Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the year 2020 and SEO isn’t going anywhere.
For multifamily, search engine optimization has become a vital component – maybe even the most important – in generating relevant traffic and securing leads. However, it is also considered one of the most misunderstood marketing concepts.
Most people in the marketing industry understand and implement the fundamentals of SEO but do not take advantage of fully optimizing their website for SEO, both onsite and offsite.
SEO Advantages for Multifamily:
- Helps potential renters to quickly find you online
- Keeps your content and information relevant
- Increases website ranking on search engines
- Drive higher conversion rates
- Creates a better user experience
Let’s take a look at what strong SEO means for multifamily in 2020 by learning crucial SEO tips and strategies for generating more leases for your apartment community.
If done right, SEO can drive a 14.6% conversion rate compared to traditional strategies with a 1.7% average conversion rate.
The majority of prospects start their apartment hunt online using their preferred search engine to search for either a certain property or, most commonly, use a keyword search term such as “apartments near me”. And if your community doesn’t show up, you can say bye-bye to that potential lead.
Your apartment community has the highest chance of being clicked on if it is ranked in the top 3 searches. Research shows almost half of the clicks on a search results page go to those 3 ranked positions. The easiest way to rank in the sacred top 3 is having strong SEO.
The first thing in creating strong SEO is implementing local and organic SEO.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is optimizing your community’s online presence so that it will show up on local searches. Local search is when a user has a location intent and their search carries geographical components.
An example of a local search would be, “apartments near me” or “apartments in Atlanta, GA”. When your website plus your offsite efforts have been put into action, your community should show up for the searched term.
Search engines need to know exactly where your community is located so that it can show your location when someone inputs a related search. So, you need to be sure that your community name, address, and phone number (NAP) is consistent across your website along with other directories. But, we will talk more about that later!
What is Organic SEO?
Organic SEO is less about location and more about relevance. The goal of organic is to show your website relevance and quality as it relates to certain searches. It asks the question, “Is your website relevant to this search term?”
An example of this type of search would be “apartment blogs”. If your community has a blog on its website, your community could show up for that search. Organic is just as important as local because it has to do with your website’s speed, quality, and relevance.
How fast is your website onload speed? Is your website mobile friendly? Does the content on your website relate to your target audience? We can use these questions as a reference for measuring your organic performance.
Onsite vs. Offsite SEO
Your local and organic measures hinge greatly on the efforts of your onsite and offsite SEO enhancements.
Onsite SEO factors are actions taken on your website while offsite are actions taken outside of your website to improve your overall SEO ranking. Both factors are essential for improving local and organic SEO.
Now let’s move on to practically showcasing these techniques to increase your SEO ranking and turn your conversions into leases for your apartment community!
Strong SEO Tips to Increase Conversions
Onsite SEO Tips:
1. Get Your Website Up to Speed
Google has now made page speed an actual ranking factor. Remember the sacred top 3 we were talking about? So, your website’s speed should be one of your top priorities. Ideally, your page should load quickly with no delay.
Our recommendation is a page speed of no more than 3 seconds. Statistics show that the probability of a user bouncing increases by 90% with a page load time of 1-5 seconds. If your speed is any more than 3 seconds, a potential renter may bounce because of it. Use Google PageSpeed Insights for an easy way to check your website’s speed.
2. Invest Time in Creating Quality Content
The vast majority of SEO experts agree that content creation is one of the most effective organic SEO tactics to drive results. When it comes to your onsite efforts, a great start is by frequently posting relevant, high-quality blog content.
Adding a blog to your website can increase the chance of ranking in organic search results by 434%. The main intent for content is to create relevant and engaging content that your users find helpful.
Here are some blog content ideas to help you brainstorm:
- Best happy hours in your community
- Local events happening every month
- Why your apartment community is the best fit for the prospect
Creating quality content is hard, but it’s not impossible. The great thing about content is that the ideas are endless. The best place to start is by mapping out relevant keywords where your community could easily outrank competitors. Then, leverage these ideas along with your own brainstorming to create content that will attract and engage your audience.
3. Utilize Schema Markup
Schema markup is one of the newest advancements in SEO. It is structured data with a special code format you can add to the HTML of your website. It helps search engines understand your content and provide better search results.
The goal of structured data is to provide Google with the most important and relevant information about your website. That information is then passed onto those users conducting a search. This means it’s more likely that customers will click on your results, and more clicks will help improve your rankings.
Taking advantage of implementing a schema markup will, in return, drive organic click-through rates as well as increase your website ranking on search engine results.
For more information about structured data and schema markups, check out this post.
Offsite SEO Tips:
1. Update Your Google My Business Listing
If it’s been a while since you’ve modified your Google My Business listing, odds are it needs to be updated. Also, if you haven’t listed your community on GMB, please do yourself a favor and add it!
Make sure you have complete and accurate information along with the use of proper, relevant keywords and high-quality photos of your community. Also, adding virtual tours of your community on your Google listing has been seen to promote more views and clicks.
Your Google listing is one of the most important ranking factors. So, it’s crucial that you are consistently refining your Google listing
2. Maintain Consistency With NAP & Other Directory Management
For those who don’t know, NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number. NAP is necessary for businesses to rank well in local search results. Google takes this data into account when determining who to show for geo-targeted searches.
To increase local search rankings using NAP, make sure is it correct across the web, including your website and other sites as well. Search engines will cross-reference your NAP information across a range of websites such as local directories and Yelp to validate that you are a legit business.
Speaking of directories, it’s worth going ahead and listing your community on any reputable directory – particularly local and industry-specific directories. Or, you can invest in a directory management service, a personal favorite being reputation.com. It manages your online reputation by optimizing your business listing so you can be found on search engines as well as engage with other local directories.
3. Outrank Apartment Listing Sites in Search Ranking
There’s a strong chance that the websites outranking your community are Apartment Listing Sites (ALS). Google favors ALS because of its established authority. Authority is something that is earned over time by Google and since these sites are so big, have thousands of backlinks, and have been around for so long, they have earned the authority for apartment search.
However, any apartment community can earn authority with Google and outrank ALS. Relevance and trustworthiness are the key pillars to help build search engine authority. A great way to build relevance and trustworthiness is developing backlinks.
Search engines use backlinks as evidence of a website’s content quality. A site with many high-quality backlinks ranks higher than other sites with fewer backlinks of lesser quality and relevance.
3 main types of backlinks:
- Natural links
- Manually build links
- Self-created links
Focusing on outranking an ALS can be the first step of many in improving your offsite SEO and boosting your apartment community in SERPs.
From this post, the hope is that you take away the importance of establishing strong SEO within multifamily. As you can see, there are endless advantages and opportunities for fully implementing SEO into your apartment marketing strategy.
Use our helpful tips and recommendations to get you started on your way toward ranking in the top 3 search positions.
It can be an overwhelming process, but the reward of quality conversions that guarantee increased leases is well worth the effort.
For help with generating more leads by using strong SEO, contact us today for a free SEO audit of your website!
Taylor Boyd is a digital marketing specialist with REPLI.
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