After developing and launching your multifamily website comes one of many crucial steps: generating traffic to that very site. Aside from publishing a social media page and updating your Google My Business listing, one of the best ways to accomplish this initiative is by harnessing the power of on-page SEO. On-page SEO involves optimizing webpage content and its elements for search engines and their users. This stands in contrast to off-page SEO, which involves any activities driving awareness and referral traffic to your website from other sites.
Although marketing professionals often tout the importance of off-page SEO, on-page optimization is still relevant, even with Google’s current level of sophistication. In fact, an analysis of 11 million Google search results found a correlation between keyword-rich title tags and first page rankings. So, are you ready to take the next steps in applying on-page SEO to your website marketing strategy? Here is what your team should do to get started.
Conducting keyword research is the first step you should take when implementing an on-page SEO strategy. You want your site to use keywords in deliberate ways, so that Google will deem the website relevant when a user searches for those terms. There are many keyword research tools on the market to achieve this goal, whether you choose to invest in a paid platform, such as Ahrefs or SEMRush, utilize a free tool, like Google’s Keyword Planner, or even hire a team of multifamily marketing experts to handle the workload for you.
When conducting your research, start by experimenting with the search terms that people might use when looking for an apartment. Remember, common sense is your best friend. Your tool of choice will return suggested keywords similar to what you entered, showing each term’s search volume and competitiveness, or keyword difficulty. To gain organic traction quickly, you’ll want to target the least competitive keywords with the highest search volume.
Whether Google admits it or not, keyword placement matters. Despite the increasing finesse of search engine marketing practices, certain old-school SEO tactics remain prevalent today. These include optimizing target keywords within the first 100-150 words of your meta description and avoiding keyword stuffing, which typically involves cramming as many keywords as possible into a single stretch of content. If you participate in this type of practice, expect your website to be flagged for suspicious behavior.
In terms of structuring your site content, you obviously have to think beyond the first 100-150 words. Be sure to naturally incorporate keywords into your content, using these terms just enough to confirm your website’s focus with various search engines and visitors. Heading structure is also imperative when it comes to structuring your on-page content in an organized manner, as headings assist Google’s crawlers with the 700,000 inquiries that they receive per second. To be effective, your headings must be easy to understand and include your most important keywords.
Did you know that 97 percent of Internet users find out more about a local company through the web? In recent years, local SEO has become an effective way for businesses to market themselves on a localized level through the power of the Internet. Referring to a collection of practices used to improve a brand’s visibility in organic local search results, local SEO is far-reaching and extends across multiple online channels, including search engine results, social media pages, and, of course, your website.
As location is one of the most important factors in a prospect’s housing decision, you should always include location-based keywords in your property’s SEO strategy. Keywords, like “apartments in [city, state],” “[name] apartments in [neighborhood] for rent,” or “pet-friendly apartments in [zip code]” are three simple, yet powerful, terms to consider. Keywords that mention a particular landmark, employment center, or school district can also earn high search traffic and are worth including, too.
Adding a blog to your apartment website is one of the easiest ways to expand your on-page SEO strategy. Not only do blogs increase the number of pages on your website, which Google and other search engines tend to favor, but they also provide marketers with more opportunities to write content with traffic-boosting keywords. Plus, blogs tend to give every party involved – users, search engines, and apartment marketers – exactly what they need out of a website experience with their informative material.
Aside from showcasing your extensive keyword research efforts and helping familiarize prospects with your community, blogging also helps multifamily marketers create an effective marketing loop. The marketing loop circulates fresh, keyword-optimized content from your marketing website to your social media channels. In utilizing this strategy, you’ll further establish brand trust with search engines, placing your website among the ranks of companies whose blogs earn them 97 percent more backlinks to their site.
Google’s algorithm likes websites with high-engagement content and tends to favor those that include video as part of their user experience. Many people enjoy using videos as an educational tool, since they can communicate a lot of material in a short amount of time. 86 percent of Americans reportedly use the video sharing platform, YouTube, to learn new things. Since Google’s mission is to connect users to content that they’ll find valuable, video is a powerful answer to many consumer inquiries.
Not only does video deliver plenty of worthwhile information atop a great UX experience, but users also absolutely love it. Overall digital video penetration in the United States continues to climb steadily, reaching nearly 84 percent last year. By 2022, it is estimated that 82 percent of the global Internet traffic will come from video streaming and downloads. These numbers alone are enough to prove that video will perform well within your website’s on-page SEO plan.
Improving your visibility online has never been more important. Whether you’re new to the content marketing game or a seasoned professional, everyone can benefit from a rejuvenated approach to their digital strategy. Although these suggestions only skim the surface of a comprehensive SEO approach, they offer an excellent way to begin implementing first-rate practices to your on-page content strategy.
Want to learn more about the power of SEO? Download this free whitepaper on increasing search visibility.
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.
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