This is the final installment in a series on How to Establish Your Real Estate Site in Google Search Console (inspired by an IDX Broker Blog Post written on Dec. 15, 2016).
If you haven’t yet taken the leap into the world of search analytics, I recommend starting with Part 1 of our series which covers adding and verifying your site(s). Once your site is being indexed, check out Part 2 to learn how you can give Google a head start on finding your content. Now that you are taking full advantage of this free suite of informative tools and receiving valuable feedback about how your site performs in Google Search results, it’s time to check your work.
When posting a blog article here in the Rain, I always proof read it multiple times. More often than not, I don’t catch my typos or grammatical errors until I’m previewing it on the live site. The same goes with SEO settings.
1) Review HTML Errors…
You may think your real estate website is running fine, but it’s important to look for potential issues Google may find when crawling and indexing your site. This is where the HTML Improvements page comes in. Reviewing this report regularly will help identify changes that potentially increase your rankings in Google search results pages while providing a better experience for your readers. To view data for your site it should be added and verified (as explained in Part 1). Some of the data you can expect to see includes non-indexable content (pages containing rich media files, video, or images), duplicate and other problematic meta descriptions, and title problems (such as missing or repeated page titles). Your recommended improvements can be found under Search Appearance in your dashboard.
2) Edit Duplicate Title Tags…
Everyone knows, one of the golden rules of SEO is to have unique content. Well it’s the same with your page titles. Search engines like Google will ding you every time they see a duplicate title, which you will run into if you’re using a wrapper. As a client of IDX Broker, you will have a global wrapper applied to every page possible, which by default, is the title that will be used unless you change it. In the case of our example site, http://www.greatpropertyforsale.com/, this title is “Properties”.
While this title may be all encompassing, it’s also generic. "Properties" tells people (and search engines) nothing about the uniqueness of the page. Your title tag not only governs your click through rate for Google, but for social media channels (such as Facebook and Twitter). The more compelling the page title, the more likely people are to click through, therefore generating more organic traffic from those channels. For an example, let’s take a look at two of the pages listed here… Home Valuation and Sold/Pending. Sold data is a hot topic (as you all know) so we should definitely include it in our page title! But how do you edit it?
It’s easy! Log into your IDX control Panel, click the Designs button and take a look in your Pages section.
There you’ll see Search Pages, Results Pages, Contact Pages, etc. For this example, let’s edit our Sold/Pending page. Simply select Edit under the Preferences column and you’ll be directed to Page Preferences – SEO Settings menu where you will type in your new Page Title.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
3) Analyze Keyword Traffic...
Now that our Search Appearance is in order, let’s take a look at our Search Traffic… specifically the Analytics. If you’ve ever wondered how many Google searches show your site, this is the report to check! Your Search Analytics Report shows just how frequently your site shows up in search queries. From there you can measure where your traffic comes from, what device the search was made on (including smart phones to improve your mobile targeting), how it changes over time, your click through rate, and more.
Search Analytics Report based on Devices
Search Analytics Report based on Queries
While each data set is helpful, the Query category is likely the most valuable. This report shows actual word sets that users searched for on Google, and only searches that returned your site will be included. You likely have a list of expected keywords for your site such as “Open House”, “For Sale”, specific neighborhood names, etc. If keywords that you expect to see don't appear, you may not have enough useful content relevant to those keywords. Your analytics also show searches with high impressions and low click through rates. From here you can identify what content needs improvement to satisfy your visitor’s interests. If you put in the legwork, Google Search Console will show you how to make your site better. And doesn’t everyone want a better website?
Thank you for following along with our Google Search Console series. Hopefully these tips give you some insight into the world of search analytics. You can find more tips and tricks on learn.idxbroker.com!