The ONeil Edit – July 2, 2021

I’ve been saying for weeks now that it’s basically Christmas because time is going so fast. We’ve really unleashed our post pandemic life at a breakneck pace. I look at my calendar and I see all of these milestones and events just wizzing right by. I’m at the beach for the 4th then my oldest goes to two weeks of camp then we’re back here for our August vacation, then it’s the DYC Summit,  next it’s Labor day, followed by a quick trip to Nashville for my husband I and then we dive headfirst into White Family Birthday Season, followed quickly by Thanksgiving and then Christmas. See we’re already there. 

I’m trying really hard to live in the moment and not wish time away but it’s hard. Writing these each week is a time for me to slow down, catch my breath, and think about the events of the past week to help guide the selection for the Edit. What I include here isn’t just about the news of the week, but also meant to help reinforce themes that we see developing within our own experiences and client conversations. 

Obviously the housing market is ever present, but then with that comes the digital marketing landscape that has its own issues. Lumber and labor shortages on the housing front are paralleled in digital marketing with tracking losses and an ever changing search landscape. We’re seeing declining traffic from organic search and while some of that is unique to housing, it actually mirrors a trend across all verticals as Google works to keep people on search results pages and away from having to click off of them to get the answers that they seek. 


Lumber prices are coming down, hurrah! But don’t get too excited because there’s also a building trades shortage and a general slowing down of the resale market. We are still hearing from clients that they are either capping sales or have raised prices to such an extent that it has had the same effect of sales caps: to slow down sales. There was a period of time in which I believed that the news about lumber and housing was driving buyers to shorten their cycle, and move away from the research phase and straight into the buying in person phase. 

Now, I wonder if the news is having the opposite effect and is starting to scare people away. If this does prove to be true, I’d imagine it won’t last long because the fact of the matter is that increased lumber costs, trade shortages and other new home issues, aren’t the full picture of the market. They are the reason for higher prices, but the demand has thus far supported the increase. Demand isn’t going away and as such, I don’t believe the higher prices are either. It’s what the market can bear now and well into the future if you look at the numbers of people who want to buy a home and compare that to what’s on the market.


There is a lot going on in the world of SEO. Several interesting articles came across my inbox this week. One announcing the rollout of the second part of a broad core algorithm update that transpired on Thursday, July 1. We won’t fully see the impact of this update for a couple of weeks but it’s not expected to be much for most sites.

In the meantime, Google has suggested that a site’s overall appearance has an impact on its search performance. This isn’t to say that Google is judging you like Cher might have judged her classmates but kind of it is. Essentially, if you go to a website looking for information that you want to trust and believe only to find that the website is less than pleasing in its design, you might think that the information on it isn’t up to par. In the case of home builders, if your website looks cheap, so might your homes and that isn’t putting your best foot forward. If you think your site might fall into this category, have several unbiased people review it and give you their thoughts. Then call us.

If your website is looking its best, one way you can help increase search performance is through your social media presence,  says the Google. Here’s the thing though, it’s not directly related. It’s an indirect effect. Basically, if you share your content on your social channels, that’s sending traffic to your site which is always a good thing. If your brand terms are in the names of your social media channels (and they should be) then when people search your brand terms on Google, your social media sites are likely to show up in results on their own which is another boost. And finally because those results show up alongside your website, it lends credibility to your site. The trick is to keep your channels active, share content on them and make sure you’re presenting a cohesive brand.


Speaking of social media, Facebook has launched a new product that is a Substack competitor. This is a space for writers and journalists as well as other experts to engage with readers and monetize their content. I’m curious to see how it plays out and if there’s an angle for builders to take advantage of. Currently, it’s only open to select content creators so we’ve got a little time. I’ll be sure and let you know if anything comes of it.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Thanks for reading each week and helping me to slow down and be present in today instead of focusing on what’s ahead. Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Molly White

Molly White

I am a passionate early adopter. At ONeil Interactive I help clients put their best technological foot forward while generating high quality leads with digital campaigns that consistently beat industry averages.