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Product Review: IDX+

Those of you who have an indexable IDX product on your website know how powerful it can be. It can help drive traffic to your site for long-tail search phrases such as addresses, as well as MLS number searches. Early adopters of indexable IDX got a big boost, as Jay Thompson noted in this blog post about dsIDXpress, which was in beta at the time.

I jumped on that bandwagon fairly quickly, and have enjoyed the benefits. Now, 3-1/2 years later, having a website with indexable IDX is not so unique. Yeah, I know, other website/IDX vendors has been doing indexable IDX for longer, but it’s the WordPress plugins that made indexable IDX available to the “masses” of agents who don’t have 4 to 5 figures to drop on an semi-custom site. That democratization of indexable IDX is great on the one hand, but once all of your local competitors also have it, is it any advantage anymore?

Of course, content is king for driving traffic, and we all know that we must write unique content that users find helpful to attract prospects. That unique content differentiates your site from your competition, at least on your non-idx pages. But how do you differentiate your IDX listing pages themselves? Well, there’s a premium WordPress plugin that builds on top of dsIDXpress that lets you do just that.  It’s called IDX+. (Affiliate link.)

The dsIDXpress plugin is a great foundation for indexable IDX, but it does not utilize best-practice SEO techniques to the maximum extent possible. IDX+ remedies those deficiencies, maximizing internal linking of IDX pages so users and search engines can more easily find more listings. It also adds several lead-generating features that are not found in the base dsIDXpress plugin.

You may be thinking, “Sure, this sounds great, but show me the money!” Well, the proof is in the pudding, and here’s the evidence.  I installed IDX+ on my Atlanta Real Estate website, and here is what happened to my Googlebot crawl stats:

IDX+ crawl stats

Webmaster Tools Crawl Stats before and after installing IDX+

And here is a screenshot of my Google Analytics showing what happened to my traffic after installing IDX+:

IDX+ visitors

After installing IDX+, visits per day approximately doubled.

It’s hard to argue with results like that. But that’s not all IDX+ offers. It also includes several different layout options which improve the rather bland look of dsIDXpress. It also includes a number of improved widgets, such as an autocomplete search form, nearby/similar properties widget, and a listings-by-price widget which automatically configures for the city of the listing being viewed.

All of that is plenty enough to sell me on IDX+, but the thing I love most is how the devloper, Zack Katz, never ceases to add features and improvements to the plugin. I’m currently developing a mobile-responsive version of my website, and I’ve been frustrated by the fact that dsIDXpress is still not responsive.  I mentioned this to Zack and, on the very next update, he added responsiveness to IDX+. Let me reword that for clarity: IDX+ makes dsIDXpress responsive. Boom.

Bottom line, if you’re running dsIDXpress, I’d suggest you head on over to IDXplus.net and check out IDX+.

About Mike McGee

My wife Tina and I own and operate Intown Elite Real Estate in Atlanta GA. Like most small business owners, I wear many hats. I'm the broker, IT support guy and amateur webmaster, among other things. I run a few websites, including my primary site at IntownElite.com, a niche site at JacksonLakeHouses.com covering lake homes near Atlanta, and others.

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  • I’ve almost ditched idxpress due to the lack of responsiveness. I’ve been testing some other options…..but this could change that! Have you noticed an increase in leads/signups?

    • Yep. We actually don’t even utilize all of IDX+’s features to their maximum extent. For example, we don’t use its forced-registration feature, just because of our own personal philosophy on the subject. But if you like forced-registration, IDX+ allows you to do that whereas the basic dsIDXpress does not, so that would definitely generate more leads. They way we’re using it, we’ve seen an increase in conversions simply due to the increase in traffic that IDX+ generates for us.

  • petertoner

    April is 6 months ago – what are the stats since?

    • Actually it’s 18 months ago, I installed IDX+ in April 2012. The traffic continued to climb for 6 months after implementation and leveled-off at that point. Anything longer-term than that would be difficult (impossible) to determine what affect IDX+ is having versus other SEO factors such as recent Google algorithm changes. I can tell you that, comparing it to my other site running only dsIDXpress Pro, the site running IDX+ consistently gets far higher crawl stats, pages indexed, traffic and conversions.

  • You know what would be really helpful? For them to offer transitioning support from DS to their product. I’m intrigued, but the prospect of shifting products is daunting enough that I am not likely to pursue this.

    • Jim, you don’t actually leave DS and shift to IDX+, you use IDX+ along with dsIDXpress.

      • Ah … even beter.

        In that case:

        Have you seen an increase in conversions?

        • Most definitely. Even assuming a constant conversion rate, the increase in traffic results in more leads.

  • As I was reading this I thought, man, I’m going to have to tell Mike McGee about this! Lol 🙂
    I’m going to look into this ASAP. Does it offer social login?

    • Ha! Yeah, you knew a plugin like this would be right up my alley! Yes, as a matter of fact it does offer login/register via Facebook.

  • David Barrett

    Mike, is this plugin still useful in 2015? I have dsIDXpress on my responsive website, and I’m having quite a few issues with search results, details pages, etc…It just looks like crap, especially on mobile devices.

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