Beautiful, fast, real estate websites
In this lesson on real estate SEO I wanted to talk about 3 levels of content you can create in order to cover more keywords and also develop a more robust content base around a specific topic.
The concept is quite simple:
Main page > Sub Page(s) > Blog(s)
However, the execution requires a bit of planning and really thinking about how to organize your content so that it is not only good for SEO but also makes sense for the consumer.
Here is how I generally start:
Topic: Area Real Estate
Meta description: Uses all “real estate” terms, and stays away from mixing other terms. (you don’t want to cannibalize other pages)
Main Heading H1: Area Real Estate
Second Heading H2: Area (state) Real Estate (or some other good keyword that has “real estate” in it.
Listings: All listings (or at least all residential) sorted by newest first (not highest first) with the heading “area real estate listings”
Above the listings combined with my h2, I’m going to have 100% unique content (at least a paragraph, maybe 2) and again I’m not going to “mix” keyword targets, but rather focus on the topic of “real estate”
Example: (I’m sitting in Lake Cowichan right now)
H2: Lake Cowichan BC Real Estate
Paragraph: The town of Lake Cowichan BC is known for its beautiful waterfront real estate. It’s also known for its amazing public beaches, hiking trails, and extremely warm water. Waterfront real estate in Lake Cowichan can range from $900k to $5M, it just depends on what kind of property you are looking for.
Notice I didn’t try to sprinkle other high-value keywords in there that aren’t real estate? (For example, I did not put in “lake Cowichan homes for sale” or “lake Cowichan condos”
There is a reason for this - I’m going to cover those in the next layer of pages.
Before I get to the next layer, the final bit (you can always do more content) but at least try to add another H2 (again using “real estate” as the basis) after the listings and then implement an FAQ at the bottom. (or you can swap the 2nd set of content and FAQ, up to you).
H2 Lake Cowichan British Columbia FAQ’s (see how I used no state or province in my H1, the acronym BC in my first H2 and now the full words “British Columbia” in my next H2? That’s how you sprinkle variation on a keyword theme into your pages.
Ok - so now you have the main theme page:
What do you do next? Create well-organized subpages.
These sub-pages should be grouped around keyword themes, but also again make sense.
My favorite way to do this is to use property types (and subtypes):
So for Lake Cowichan if my “main” is
Lake Cowichan Real Estate
then my sub-pages are
In each example, I use the same page format as above. But again I don’t want to cannibalize my main page (or other sub-pages) so on my “homes” page, I am going to try to avoid saying the word “real estate” altogether.
My headers are
H1: Lake Cowichan Homes
H2: Lake Cowichan BC Homes
H2: Lake Cowichan British Columbia FAQ
Does that make sense?
Now finally, let’s talk about the third layer. Blogs
This is how your target random keywords that might not have enough traffic to justify a main or sub page (or perhaps just don’t fit into the logical order of your sub pages) and of course going for long tail relevant phrases
Examples of this might be
If you know the area, you’ll know what kinds of topics you should be covering (it’s like expanding on your FAQs)
Of course, use your keyword research tools as well to make sure that you are capturing relevant keywords that you may not know of. And check your analytics as well.
Finally (for the blogs) don’t let them get buried.
Once you have them written, be sure you review your main and sub-pages, and if there is an opportunity to “link them” in your content (ie linking your blog from the main pages) it will help Google stay connected to the blogs.
The opposite is true too! When you write your blogs, look for opportunities to link back to your sub and main pages.
They should all be linked together in a nice subweb of pages all related to your main theme which is (in this case) Lake Cowichan.
Did you like this article on content layering for topical SEO? Do you want me to write more content on SEO for Realtors? Leave me a 5-star Google review and let me know
Thank you for such valuable and well-structured information @Morgan. Two quick Question:
Thank you for the detailed yet simple to digest write up.
As it pertains to developments or planned communities, would best practice be multiple layers of subpages to narrow down as below:
Anecdotally, I see most people searching building terms related to the city, not the neighborhood when they are searching for development name. However, if someone is exploring and trying to narrow down to the development that fits them, the neighborhood would be important.
Appreciate any 2 cents. Glad AndreREW brought this thread back as I missed it first time around.
Hey Tyler - I actually would not do it this way.
The reason is this, I actually think a development is a “main page” (even if not linked in the top nav etc)
And so I would create:
Main page /development-name/
Sub page /supporting-development-name/
Then if you want to get really tricky (like we SEO’s like to do) if the development is important enough, I would custom code something that automatically links the developments main page from every listing within that city.
Make a list of all developments in Tampa
Then have the team create a developments in Tampa snippet
Once you have those created, you have a programmer create the statement "if city=tampa, display tampa developments)
You could create it even more dynamic than that by creating a developments manager and tie that manager to your IDX pages, so that automagically any time you create a new development, once you tag it with the right city, it would do this for you.
Incidentally, how you “navigate” to a development might “feel” like it’s a sub page
Because you go from homepage, to a community, to developments in that community and then finally click on the development. But that is just a navigation path. Don’t let that convince you the development is a sub page of the community.
You could just as easily have featured developments on the homepage and go homepage > development.
Hey Andre -
Typically I look at the homepage as a catch all. More of an index / sitemap of the site, it’s not in of itself a pillar. It’s function is to be the “You are here” (think of a map in a mall) to help consumers who come “not” from search engines find where they want to go.
In terms of avoiding cannibalization of terms - keep in mind, when you add modifiers to a term it is a “new” term (so you’re not cannibalizing)
So let’s say I have a main: Vancouver Island Waterfront
And I have a sub: Vancouver Island Luxury Waterfront
These are not the same, and in fact the sub supports the main.
I could have more subs like: Vancouver Island Watefront Cabins
Or I could have: Vancouver Island Lakefront Homes
I hear you’re looking to build a niche site for waterfront (great idea
I’d be happy to give you a 30 minute tutorial on how to set it up if you end up going that route. Always great to catch up with you anyways my friend.
Great insight, that is the approach we will take. Thank you Morgan, will share with group for inspo or critiques as we get this off the ground.
Morgan, Thanks for sharing your wisdom and passion for SEO, my friend. Yes, I’m about to embark on a new and exciting REW project. This time, I want to make sure to lay down the proper structure following your teachings.
I would love to accept your kind offer before getting started. Please let me know what day and time work best for you or tell me if I should reach out to your staff to grab your next available.
Hey my brother! Sounds great (can we take it to email?)
I’m just on a plane to Ireland, but I’m back Tuesday, so later next week works.
Email me some times, we’ll get you, myself and your AM on a call and we’ll work out it.
will be fun
What is better for SEO for community sub pages/neighborhood pages url? Would I be better doing something like:
same with the sub-type pages. better as:
or does that not even matter and I’m overthinking it
Overthinking maybe - but, when you have multiple pages for a neighborhood, that is where additional extensions / words matter.
So if I only have one page:
departure-bay is fine or departure-bay-real-estate is also fine (doesn’t really matter just be consistent)
But if I have lots of sub pages, then the affixed KW does matter (so you can find the pages, for consistency etc)
So departure-bay-waterfront, departure-bay-condos, departure-bay-luxury etc
Here is a good article on URL length etc Does URL Length Affect SEO?
The short answer is - it doesn’t matter