing all the setbacks and shining through in search performance.
This was an "aha" moment for us. It told us we had potential to build on what was working, tie that in with an overall strategy with the buyer personas, build out a buyer's journey, and help guide this website to success.