As a multifamily executive working in the Digital Age, you most likely invest in a website to help your apartment community attract potential renters, engage current residents, and execute an overall successful marketing strategy. But, with the demand for businesses to have an online presence becoming greater, competition is now steeper, making it more difficult for your property to stand out in search results.
If you’re a determined apartment marketer, you’ve likely spent hours strategizing various ways to boost your current ranking. With an overwhelming wealth of information available both online and offline, it can be difficult to determine the best place to start. However, by focusing on a few on- and off-page SEO strategies, you can improve your online ranking with little overhead, effort, or headache.
Write Relevant, SEO-Optimized Content
Considering that 84 percent of consumers expect brands to deliver content that tells stories, provides solutions, and facilitates good experiences, it’s no secret that prominent search engines prefer content with substance. However, one of the biggest challenges that marketers face is writing content that appeals to their targeted audience and is effectively optimized for search engine queues. Simply put, effective apartment marketers need on-page content laced with searcher-focused keywords to reel in and engage prospective residents. Remember, SEO is not a one-stop shop. Brands must continually improve upon their current strategy, updating keywords and tags, then analyzing new traffic and results, in order to remain successful.
Improve Your Page Load Speed
Google has repeatedly indicated that site and page speed is a signal used by its algorithm to rank websites. Load speed affects user-experience, and because consumers are now dependent upon receiving instantaneous information, Google dismisses sites to maintain their reputation as the world’s favorite search engine. According to the search engine giant, the ideal site load time is three seconds, but recent reports find that most websites are nowhere near this fast. Website speed heavily depends upon the backend functionality of your website, so your marketing team should consider investing in an apartment website provider that can bring your product up-to-snuff.
Optimize Your Website Images
The old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words” has never fallen on deaf ears. Consumers love pictures, film, and visualizations. In fact, visual content receives 94 percent more views than text-only marketing. Quality photography, video walkthroughs, and other visual assets have been known to transition casual web browsers into serious prospects. Despite the type of visual material you decide to upload to your site, make sure it’s properly optimized. Pay special attention to file sizes and types—and of course, the ALT IMG tags to your visual uploads, which allows search engines to crawl the image text and keeps your property compliant to new ADA standards.
Increase Your Number of Backlinks
Backlinks are links from outside domains that point to your webpage’s domain, making the name extremely fitting to the concept. For users, backlinks provide a method to find other sources of information, while search engines determine a page’s value based on the number of quality backlinks it possesses. Your objective should be building backlinks on websites that are relevant to your niche—which is, in this case, apartment housing. Other important factors to consider during the backlink building process are domain authority, website traffic, and editorial standards. Again, you might want to consider hiring an SEO strategist to ease the burden of this detailed – but worthwhile – process.
Ensure that Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly
Of all the online ranking factors we’ve discussed, mobile-friendliness ranks third among the most important of Google’s signal factors. Last year, the search engine rolled out mobile-first indexing, meaning it will predominantly use the mobile version of a website’s content for ranking. To achieve mobile-friendliness, you must focus on content that is concise, purposeful, and readable across multiple devices, in addition to incorporating responsive design into your UI/UX strategy. For some companies, this entails auto-resizing the site’s content and visual assets, while for others, it means a completely different appearance altogether. Google provides a “Mobile-Friendly” test tool as a starting point, which displays mobile readiness results that allow you to determine where to invest your resources.
Search Engine Optimization is constantly evolving alongside the ever-changing technology industry. For years, it was assumed that inserting keywords into your website was all it took to reach favorable ranking results. But, SEO is not that simple, which is why it’s crucial for your apartment community to approach SEO with a thorough understanding of its working parts. Doing so will allow you to monitor your website’s performance and implement different strategies to improve ranking. With these simple, Google-approved SEO tips, you’ll be well on your way to re-strategizing your current marketing efforts to obtain the best online ranking results.
Kerry W. Kirby is a global entrepreneur, technology innovator, philanthropist, and the founder of 365 Connect, an award-winning technology firm within the multifamily housing industry. Over the course of his career, Kerry has been the recipient of an array of highly acclaimed awards, including the esteemed Louisiana Governor's Technology Award. He has been named to the Silicon Bayou 100 List of most influential entrepreneurs for nine consecutive years and has received a prestigious Titan Entrepreneur Award for his technological achievements. An acclaimed speaker, author, and award-winning podcaster, Kerry has appeared on the BBC Digital Planet program, NPR News, and various media platforms and outlets. He has contributed to an array of articles and studies on the convergence of technology in the rental housing industry.
Kerry serves on the Board of Advisors of Rainbow, a national nonprofit organization that provides service-enriched housing programs for affordable housing communities across the country, as well as the Board of Advisors of the Multifamily Women’s Summit, an event that allows women to strengthen their expertise, influence, and professional network in the multifamily housing industry. He is Chair of Technology Initiatives for the Multifamily Innovation Advisory Council, a private, members only group focused on assisting owners and operators of multifamily communities identify pain points and explore innovative solutions that will drive change across the industry.