When Will I See the Impact of SEO?
SEO is notoriously a long game — like Settlers of Catan, you’ve got to nurture your sheep, gather iron ore, and most of all, be patient. The extended duration required for the successful implementation of SEO strategies can be attributed to the escalating complexity of search engine algorithms, which have evolved to contend with the continuous expansion of the internet. With an ever-increasing volume of content to assess and a growing array of ranking factors to deliberate upon, the time necessary to witness tangible SEO results for your apartment community, such as heightened rankings and amplified web traffic, has gradually extended for website proprietors and search engine optimizers.
The question is how much time is required to see the impact of SEO services?
And what are the SEO longevity needs specific to the multifamily industry? In the realm of professional expectations, SEO is commonly perceived as a marathon rather than a sprint. Our objective is to determine more precisely the duration of this marathon and identify whether a discernible finish line exists.
To answer these questions, Digible pulled historical data for 441 properties. We included a variety of property types: luxury, student housing, 55+, single-family rental, affordable, lease-up, and stabilized properties. Our main sample includes properties that have run SEO services at various levels over four consecutive time frames of 0-3 months, 4-9 months, 10-12 months, and 12-12+ months. A given property can be sampled in more than one time frame of months running SEO services, depending on the longevity of SEO services for that property. If a property ran SEO services for 12+ months, their statistics will be represented in all four periods of time.
Impact of Long-Term Apartment SEO
The findings indicate a significant increase in Search Views for clients who ran SEO services for their properties for 12+ months. We see Search Views grow 0.5% for clients who run SEO services for 4-9 months, followed by a 22% increase for clients who continue SEO services for a full 12+ months. Allowing a full year (plus) for SEO impact to reach full Search View gains is important.
Direction Clicks (direction button clicks on a Google Business Profile) continue to grow with SEO service longevity. We see a 7% increase at 4-9 months and a 10% increase at 12+ months of running SEO services.
However, we see different results for other metrics represented in this study. Metrics such as Phone Actions (call clicks on a Google Business Profile) reach a peak in their SEO gains around 4-9 months of SEO services with an increase of 11%. A similar pattern is seen for Total New Users (new user traffic to the website).
It is important to note that we did not account for seasonality, location, or concurrent paid media campaigns. Digible looks forward to revisiting this data annually offering higher fidelity or representation and subsetting the data for property type, seasonality, and location. Our goal is to provide improved projections of SEO services’ impact over time for the multifamily market.
Digible SEO Package Impact Over Time
We were able to segment our full population data to explore the impact of running Digible’s Premium SEO Package because currently, this is the most widely utilized package, making the dataset for this package the most representative. However, we look forward to fully analyzing all package performance over time in the future.
This data represents a subset of properties based on the level of SEO services run for the same four buckets of time: 0-3 months, 4-9 months, 10-12 months, and 12-12+ months.
The findings from this subset study are reflective of the full population findings. We see a significant improvement in Search Views with 12+ months of SEO services. The increase in Search Views at 4-9 months is 0.9%, with an increase of Search Views at 22% for 12+ months of SEO services. A similar pattern is seen with Direction Clicks, with an 8% increase at 4-9 months and a 12% increase at 12+ months of SEO services.
Once again this pattern is not consistent across all metrics addressed in the study. Total New Users peak at 4-9 months with a 4% increase, followed by a 1% decrease at 12+ months of SEO services. Similarly, Phone Actions peak at a 12% increase at 4-9 months and drop to a 1% decrease at 12+ months of SEO services.
Why is Longevity Key to SEO Success?
We have learned from our study and study subset that longevity significantly impacts the success of a given SEO campaign. This conclusion follows the industry standard: You need to think long-term for SEO. It is useful to further verify this standard to the multifamily industry, however, we can dig deeper into the why behind this data-informed criterion.
Many factors make SEO a continuous need for businesses. Some of these factors are outlined in a recent article by Woorank “The Benefits of Long-Term SEO Strategy”:
- The web and Google are always changing
- SEO takes regular updating and optimizing
- Stay ahead of competitors
- SEO requires a long-term vision to support your digital marketing goals
- Your SEO success builds on itself and complements other services (think seven-layer dip)
An interesting fact found in research done by ahrefs discovered that the average top-ranking pages in Google search results are nearly two and a half years old. This same study also found that only 5.7% of pages manage to earn top SERP rankings within one year.
With ever-changing algorithm requirements and intense competition, SEO requires regular updating and the mindset of layered results. SEO work takes a long-term view because success builds. As authority grows, and relevance increases, we see more clearly how to leverage SEO techniques to fine-tune our results. There is always more work to be done because the search environment is changing, and SEO tactics must continuously evolve to keep multifamily websites competitive.
Understanding the timeline for observing the effects of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial for the rental housing industry aiming to leverage this strategy. According to comprehensive research findings, we suggest implementing SEO services across your platforms long term. Longevity allows ample room for your business to realize the maximum potential in terms of increased Search Views. Incorporating SEO services into your long-term multifamily marketing budget is highly recommended, considering the time it takes for their impact to manifest fully, resulting in a significantly high return on investment (ROI), while complementing other services for a well-rounded marketing mix.
It is imperative to note that the impact of SEO services may not be uniform across all performance metrics. Typically, you can anticipate a quicker improvement in GBP Phone Actions, New Website Traffic, and GBP Direction Clicks compared to the pace at which search appearances and views are enhanced. Patience is key here, as the gradual growth facilitated by SEO services promises to deliver satisfying outcomes.
Delve deeper into the diverse SEO solutions offered by Digible, which includes the specially tailored Lease-Up Package to expedite the establishment of your new properties. Digible also provides comprehensive services such as video and content creation and optimizations, which wield a substantial, lasting influence on your property’s SEO objectives over time.
Count on Digible to serve as your reliable source for industry-specific insights and guidance within the multifamily sector, ensuring your marketing goals are met with strategic precision.