RealtyAustin’s Definitive Guide to Austin Swimming Holes is a real estate powerhouse and one of the most innovative real estate companies in the country. They are a two time finalist at the InMan Top Innovator Awards, moved $2 billion worth of real estate in 2015, and are the #2 Overall Best Brokerage Website in the US according to RealTrends. I worked with them to develop user-centered content that would engage locals and tourists, boost their brand as a cultural hub for Austin, and drive traffic to their site.

File under: content, content design, keyword research

The Task

As a regular contributor to the RealtyAustin blog, I saw regular user engagement for pretty much anything posted on the blog. Using their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media account typically drove 230 pageviews to the site.

Looking to really bolster their content approach, we shifted our focus from weekly, low-volume posts, and developed a content archetype that would be topical, evergreen, endlessly usable for their visitors, and server as an introduction to their brand.

The Work

I allocated several weeks to research and compile a list of all the nearby swimming holes. I also catalogued existing pages that performed well for the phrase “austin swimming hole” to gauge the content they published, it’s functionality, inbound links, internal links, and the design of those pages.

After performing that research, I found that the swimming hole niche was an often talked about topic judging from the number of “culture” blogs posting about it as well as social conversations about those posts on Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter.

Talking to local experts and doing ample research online, I put together a list of more than 35 swimming holes to cover – well above any other list online.

The next step was to determine what would se this piece of content apart. I found that other pages provided boilerplate descriptions and basic hours of operation, fees, and other necessary bits.

This content needed to go a bit further and really speak to the type of young, innovative culture that RealtyAustin identified with, so I devised the “Pro Tip.”

Along with each bullet point of necessary information, the “Pro Tip” expressed the insider feel that was going for and also provided invaluable information to users that they couldn’t find anywhere else.

The Results

Research and execution paid off. Today, the Swimming Holes page is’s highest visited page on their site (other than their homepage. That’s remarkable considering that they get more than 3.7 million visits a year.

To date (September 2016), that single piece of content has received 252,295 visits.

It has also served as a great traffic generator every year.

*data from Google Analytics 

In dealing with restraints from’s CMS, we were able to create a highly usable and visually appealing page that allowed users to jump from spot to spot without having to scroll up and down a massive page.

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