For about 4 months now I have been working on a website for our client in the Real Estate industry in the Cayman Islands. The top keyword for that industry is, "cayman islands real estate" - they now appear on the second page of Google SERPs after only 4 months and I haven't done any extensive linking yet.
When I signed up for the webmaster tools on google, I was pleasantly surprised that they were also getting alot of traffic from the keyword, "luxury property". I was surprised because I was not targeting that keyword. Nor did I anticipate the additional traffic source. But it was all good. The only time, "luxury property" is mentioned in their site is on the domain name and title already they are no. 5 of that keyword.
Note: Most SEO Specialists say that domain name is not important, well, after this experience, I have to say that it does count for something. Having a similar domain name and title name for a keyword does help in achieving ranking for the SERPs. This project proves that.
Signing up for the Google Webmaster tools is about the best decision anyone can do - whether you are an expert or site owner. Knowing where your traffic is coming from, understanding your entry and exit pages, bounce rates and knowing how long they stay is imperative in SEO.
For me, SEO isn't just about increasing traffic - SEO should be part and partial of a holistic strategy that includes:
1. Ease of Site Navigation (user experience)
2. Understanding the online user's needs and being able to address it in the least possible amount of clicks
3. Should be part of a bigger marketing strategy that incorporates other mediums and marketing efforts
4. Defining strategies that work and don't work
5. Creating a website that has room to grow. Meaning your website should be able to accomodate the ever changing needs of your users without having to re-develop everything from scratch.
6. SEO as Sales Effectivity Optimization - who cares about all that traffic when your sales hasn't even increased. The two should go hand in hand.
I have tried to incorporate all these strategies in the real estate website that I am currrently optimizing but the best thing about this project (aside from the SERP the position) is how the owners of the website are working with us and supporting us in all our recommendations.
I am the lucky one.