With so many strategies, hacks, tips and so-called experts around SEO, it’s easy to get confused and even overwhelmed. Every apartment marketing professional would love to be ranked on the first page of Google, but how do you get there? Unfortunately, there’s no magic spell or recipe that pushes your site to #1. But you’re in luck, by strengthening your Local SEO efforts and putting a full strategy into place, you will get discovered by your target audience online and fill those empty units in no time.
Let’s start by asking what is SEO? SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is the art and science of making your website rank higher on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. So, if you want to be considered as an option for those potential renters you need to be visible.
One of the best ways to boost your Local SEO is to have a Google My Business page and to ensure all of your local listings (think Facebook, Yelp, etc.) are up-to-date with consistent information. Make sure your core business information is the same across your listings to get some good Google lovin’. Without it, you won’t be appearing for prospects searching on Maps or in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Familiar with NAP? No, not a relaxing sleep session we all wish we had more time for, but having the correct Name, Address and Phone number across Facebook, Google, Yelp etc.. Having the correct info across as many listings as possible will help improve your position. When search engines become aware of discrepancies in this basic contact information, like an incorrect phone number, it can negatively impact your local search rankings. Not to mention, it’s confusing for prospects trying to reach you!
What about keywords? I’d scope out your local competitors’ listings and sites and see where you may have an opportunity. Your neighbor may rank for ‘luxury’ keywords or crazy-cool amenities but you have a huge sauna AND a secret lounge & bar. Put some of that content out in the universe (and of course on your site) because renters are looking for it. Give the people want they want!
A meta description is a short snippet that summarizes the contents of a page and is typically shown in SERPs.
Use relevant keywords in this description (up to 230 characters on mobile & 300 on desktop) but also make sure the content entices searchers to click. Make sure your meta title length is correct (55-60 characters and/or pixel width) or part of your snippet will be truncated, cutting off your text and confusing users.
Now that you’re ready to hit the ground running with a Local SEO strategy be sure to use this checklist before hitting publish.
Create a targeted keyword list that will drive your SEO strategy for your website, with both branded (property name) and unbranded (‘one bedroom in City Park’) keyword phrases.
Encourage customers to leave quality reviews based on the experience they have had with your business — but don’t incentivize them. Make sure to respond to them too!
It’s time to create a community blog! Provide relevant and useful content that renters care about. Think local area attractions and events, any updates around the amenities or even tips on decorating. Remember, a blog is one of the fastest and easiest ways to enhance your website content and improve SEO results.
Most searches for apartments are done on mobile today. Think mobile first, not just mobile-friendly.
Remember that meta descriptions can impact a page's CTR (click-through-rate) on Google which can positively impact a page's ability to rank.
So are you an SEO expert? Maybe not yet, but hopefully after reading this you have a better understanding of how SEO works, why you need it and how it can help your property get more website traffic through Local SEO methods. Using any one of these strategies can help to increase your visibility so it’s time to strap on your SEO hat and get to work.
Good luck! Let us know if we can be of assistance.