Annual SEO review of your top ranking keywords and their landing pages for SEO

This is for those of you focused on Real Estate SEO - a reminder to review your top ranking pages. (Those with the most traffic available in terms of impressions / clicks).

It’s a very simple process:

Go to webmaster tools (search console), choose the last 28 days or 3 months whatever and then sort by rankings: Should look like this (if you’ve worked hard on your SEO)

Then for the terms that are the highest value for you, actually do the search and see what page comes up - for example Waterfront Property Vancouver Island is a very good search term for us, something we intentionally target. And so I visit this page: Vancouver Island Waterfront Real Estate | Waterfront Homes, BC

What I’m trying to do in this visit is be very critical (not give myself a pat on the back for how good it is).

Does it serve EXACTLY what I want in terms of content and listings. Is it properly written? Where can it be improved?

Here are a few examples:

This is well written and has a nice photo - but those tags previously were missing a great keyword opportunity (I just changed them) . Before they said things “vibrant communities” and “great parks” or something (I can’t remember) - that’s actually not the best use of those tags. When I created those tags, I had a vision to first be a great place to sneak in keywords, but then also link those keywords to pages from the main page. So I changed them to “Oceanfront views” and “Beachfront homes” increasing my density in a non spammy way for “oceanfront” “views” “beachfront” and “homes” all keywords I want within the context of the page.

Next I am going to have the writers change the text. It’s not bad at all (and ranks #1) but the coverage area is too broad. While it’s true Vancouver Island runs from Port Hardy to Victoria - those areas are 9 and 2 hours away from our service area, so I don’t really want to be talking about them or attracting any leads for Port Hardy or Victory. We work from Lake Cowichan in the South to Parksville in the North so I’m going to have that text changed to further define what areas we work.

Next is stats: (Specifically the graph)

I’m actually going to speak to the team about this as when there is only 1 type of property type it’s actually kind of useless and not the visual feature it is meant to be.

A few options

1: Change the data graphed to something like “price bands” under 500k, 500-$1m $1-$2m etc could be interesting, but each market is different so the bands would need to be dynamic wich is a huge pain the ass.

2: Replace graph with custom snippet (if snippet placed) - this I like much more from a utility perspective. REW could then design a few well tested and optimized options to put in there (a graphic CTA, a list of property types) could be a bunch of pre-made things for you, but then you could also put in your own. I actually think this is the direction I’m going to go (@aporter @Rebecca let’s capture this - so if nothing placed, show default graph, if something placed use the something :slight_smile: << I know that’s vague, I know what it means. I can explain. @AmyPye can you please mock this up for me - use the stats screenshot above, bue replace that graph with a heading “Waterfront By Property Type” and then a list of say 3 columns of links with types like “Waterfront” “Oceanfront” Lakefront" “Ocean View” etc

Here is a quick mockup for inspo for @AmyPye

Next were our listings - specifically the snippet. It was too broad. We had all Vancouver Island listings that are waterfront, but the reality is, we don’t service all of Vancouver Island. A simple change to make it limited to just those areas we really care about and we’re golden there.

One thing we could do with snippets though (and this is likely a larger feature discussion) is we could start tagging the search results with specific modifiers based on IDX data when they exist (in this case waterfront is an obvious example) but you could have 2, 3 even more (a small cloud of them) which would further differentiate the page and also give it some density. (Here is a simple example) note, the tags would be different per property based on unique characteristics of said property AND… those tags should be clickable and take you to a search result or list (maybe a page) of all properties that have that tag.

Hopefully, you can see how beneficial revisiting your pages is in this way. Could you do it more often than annually? Sure. But every process starts with a first step, so let’s get started!

You’ll be surprised how many good ideas you can come up with just by asking yourself how could this page be even better than it is today.

Some great thoughts here @Morgan. One tool that I’ve been using recently is SE Ranking, similar data to Ahrefs, but better value for the tools I need.

Let’s say I’m trying to rank this page for: Yaletown Real Estate, I can track my keywords and where they are ranking.

Perhaps more importantly, they help with content suggestions, like you had adjusted to help the page rank better.

Good stuff - what I will say is that the actual “density” doesn’t matter as much as many of these tools might suggest, more so getting all the right words actually on the page. Sure you need the H1 and H2 to reference variations of the main theme, and a bit of sprinkling, but i would not focus “too much” on density per say. I far prefer to ensure I have the proper context and related phrases as well as supporting pillar content.

One thing I want to say about “city real estate” for most individual Realtor® websites, I would not recommend you try to rank for it. The reason is it is simply too competitive and requires far more authority / pagerank (off-page factors) in order to actually compete. No matter how good your on-page is (it could be perfect) you still generally can’t beat major brands/portals since their authority is so much higher.

For that reason, I recommend focusing on longer tail keywords which (while they have far less traffic) are generally ignored by bigger players and much easier to actually rank for.

Once you build up your authority, you can always shift to the main competitive phrases, but in the meantime, you will actually be winning/generating long-tail traffic and leads.

Let me give you an example:

Let’s say I ask my team to focus on “Nanaimo Waterfront” a page we haven’t built out content-wise yet but I do have some rankings for based on a strong higher level page.

When I look at the screen above, I get a since of the lower-hanging fruit based on what is already ranking with little effort.

Nanaimo Waterfront Real Estate”, Nanaimo waterfront for sale" and “Nanaimo Watefront Homes For Sale” are all excellent keywords and we’re already top 15 for them. Those I know with some intentional backlinks and effort I can get into the top 3 (@Emma please make sure build out this page, let’s test it)

But what is far further away is “Nanaimo waterfront” at 46. It’s also far less targetted (it’s not a real estate keyword per se), so I’m not actually going to try for it intentionally at all. But it will come up naturally as I improve the page since there will be “Nanaimo Waterfront” in all my anchor texts

I’m also going to sneak in “Walkway” into the copy of our new page even though it’s not a target keyword. I won’t use it in any headings or prominently, but since it will drive passive awareness traffic and be contextually relevant, it doesn’t hurt.

Also, since I need supporting pages for the pillar concept, I’ll also have my team write a blog post on the Nanaimo Walkway and link it to the main Nanaimo page and Nanaimo waterfront pages. (Update: It took me 5 mins using REWPert, so I just created the “Nanaimo Waterfront Walkway” blog post myself :slight_smile:

Team just needs to update it to make it more unique.