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College and County

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College and County are an established Oxford-based lettings agent. They pride themselves on their ethical approach and high level of customer service – both towards tenants and the landlords they support. They offer properties of all types across Oxford and the surrounding area. Visit the College and County site

The brief

As property listings are integral to their business, College and County required a site that could integrate directly with their property management system. This bespoke web development would remove the need to update properties manually, which their previous site had required.

It was also important that the new website worked well across all devices as their existing site was not mobile responsive. Mobile and tablet users made up around 30% of their traffic, so improving the experience for these users would help to deliver their goals.

One of the main goals for the new website was to attract new landlords, requiring a site structure that addressed this audience directly. It was essential that the site provided clear calls to action for prospective landlords. This would make it easier for them to find the information that they need and register with College and County.

The client recognised the importance of good search engine rankings and were keen that the site was fully search engine optimised. We worked with the College and County team to identify their target keywords, which would feed into our detailed keyword research.

 

The solution

It was important that the site met the needs of the three key audiences that we identified through the consultancy phase: tenants, landlords and potential investors. We designed the website structure to make it easy for these users to find the content relevant to them. We optimised landing page content to ensure searches led users to the relevant pages.

 

Bespoke web development

College and County rely on a third-party system for managing their rental properties. We developed a custom ASP.NET application that utilises data from this system. This provides an automated feed to the property listings on their new website and external sites such as Rightmove. This makes their internal processes much more efficient, reducing their internal costs.

The client also wanted to provide prospective tenants with property alerts when new properties matching their criteria are listed. We developed a custom web integration that feeds tenant registrations into their third-party system. This sends automated alerts to clients when relevant properties are added, improving their user experience.

 

Search engine optimisation

Increasing the visibility of the site to potential landlords and property investors was one of the most important aims of the new site. This made search engine optimisation (SEO) a vital element of the project. Our expertise in technical SEO allowed us to conduct detailed keyword research and identify the best opportunities for ranking well on search engines.

We designed an SEO sitemap that maximised the SEO benefits, while ensuring the site was easy to use and navigate for each of the audience. We created optimised landing pages that provide a starting point for each of the key audiences from their search results. By engaging users from these landing pages and providing clear calls to action and pathways through the site, we have encouraged users to complete the tasks that support College and County's goals.

 

Mobile responsive web design

We used our expertise in mobile responsive web design to create a site that offers a great experience for users on any device.

The design incorporates key elements of the College and County brand. We retained the brand colours that existing clients would be familiar with. The illustrative style of the design highlights the independent nature of the agency. This makes the differences between College and County and its more corporate competitors clear to users.

 

The results

Since the website was launched it has consistently appeared on the first page of results for the key terms it targets. The site is performing well for both landlord and tenant related searches, delivering on the goals that were set.

The move to a mobile responsive site has increased the conversion rate from users on smaller screen devices such as tablets and mobiles. This suggests that users are finding it easier to navigate the site and complete tasks.

Project team

Matt Gilbert Jim Osborn Chris Sawyer Dan Shelton

Client Testimonial

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