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A 400 Word Primer on Apartment SEO Cover Photo

A 400 Word Primer on Apartment SEO

 

A good apartment SEO strategy will help your site stand out in the crowd online.

Apartment SEO is something of a perennial topic in the world of apartment marketing. With around 90% of housing searches happening on the web (and internet usage in real estate becoming more ubiquitous by the year) it's more important than ever for apartment communities to have a viable strategy for competing for search engine traffic.

The Problem with Apartment SEO

Unfortunately, there are lots of potential problems for communities wanting to improve their performance on search engines. There are scammers. There is outdated information. And there is information out there that is simply wrong.

By: Jake Meador

June 16, 2014

SEO for Apartment Websites

7 Essential Factors in Local Apartment SEO Cover Photo

7 Essential Factors in Local Apartment SEO

Think about the last time you needed to find a place to eat or get directions to a business--you almost certainly got out your smartphone and searched for it on Google, Yelp, or Apple Maps. And if you did that, then you've used Local Search listings.

Local Search is something that search engines have developed in order to make their results more relevant to their users. Many people use search engines to find information that is fundamentally local in nature, so if they google "restaurants," it's probable that they aren't interested in the Wikipedia page for "restaurants," or a link to some national association of restaurants. They almost certainly want a listing of restaurants in their area. So search engines have developed local business listings, which they use to help service those users looking for local information. (We've written before about new innovations in local search on Google. )

By: Jake Meador

June 3, 2014

SEO for Apartment Websites, Google Plus for Apartments

Changes to Apartment Search on Yahoo Cover Photo

Changes to Apartment Search on Yahoo

Here's an interesting development. Look at this screen capture from Wednesday, May 21 on Yahoo:

If you recall, we've written before about how Google has a fairly robust carousel feature for some of its local search verticals. It's particularly powerful for hotels, an industry with some overlap with multifamily. That said, we haven't seen Google move to introduce the carousel to apartment search. But above you can see Yahoo, in their own uniquely clumsy way, is a little ahead of Google in how it handles searches for apartments.

To be sure, they'd be better off stretching their carousel across the entire top of the screen, in order to display more results, but note that they are showing several communities in a layout very like Google's carousel. Also note that the listings even include the rental price for a floorplan in the community.

By: Jake Meador

May 29, 2014

SEO for Apartment Websites, Web Traffic for Apartments

What Panda 4.0 Means for Apartment Websites Cover Photo

What Panda 4.0 Means for Apartment Websites

Last week Google rolled out its latest major updates. There were two major ones, Payday Loans 2.0 and Panda 4.0. It appears that Payday Loans came first and Panda followed a couple days later.

There are three main things we want to note with this story as it affects apartment marketers and apartment websites.

First, hopefully this conclusively buries that silly AdWords study done by eBay last year.

Last year eBay did a study that basically concluded that AdWords was an ineffective waste of money. Slate breathlessly reported on it before Wordstream pointed out that eBay's campaigns couldn't be set up worse if they tried.

By: Jake Meador

May 27, 2014

SEO for Apartment Websites

One Easily-Fixed Local Apartment SEO Problem Cover Photo

One Easily-Fixed Local Apartment SEO Problem

One of the most common local apartment SEO problems we see is communities with inconsistent branding across their many different web platforms. Here's an example I saw just last week. (I've changed the community name for the example.)

The community is a large luxury property in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and their name is Villas at Fossil Creek. So the website is www.villasatfossilcreek.com and the title tag on the website is "Villas at Fossil Creek Apartments in Fort Worth." So far, so good:


By: Jake Meador

May 20, 2014

SEO for Apartment Websites, Google Plus for Apartments

Realistic Keywords for Apartment Websites Cover Photo

Realistic Keywords for Apartment Websites

Being pet-friendly is one way to help your community stand out--so use that to your advantage in defining your SEO strategy.

So yesterday we talked about how to select keywords for apartment websites and how some keywords are more difficult to rank for than others. Today we're doing a more thorough look at some keyword scores from the tool we use for our own marketing. Listed below are 9 keywords ranked in order of difficulty from most difficult to least difficult.

  1. apartments in austin tx (84)
  2. two-bedroom apartments in austin tx (76)
  3. pet-friendly apartments in new york city (73)
  4. apartments in new york city (58)
  5. apartments in lincoln ne (56)
  6. two-bedroom apartments in new york city (56)
  7. two-bedroom apartments in lincoln ne (49)
  8. pet-friendly apartments in austin tx (46)
  9. pet-friendly apartments in lincoln ne (10)

By: Jake Meador

May 15, 2014

SEO for Apartment Websites

What Makes a Good Apartment Website Keyword? Cover Photo

What Makes a Good Apartment Website Keyword?

Figuring out how to stand out from the crowd on search engines can be a massive challenge. (Image Credit: Beyond the Far Side by Gary Larson)

Yesterday we provided some tips in doing keyword research to figure out what keywords to target with your apartment website. But behind the question of research methods is a second question: What makes a good apartment website keyword anyway?

There are three main things we want to talk about that are important in determining a keyword's quality.

What kind of search engine user are you going after?

So one question you need to think about is the intention behind the keywords you're targeting. Some keywords reflect serious buying intent, others reflect more general buying intent, and others do not reflect buying intent at all. For instance, if someone searches "mountain brook apartment wifi password" that does not indicate buying intent, rather, it simply indicates that a person is looking to access your wireless.

By: Jake Meador

May 14, 2014

SEO for Apartment Websites

How to Do Keyword Research for Apartment Websites Cover Photo

How to Do Keyword Research for Apartment Websites

In a previous post we talked about the importance of choosing the right title tag for your community website. The wrong tag can hurt your traffic in major ways by causing you to rank highly for low frequency search terms while ranking much lower on higher frequency keywords.

So today we want to talk about some basic ways of doing keyword research for apartment websites to make sure your website is going after the right keywords.

By: Jake Meador

May 13, 2014

Apartment Websites, SEO for Apartment Websites

3 Title Tag Mistakes Killing Your Apartment SEO Cover Photo

3 Title Tag Mistakes Killing Your Apartment SEO

During my time at Rentping Media, I've analyzed the web presence of hundreds of apartment communities. I've seen some that are doing great things, some that are decent, and some that are really awful. (My favorite is finding a community whose photos make it look like the set of an old Hitchcock movie. Sadly, I find communities like that way more often than I should.)

One of the most common mistakes I see is an incorrectly formatted title tag. The title tag is really important for several reasons. First, the title tag is what displays as the big blue text in search engine results. So if you look at the example above, the title tag for the top search result is, "Yia Yia's - Lincoln's Best Pizza and Beer." So the title tag is the first thing search engine users see that tells them what your site is about. On a related note, the title tag also tells search engines what your site is about. Third, the title tag is what will display in the tab at the top of the page in your web browser. Point being, it shows up in a lot of places and does a lot of things for your site--which is why you can't make mistakes with your title tag.

By: Jake Meador

April 2, 2014

Apartment Websites, SEO for Apartment Websites, Google for Apartments

2 Benefits of Organic Apartment Website Traffic Cover Photo

2 Benefits of Organic Apartment Website Traffic

Organic search traffic provides a few key benefits to an apartment community website.

As we've said several times lately, you should think about your online marketing strategy as divided into several discrete parts each attempting to accomplish a slightly similar small task, all serving the larger goal of using your website to attract warm, qualified leads. Today we're talking about the two main tasks being accomplished through organic apartment website traffic.

What is organic apartment website traffic?

Organic apartment website traffic refers to traffic to your apartment website that comes from organic search--those are the blue links in Google. Google's algorithm for ranking sites is proprietary, but we can make a reasonably informed guess at the factors that go into ranking sites--user satisfaction (measured by time on site), credible, naturally-generated links to the site from other websites, creating useful, helpful content on the site, setting up your title tag correctly, etc. For apartment communities, this basically means two things: You need to use walkthrough video tours in order to provide users with relevant content and keep their attention, and you need to set up your title tag to tell Google exactly what your site is about. There are two main benefits to be gained from a strong organic search presence.

You gain free traffic to your website.

The first value from organic search traffic is that it provides a free source of traffic to your community website. You're not paying any advertising costs to get those rankings. You're not buying the clicks. You're just getting free traffic direct to your website. You'll pay something to create the content the gets you there, of course, but the traffic itself is free. (And the content can be purposed in so many different ways that it will pay for itself rather quickly.)

Organic search traffic is a sustainable traffic strategy.

Getting this point clear will require some explanation since many communities have experienced the nightmarish scenario in which a new Google update results in a drop in organic search traffic. But if you're doing what search engines want you to do, then organic traffic is extremely sustainable.

The business of a search engine is its users. If a search engine doesn't have users, it won't last long. So the search engine needs to provide consistently valuable, useful results to its users in order to keep them and to gain more users. This means they need to show their users things that the users find interesting, useful, helpful, or relevant to their interests. So if you're creating content on your website that is helpful to apartment shoppers, search engines want their users to find you. This means that if you're creating content that is truly helpful to your intended users, then you can count on organic traffic as a sustainable source of web traffic.

photo credit: pasukaru76 via photopin cc




By: Jake Meador

March 27, 2014

SEO for Apartment Websites

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