For leasing agents, where do you put your “For Rent / Sale” yard signs?
Do you put them on a high-traffic street where you can attract more eyeballs from the passing drivers? Or do you put the signs in the corner of a backyard facing a valley?
The answer is straightforward: we should put the signs where there are the most traffic.
The same principle works for your “digital yard signs” – your website.
For your “digital yard signs” to be seen by millions of online traffic, we need to position your website in search engines.
Ideally, ranking as high as possible.
That way, people searching for a place to live will easily find you and become your leads.
Search Engine Optimization is the secret that can make or break Internet multi-family apartment marketing today.
What does SEO mean?
SEO is a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results.
What is SEO about?
SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements required to:
- Improve rankings,
- Drive organic (non-paid) traffic,
- Increase awareness in search engines,
- Attract leads from your competitors, and
- Help close the deal.
However, SEO isn't just about building search engine-friendly websites.
It's about making your site better and more meaningful for visitors, too.
For SEO to fully do its job, the user must have a reason to stay.
Think of visiting an attractively branded open house.
The unit looks amazing from the outside with beautiful landscaping. But once you walk in, there is outdated appliances, leaky ceilings, and cracks on the wall. You walked inside because of the dominant location and appearance, but you are not likely to stay for leisure and enjoy an afternoon because there is not enough reason and value for you to stay.
SEO works the same way for your websites.
It is only half the battle to lure visitors. The true battle is engaging them once they land on your site and turn them into leads.
Apartment websites that identify not only what attract prospects to their site, but what engages them and how long they stay, have a better chance of filling empty units and boosting occupancy rates.
it is not enough for property management companies to focus entirely on the search engine, but the search experience that will create a holistic apartment marketing approach.
How do I know if my website is engaging visitors or not?
The industry bounce rate average is 30-50 percent, and average time on the site is two minutes. If the website is not user-friendly, people will exit.
To understand your website’s ability to provide a great experience begins with knowing where people stay the longest and the shortest.
Some metrics include:
- Traffic movements,
- What content visitors are looking at,
- How much time visitors are spending on each content,
- When and where visitors are leaving
Low traffic could indicate a lack of proper search engine optimization.
Reason: Visitors are not landing on your website likely because it is not ranked as the top three results or on the first page of Google search. This problem is largely caused by a lack of SEO where keyword search is not identified correctly.
High traffic with high bounce rates could indicate a misalignment in search engine keywords and the content on the front page.
Reason: Visitors are landing on your website because of your high rankings. But once they land, they cannot find relevant information with what they are hoping they could find. Therefore, they exit.
High traffic with low bounce rates and low conversion rates could indicate a difference of expectation in pricing, floor plan, location, or specific features of the building.
Reason: Visitors are landing and spending time on your website, probably looking through photos and amenities descriptions. However, they don’t convert to leads or sales because there must be certain features of the apartment that don’t match their expectations.
These metrics ultimately tell the story of the user experience journey and your website’s usability.
SEO matters because Website Analytical data can help us troubleshoot the problems Of a non-performing site and tell us What to improve to gain the Conversions.
What type of content engages apartment website visitors?
For multi-family apartments, visitors are most likely potential tenants that are finding a place to be their next home. What do you care about when you look for a place to stay? That generally could include:
- Amenities & Features,
- Floor Plans,
- Location & Neighborhood,
- Development Team Information,
- Management Team Information,
- Tenant Reviews,
Providing engaging content is all about knowing who your target audiences are and what they want.
Then that you can start looking at strategic moves and enhancements for a particular section on your website to engage visitors and give them reason to stay longer.
The longer they stay, the better opportunity the community has to interest the prospect in a visit and sign a lease.
SEO matters because it helps us understand the user experience and how users are behaving, and with such data, we can build targeted strategy to engage visitors and turn them into sales.
How can I improve user experience and usability through SEO?
Here are three things to consider:
- Website Analytics
- Utilize analytics and tracking to determine your website’s: Bounce rate, Dwell time (average time a visitor spend on your site), and Where visitors exit.
- Content Analysis
- Content should be clear, concise, and highlight key features in a way that makes prospects want to read more. Examine written content on the front page and the flow to other pages to determine if your content is cohesive and tells a story.
- Aesthetics Analysis
- Images, photos, graphics, colors, and designs all tell a story about your apartment building. They are the personality aspect of your building. Make sure all creatives fit with each other cohesively and tell the story.
In Conclusion, Search Engine Optimization matters to apartment buildings because:
There is no one visiting your website;
No one knows about your apartment;
Visitors leave because of irrelevant content;
Your competitors gain all those traffic that could have become your sales, but they become your competitors’ sales
Prospective tenants in the market land on your website;
Potential leads read and engage with your building and story;
Your building is brought up in conversations by visitors with their friends and family;
You convince visitors to give you their contact information;
Showings appointments are scheduled;
Deals are made;
You grow your revenue;
You gain more confidence in your job and yourself;
You are on track to a higher level of your career;