This week I had a question from a fellow BNI member around an email they received from an SEO agency – they had mentioned some interesting facts around a particular local search term and wondered if they were valid and how they did it.

So, a perfect topic for a blog post…

So, the first question – who gets the most search traffic for a realtor in Vancouver?

This is an easy question to answer using a tool like SEMRush, take the most common search term for that particular service e.g. “realtor vancouver”, it will tell you how many searches that phrase gets per month on average.

It will also show you the list of websites which rank for that keyword. In this example, I wasn’t able to find the mentioned business as a local service directory was taking up all the top spots ( so I searched for the actual business website mentioned in the email.

That gave some great information as can be seen below:

What this shows is that the website as a whole gets around 11.7K searches per month and there are 11K keywords which the site ranks for.

Then there’s traffic cost – this is a fantastic feature of SEMRush – it basically tells you how much it would cost to get the equivalent of those 11.7K searches per month by using Google Ads instead of relying on the natural organic results. So you could say they are getting around $9K USD of traffic for free per month as a result of the SEO work they’ve done.

I was curious what keywords they got the most traffic from and that’s also readily available as you can see below:

These top keywords weren’t what I was expecting to see but it gives some good ideas of content to write on a competing website in order to take a bite out of the available traffic.

In the example above, “realtor fees bc” gets around 1300 searches per month, being in position 1 they are getting around 5% of that traffic so approx. 70 searches per month.

The next question was which pages contribute the most to this traffic, again this is easily determined with SEMRush (or similar applications like Ahrefs).

It gives a breakdown of each page in order of the traffic they get. Usually the home page is the one which receives the most traffic but in their case it was a page with a commission calculator for realtor fees.

The email mentions one of the pages which targets the “downtown vancouver condo market” search term but is ranked at position #5, whereas another competitor ranks for position #1 and raises the question of how that competitor did that.

So to find that out, I clicked the link for the keywords for that particular page, the first result showed average traffic of 1000 searches per month, I was then able to see who had position 1 and click their site instead.

Looking at that other site’s page it showed 32 keywords that contribute to that page ranking (the site at position #5 had 28 keywords instead) – I noticed they had multiple variations of the above keyword e.g. “vancouver condos” & “downtown vancouver apartments” for sale.

What’s interesting is they also have street intersections and specific building names showing up as search terms which suggest they have created content focused around those locations, intersections and building names – all of which contribute to better search positions and traffic.

So, why does one site rank at position #5 for “vancouver condos for sale downtown” while the other ranks at position #1? This is one of the core aspects of SEO but in a nutshell its a combination of the content on each of those pages, how well it’s written, the use of related keywords and structure. Also, the number & quality of other websites which link to this page (along with the traffic they get themselves).

In this example the site with a page at position #1 had 78 backlinks from 18 unique domains whereas the site ranking at position #5 had 33 backlinks from 13 domains.