The ONeil Edit – March 11, 2022

Last week there was no Edit because there wasn’t anything noteworthy to write about. This week is another story. As I have said before, often the themes in my work week are parroted in the week’s newsletter content. This is one of those weeks. 

First and Zero party data collection, email open rates, SEO, housing thoughts and a little how-to on targeting the active 55+ buyer are what’s on deck.


In the latest episode of Homefiniti & Beyond we talk about dynamic personalization. As such we spoke about using zero and first party data to fuel the personalization efforts. Needless to say data collection is always top of mind for me so when I came across one article on zero party data collection and another on first party data collection, I had to include them here.  

The zero party article provides tips on the collection of that data (quizzes!), ways to use it (CDP’s), and why you need it (personalization ⬆️). The first party article focuses on mistakes in the collection of that data – collecting the wrong data with improper use cases that are onboarded too slowly specifically. 


Speaking of personalization, email plays a key role in those efforts. Home builders can use the zero and first party data to build out the content of the emails, but the first party data can also be used in the automation efforts. Email opens are commonly used as a trigger. However, with Apple’s MPP – Mail Privacy Protection program, open rates are now wholly unreliable and should not be used to trigger automations any longer. A workaround to consider is using clicks as the trigger instead. 


There were 3 articles around SEO that caught my eye this week. One focuses on local SEO (GBP), one that highlights how user search history impacts SERPs and one that focuses on how Google Search ads  & SEO work together. We touched on each of these topics with some of our builders this week. 

In new home builder organic SEO you have your basic list of keywords that focus on the nuts and bolts of what you do and ranking in SERPs for those, but the other equally important part of your SEO strategy involves location and showing up in local SERPs. First and foremost in this effort is the forever thorn in my side, Google Business Profiles. That’s how your communities get on the local map. It’s key to the local efforts. There are other factors involved as well including those aforementioned keywords and the authority Google determines your website to have on the local subject matter at hand. Just this week we had a builder’s 2019 blog about a local destination suddenly take off in the local search results providing an increase in impressions and clicks of more than 500%! 👀⬇️ 

User history goes back to the personalization conversation from Homefiniti & Beyond. Google uses its first party data to influence what is returned in SERPs on an individual basis. If I Google “new home builder” the results I see are likely to be very different than if my husband were to google the same phrase. 

First, that would probably be my husband’s first Google search ever. He’s a bit of a luddite and instead of Googling things himself he sends me texts like “What is ras el hanout” so that I can Google it for him and provide the results via screenshot. It’s super efficient. {sarcasm font}



But in all seriousness, my line of work influences that search heavily. Just as my online shopping habits influence what is returned when I search for certain articles of clothing like “hot pink moto jackets”. In that case there’s nary a Barbie or child’s coat in sight. Rather my results are full of the moto jackets of my dreams, sold by large and small retailers alike that specialize in women’s fashion. To prove my point, below are screenshots from my personal chrome browser and my work chrome browser, each with the same search, each with slightly different results. I don’t make a habit of searching for my shopping wishes on my work browser so it’s got less to go on then my personal one.

Finally, using Google Search Ads in tandem with your organic SEO strategy is beneficial to both efforts. It’s that rising tide again 🌊.


I just wrapped up a call with a builder who was lamenting all the obstacles that builders currently face. Even with excessive demand, selling new homes is challenging to say the least. The good news out of Builder Online this week is that new home buyers are still chomping at the bit, despite looming interest rate hikes and the seemingly endless price increases on said new homes. The spring market holds promise.


More and more of our builders are entering the Active 55+ housing market. And as we all know, it’s literally a different market to try and reach. How to do so successfully requires a unique approach and a willingness to work a little harder at the relationship building process. Buyer education, personalized experiences, and a focus on the values that they hold dear can pay off with more brand loyalty than other generations. This article provided a concrete plan to engage with older audiences online.

Thanks for reading, if you ever want to chat, feel free to shoot me an email and we can geek out together on these topics and more.

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.