Case study: Real estate portal. Increasing search engine traffic by 523 % in 15 months
We’ve been contacted by the website Eurobydleni.cz, asked to stop more than a year-long decline in traffic and to increase it again.
The initial state of the website
- Both the website and the domain have existed for more than a year.
- Organic traffic: 36 524 unique visitors per month.
- Lots of non-indexed and empty pages. Duplicate or low-quality content on the pages.
- Spam-like internal linking with repeated links within 1 page. Functional internal linking, which would help with the growth of high-priority pages and concrete search queries, was missing.
- Unoptimized landing pages.
- Missing Rich Snippets. On the whole, no one had, up to this point, paid any attention to getting the web to show in search results.
- Unoptimised meta tags and headlines. Also without any informational value for the user or the potential to catch his interest.
- Duplicate, technical and search pages were indexed.
- Multiple faults in the user-friendliness of the website.
- The webpage was missing anything which would prolong the time the user spends on it, and lowered the abandonment rate (such as suggestions of other, similar properties).
- A harmful predominance of commercial anchors in the website’s link profile
- The SSL certificate was missing.
Our work on the website
We’ve made an analysis of the link profile, keywords and competition, as well as a technical analysis of the website. Based on that, we’ve separated individual mistakes and shortcomings by the difficulty of their solution. We’ve started with things that would enable us to reach maximum effects with minimal time and financial costs.
We’ve made the search engines index more pages by designing an effective algorithm of automated internal linking, by deleting redundant inner linking on pages we didn’t wish to be indexed, and also by adding quality content on the pages that mattered the most. In terms of form and content, the website started to better match the target visitor queries. The “weight” of the website has been evenly spread on the important entry pages.
To increase the click-through rate from the search results and positions, we’ve optimised the meta tags, added more extended labels (everything which was relevant for this project) and bread crumbs (breadcrumb navigation). The meta tags were filled with important information in addition to keywords.
We’ve prohibited technical and duplicate pages from being indexed and proceeded with overall optimization of the website’s crawl budget. We’ve also created a sitemap, containing only the important entry pages. The technical pages were prohibited from indexing.
- We’ve migrated to SSL and a faster hosting server, and also improved the caching system.
- We’ve corrected multiple mistakes on the web. It should be added that the client was quick to respond and actively cooperated with us on everything which needed to be done, which is a rare occurrence…
- We’ve come up with several things to keep the visitor on the page for as long as possible.
- We’ve improved the search features within the website and also the displaying of similar properties on the specific property sites. If there are no more properties in the given category, the properties from a related category will show up. Now the visitor won’t see any empty pages and has ample opportunities to switch to a different page or category.
- The non-functional links referring to the website were either fixed or deleted.
With each passing month, we’ve managed to occupy higher positions for more and more relevant keywords. In the graph below you can see the rise of traffic and the number of keywords for which the web has been indexed in search engines. The data come from Ahrefs.
- We’ve been continually increasing and diversifying the website’s link profile.
- We’ve diluted the overabundance of commercial links with non-commercial, non-anchor links from blogs and forums.
- We’ve managed to gain a number of links from the same websites, which link to our client’s competitor’s sites.
- We’ve created more links from authoritative sites, with the necessary anchors leading to the important pages.
- We’ve created a PBN (private blog network) to support the main website.
- The non-functional links to the website have been either fixed or redirected to the most relevant existing pages.
The dynamic growth and the diversity of linking domains brought about a positive result (taken from Ahrefs):
By 28. 2. 2019, the organic traffic on the web Eurobydleni.cz had risen to 227 850 visitors during the past month. This makes for a 523 % growth in 17 months of our SEO management.
- The traffic stopped decreasing and started stably growing. Currently, the numbers are even higher.
- With this website, we’ve managed to reach 10th to 5th position on average in Google and Seznam search engines for high-frequency, competitive queries.
- We’ve lowered the volume of visitors leaving the site.
- We’ve increased the average number of pages viewed by the visitor.
However, there’s still a lot to work on, since the real estate niche is big and very competitive.
The graph shown below has been taken from Similarweb.com. It makes evident that the largest portion of visitors comes from search engines (almost 60 %):
Website traffic statistic for the past 6 months
By the 6th month of 2019, only Sreality, Idnes and (by a small margin) ČeskéReality come before our client’s website. (We don’t count BezRealitky as a direct competition):
Here you can see the gradual growth of positions and the movement of keywords into the TOP 3. For the current TOP 1000 keywords, the client’s web managed to reach TOP 10 in search results in 95 % of cases. In 56 % of cases, it even made it into the TOP 3!
Below is the graph of visits coming from organic searches from 1. 4. 2019 to 29. 5. 2021 – you can see the continuous growth of visitors during that timespan. At the pictured moment, the web registers 408k monthly visits from Google and Seznam – and it’s not even the end of the month.
You can see the growth of visibility according to Ahrefs. Take note of the continuous growth of keywords for which the web is visible, as well as the improvement of their positions in SERPs. Compared to the previous screenshot from 2019, there is a 4x increase of keywords ranking in TOP 3 – from 513 to 2136.
The growth of referring domains is still quite dynamic and smooth.
In the elapsed time, Eurobydleni streghtened its position even more and is currently the 4th most visited real estate portal in the Czech Republic. Only the biggest players remain ahead of it – Bezrealitky, Idnes and Sreality.
Let’s also take a look at the positions of some selected keywords. Naturally, everything can change on a day-by-day basis, but you can still get a general idea of the success of our work from this picture.