LSH upgrade and integrate systems

About LSH, The Property Experts

Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) is a national commercial property consultancy with 27 offices located across the UK and Ireland. Over the last 40 years, the company has grown steadily through acquisitions and mergers, building an unrivalled network of over 1000 experienced commercial property specialists and support staff. Today LSH is one of the country’s leading commercial property consultancies, covering all aspects of commercial consultancy and agency services. In a 12 month period the company typically:

  • Lets, sells or acquires in excess 7 million sq ft of office space each year – transacting as much as 40% of many of the regional office markets
  • Advises on over £5bn of property annually, across the UK and Ireland
  • Undertakes thousands of valuation projects a year
  • Lets, sells or acquires around 20 million sq ft of industrial and distribution space every year

LSH PC

Challenge

Recognised in the industry as a market leading property consultancy, the LSH website was not driving business and was generally underperforming in terms of conveying the company brand, presenting product and service information and ultimately generating enquiries. The two key challenges were the ability to easily keep the website up to date and reversing poor Google rankings.

A network of regional marketing managers, cover the 27 regional offices responsible for uploading new information to the website, such as time critical property listings, regional market reports and other local news. However the website was cumbersome, unwieldy to update and ultimately business limiting. The marketing teams used the dotMailer email platform to personalise, automate and analyse 1-2-1 email campaigns. This ran in isolation with no integration with the previous website.

In addition, and compounded by the difficulty in updating and refreshing the website content, the LSH website was performing poorly in terms of SEO, and unlikely to rank above the third page in Google. The website also failed to appear in specific property searches.

To address these challenges, LSH decided to migrate the website to a new CMS, one that would be easy to use, could integrate with their property database and email marketing tool, and be configured to optimise the website SEO. Six CMS solutions were evaluated, with only Sitecore ticking all the boxes:

  • Clear technology roadmap (future-proofed)
  • Ease of use – minimal training and time required
  • Integration with other platforms, including an external property database and dotMaile
  • Able to serve personalised and localised visitor content
  • Integrate with social media
  • Built for SEO optimisation – structure and content
  • Could be tailored to meet specific needs – now and in the future
       

“We immediately felt comfortable working with 3chillies. Their in-depth technical knowledge combined with a ‘nothing is too much trouble approach’ gave us the confidence we needed to launch this ambitious project.” Farhaan Mirza, Associate Director - Digital Marketing, Lambert Smith Hampton.  

 

Solution

As accredited Sitecore experts and developers, with an impressive client list, 3chillies met with LSH in late 2012 to discuss the Sitecore project. 3chillies also brought the ability to undertake bespoke integration work and were quick to grasp the scope and objectives of the CMS upgrade.

Work commenced on the project in 2013, with a specific focus on integrating to the Caldes (www.caldes.com) national property database and changing the process of serving the property listings on the new website, so that LSH would benefit from the property search engine results. This had been a major shortcoming of the previous website, as although 50% of the website traffic was referred from the Caldes database, LSH did not benefit from improved search engine visibility and rankings.

All LSH properties are uploaded to the Caldes database using the Caldes CRM and then displayed on the LSH website. By uploading the property listings to Caldes, the information is available to other third party sites linked to Caldes.

3chillies reviewed and changed the process so that instead of the Caldes database being displayed on the LSH website (and only Caldes benefiting from the SEO rankings), the Caldes database is now concurrently replicated back to the new LSH website. With the property listings an integral part of the website, this content is indexed by search engines and searches for these types of properties now include the LSH website in the top ranking results.  

“Working with a specialised SEO agency and 3chillies, LSH optimised each page for SEO and changed the structure of the website, so that all search engine queries now drive traffic to the home page and not the regional pages. This and the constant updating of relevant content is helping to drive up the company’s SEO rankings, traffic and the time spent on the website.”  Farhaan Mirza, Associate Director - Digital Marketing, Lambert Smith Hampton.    

 

Benefits

By working with 3chillies and choosing Sitecore as their website platform, LSH has been able to meet its objectives for the new website, on time and within budget. The new website is faster and significantly easier to update, providing regional information for visitors.

With built-in social media sharing, LSH agents can quickly disseminate property information across their client networks. Clients can update their marketing preferences online and with the enhanced SEO the website is now ranked in the top three for both property consultants and regional properties. The next goal is to be on the first page and in the top 5-10 for specific searches relevant to commercial, regional and specific areas.

At the end of the first year website traffic had increased by 60%, the number of pages visited was up by 25% and on average 20% more time was spent by each visitor on the website.  

“This has been a great project for 3chillies. With Farhaan’s vision regarding the required digital marketing objectives of the new website, we have been able to build on the capabilities of Sitecore to create a fully integrated database application.” Paul Spearman, MD, 3chillies.  

 

Future Developments

Since the new website was launched in February 2014, 3chillies has continued working with LSH to develop the site functionality.

There are plans to look at further personalisation of the Sitecore CMS to implement marketing automation across the regional offices and enabling the website to deliver visitor-specific content while creating a library of templates for landing pages and campaign specific micro-sites.

LSH selected Sitecore CMS as the underlying platform for their digital marketing initiatives and with the technical and creative input from 3chillies have been able to change the website from a business inhibitor to a dynamic, responsive business driver.

“Not only have 3chillies set up the website CMS, marketing infrastructure and SEO platform, but they've also set in place options for us to easily adapt and update to meet business requirements. They are not a deliver and disappear agency, but more like a department within our business.” Farhaan Mirza, Associate Director - Digital Marketing, Lambert Smith Hampton.

 

LSH ipad

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