This case study helps prove XML sitemap SEO benefits. Here’s what happened. A real estate site was missing out on a significant amount of online traffic to their new property listings. Online traffic leads to sales, and it all starts with showing up at the top of an organic search engine’s results so that potential buyers and agents can access your property listings.
That’s where our SEO team at Augurian came in.
Below, you’ll learn about what was going on with this real estate site, how it was affecting their bottom line, what we did about it, and the measurable results we got. This story not only highlights XML sitemap SEO benefits, but also the success of this SEO indexing project and the way we develop strong, personalized relationships with the companies we work with to maximize project outcomes.
About the Client
The client is a large real estate brokerage site that competes with popular real estate listing websites like Zillow, Redfin and others. Despite the clients well established brand and large brokerage size, their property listings were taking longer to come up in organic search results than these national competitors.
Size and Reach
Let’s look at some specifics of the client’s site:
- Has approximately 23,000 property pages listed online at any given time
- Adds an average of 370 new property listing to their website each day
- Each property listing has about 18 organic visitors every day
- Has 27 XML sitemaps with 10,000 URLs in each one
XML Sitemap SEO BENEFITS
Well-organized XML sitemaps are essential for search engines to index your web pages in a timely manner. Sitemaps provide the information a search engine needs to determine what is on your website and how to access it. Our client’s sitemaps needed to be organized, so they were taking longer to get listed – creating a huge disadvantage. Our goal was to change that.
Our Specialized Process
Numerous factors affect the amount of organic traffic a website receives which is why our SEO team creates a personalized plan for each client. This process starts with analyzing the problem.
We used Augurians’ Augurbot to measure the time it was taking for the client’s new property listings to be indexed in an organic search engine. We then compared that to the indexing time of the site’s two largest national competitors.The data said it all. On average, it was taking three days before 90% of our client’s property pages were indexed while others achieved index rates of 98% and 94% respectively on day one. Our client’s new property listings weren’t at comparable index rates to their competitors until five days after they were posted. These initial analyses were based on eight tests run over eight months.
Plan of Action
Slower index rates for our client’s listings meant fewer organic visitors per day and the potential of losing out on sales. Therefore, our focus for this project became increasing the index rate of new property listings, so they would appear in search results sooner.
We made three recommendations to the client, stressing XML sitemap SEO benefits and indicating what changes to make to their XML sitemaps to increase their index rates.
1. Add Priority Scores
Adding priority scores to each type of property such as “sold”, “for sale”, “active contingent”, etc. allowed us to make new listings the top priority in the sitemaps so that they appear first in organic searches.
2. Add Accurate Last Modified Dates
Accurate last modified dates on each URL in the sitemaps ensures that search engines have the correct information about which listings are the newest and highest priority.
3. Add Correct Change Frequencies
Change frequencies should also be present in each URL as they tell search engines how often to re-index a page because it has been updated.
Our client trusted us and implemented all of the changes that we recommended with efficacy. They even created a tool that provided us with a continually updating list of the newest property pages for our analyses.
Here are the results of this project:
- Day 2 index rate increased from 85% to 90%
- Approximately 19 additional pages were indexed each day
- Approximately 342 new organic visitors each day
- Approximately 1 additional conversion per day
The strategy for this project was to speed up the amount of time it took for a new property listing to be indexed by search engines to increase traffic and subsequently increase sales. Our work increased the site’s potential to attract more than 120,000 new organic visitors a year and increase annual revenue. All that potentially unclaimed traffic and profit became available by restructuring the client’s sitemaps. We hope this case study helps outline XML sitemap SEO benefits. If you’ve got questions about your XML sitemaps or your SEO our team can help you identify and capitalize on any unclaimed profits you may have as well!