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homes.co.nz

Kiwi portal takes advantage of A.I. for a quick and impactful SEO win

7-10%

Improvement in Google rankings

46%

Increase in Google web traffic

28%

Increase in Google image traffic

homes.co.nz is a leading New Zealand property portal offering Kiwis access to over 1.8 million homes. Their innovative approach to real estate has made them the go-to destination for buyers and sellers in the country.

kitchen with hardwood floors, a kitchen island and pendant lighting

Old caption: Kitchen at 123 Main Street, Auckland

Opportunity

As anyone who has ever looked for a new home knows, there are no shortages of portals and real estate sites to browse for properties. Competition is fierce and many companies spend thousands of dollars every month trying to optimize their SEO.

Looking for an edge, homes.co.nz reached out to Restb.ai to see if computer vision could help. In particular, they were interested in creating unique alt-text for each image. They knew that alt-text was one of the key factors Google used when scanning images on the internet and thought it could be an untapped opportunity.

They had previously experimented with utilizing Restb.ai’s room type labels and the property address, which had produced promising results, but they hoped Restb.ai could take things even further.

Solution

Unbeknownst to homes.co.nz, Restb.ai had been working on a specific solution to this exact problem. There were simply too many photos for property portals to create captions on their own and Restb.ai believed an automated A.I. solution was the only answer.

During the extra hours afforded by the lockdowns of 2020, Restb.ai began the process of taking the information captured by their existing image recognition solutions to create descriptive, rich and varied captions for images. Extensive research was put in to maximize the variance and keyword coverage their solution could generate. Restb.ai and homes.co.nz even added a few tweaks to account for the particular real estate terminology favored in New Zealand.

With a fully automated image caption solution built out, the only question was, “What will Google’s web crawlers think?”

carpeted living room with wood beamed ceiling and water view

Updated caption: Carpeted living room with wood-beamed ceiling and water view at 123 Main Street, Auckland

“Restb.ai’s image captions allow us to take advantage of an untapped SEO-opportunity that no one else is even thinking about.”   Brayden Gosse, Product Team Lead – homes.co.nz

SEO impact graphic

Impact

To capture the SEO impact of the new solution, Restb.ai and homes.co.nz decided to use Google Search Console to track the clicks and average position metrics for both web and image searches. They’d then compare the results for the three months before and after the image caption implementation. During the test, other SEO actions were minimized to try to isolate the new solution’s impact.

At the conclusion of the three months, it was time to dive into the results. With the updated captions, homes.co.nz’s average Google web and image rankings improved by 7-10%. Even better, the updated alt-text resulted in 46% and 28% more monthly visits from Google web and image searches, respectively. The majority of the improvements were seen after the first month, with a steady uptick in the months that followed.

The improvements in SEO had a direct impact on the number of visitors to homes.co.nz’s portal, which translated to more leads and a clear ROI. Thrilled by the results, homes.co.nz is already looking at other ways computer vision can improve their site. We can’t wait to collaborate with them on future innovations.

For more details on how to improve SEO, check out our automated image caption solution
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