Great Media Websites: HousingZone
Division: Portal URL: www.housingzone.com Company: SGC Horizon Average monthly unique visitors: N/A HousingZone is a portal for four print publications, Custom Builder, Housing Giants, Professional Builder and Professional Remodeler. One of the dozens of trade brands divested by Reed Business Information-US in early 2010, HousingZone.com underwent a total makeover once it joined SGC Horizon. Starting in July 2010, it was rebuilt on the Drupal open-source content management system; the site relaunched two months later. “This challenge turned out to be an opportunity,” said Aziz Ali, e-marketing manager at SGC Horizon. “We were able to put a great team together not only [to do] the relaunch but also to commit to never-ending improvement of all aspects of the site.” One area of focus was social media. A new commenting system allows users to log in with their AOL, Facebook, Hotmail or Yahoo accounts, and icons for Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter simplify social sharing. Editors can tweet articles as they are posted as part of the content work flow. “We now receive far more comments, engagement and referral traffic to our site,” Ali said. “We increased our social traffic by over 1,000% [since the relaunch].” The site's new ad platform offers flexible ad placement and is able to sync with major ad networks. “With added page views, advertising opportunities and highly relevant metrics that back the advertising, revenues have increased 12%,” Ali said.