Nevsky Prostor is a large real estate agency in St Petersburg with over 20 years of experience. Their website spb-estate.com offers full information on their property database and available services.
The client had already a website but it was rather outdated. The agency had already worked with three other digital agencies but they hadn’t got the expected results.
The main target of the client was to make their website bring more target traffic, quality leads and to boost sales.
We audited their website, analyzed the market and set the following goals and targets:
- To update the web design, adapt it for different devices;
- To make upload of property options automatic and provide users with more options to choose from;
- Optimize the website for search engines to drive more target traffic;
- Set up Google and Yandex ppc ad campaigns and increase conversion;
- Post information about the company on other online platforms to enhance its brand awareness.
The real estate market is considered as highly competitive. Therefore, bringing a website to the TOP 10 search results is a rather challenging task. The companies which have top ranking positions invest heavily to be more visible online.
Considering this fact when developing a conversion optimization strategy is one of the key factors to bring a website to the TOP search results with the most common search queries.
Pic.1. Google search results for the query ‘агентство недвижимости в Санкт-Петербурге / real estate agency in St Petersburg’
Our SEO strategy to promote the real estate website included updating web design, internal and external optimization and setting up ppc ad campaigns.
Check out our ultimate guide to find out how we did it.
Real estate website optimization case study
Step 1. Audit
The first thing we did is a detailed analysis of the whole website to find if there are any technical errors that prevented the website from getting higher rankings. The analysis consisted of three parts: technical parameters, SEO, usability.
As a result, we managed to develop a thorough plan on how to improve the website and enhance its performance.
Step 2. Design
One of our targets was to make the website more user-friendly, make it attractive and appealing. To do so, we totally changed the web design, taking into consideration the company’s style, usability and SEO features.
Although 46% of the traffic came through smartphones and tablets, the website originally hadn’t been adapted for mobile devices. So, we developed an adaptive design.
Pic. 2. Adaptive design for spb-estate.com
Thanks to the adaptive design, the traffic from mobile devices tripled, while the bounce rate decreased by 20%.
Pic. 3. Mobile traffic statistics
We developed a special design for services pages to focus user’s attention on the benefits of working with this agency.
Pic. 4. Service pages design
Step 3. Technical solutions
The website audit showed that there were technical errors on the website. The pages downloaded rather slowly, there were duplicate pages and the website wasn’t protected against hacking. To fix these errors, we enabled HTTPS, merged the duplicate pages and improved the page load speed.
The website load speed doubled, which allowed us to reduce the bounce rate by 25%.
We added an option to automatically upload the information on property options from different sources to make the process of working with the website easier.
As a result, now there are several thousand properties on the website and the property database is automatically updated every day.
While studying the website, we noticed that it is rather difficult to find out where the offered property options are located. Therefore, we developed a special map where all the property options are mentioned.
Pic. 5. Properties on the map
For each property option, we developed a special block where all the property features are mentioned. Each feature has an icon, so users can easily look through the block and decide whether a property option suits their needs.
Pic. 6. Features block
We also added a simple and easy to use search form that helps user search properties according to their preferences. Search form on the home page
Pic. 7. Search form on the home page
Pic. 8. Extended search form on the property database page
Another thing we did is making the website multilingual. Now, there are several language versions: Russian, English and Chinese. That allowed our client to drive users from other countries to the website and enter foreign markets.
Step 4. Semantic core
Our next step was to work out the semantic core of the website. We analysed search queries statistics from Google Analytics and Yandex Metrica for two years.
We analysed the statistics from Wordstat, KeyCollector, Google Keyword Planner, Google and Yandex search suggestions and clustered them to prepare tasks for copywriters. Today, the semantic core contains over 7,000 keywords.
Then we worked out a new website structure taking into account the analysis of the competing websites from Google and Yandex TOP 10.
Step 5. Content
Our copywriters prepared new quality appealing texts encouraging users to contact the agents. The texts explain how to buy or sell a property, present the benefits of the properties available on the website. As a result, users spend more time on the website and contact the agents for advice.
Pic. 9. Session duration statistics
Step 6. Internal optimization
When we started working on the website, it hadn’t been optimized at all, so we realized that we had lots of things to do.
Our SEO of the real estate website started with internal optimization. We added title and description with the main commercial keywords, removed the dead links, optimized urls, snippets and images, schema markups. We also added and set up the website to Yandex.Webmaster and Google Search Console tools.
All of these actions allowed us to make pages indexing on search engines faster.
Step 7. PPC advertising
To enhance search engine optimization of a real estate website, it is important to drive additional traffic to a website through paid ads. So, we launched search and advertising network ad campaigns on Yandex Direct and Google Adwords.
We set up callout and sitelink extensions, a vCard with detailed contact information, added a list of minus words, prepared ad texts with relevant headings, set up regions where these ads would be shown and added UTM tags.
Pic. 10. Our paid ads
Step 8. External optimization
When it comes to bringing a website to the TOP 10, you also have to consider external optimization, which includes adding links and developing strong positive company reputation online.
After analyzing the external links of competing websites, we worked out our own crowd marketing strategy. We selected a list of popular platforms where we post articles about the company on regular basis.
Pic. 11. Posts in the media
Step 9. Commercial factors and user behavior
We focused our work on improving commercial factors and user behavior indicators:
added the detailed contact information and information on the team and every estate agent to make the website more trustworthy.
Added an option to create a personal account, so that a user could save any property option they like and compare them.
Pic. 12. Comparing property options in the personal account
Installed an online chat and added call-to-action forms on different website pages.
Pic. 13. Online chat
Pic. 14. Call-to-action form
Another important update is an online mortgage calculator, which helps people to find out if they can afford a property option and make the right decision.
Pic. 15. Mortgage calculator
All these updates helped us drive target traffic and improve user behavior: average duration of a session increased, the bounce rate decreased and the number of inquiries increased.
We have been working with Nevsky Prostor for already two years and here are the results that we have achieved so far:
- Over 55% of keywords reached the TOP 10 and 43% of them are in the TOP 5;
- Search traffic increased 5 times:
Pic.16. Search traffic statistics from Yandex Metrica
С. Overall traffic increased 7 times:
Pic. 17. Website traffic statistics (all channels) according to Yandex Metrica
D. The number of target visits (goals) increased 5 times.
Pic. 18. Target visits (all channels) according to Yandex Metrica
SEO of a real estate website: key to high conversion rates
After two years working with this website, we treat it as our baby. Thanks to our solid conversion optimization strategies, we considerably enhanced the website performance and working with this project became even more interesting.
If you have any questions or want to learn more details, leave a comment. You can also call us at 8 800 700 34 35 and get advice on how to make your website a high converting tool.
by – Head of Optimization, Danshina Elena Viktorovna.