Sierra Interactive: Site Structure Basics, Part 2 - Community & Featured Search Pages

cms seo sierra interactive Jan 14, 2020

Ok, now your foundational site structure is starting to take shape. You’ve created your foundational sections and have started to organize your main navigation. As we get into Part 2 of this series you are going to continue to revisit your sections and navigation as you’ll have more content that you want to highlight.

The next step is to start to add some width to the page selection in your sections. This can take many directions but the most common and the two that we are going to cover today are Community and Featured search pages.

What is a Community Page?

A community can be defined as any distinct area in your market where people can live. Typically these take on the one of the following:

  • City
  • Town
  • Zip Code
  • County
  • Subdivision
  • Neighborhood
  • Condo Development
  • School District

For the context of this phase we will look at community pages as a sub-segment of a broader section. For example if you are working with a section defined by a city, the community pages may look like this:

https://www.siteurl.com/section-name-real-estate/neighborhood-name/

https://www.siteurl.com/section-name-real-estate/condo-name/

https://www.siteurl.com/section-name-real-estate/zip-code/

https://www.siteurl.com/section-name-real-estate/school-district/

To keep your page build in a logical format, I’d suggest deciding on a set of community page types that apply to each section as a starting point and create one set at a time. For example list each neighborhood in each section and build all of those before moving on to condos, then school districts, etc.

What is a Featured Search Page?

While community pages can get really expansive, especially in a major metro areas, featured search pages can go even further. You are really only limited to the parameters in your MLS search form. To keep it simple, here are some common examples:

  • Price Reduction
  • Open Houses
  • New Construction
  • Luxury Properties
  • Waterfront

This is really just the very tip of the iceberg. The goal with featured search pages is to start with the most common and then build towards the more obscure, casting yourself a wide net with less competitive search terms so its your site that appears when someone search for homes with an elevator. With that in mind here are a few more ideas for long tail features searches:

  • Equestrian Properties
  • Gated Communities
  • Homes With A Pool
  • Homes With An Elevator
  • Master on First Floor
  • Homes With A Guest House
  • USDA Loan Qualified
  • 3 Bed / 2 Bath / Under $250k

This list could go into the thousands but as I said earlier, just start with the most commonly searched or asked about properties or property types. Over time this can grow into a content library that far eclipses the competition in your market. It takes time, but in the long run its a worth it.

How do I create community and featured search pages?

Ok, with the principles established, let’s look at the nuts and bolts of creating a page. This process breaks down into two general steps:

1. Create all your saved searches

Because the Sierra CMS separates the saved search manager and the content manager, the best use of your time is going to separate the two activities, starting with saved search creation.

  1. Login to your Sierra Interactive account
  2. Click the Saved Searches button from the main nav
  3. Click Saved Searches from the sub-menu
  4. Click the New Saved Search button in the top right
  5. Add your Saved Search criteria from the search form
  6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 until you’ve created all the searches on your list

2. Create all your pages

With your saved searches created you now have the basic building blocks in place to create a simple community or featured search page. Follow the steps below, I know it looks like a long list but you will do once or twice and fly through it from there, so stick with me!

  1. Login to your Sierra Interactive account
  2. Click the Content button from the main menu
  3. Click Content Pages from the sub-menu
  4. Click the Create New Page button in the top right
  5. Select Page Type, Listings/Community page
  6. Choose the correct Section from the dropdown for the page you are creating
  7. Add your Page Title, e.g. Marina Pointe Condos
  8. Hit the Tab button on your keyboard to automatically create the Page Filename, e.g. /marina-pointe-condos

Pro tip — When you are adding the Page Title do not include the name of the section, for example, Marina Pointe Condos Tampa Bay. Because you would have selected Tampa Bay as the main section for the page, it will automatically populate in the page URL, which will look like this:

https://yourdomainname.com/tampa-bay/marina-pointe-condos/

  1. Add a Meta Title, which is the main headline that will appear in a search result, for example, “Marina Point Luxury Condos For Sale”
  2. Add a Meta Description, which is the description that will appear under the Meta Title in a search result, for example:

Marina Pointe Luxury Condos are located in the heart of South Tampa's new Westshore Marina District. This stunning master-planned community offers tremendous 360 degree ocean views, shopping, entertainment, and relaxation. Starting at $700k. Reserve your unit now.

  1. Click the Save button in the bottom right

With the pages saved it will reload and display the section on the screen that hold the Page Components. There are only three more micro-steps to a completed community or featured search page.

  1. Click the New Page Component button
  2. Click the Listings From Saved Search button
  3. Select the correct saved search from the dropdown
  4. Add a saved search title and save

Thats it! You’ve now created saved searches and added them to a new content page. From here you just need to repeat these steps until you’ve created all the community and featured search pages that you want. This can be something that you continue forever and it will continue to pay off.

Next in this series

  1. Part 3, Sub-navigation and Sidebars
  2. Part 4, Content Structure
  3. Part 5, Leveraging Partners

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