Project type: SEO/content marketing, multi-site design/development
Industry: real estate
This project was one of our "Content First" SEO packages we offer to Realtors®. A free website was included in the package, valued at over $5,000... and in this job we included a custom multi-site build of 3 sites: core, Whistler and Vancouver. Creating unique content silos for the two cities helps the search engines understand the content hierarchy for each regional sub-site.
The competition amongst real estate professionals in the Greater Vancouver is ridiculous, with more than 14,000 agents registered with the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). And each of these many agents of course wants to be listed in the top 5 ranking spots on Google, Bing and Yahoo!... within months. Many of the established competitors already have sites with hundreds of content pages (hyperlocal content pages, on-site listing pages (including all the sold and expired listings), blog posts, social media campaigns, etc. We're playing catch-up from at least 500 km back.
Realistically, it's going to take a real estate newcomer at least 2 years to become a contender — paricularly with a small to modest budget — before they can "out content" their competitors and earn top rankings.
I completed the core site in the first month, and to qualify for full ownership of the free website, our client had to commit to 1 year of the content strategy. Tutorial training videos were provided so the client could enter new listings in-house. Each month several new article pages — about 2,000+ words apiece — were researched, written and published. And I provided a full website maintenance package (backups, software upgrades and style updates) free of charge.
Around 6 months in, we began to pick up Google rankings for Whistler within the top 30 positions. The site began to receive search engine traffic. For the budget and time frame, the results were on target. The qualification for the free website was met and the client was given full ownership.
Unfortunately, three months later the client made the decision to halt the project, and the IDX listing service (MLS Reciprocity) was cancelled. In the months that followed, Google rankings began to lose ground to the competition, and that trend will probably continue.
I would like the opportunity to pick up where we left off, regain lost ground... but we'll have to see.