I'm doing SEO for a pet store near where I live, lets just call it ABC Dogs, url abcdogs.com to use as example.
ABCdogs had excellent rankings to begin with when I came in, so I don't want to mix too much up. About 300,000 visits a month and first page rankings for "dogs for sale mycity", 2nd result.
Thing is, while their home age is what google has indexed / ranking for "dogs for sale", they have another page on the site (linked to from home page) with the url abcdogs.com/dogs-for-sale, and they have about 200 blog posts and hundreds of dog listings, and all of them have the abcdogs.com/dogs-for-sale page linked to with the key term / linked text "dogs for sale"....
So Google is ranking their homepage for dogs for sale, but the dogs-for-sale page is the one linked to from everywhere from the term.
I've started linking to the home page from the new content being created with the term "dogs for sale", and optimized it better for the term. It's now increasing in the rankings for the general search (without city, which it wasn't before), and has maintained same rankings for most part for "dogs for sale city". (However, only site in front of us for "dogs for sale city" is craigslist, which went from having one google search result to two in front of us... not sure if this is a sign we're slipping for the term, or just an algorithm update).
Just checked now, and since this optimization the "dogs-for-sale" subpage has increased in rankings significantly as well since I've integrated these changes. Went from nothing to something...
Long story short (or actually... it's been a long story already, thanks for bearing with me)... What should I do here... should I continue to optimize home page for the term? Or should I split optimization and link to the dogs-for-sale subpage as well with the term? (other note, not sure if gives clues to anything, the actual dog listings that are linked to from the dogs-for-sale subpage have gone down in impressions and clicks...., which is worrisome... however, they're badly optimized... that's another story)
Just looking for some guidance / insights into how to handle optimization moving forward... anything would be much appreciate. Thanks