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Two property managers walk into a real estate convention.
They both bring a well-designed booth and branded marketing materials. Property manager number one—let’s call her Jane—sets up everything right in front of the entrance where everyone who walks in can see her.
Property manager number two—we’ll call him Bob—sets up at the very back of the room.
Which one is going to get more property management clients to talk to them?
If you guessed Jane, you’d be right—she’s far more visible to her target audience, and the spot right at the front is where you want to be if you want to see any action.
If you’re reading this, you should already understand that the same is true for your property management website. If property owners can’t find it with minimal effort, you’re not going to get any new clients. What you may not know is 90 percent of B2B buyers rely on online search specifically to research business purchases and decisions, and if your search engine optimization practices aren’t up to snuff, the chances of you attracting these buyers are slim to none.
Below you’ll find a guide to help you succeed with property management SEO—including six SEO tips to make your property management website rank higher in search results:
- Make your website mobile-friendly, fast, and secure
- Add structured data to your website
- Optimize everything (title tags, meta descriptions, and content) for your top property management SEO keywords
- Focus on local SEO tactics and keywords
- Create a property management blog
- Take advantage of (SEO-optimized) photos and videos
First Things First: What Is SEO and Why Do I Need It?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is the process of altering your website content and code to get your website pages ranked higher in search results. Search engines like Google and Bing want to spit out the best, most relevant results for the user’s search query. The problem is, search engines don’t speak the same language as humans—they speak HTML, so they need some extra help to understand what a web page is about.
With a special cocktail of website code, keywords, and technical indicators, you can practically TELL the search engines what property management keywords your pages should rank for—provided they have relevant content property owners would actually want to see and read.
You need it because (according to Hubspot’s research) organic search equates to 94 percent of all web traffic, and the first position on Google search results has a 34.36 percent clickthrough rate for desktop and 35 percent for mobile. Basically, if you’re not at the top of the search results, you’re losing clicks, leads, and sales to your competitors.
There are more than 200 search engine ranking signals that determine where a page ranks on the search results page, but the ones that matter the most are:
- Secured sites (HTTPS vs. HTTP)
- Websites that are mobile friendly
- Schema markup (not a direct ranking symbol but necessary for rich snippets)
- Webpage content quality
- Webpage content length
- Optimized title tags and meta descriptions on all web pages
- Page speed
- Social signals
- Quality backlinks
- Optimized images
- Domain age
If you follow the tips below, you should be covered for all the most important SEO ranking signals.
6 SEO Tips for Property Management Websites
Property Management SEO Tip #1: Make Your Website Fast, Secure, and Mobile Friendly
When it comes to your property management website, three BIG things contribute to bad user experience and are therefore ranking signals:
- A website that loads slowly
- A website that can’t be viewed on a smartphone
- A website that isn’t secured
If you improve these three aspects of your website, its performance and rankings should improve.
Speed Up Your Website
A full 80 percent of a page’s load time is spent rendering all the different coded elements on a web page. This includes your website’s, plugins, style sheets, scripts, images, videos, and anything else that makes your website, well—what it is. If you want to speed up your website, ask whoever is responsible for your website to optimize the following:
- Slow server response time
- Cached resources
- CSS stylesheets
- Font sizes
Make Your Website Secure
Hacks are everywhere—nowadays, it seems like you can’t go one day without hearing about some big data breach.
Don’t be that guy that foregoes an SSL certificate (SSL certificates are what put the “S” in “HTTPS”) because your website doesn’t ask for credit card information. Hackers don’t just want credit card information. Many web hackers look at aggregate behaviors of your users and visitors to make a sort of “online profile” for marketing and advertising, scams, or identity theft reasons.
Heck, once one of my clients—a small landscaping business—decided against purchasing an SSL certificate and then had his website hacked and turned into a Russian porn site. (In case you’re wondering, yes, we immediately caught it, fixed it, installed an SSL certificate, and reversed the damage that was done.)
Google doesn’t like hacks, and it doesn’t like sending its users to sites where their personal information may be at risk—over 40 percent of the sites on the first page of Google are HTTPS. That’s why they came up with the three security symbols, which are now displayed in the URL bar:
Google wants to ensure the best user experience for their customers, so understandably they don’t want to send searchers to unsecured sites. Because of that, their ranking algorithm favors HTTPS sites. If your site isn’t secure, it could be getting outranked by similar sites that have an SSL certificate.
Learn more about SSL certificates here »
Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
Mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor, and—as Appfolio’s VP of Product Development Nat Kunes pointed out—property managers will lose ground if they don’t adopt a mobile-first mindset. Mobile devices drive 52 percent of all website traffic and 50 percent of B2B searches. If your website can’t function perfectly on a mobile device, you’re falling behind your competitors.
Mobile also drives a lot of B2B buying decisions. Think about it—how often are you on the go when you’re checking email? Or browsing the web? If you have a mobile device, I’m guessing at least once a day—and if you’re as busy as our CEO, you practically LIVE off of your mobile devices.
In a combined report from Google and BCG, the research found that 80 percent of B2B buyers are using mobile at work, and more than 60 percent report that mobile played a significant role in a recent purchase. Not only that, but 70 percent of B2B buyers have significantly increased their use of mobile devices over the past three years and expect to continue to do so.
Here’s what it means when your website is mobile-friendly:
- It’s easy to read the text (no squinting)
- It’s easy to navigate (buttons and links are large enough to be tapped with a finger)
- It’s pleasing to look at (the user experience is enjoyable)
Property Management SEO Tip #2: Optimize Everything for Your Top Keywords and Phrases
I’ve already said search engines have more than 200 ranking signals, but the core search algorithm is based on keywords. In the past, business owners could get by with keyword stuffing:
With the proliferation of spammy content, Google’s algorithm got smarter and now uses what’s called latent semantic indexing, which draws relationships between user intent and key phrases. You can see this in action at the bottom of the search page where it says “Searches related to…”
That’s where you should start when you’re thinking about website content and the keywords you should be optimizing for.
If you don’t have proprietary SEO software that does the heavy lifting for you (like Blue Corona’s property management clients have access to), your best bet is to use keyword generating tools like Google Ads’ Keyword Planner, or the free tool Keywords Everywhere.
Since you may not have access to Keyword Planner, I went ahead and pulled the top keywords for property management companies, as well as the competition level (Low = easier to rank, High = hard to rank):
Here are the places on your website you need to be sure to incorporate your top property management keywords, phrases, and questions:
- Title tag and meta description
- H1 and H2 headers
- Image alt-tags and descriptions
- In your website copy and content
- Google My Business profile
Property Management SEO Tip #3: Add Schema/Structured Data
I mentioned that Google doesn’t speak the same language as humans, so it needs a little help in the form of microdata, like adding optimized title tags and meta descriptions.
One form of this is Schema markup. Schema.org (often called Schema) is a semantic vocabulary of microdata that you can add to your HTML to improve the way search engines read and represent your page in SERPs. It’s also a ranking indicator because the more information and context you can provide the more likely it is for crawlers to draw connections between your web pages and semantic searches.
You can build your own using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper:
Property Management SEO Tip #4: Focus on Local SEO
If you’re a local company and want to find more property management leads, local SEO should be one of your top priorities. The difference between local SEO and organic SEO is the intent. Google can (pretty well, too) pick out search queries that have “local intent,” meaning the searcher wants search engine results that feature local companies. It’s that local intent that makes the map with local listings pop up.
You’ll want to focus on:
- NAP Citations – Be sure your business’ name, address, and phone number is EXACTLY the same across all of your online assets like your website, social profiles, and Google My Business/Bing listings.
- Local directory listings – Claim and verify all listings on local directories including Yelp, Superpages, Foursquare, Yellowpages, etc.
- Social media – Social indicators are a ranking factor. Make sure all your social profiles are optimized.
- Reviews – Reviews are key in local SEO. Regularly solicit reviews and engage in review-building tactics on social and search profiles.
- Localized onsight content – The more relevant your website content is to a search query, the more likely it will show up in search results. For local queries, this means creating unique service pages targeted to your local area, specifying service areas, and including maps with your address and location on it.
Property Management SEO Tip #5: Create a Property Management Blog and Share It
The average B2B buyer makes 12 searches before they contact a potential vendor.
Your job is to make sure your property management company shows up for every one of those searches—by the time a landlord or property owner even SPEAKS with one of your sales representatives they are already halfway down the buyer’s funnel. You have to convince them that you’re trustworthy, authoritative, and the best company for their needs without ever speaking to them. How you do it is by creating a robust library of content in the form of a search engine optimized blog.
By using the keyword tools I gave you above you can figure out the top questions property owners have and answer them pre-emptively. Here—I’ll get you started with some property management blog ideas and topics:
- What Is a Property Management Company Responsible For?
- What Are the Benefits of Using a Property Management Company?
- What Is the Cost for Property Management?
- How to Deal with a Bad Property Management Company
- Should I Hire a Property Management Company?
- How to Find the Best Property Management Company for Your Property
Property Management SEO Tip #6: Incorporate Optimized Images and Videos
Images and videos play a big part in Google’s ranking algorithm. Why? Because Google figured out that when both video and text are available on the same page, 72 percent of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service than read about it. It’s not just B2C consumers either—70 percent of B2B buyers and researchers are watching videos throughout their path to purchase.
A video is also 50 percent more likely to rank on the first page of Google.
To have videos and images boost your rankings, they need to be optimized. That means they need to have all the metadata filled out with the right information and keywords.
Property Management SEO from the Experts in Property Management Marketing
Follow the six tips above, and you should be well on your way to property management SEO success. If you’re having difficulty or just plain don’t have time to DIY it, I highly recommend you get on our calendar for a consultation. We’ll do an in-depth analysis of your web presence, and actionable, transparent takeaways.
Contact us here, and we look forward to seeing you at the top of the search results!
About The Author: Betsy is Blue Corona's Digital Content Manager. When she’s not directing Blue Corona's corporate digital content campaigns she’s urban exploring with her wife, diving into the latest marketing trends, or teaching horseback riding lessons. Twitter: @educatedbets
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