Magic Menus | Super Intelligent XML Sitemap | CMS Logic
By Nick Ray Ball 05th March 2016
Magic Menus is a system to improve product ordering and display, incorporates a next generation XML Sitemap. Programmed using a system unique to Villa Secrets ‘CMS Logic™.’
Magic Menus was created as an improved way to order our product lists ( the order properties appear in searches) which creates an advanced XML Sitemap, as mentioned as a key SEO factor within Googles ‘Search Engine Optimization – Starter Guide.’
XML sitemaps are a way to tell Google and Bing, which pages on a website are most important, and how often they change. Each page is given a priority of 0.0 to 1.0 and offers a change frequency of always, hourly, daily, weekly, yearly or never. Here you can see an example of the Cape Town Luxury Villas XML SiteMap.
Our objective with our advanced XML sitemap was to give high XML priorities to properties that Google would respect, such as: pages with original content, pages that had high Moz page authority or pages that Google Analytics showed that were getting a lot of visits.
The theory being that Google often takes a ‘quick look’ at websites, looking only at high XML priority pages. So if one has 1000 pages on a website of which only 100 had high XLM priority, Google may rank a website on its top 100 pages, not the complete website. And so we create the sitemap in a way that Google only sees pages it approves and there for thinks more of the website.
Please note, this may have no effect in Google at all, it’s just a theory. However, the process created is great for Villa Secrets websites in general, as it has made us work a lot harder on the top 10% of our properties, creating blogs for the best Villas and Safaris. And from the blogs looking making a ‘reviewed by owner’ online magazine, remaking the best of the blog post into magazine pages.
And so, when expending internationally to the likes of Bali and Hawaii where there is a PMS (Property Management System) system that can give us a hundred or more villas in one locations. We will connect to it.
However all its system pages with duplicate content will be at low XML priories and will appear low in searches and will not be found on the homepage. And instead, the best properties from the portfolio will be remade into blogs, magazine articles and enhanced product pages displayed at the top of all search pages and often featured on the websites homepage.
These villas, become the ‘Secret’ in ‘Villa Secrets’. This is not only a good way to present our ‘Villa Secrets’ to Google, it is a much better way to present to clients in general.
In the following video, we see a snapshot of the Magic Menus as of 13th February 2016. The videos cover 22 different points and is an hour long, which is a testament to the level of detail requited to create the system.
Magic Menus & CMS Logic (59 minutes)
CMS logic is a term we have given to the programming style used to create Magic Menus. In short instead of giving many php instructions to the programmers, we have created many CMS (Content Management System) pages, which detail over 100 different parameters over dozens of pages. So that the system architect can adjust the setting for each variable and a incredibly complex system can be created and made simple to both the system architect and the end users alike.
To start with we split the XML priority into two, properties that have duplicate content (a description that has been seen on another website before) are all below Priority 5 and fresh content properties are above 5. Then many rules are applied including: page views, quality links and manual actions. Over time the villas priority changes moving higher or lower in the master list.
This is a good system, but not perfect, as it does not allow any good properties with duplicate content into the top of lists. The general principle is that all such villas should have a new and improved description created, and where possible new pictures. But this is time consuming and not always practice, especially when a franchise is starting from new. (Albeit in general new franchise would start with original content and PMS villas over time.)
But in case that is not practice an additional layer of functionality is added, to display whichever villa one wishes in the list regardless of its content status.
Rotating Magic Menus
To create a better system, we are creating a ‘Top 64 List’. Here we can add different lists of properties, to different position that will appear in the 64 places in a specific location, such as ‘Cape Town’
(Note when a user looks at a ‘collection’ such as ‘On the Beach’ the system will follow the Top64 list showing villas in the location that have the ‘On the Beach’ attribute.)
To display the best villas, regardless of the content, and in general as it simple for system users, we have created a ‘Top 10 Rotating List’ where one adds their top ten villas which rotate positions every day or so. Why the rotation? Well in looking at the current Top 10 Cape Town Villas we have nine villas that on their day could be No 1. So we rotate them.
One can make the ‘Top 10 Rotating list’ appear in positions 1 to 10 in the Top 64 villas Rotating’ list. However, there are other lists that we want to display. Such as:
1. Highest Attribute Score for Villa under $700 on Feb 24th
Attribute Scores are explained in the ‘Magic Keywords & Attribute Scores’ page.
Often one’s favourite villas will be the most expensive, and so there is a danger of losing out on mid-range clients who may be put off by a presentation off villas all of which are above their budget. So we add the highest scoring villas under $700 in hi season (Feb 24). One can change the price and date in the CML Logic pages.
2. Highest Attribute Score for Villa under $450 on Feb 24th
Same as above but different low price
3. Mandates Villas (Villas that have signed a mandate)
4. High Discounts (Villas that offer higher STO’s)
5. Different lists/portfolios, such as Cape Villas, Razor, Cape Town Luxury Villas and soon Nox Rentals, Village and Life & Nightsbridge
6. Highest Google Analytics page views
7. Highest Moz Page Authority (pages with good links)
8. Blog & Magazine pages
9. Adds (Someone may offer $???? a month to be in the top 5 villas.
Lastly we are working on a set of CMS Logic pages that work for newly added villas, that sees them fall through the top 64 villas, in a way that visually looks a little like the code from the film The Matrix. This system gives new properties time to be seen in high positions and so we can count the page views and links to assess their popularity, some will find themselves automatically placed in a prominent position, others will fall down the list, to live in obscurity until manually assessed.
In regards to manual assessment, since creating the video we have now made a very simple and good looking way to look at the master list and drag and drop villas into a preferred order. This also applies to sets of villas that need a manual overview. For instance, the new properties that fell through the list into obscurity. They end up in a catch all list, which displays all the properties, and it’s easy to quickly look and see if any properties should be more prominently placed.
All the above combined creates ‘Magic menus’ and whist it is specifically designed for vacation rentals can be adapted to any industry that displays numerous products on line.