We’ve been talking to a lot of people in the multifamily industry – at conferences, local meetings, new clients – and a number of people keep bringing up some SEO myths that blow our minds. It’s time for our Digital MythBusters episode: Digible style. Sit down and buckle up as we explore some common SEO myths for apartment marketing.
“Set It and Forget It”
There is a widespread belief that SEO is an up-front cost once you launch a new site, and then you can “set it and forget it”. Unfortunately, a good SEO strategy is similar to a workout plan – make sure continue working out to stay healthy – even if it’s a 10 minute walk a couple of times a week. SEO is constantly evolving as Google’s RankBrain is constantly scraping the internet to learn more about what users are looking for.
To ensure that your site shows up for a relevant search (think “one bedroom apartment in Atlanta”, or the like), it requires that your SEO efforts remain active and consistent. As the internet landscape changes (new apartments are being built and leased constantly), you must stay competitive to bring new residents in the door.
“Our Website Templates Have All the SEO We Need Built In”
This is a common opinion in the industry – websites from companies like RealPage or RENTCafé – have SEO templates pre-installed that handle all your needs. Truthfully, most of them only cover the basics, and definitely do not support a proactive or strategic SEO plan. Just recently we’ve noticed a variety of missed opportunities even though they include meta tags, search engine titles or descriptions, and some obvious keywords, but there is more to keep in mind.
There are technical files, like a sitemap and robots.txt that you can submit directly to Google so web crawlers can more effectively and efficiently learn how to crawl your site and identify what content is available.
Off-site citations are a great way to boost your Local SEO, so that your apartment can show up in multiple places – think Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, and other local sites. This strategy is completely independent of anything offered on-site, but you can/should take a similar approach to your keywords and tags placed within RealPage or RENTCafé as well as the descriptions on these citation sites. It will help create a bridge for user and improve Google’s understanding of your property’s location and what’s fun to do nearby!
“SEO Isn’t Important for Apartments”
SEO is important for everyone – be it Coca-Cola or Bob’s Burger Stand – to promote and protect your brand within the internet sandbox. Thankfully, search engines have changed drastically in the past years, so that you don’t have to be the biggest, or even the best. As long as your website fills the need of that resident’s request (search), then you will show up as the most relevant result.
The multifamily industry is uniquely dynamic, stemming from its constant cycle of resident turnover, and the hyper-local factors involved in the renter’s path to purchase. As the case is with every search, Google wants its users to get the most relevant results (aka best experience) possible, which for apartments typically includes neighborhood insights, floor plans, price ranges, amenities, etc. Make sure that your website is doing its part, and that you don’t overlook the importance of a sound SEO strategy!
Not sure about SEO? We can give you a play-by-play to help you score your next win.