By David R. Cohen, Portfolio Manager, Summerfield Management. For more information, contact Robert Parmar
In the olden days of property management, drive-by/walk-by traffic was paramount. Being on a desirable street or in a good area meant higher traffic volume which led to more qualified leads, leases and a significant edge over the competition.
In today’s digital age, the focus to drive traffic has shifted online to places like social media, internet listing services (ILs), websites, etc. Today’s multifamily operators aren’t just competing for foot-traffic, they are competing for thousands of online searches per month with keywords like “apartments for rent near me.”
So, why is this important? In today’s highly competitive property management landscape, a strategically-crafted online presence is a crucial component of a healthy marketing plan for your property. Good SEO acts like a beacon in the vast digital sea, guaranteeing that your property’s website is easily discoverable by potential tenants searching for apartments online.
At Summerfield, we work closely with our clients to optimize their websites and web content for increased visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). For example, last month at one of our sites, we saw an increase of more than 200% in impressions (An impression is how many times google decided to show the property website in a search). This monthly increase led to an additional 13 leases being signed through organic search alone.
Want to know more?
Keep these high-level tips in mind when it comes to optimizing your property’s online presence and SEO strategy:
Know Your Audience
- Where is your building located?
- Is it in a city or suburb?
- Is it a luxury property, workforce housing or something in between?
These are some of the questions you should ask yourself when planning the content of your website. You should research keywords that potential tenants are searching for in your area, for your type of housing, and align those keywords within your website narrative. It won’t do you any good to rank highly for a keyword like “workforce housing near me” if your property is a luxury high-rise, for example.
A comprehensive SEO strategy positions your property to encourage impressions, capture clicks, and hopefully conversion to leads. Achieving that starts with knowing your audience and what they are (and aren’t) looking for. By optimizing for relevant keywords and creating high-quality content, you will not only increase your website’s traffic but also ensure that visitors are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.
Showing up at the top or on the first page of search results gives a sense of credibility and trust to potential tenants. People tend to associate higher search rankings with higher quality and authority. By implementing SEO best practices for your property website, you can start to build the foundation for a solid online reputation, which will help establish trust with potential tenants. With good SEO, a potential tenant will ideally be more familiar with a property from the jump and often ready to make a decision on leasing more quickly.
More Organic Leads
A properly-executed SEO strategy for your website will bring in more sustained leads organically on a monthly basis. As a result, you will save more on digital marketing costs that you will be able to deploy elsewhere.
In contrast to traditional advertising methods, SEO brings a cost-effective approach to marketing. It will take some time to establish a prominent position, but once your website is ranking well for relevant keywords, that organic traffic will nicely supplement any additional online advertising like google pay-per-click or ILS like apartments.com, Zumper, Zillow, etc.
Our clients utilizing proven SEO methods have seen a substantial increase in organic website traffic, leads and leases signed.
Optimized Web Design
Being ranked higher in search results is the result of a number of factors, but one of the most important is the way that your website is designed and laid out. You should have a responsive website that is optimized for both desktop and mobile devices. Further, your website should also be free of any broken links, outdated content or slow page load speed.
Utilize SEO Analytic Tools
In the often complicated and technical world of SEO, it always helps to have some extra tools. One of the most beneficial is Google Analytics, which reports how your website is actually be viewed and responded to by potential Tenants. Some of the metrics you can find in Google Analytics include SEO ranking data, SEO visitor activity, and SEO traffic.
Be an Authority, Be Active
If search engines see your website as an authority online it will often positively impact your search rankings. One way to be seen as an authority is backlinks, or simply a link from another site pointed at your website.
We utilize a comprehensive SEO strategy for our clients that includes indexing their websites on a number of other highly-ranked and relevant websites, including internet listing services, apartment ratings websites and social media.
Think Long Term
Utilizing SEO as a lead generation strategy for your apartment building won’t generate overnight results. It takes time to build up ranking and the best way we find to achieve such is through consistent methodical process implementation.
A good SEO strategy entails making changes to your website and web content that will hopefully bring in more organic search traffic over time. When you work with a property management SEO specialist like Summerfield Management you can remove a lot of the guesswork involved in optimizing your website. We know the elements that generate real organic search traffic for your property’s website that will get your content ranking highly in search.
If you need assistance implementing a comprehensive online strategy, including SEO for your property, give us a call. We take pride in giving our clients the competitive edge in digital marketing at their properties.
We’d love the opportunity to show what Summerfield can do. Book a call with us today.