SEO For Apartments: Attracting Quality Tenants
Landlords and property management companies are always looking for innovative ways to market their apartments. While dedicated websites are a good way to help renters find your apartment complex online, a simple listing is not enough to make sure that traffic is driven to your site. This is where apartment SEO comes in.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO brings a number of variables together, including keywords and metadata, to make your website stand out in search results. Without a website that is properly constructed for SEO, it is likely that visitors will not see your apartment listings.
This article will give an in-depth view of apartment marketing and SEO for apartment complex, describing how apartment owners and property managers can play to their strengths and bring in higher numbers of new applications for each vacancy.
Why is Online Apartment Marketing Important?
Apartment building online marketing has become a huge factor in deciding where renters will apply to become tenants. Some studies have found that as many as 90 percent of all prospective renters are searching online and that nearly all of these searches are conducted on mobile platforms.
Digital and mobile apartment complex marketing have an impressive impact when combined with traditional media. If you have analytics and tracking in place when you run your digital marketing campaign, you can identify weak points in your overall strategy and adjust your campaign accordingly. For example, you will be able to test your ads with different copy to see which ones get the best results.
On your website, you will be able to test different calls-to-action on specific landing pages to see which have the highest conversion rates. This is another way in which you can make SEO apartment work for you.
Online Marketing for Apartments
Before getting into the details of optimizing your online marketing for apartment complex for SEO, it is a good idea to understand how general marketing concepts can help your apartment complex grow. Many landlords do not do anything to market their properties beyond posting simple listings on Craigslist or other free listing sites. Here are some strategies for apartment marketing that will help your listing stand out in the crowd.
Use Social Media
Posting your properties on Instagram and Pinterest is free and can be an easy way to show off your property’s attractive qualities. Posting photos of a staged or vacant apartment, common areas, or amenities like pools and outdoor space can help to drive interest in your apartment complex.
When posting on Instagram, make sure that you pay attention to hashtags. Search for the best hashtags that will show off your listing. Be sure that you include geolocated hashtags like your city, region, and neighborhood.
Paid social media advertising can be an excellent property management marketing strategy. Facebook’s advertisements are surprisingly affordable and can be tailored toward a wide variety of demographics, including age, gender, location, interests, and more. With Facebook, you pay to boost your ad to the number of customers you wish to reach. If you are smart with your marketing, you can get a great deal out of Facebook ads. Facebook ads start as low as $5 per day.
Constructing a Facebook ad could fill its own article, but here are some important tips for apartment marketers to follow.
Making a Facebook Ad Work for You
As with other forms of marketing, the first thing you need to do to create a Facebook ad strategy is to decide on the characteristics of your ideal renter. If you don’t know who you are looking for, you will not be able to target your advertisements to the right people. Consequently, you will not receive a great return on your investment.
The first thing you need to do in order to come up with a profile for your ideal renter is to sit down and generate something called a buyer persona.
A buyer persona allows you to decide who your renters will be. You should start by looking at the characteristics and motivations of your current residents.
- What people, businesses, and brands influence your current residents?
- Where do your residents spend money?
- What are your residents’ likes and dislikes?
- Where are your residents now and where do they want to be in terms of their career?
As you answer these questions, you will be able to put the right targeting information into the website to create your ads.
In order to craft the most accurate buyer persona, you can use the “Custom Audiences” and “Audience Insights” features provided by Facebook. This is particularly helpful if you have been in business for some time, and if you have a ready-made list of customers ready to go. At a minimum, you need 100 or more.
Before you get started, make sure that you have one of the following lists for your customers:
- Email Address
- Phone Number
Combining Facebook’s tools, you can upload a list of your current customers and target ads toward them and people like them. This can also help you stay in touch with your tenants’ likes and dislikes, as you will be able to see some of their demographic information based on the ad reach.
Traditional Marketing Methods
Even though most apartment searches have gone online, it is still a good idea to invest in legacy methods of marketing your apartment complex. Print ads in local newspapers, along with targeted operations like mailing postcards, can be a great supplement to your online marketing strategy.
Make sure that your ads represent your property in its best light. The photos need to be attractive, using a staged property if possible. You should add a small map so that your potential renters can see exactly where your complex is located and how easy it is to reach useful places like malls and schools.
Optimizing Your Website With SEO
Now that we have discussed the basics of advertising your apartments on social media and through legacy methods, we will go into detail on how to optimize apartment building SEO. Research shows that 95 percent of all web traffic goes to pages that rank on the first page of their search results.
Some of the most important components of SEO for apartment owners are keywords, metadata, and search snippets. Featured text, the newest technique, can also help to highlight your results. When you are creative with these four concepts, you will be able to find untapped markets for quality renters in your area.
Before taking the plunge into creating SEO for apartment building, you need to know exactly what your potential customers are looking for, as well as the language they are using when they search.
Keyword Strategies for Success
Most novices at online marketing apartments know that you need keywords to take advantage of a search engine’s marketing capabilities. However, keywords can be misused in ways that could cause your website to fall in the search listings. We will describe how keywords should be conceived and used, making sure that they are helpful rather than damaging.
Deciding on the Best Keywords
When it comes to online marketing for apartment building, you are looking to target the special subsection of the population that is interested in renting a new apartment in your area. There are a limited number of people who will be qualified to rent your apartment, so it is best not to waste your time attempting to rank for terms that are not relevant to your offering. You will want to focus all of your efforts on keywords that offer the best opportunity to attract qualified renters to your property.
These online marketing apartment keywords are specific to your apartment complex or rental company. You will want to rank highly on the following:
- Property Name
- [Property] Reviews
- [Property] Pricing
- [Property] Ratings
- [Property] Photos
- [Property] Specials
- [Property] Hours
- [Property] [City Name]
- [Property] Address
If you are confused as to what to include, start typing your property’s name into Google and see what the auto-complete dropdown suggests. It is likely that you will want to rank highly for these searches.
You will also want to look at the bottom of the search page for the related searches. These are compiled from the most common searches conducted by other people, so you should add them to your list.
Going Beyond Your Property Name
Sometimes it is said that the best apartment complex SEO is focused on your property and its brand name. However, this is superficial advice and can be thought of as a lazy marketing strategy.
If your website has a good domain name, the proper structure, a minimum level of information about your property (floor plans, photos, address, contact information, etc.) then you should already be ranking high for your brand name, even before optimizing your website or SEO. If you’re not already ranking high on keywords including your company name, you have a serious issue regarding the composition of your website.
Branded keywords can be a great start to your apartment SEO plan, but you will need to reach beyond the visitors who already know your complex’s name.
It is a good idea to sit down with your property manager and leasing staff for this information. You will want to find out what local residents call the neighborhood. Find out whether the property is on the border of two towns or neighborhoods. Find out the names of the major employers in the area. Decide on the property’s unique selling points that set your listing apart from the competition.
You can build your list further by deciding on relevant synonyms. Don’t stop at “apartments” when making your keyword list. Include terms like “homes for rent” and “rentals.”
Another great strategy for keywords is to combine your unbranded keywords with modifying words or phrases. For example, “Apartments in [Neighborhood Name]” or “2 Bedroom Apartments in [Neighborhood Name]” may be useful.
Find Your Unique Niche
You may have special characteristics that you want to stand out in your apartment complex online marketing. For example, your property may be dog-friendly or have a clubhouse. These amenities can be important when prospective renters are looking for the right listing.
Volume of Searches
When you have a list of keywords, you should analyze each one. If you use tools like Google AdWords or Google Search Console, you will be able to see the volume of searches conducted for these keywords. Focus on the keywords with the greatest utility.
Competition for Your Terms
When you type the terms on your list into Google, you can look at the actual results pages. You will be able to see which sites are already ranking high for these terms. You will want to see if there are a lot of ads placed for these terms. See whether these searches include videos, maps, ratings, knowledge graph boxes, or featured snippets. If so, you will want to add these characteristics to your website and SEO strategy.
Focusing on the Best Keywords
Ideally, you will want to find the terms that have a high search volume (a few dozen searches each month or more) and low to moderate competition. This balance will give you a good opportunity to provide optimum opportunities.
Applying Your Keywords
In the past, it was enough to include a plain text list of all of your relevant keywords in your website. Search engines rewarded this “keyword stuffing” and gave these pages high results. However, this strategy no longer works and can drive your results down in the search engine results.
1. Page Titles
It is far better to include your keywords in targeted places throughout your website. Start with the page titles. Optimizing page titles is one of the most important pillars of technical SEO. It is a great starting point for anyone doing online marketing for apartments.
2. Meta Description
One of the best places to use keywords is in the meta description of your website. These are keywords that appear in the code of your website and are not visible. However, they are picked up by the search engine and form the text that accompanies your search result. This meta description should summarize the website in simple but accurate language. Decide what information your customers will most want to receive and mention it in the meta description. Again, avoid keyword stuffing at all costs.
Subheadings are also a great place to put keywords for SEO. Subheadings make your content easy to scan, giving the readers’ eyes a place to pause.
A subheading may help a visitor decide what content is relevant to their needs. They may also form part of an answer box or featured snippet.
4. Use Keywords in Your Content
Content is the most important place to optimize for SEO rankings. It is crucial to get it right. Websites with poor integration of the keywords into the text will be suppressed in the search rankings.
Here is a glaring example of poor keyword use for an apartment complex:
“We rent apartments Boston. Our apartments Boston are located in Boston neighborhoods. If you are looking for apartments to rent Boston, contact our apartments Boston at email@example.com.”
Not only would this content be downvoted in search results, but it would also be embarrassing to include on your website. Today’s web audiences are choosy and tend to avoid poorly written information. It is a much better idea to learn how to use your keywords effectively in your content.
First, it is important to use your main keyword in the first few sentences of your content. It needs to fall within the first paragraph at a minimum. Next, use your keyword and its variations throughout the content.
The best keyword practice is to use latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords rather than using the same keyword every time. A good way to find LSI keywords is to look at the suggested searches that pop up in the auto-complete form. When you use semantic keywords, you will be able to drive even more traffic to your website.
Images may not be the first place you think of when it comes to including keywords. You can’t afford to overlook the importance of images in SEO. Images are indexed by major search engines, creating a way to find your content.
Images help with content accessibility issues, meaning that website searchers who have visual disabilities will be able to use your website.
First, you need to make sure that all of your images are relevant to your content. Next, you need to give them file names that reflect their relevance. Keywords or LSI keywords are a great place to start.
Use SEO keywords in your image titles, little pieces of text that appear when you mouse over an image.
When it comes to images, SEO keywords are most important to use in your alt text. Alt text is the feature that helps most with accessibility for visually impaired visitors. For alt text, make it descriptive and avoid using only the keyword.
The best URLs give visitors an important clue to the page’s contents. It is best to make them descriptive. This means using your SEO keywords in the URL. For example, you may want to have a page on your website that includes “apartment-amenities” or “apartments-in-[neighborhood name]”. The proper webpage URLs will lead to more click-throughs and higher search engine relevance.
7. Link Anchor Text
Anchor text is hugely important. This is the clickable text that opens a link. It should be varied and cover a wide variety of keywords. Using the same anchor text for each inbound link will create SEO ranking red flags for Google, and you may be penalized. Instead, you can use LSI keywords to vary your inbound anchor text.
8. Social Media
Your optimal keywords should appear not only on your website but also in your social media searches. Twitter in particular is important because Google indexes tweets. Using keywords properly can bring people to your Twitter profile, and from Twitter to your website.
Keywords make great hashtags. This is especially relevant on Twitter, where the right hashtags can help your visitors find content quickly.
Keywords can also be used on other social media websites, but you should make sure to check on how they are used by other platforms.
9. Directories and Listings
You will want your external business listings to include keywords. For example, if you are setting up a business page on Facebook or Google My Business, you should include your SEO keywords in the description. This will improve your chances for promoting your listings when searchers use the relevant keywords. This will help to improve the authority of your website and improve your click-through rate as well.
Answering Questions in the Search Engine
The best way to rise in search listings today is to deliver the best and most relevant answer to the question the potential renter is entering into the search engine.
For example, your prospective renter may enter “Where do I find apartment listings in Dallas?” If you use this information to your advantage, you can rise higher in the search results. Using your keywords and LSI keywords can help you find the best questions.
If Google determines that you have a relevant answer on your site, the website will move up in the search rankings.
Search Engine Featured Snippets
Search engine featured snippets are the featured test that shows up at the heading of a search engine search results. They are most often informational in nature, and they can be a huge help to web searchers who are looking for the best information for their needs. Google has updated featured snippets in the past few years, affecting which content is selected and how these snippets appear in search results.
How Do I Get a Featured Snippet?
When you consider how important a featured snippet can be to your visibility on Google, it is great to know the steps of how you can receive one. Even if you don’t have the highest marketing budget or SEO mastery, you can make featured snippets work for you.
1. Create Content to Answer Questions
Featured snippets are informational. Neil Patel, an SEO expert, says that “if your content doesn’t answer questions, it won’t get into the featured snippet. That’s all there is to it.”
The Google algorithm crawls countless websites to find the best content to answer a user’s questions. When the website crawlers find this information, they display it in the form of a featured snippet. This makes it easier for visitors to find the precise information they are looking for.
2. Know Which Questions Users are Asking
The questions most frequently asked by website visitors often start with “how does,” “how do,” “how to”, and “what is.” For example, “how do I find an apartment in [Location]” might be a high-scoring question.
“Why” and “what” questions are also useful in planning your content. You may want to offer content explaining why a renter will want to live in one of your properties.
“Long-tail” keywords are best when it comes to assembling the answers to relevant questions. For example, “rental” is not as effective as “where do I find a rental in Atlanta” in search results. The content following this keyword phrase is more likely to be picked up in the form of a featured snippet.
An easy way to find these questions is to go into Google and type a question that your prospective renters may want to have answered. You will be able to get ideas from these search results.
3. Provide In-Depth Answers
The most important aspect of apartment online marketing is setting up an in-depth and authoritative website. Your content needs to be high-quality, comprehensive, engaging, and user focused. While you can’t rely too much on the ranking of your content due to the complex factors that go into a Google ranking, it is critical to make sure that your content is relevant and useful for your prospective tenants.
Put yourself in your tenant’s shoes. They will want answers that provide detailed information. You will also want to use a good selection of your relevant keywords and phrases, as discussed elsewhere in this article.
You will want to go beyond skimming the surface with featured snippet content. You will want to hit these three core directives:
- Go in-depth: cover every question that you can think of regarding this topic.
- Break down each step in your answer, using visual content to back it up. This can range from videos to screenshots.
- Target your content for beginners in your area as well as more seasoned searchers.
When you outperform your competition, you will be able to ensure that your content ranks well in featured snippets across Google. Readers who find your content through a featured snippet are more likely to turn to your website again in the future, now that they see you are an authority on your topic.
Featured snippets sometimes take months to work their way through Google and come to the top of search results, but it is a free form of marketing that more companies should use. With featured snippets, your content is more likely to land at the top of the page.
4. Use Question and Answer Pages
Another way to make a good showing in Google search results is to create frequently asked questions pages. You can answer questions about your building, neighborhood, amenities, and pricing. This will make your website attractive to potential renters.
5. Featured Snippets to Highlighted Results
Today, Google goes even further in highlighting its featured snippets. When a user clicks on a featured snippet, they are taken directly to the relevant text in the search results. This can save readers a great deal of time skimming through articles to find the perfect answer to their question.
Calls to Action
Every website page should include a call to action. These can be as simple as a “click here” button. Users can be invited to download a PDF detailing the property’s benefits, to email a rental agent, or to leave a review on an external website. Calls to action make a website more interactive and draw repeat visitors.
1. Top Call to Action Phrases
The top call to action phrases is “learn more,” “shop now,” “download,” “sign up”, and “book now.” These enticing phrases will help your users connect with your content.
A good call to action helps the audience avoid confusion. If you want your prospective tenants to do something, highlight it in the design or text. This may not work on everyone, but it will help to eliminate confusion. If your visitor finds the offer appealing, they will know exactly what they need to do to get what they want. Play on your visitors’ curiosity about your apartment complex.
2. Directing Readers to the Right Place
A call to action doesn’t have to direct users to a product or service. Calls to action can also be used to direct your users to other parts of your website, such as your apartment photos or floorplans.
3. Growing Your Audience and Boosting Inquiries
Calls to action can focus on audience-building. These encourage people to subscribe to a newsletter, to follow you on Facebook, or to download more information. These calls to action don’t bring immediate profit, but they are essential for growing your audience naturally.
Here are some additional features that your rental website should have in order to draw in the most readers.
1. Ratings and Reviews
It is a good idea to link to pages where positive reviews are shown. If you don’t have positive reviews, you may want to skip this. Popular review sites for apartments include Rate My Landlord, Review My Landlord, and Whose Your Landlord. Your call to action can also encourage visitors to leave ratings of their own.
2. Virtual Tours
Virtual tours of properties are becoming very popular in the single-family home sales market, so it follows that they have become a bigger part of rental websites as well. It is best to have this virtual tour professionally filmed and presented.
Don’t neglect the importance of including video in your apartment marketing strategy. In addition to video walkthroughs, you can also feature interviews with current tenants and explanations of the benefits of living in your complex.
Attracting New Applications
This in-depth guide to SEO and marketing for apartment complexes should give you some ideas about boosting your property’s profile online. Using these tips and tricks, you will be able to promote your property in its best light and attract quality renters for your buildings.
One of the most important features of SEO that needs to be reiterated is that keywords need to be managed properly. When you create the best and most useful keywords for your property, you will be able to bring an interested audience to your website.
Bringing traffic to your apartment complex can be a difficult! One of the greatest ways to bring a steady flow of traffic to your apartment complex is with search engine optimization (SEO).
In order to hire an effective SEO company for your apartment complex, you must first understand SEO.
- What is SEO?
- How does SEO work?
- What can SEO do for my apartment complex?
What is SEO?
SEO is simply promoting your website in the search engines (like Google) and get more people to come to your website.
How does SEO work?
SEO can be different depending on the company doing it. Our process is similar…