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What is Negative Apartment Website SEO? Cover Photo

What is Negative Apartment Website SEO?

In recent months more has been written about negative SEO. Briefly stated, negative SEO is when competitors try to do things to harm your community's apartment website SEO. This can take several forms, some of which are more legitimate than others.

By: Jake Meador

October 1, 2014

SEO for Apartment Websites

3 Questions (And Answers) About Panda 4.1 for Apartment Marketers Cover Photo

3 Questions (And Answers) About Panda 4.1 for Apartment Marketers

Well, the latest update to Panda launched last week according to Google. Search Engine Land is calling it Panda 4.1. You can start your reading on it with their summary here. Search Engine Journal also has a nice article about it here. In this post we're going to look more closely at the significance of Panda 4.1 for apartment marketers.

By: Jake Meador

September 30, 2014

SEO for Apartment Websites

3 Things Marketing Directors Should Know About Apartment Website SEO Cover Photo

3 Things Marketing Directors Should Know About Apartment Website SEO

Because marketing has changed so dramatically in the multifamily industry in the past 10 years, marketing directors and property managers have had to learn a lot of new concepts and strategies in a very short time. This is always difficult to do well because it's hard to retain a great deal when you're trying to absord a tremendous amount of information in a very short period of time. But what makes it even more difficult with online apartment marketing is that there is a ton of misinformation out there that leads a lot of people down unhelpful paths.

By: Jake Meador

September 29, 2014

SEO for Apartment Websites

Google Structured Snippets and Apartment Website SEO Cover Photo

Google Structured Snippets and Apartment Website SEO

Earlier this week Google announced the launch of a new feature on the search engine result page called "structured snippets." Briefly, what this means is that data from the Knowledge Graph (the specialized result in the top right corner of the SERP) is going to be pulled into the actual organic search results, as in the example below.

By: Jake Meador

September 24, 2014

SEO for Apartment Websites, Web Traffic for Apartments

What Apartment Marketers Need to Know About DuckDuckGo Cover Photo

What Apartment Marketers Need to Know About DuckDuckGo

By: Jake Meador

September 23, 2014

SEO for Apartment Websites

3 Ways to Check Apartment Website SEO Cover Photo

3 Ways to Check Apartment Website SEO

Today we want to talk about three steps to understanding your website's SEO performance and, particularly, what practical steps you can take to identify any potential problem areas that could be limiting your visibility on search engines.

Before you do anything else, it will be helpful to start by actually searching for your community on Google and seeing how you do. So to begin, open up an incognito or private browser window and search for a few common keywords associated with your community--(community name) in (city, state), (community name), and so on.

If you want an automated way of doing that, you can download Rank Tracker, a cool tool that will allow you to check your performance across multiple keywords and multiple search engines. We'll talk more about Rank Tracker in another post later this week.

By: Jake Meador

September 9, 2014

SEO for Apartment Websites, Web Traffic for Apartments

Google Pigeon for Apartment Marketers Cover Photo

Google Pigeon for Apartment Marketers

(For the less geeky, read this to understand the reference.)

If you're working in SEO or online marketing, you're likely already well aware of this, but Google has been incredibly busy lately. They've been adding new ranking signals (Jacob wrote about that earlier this week), making massive changes to the SERP, testing new forms of advertising, and doing all of this on top of their normal work. (And all while explainer-in-chief Matt Cutts is on a well-deserved vacation.)

One particular innovation from the past month is the Google Pigeon update, so named by Search Engine Land.

Briefly, Pigeon is an update focused on local search verticals that elevates the importance of traditional ranking signals and minimizes the presence of local SEO results based on Google's Google My Business listings. In many cases, search verticals that once had a seven pack and map results now have a three pack with map results or have even had local results stripped out entirely. For example, the screen capture below shows the search term "apartments in Omaha" both before and after the Pigeon update:

By: Jake Meador

August 15, 2014

SEO for Apartment Websites, Google for Apartments

Everything You Need to Know about HTTPS for Apartment Websites Cover Photo

Everything You Need to Know about HTTPS for Apartment Websites

Last week, Google announced that they would be starting to use HTTPS encryption as a factor for the search engine rankings algorithm. In other words, your apartment website will receive a search engine rankings boost if your website is HTTPS with an SSL certificate—and conversely, if you don't get HTTPS encryption for your website, you'll probably see your rankings slip a little.

This raised some eyebrows around the SEO community, since there are A LOT of websites that simply have no justifiable reason for creating a secure, encrypted channel for the end-user. For example, why should Google care whether apartment marketers encrypt their video tours, photography, and pet policies? For many websites, SSL is indispensable (and, if you are accepting credit cards or social security numbers through a resident portal on your website, SSL is indispensable for you there), but to require HTTPS encryption from the entire internet makes no sense to me.

It's no small irony that Google would announce this change on one of their websites that does not use HTTPS encryption.

Currently, this isn't a huge bump for your search engine rankings—so small that it should only affect 1% of all search queries. Ominously, however, Google included this in their announcement:

But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.

In other words, Google is not-so-subtly insinuating that using SSL is going to become a really big deal for search engine optimization, so you might as well surrender now. Because Google controls so much of the internet, they can make silly demands like this with the force of blackmail by promising to grade websites accordingly. Google is saying jump, so I'm writing this article to help you calculate how high you need to go.

If you are a Rentping Media client, we have you covered. We are migrating every website we have to SSL for you right now. I think Google is mandating an unnecessary change, but we want to make sure you're in the best position to rank highly on the search engines, so we'll take care of everything I'm going to talk about in this article.

But if you aren't one of our clients, this article will lay out (1) what SSL is and how it works, (2) why Google is making this change, (3) what kind of SSL certificate your apartment website needs, and (4) how to make sure you don't hurt your search engine rankings in the process of transitioning over to HTTPS.

This is a complicated subject, so be forewarned—this is a longer article than most we publish.

By: Jacob Gerber

August 13, 2014

Apartment Websites, SEO for Apartment Websites, SSL

How to Recognize Apartment SEO Scams Cover Photo

How to Recognize Apartment SEO Scams

Recently we received an email from an SEO company that promised to help us get off of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and to start generating more affordable leads through SEO. Here's a portion of the email:

I would like to disclose some facts about your website. I hope you won’t mind spending only 2-3 minutes to have a look at the following lines: . I found your website listed under the Google sponsored listing for which you pay a significant amount. But sometimes this sponsored listing or PPC creates bidding wars. You pay every time somebody clicks on it. It certainly hurts! Why not try organic SEO for your website and boost its growth? . In PPC, you may get the sales but only after paying a certain amount every time and if you stop paying, then the sales will be vanished soon. But in SEO, leads and sales won't vanish even if you stop paying. Hence, make sure you enjoy this long-term benefit unlike PPC. . 90% of users prefer natural results over the sponsored ones because these results are more relevant and valuable. So just imagine how many valuable customers you are losing by not focusing on organic search results. By investing a few months in SEO, you can see drastic changes in your website internally and externally. We will show you improvements in your keyword rankings, link popularity, organic traffic and many more. When visitors search for your desired keywords, do you want to be seen on the first page of Google, Yahoo and Bing or you are happy with your current position and sales? You can see the more powerful sites over the Internet are having more backlinks and high PageRank (PR). A well planned and executed SEO can make these things happen.

Obviously there are some huge red flags from the start that show this is a scam. The punctuation is inconsisten and often incorrect and the prose reads like something from your aunt's long-lost friend in Nigeria who has a million dollars to give you if you'll just provide your banking information. That said, not all scams will be this obvious so we want to talk a bit about how to recognize a scam.

There's three things we want to point out about this email.

By: Jake Meador

August 6, 2014

SEO for Apartment Websites

What Got Updated with Google Local for Apartments? Cover Photo

What Got Updated with Google Local for Apartments?

Google Local for apartments has been a critical part of making sure your community achieves maximum visibility on the search engines. Sadly, for the average apartment community, Google Local just got a whole lot harder.

Over the weekend, Google updated their Local Search algorithm in a way that essentially removed any Local search results whatsoever, so that individual apartment communities and companies are going to have a nearly impossible time ranking highly on Google for local search terms.

What Was Updated on Google Local?

The newest update to the Google Local algorithm (affectionately nicknamed "Google Pigeon" by Search Engine Land) tried to make Local search results explicitly more like organic search results, where Google had previous incorporated both kinds of results into their search listings.

By: Jacob Gerber

July 31, 2014

SEO for Apartment Websites, Google Maps, Google Plus Local, Google for Apartments

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