Apartment Living BlogMarketing And Tech Trends › Marketing Trends Roundup: Top SEO Tactics for Apartment Managers

As everyone is aware, Google is the 800lb gorilla of search, having been the primary source of information online for most people for over a decade. In one second Google receives 63,000 queries, in one day over 5.5 billion, and more than 2 trillion searches over the course of a year.


How your apartment community ranks in search engine results can have a significant impact on the success of your business, as organic search engine traffic can, if done correctly, can drive a significant number of leads to your site. Results that land in the number one placement of a Google search get roughly 30% of the resulting web traffic. This click through rate drops to around 12% for the third position. Lower positions of number nine or ten get about 2% of the audience clicking through to their page. If you’re on page two of the results, you may as well be invisible, as more users are liable to refine their search query to get better results than click to the next page of results. And so, with your search rankings having such potential to access prospective renters, your marketing plan needs to include strategic efforts to cater to internet search results.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is the strategy of maximizing your business’s online presence for higher search rankings and higher value to users. Let’s look at the top tactics to help the search rankings for your apartment community.


How to Win at SEO

In explaining what apartment marketers need to know about web search, it’s important to pay attention to what the search engines themselves are saying, and how the industry experts interpret that. Search algorithms are ever changing, and Google has confirmed that they pushed live more than 1,000 updates in 2017. To stay in the loop about major changes, SEO news and best practices, follow major industry websites like Search Engine Roundtable, Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Land.


One major update to watch for in 2018 is the continued rollout of Google’s mobile-first index, which began on a slow rollout in late 2017. With mobile devices accounting for around two-thirds of all internet traffic, the new index will specifically cater to the needs of mobile users. Be sure that you don’t lose any traffic from mobile searches by optimizing your site for the new index. Make sure that your site is responsive and loads quickly, and test your website to determine if you’re ready for Google’s mobile first update.


search rankings on mobile

Because keeping up with SEO changes can be a major effort, consider outside resources including consultants, agencies, or internet listing services (ILS) to do the work for you and optimize your site’s visibility and exposure to prospective renters. ForRent.com offers a number of tools to help you build your brand, drive traffic and leads, and maintain your online presence.


Content Marketing for Long Term Success

In January 2016, Google confirmed that content is a top two ranking factor. In reality it’s the #1 factor, as if your site doesn’t have content, how can they determine what the page is about, let alone rank it? Therefore, the best strategy is to ensure that you have quality, unique content that appeals to your potential renters. With good content, not only will you attract new traffic, which will generate more leads, but you’ll also build your reputation and consumer trust in your brand. Creating new content can also help develop cross-brand relationships. It can also be reused on other marketing channels such as email marketing and social media campaigns.


build reputation with web content


But how exactly should you use content in your marketing? Start by identifying the entities and keywords that matter for each page. If your community is in Duluth, make sure Duluth is mentioned. If there’s something unique about your community (i.e. proximity to points of interest, restaurants, newly remodeled), mention that. If you’re writing a blog post about an event, use the name of the event. When the search engines then crawl through your content, the topic of your page will be clearly understood by the algorithm. If your primary keywords are in the title and body of the page, that’s a great start, but don’t overdo it by stuffing your content with the same keywords, which is off-putting to both search engines and users.


And be sure to use lots of eye candy like strong photography and video. “Images and video convey a richer experience than text-heavy content alone,” says TechSmith. “In a media landscape filled with clutter, readers’ attention is hard to acquire, and even harder to retain.” Readers are constantly scanning. So to make them pause at your content, it takes a stunning aerial video, a funny GIF to humanize your apartment community, or a 3D floor plan and event photos from the clubhouse to add engagement and evoke your community’s lifestyle.


365 Days of Marketing

Marketing is “a long-term game” said the real estate pros at Red Enterprises. And while overarching strategies are useful, so too are daily marketing checklists.

marketing plan


This list of 365 Daily Marketing Ideas for Real Estate Success can help you plan out your year of marketing activities. Even when we have big lofty goals, we can start achieving them one day at a time. Start on Monday by scheduling a week’s worth of Facebook posts. Spend a day coordinating professional photography of your community to highlight your amenities and define your brand. Take a Wednesday afternoon to tweak your 30-second pitch for new leads.


Success happens one day at a time. “This checklist will force you to make small but daily improvements instead of gunning for HUGE (probably unattainable) major wins,” says the article.


ForRent.com’s marketing solutions are designed to help your apartment community drive leads, build your brand, and retain residents. Learn more at https://www.forrent.com/solutions/.


Simon Heseltine


Simon Heseltine is an influential SEO expert and experienced digital marketer. Serving as VP of Search at ForRent.com, Simon helps to drive traffic and branding efforts within the multifamily space where his team's efforts were recognized for "Best Use of Content" at The Drum's 2017 US Search Awards. He previously ran global SEO for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, lead the award-winning audience development team at AOL, and served many years with multinational e-commerce, publishing and non-profit sites. Simon serves on the board of Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) and also taught online marketing at Georgetown University. A contributing writer for industry-leading sites including Forbes, SearchEngineLand.com, SearchEngineWatch.com, Simon is a well-renowned speaker at conferences around the world.

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