Our Top 10 Tips to Increase Your Ranking in Google SERP

If you manage a multifamily property, then you know how important it is to be visible online. After all, potential residents will likely start their search for a new place to live by turning to the internet. But with so many properties out there vying for attention, how can you make sure that yours stands out from the rest? The answer is multifamily SEO.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving your property’s ranking in Google and other search engines. By following a few simple tips, you can ensure that your property appears at the top of the search results when potential residents are looking for a new place to live.

14 Multifamily SEO Facts You Didn't Know (Plus Tips for Implementing these SEO Tips Into Your Multifamily Marketing Strategy)

Solving the Mystery of Multifamily SEO

The mysterious art that is multifamily SEO is not that mysterious at all. Things become a little clearer when we think about multifamily SEO from this perspective. We all do searches and we all happen across results that are less than valuable to our needs.

Google only cares about one thing and one thing only. Relevance. That is it — just relevance. They do not care about you or your multifamily business — they only care about the person doing the search.

Google only cares about one thing and one thing only. Relevance. That is it — just relevance. They do not care about you or your multifamily business — they only care about the person doing the search.

Google’s job is to get the user to the best results for them as quickly as possible. It is not easy when so many people out there are trying to game the system to increase traffic to their site. Google gives us one directive, “Be Relevant.”

From time to time, you hear about Google’s major algorithm updates and descriptions of what they do from a technical standpoint. You need to know less of the technical aspects and more of the overarching strategy — relevant content. If you can follow that advice and do it well, you will find yourself rising in the ranks of Google.

So you want to know how to do it well? Do you want to know the secret to getting your multifamily business listed?

Just follow these SEO tips to improve your ranking in Google:

1. Create remarkable content

Remarkable content is sharable content. You want your content to be so good that people want to share it with their friends, families, and others within their circle of influence. This, while a little daunting, may be simpler than you think. You can start by identifying pain points that your prospective renters may have and give them a solution. 

Your content shouldn’t be about driving a sales pitch, it should be about educating. Add value to your viewers. They will appreciate it, and in turn, pass it around to those within their circle of influence.

Your content shouldn’t be about driving a sales pitch, it should be about educating. Add value to your viewers. They will appreciate it, and in turn, pass it around to those within their circle of influence.

2. Create a catchy, relevant headline

Your headline is your first impression, and first impressions count. It’s just as important as having a strategic meta description and title tag. You want your headline to be catchy and engaging but also contain your primary keywords.

Try using numbers combined with the primary keyword you are trying to rank for. People are drawn to lists because they are faster reads, such as:

  • 5 Ways to Decorate Your Luxury Apartment in Dallas
  • 10 Steps to Declutter Your One-Bedroom Apartment
  • 30 Things to Do in Charlotte, N.C. This Summer.”
Multifamily SEO (search engine optimization) is one of the great mysteries of the web. This free guide reveals the multifamily SEO practices we know are worthwhile, and which are a huge mistake.

3. Always include a call-to-action (CTA)

Throughout your blog, or at least at the end of it, provide a way for your viewers to get more helpful information by providing you with a little bit of information. Give them something of value for providing you their name and emails, such as a whitepaper on the “Top Multifamily Market Trends of This Year,” an infographic on “What Amenities Your Residents Really Want,” or perhaps an eBook on how to win more business by using your multifamily product or service. (Psst … a great example of a marketing offer is the one you see promoted throughout this blog!)

This is one way to help identify which content is truly remarkable and what is not. When someone fills out your form requesting additional information, this is what we like to call an apartment lead — it shows interest!

4. Distribute your multifamily content

Simply put, don’t just post content to your site and leave it at that. Get the word out. Post a link across your social channels, send it out in an email blast, and get your coworkers and others in your circle to post it. This will create a buzz around your multifamily business, and you will start seeing a spike in traffic to your site just because of this. Every post you make needs to include social sharing icons, making it easy for your viewers to share it. The easier it is to share, the wider your reach. 

Every post you make needs to include social sharing icons, making it easy for your viewers to share it. The easier it is to share, the wider your reach.

5. Enhance your outreach backlink strategy

Distributing your content is also a great strategy for enhancing your backlink strategy. A backlink is a link from another website to your multifamily website, web page, or web directory. This is comparable to a citation. These backlinks are critical to any good multifamily SEO strategy as it shows Google that your multifamily website has authority and relevance in the market.

By getting the word out about a new blog you published, for example, you increase your chances of similar websites linking back to your content and increasing your authority with Google (and thus, your ranking!) Distributing your content and reaching out to similar publications are two easy (and free) ways to increase your backlinks.

These backlinks are critical to any good multifamily SEO strategy as it shows Google that your multifamily website has authority and relevance in the market.

Just be very cautious about blackhat multifamily SEO tactics that could harm your rankings, such as irrelevant and spammy backlinks.

6. Encourage commenting and respond to comments

This point is not that hard, invite viewers of your content to leave you feedback through comments. This provides a great way to build relationships with prospects interested in using your multifamily product or service. These comments can come from social media or your multifamily website.

7. Claim your Google Business Profile

Google Business Page (formerly Google My Business) is a free service offered by Google that allows businesses to manage their online presence. When you claim your listing, you’ll be able to control what information appears about your property when it comes up in a search. Make sure that all of your property’s information is accurate and up-to-date, and take the time to respond to positive and negative reviews.

Make sure that all of your property's information is accurate and up-to-date, and take the time to respond to any reviews, both positive and negative.

8. Optimize your multifamily website for SEO

Your multifamily website should be designed with SEO from the beginning. That means incorporating relevant keywords into your content, making sure your site is easy to navigate, and ensuring that all of your content is original and error-free. You should also ensure that your site is mobile-friendly, as more and more people are using their phones and tablets to access the internet.

9. Get involved in local community events

Local community events are a great way to get your property’s name out there. Sponsor a Little League team, host a food drive or partner with a local charity. Anytime you can get your property’s name in front of potential residents, you’re increasing the chances that they’ll remember you when they’re ready to start looking for a new place to live.

10. Make use of social media

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are great ways to connect with potential residents and create an engaged online community around your property. Use social media to share your property’s news updates, highlight available units, and promote community events. 

And don’t forget to respond quickly and courteously to any questions or concerns posted on your social media accounts — you want potential residents to know they can count on you for excellent customer service.

And don't forget to respond quickly and courteously to any questions or concerns that are posted on your social media accounts — you want potential residents to know that they can count on you for excellent customer service!

Writing Remarkable Content to Earn Higher SERP Rankings

To sum up, there is nothing magical about these SEO tips. As a wise man once said, “If it is not worth doing right, then it’s not worth doing.” Writing remarkable content to improve your multifamily SEO takes time and effort, but it pays off in the end.

By following these simple SEO tips, you can improve your multifamily property’s ranking in Google and attract more attention from potential residents. Investing in SEO will pay off in the long run as you see an increase in traffic to your website and ultimately lease up more units at your property.

14 Multifamily SEO Facts You Didn't Know (Plus Tips for Implementing these SEO Tips Into Your Multifamily Marketing Strategy)

Understanding the Relationship Between Multifamily SEO and Social Media

Did you know that multifamily SEO matters on social media?

More and more multifamily properties are hopping on social media, which serves as another channel for them to share and interact with renters and the community. But perhaps you don’t see the appeal of a social media presence?

14 Multifamily SEO Facts You Didn't Know (Plus Tips for Implementing these SEO Tips Into Your Multifamily Marketing Strategy)

Well, we’re here to give you another very important reason to be on social media, and that’s search engine optimization (SEO). Multifamily SEO is essentially the process of optimizing your content for search engines. 

For most platforms (i.e., Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr, to name a few), there are a few simple steps you can take to move your multifamily property up in search engine rankings:

How do you optimize your social media profiles?

1. List Basic Information

All social media platforms have a place for users to list basic information: Company Name, Location, About Us, Address, etc. Make sure to fill out all the information sections on your profiles with specific keywords. The more information you share, the more chances you have to be indexed by Google. Besides, you want to make sure that anyone who comes across your property online knows exactly where it’s located and how to contact you.

2. Anticipate Popular Keywords

Brainstorm words or phrases that are relevant to your multifamily property. Perhaps it’s “lofts in downtown Dallas” or “Houston apartments with a dog park.” What is your property or multifamily business offering? What would your target audience search specifically? Use these keywords at a high density throughout your social media profiles and bios; include them in your social media captions when it’s natural to do so. You also might want to use them in hashtags (within the caption and not the comments) to get users on social media to find you more easily.

hat is your property or multifamily business offering? What would your target audience search specifically? Use these keywords at a high density throughout your social media profiles and bios; include them in your social media captions when it’s natural to do so. You also might want to use them in hashtags (within the caption and not the comments) to get users on social media to find you more easily.

3. Invite Reviews

Display a section for reviews when possible. Facebook pages have a review section on the left side panel with 1-5 star ratings for the user to evaluate and post comments. It shows real people living in your multifamily property, providing real feedback. Again, it’s more opportunities to be indexed by search engines. This also allows you to publicly address any issues that your residents may be having, ultimately showing potential residents that you’re on top of handling problems.

Facebook pages have a review section on the left side panel with 1-5 star ratings for the user to evaluate and post comments. It shows real people living in your multifamily property, providing real feedback. Again, it’s more opportunities to be indexed by search engines. This also allows you to publicly address any issues that your residents may be having, ultimately showing potential residents that you’re on top of handling problems.

4. Link Often

Outbound links are one of the most important aspects to multifamily SEO, so be sure to link to other sources! In your use of social media, provide links to relevant blog articles and neighborhood events. Spread the word out about the great happenings going on around your neighborhood and property. Not only is it good for multifamily SEO, but “linking” is a great way to connect with people and businesses in your community.

Multifamily SEO (search engine optimization) is one of the great mysteries of the web. This free guide reveals the multifamily SEO practices we know are worthwhile, and which are a huge mistake.

5. Create Shareable Content

Inbound links are equally as important to SEO, yet you have to earn them. When people link back to your multifamily website or social media pages, it means you’re sharing content that is high quality, compelling, and helpful. 

Some ideas include:

  • Make and share a weekly newsletter with information about what’s going on at your property.
  • Post interior design tips for small living spaces. 
  • Write about apartment decorating and storage hacks.
  • Promote local events and happy hour specials in your community.

Creating shareable content starts with knowing your audience and what they would find interesting and resourceful.

Inbound links are equally as important to SEO, yet you have to earn them. When people link back to your multifamily website or social media pages, it means you’re sharing content that is high quality, compelling, and helpful. Creating shareable content starts with knowing your audience and what they would find interesting and resourceful.

6. Utilize Multifamily PPC

While SEO is the organic approach to driving traffic, multifamily PPC is the paid. PPC ads display at the top or in the sidebar of search engine results. A successful multifamily PPC campaign combines your keyword research and your insights to design highly targeted ads that drive traffic to your website. It’s important to note that well-qualified traffic is the result of research and continued testing. Understanding your residents should be an ongoing learning process and the foundation of any SEO or PPC campaign (not to mention, all digital marketing).

7. Update Your Instagram Bio

Potential renters don’t just use Google to find new apartments, they use Instagram too. They go to the search bar on the explore page a type in “apartments in [city]” and maybe even include a descriptor such as “affordable” or “luxury.”

The way you give your property’s account the best chance of showing up in a related search is by adding keywords right into the “Name” of your profile’s bio. While the label for this section might make you assume you’re limited to just having your property’s name, there are actually no rules for this section. You can put whatever you want for your bio’s name. There’s also quite a bit of space you have to work with. 

Here are some examples: 

  • Rio Villa Apartments | San Angelo, TX
  • LVL 29 | Luxury Apartments in Plano
  • Willow Creek | Affordable Apartments in Austin
  • Prairie Pride | New Homes in Midlothian 
keywords right into the "Name" of your profile's bio. While the label for this section might make you assume you're limited to just having your property's name, there are actually no rules for this section. You can put whatever you want for your bio's name. There's also quite a bit of space you have to work with. 

If you feel like your Instagram handle is enough to communicate the name of your property, you could even remove the name entirely and focus more on longer or multiple keywords. 

Following these simple steps is a great way to improve your search engine ranking with the social media platforms you’re already using. It ultimately makes your content easier to find, allows you to connect with your audience, and helps you build the brand that you’re striving towards.

14 Multifamily SEO Facts You Didn't Know (Plus Tips for Implementing these SEO Tips Into Your Multifamily Marketing Strategy)

Today, we’ll discuss another way to improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for multifamily properties using Google My Business.

Google My Business combines what was previously Google Places (the map-based platform) and Google+Local Pages (the social platform). If you’re getting confused by all these ‘Google’ pages, then rest assured they’ve been combined into one platform with several features that aid in SEO.

Be Found.

First thing’s first, a Google My Business account quite literally puts your multifamily property on the map (Google Maps, that is):

Multifamily SEO PPC

Google My Business shows the title, address, phone number, website, and even reviews. When GPS devices use Google Maps to access basic information about your multifamily property, they pull it from your Google My Business listing. Therefore, it’s important to always keep your business information updated. If renters can’t find up-to-date information about your property, they’ll just move on to the next.

Google My Business lists your information across Google Search, Maps and Google+. The holistic network of citations by the search king itself (aka. Google) has wonderful benefits for SEO.

Note: If you previously had a Google Places page, your account was automatically updated to Google My Business. However, you should be constantly updating your information for accuracy and to take advantage of Google’s social features.

Be Social.

A Google My Business account integrates all the features of Google’s own social network (Google+), allowing multifamily properties to host hangouts, create and manage circles, and share content such as blog posts or photos. The Google+ feature also allows your property to connect with other individuals and businesses that have similar interests.

Google+ apartment listing

By using the Google+ feature, you can share events going on around your property and neighborhood. That allows Google to index that information for search engine queries. Be sure to add a cover photo and fill out all other profile information. Customers can post comments and reviews, and Google+ allows you to interact and respond. Bad review? Address it. Questions? Answer them.

How Does Google My Business Help SEO?

By having both a Google My Business account, you are enhancing your online footprint through SEO. Every time your information is listed on a Google page, that’s another opportunity for Google to index your property in its search results. It’s also another opportunity for you to be found by prospective renters. Updating your information regularly is the best way to ensure that renters (both current and future) are receiving the most accurate information about your property.

Get verified on Google My Business with just a few simple steps




seo-mistakes-cta




While responsive design can assist in leading prospects through the renting process, it does nothing to get the user there in the first place. That’s where SEO and PPC come in: Search Engine Optimization and Pay-Per-Click advertising (paid search).

A Short Story: Distributing Flyers

A friend once asked me why SEO and PPC matter. His organization was beginning a total rebuild of their site, and he faced a crucial decision. “Can’t I just build a great website?” he asked.

I couldn’t help but think he’d seen Field of Dreams a few too many times. For the record, “If you build it, they will come” is not a good multifamily marketing strategy (in case you weren’t sure).

I offered to him the following example: “Suppose I started a band, and we wanted to get the word around that we’re going to be playing our first gig. What’s the classic way to promote the event? Flyers, right?” He nodded, so I continued.

seo-ppc-multifamily

“Suppose I hire an excellent photographer to make us look cool, and a great designer to make it eye-catching. Then, I pay a local printer to produce ten thousand copies on the best paper, full color, full bleed, UV coated.”

“I suppose you spent a lot of money,” he chided.

“Right. But now suppose I took all these flyers and stacked them all on a street corner in front of my house.”

He looked puzzled. Which was the point.

“A flyer is made to be spread out. That’s its medium, and failing to distribute a flyer defeats the purpose.”

Your multifamily website is the flyer. SEO allows you to set out stacks of flyers in places where your prospective renters are most likely to be (via search engines).

PPC works similarly, but it’s more aggressive. Rather than leaving behind flyers where someone can be expected to encounter them, PPC acts as a direct hand-off. It’s like sending our guitar player into the club the week before, flyers in hand, distributing them to the very people who’d be likely to return next week. It takes more money and effort, but it often produces greater results.

SEO + Keyword Research

SEO is the art and science of inching your way up in Google’s rankings. Keywords are vital to optimizing your SEO game. The process starts by establishing the unique features your property has to offer and anticipating what prospective renters are searching for.

What’s the best way to do this? Invest the time in researching your industry and creating personas. Most multifamily properties approach SEO backwards: this is what I want someone to find. Instead, you should approach SEO from the searcher’s perspective. What are their needs and their habits? What frustrates them, interests them, confuses them?

multifamily-seo-ppc

Again, we return to our customer-centric approach to digital marketing. When we understand what residents are searching for (and how they’re searching), we can target them better than anyone else.

 

For time’s sake, we’ll save the mechanics of SEO for another day. Just know that it involves incorporating those insights and keywords into your website, blog posts, social media, links, code, etc. This allows search engines like Google to index your keywords and associate them with your property. In Criterion.B’s post about optimizing social media pages, we discuss some of the basics of SEO.

PPC + Targeted Traffic

While SEO is the organic approach to driving traffic, PPC is the paid. That is, you’re paying for each click into your website (hence the name, “pay-per-click”). Continuing with our example above, PPC is the act of directly distributing your flyers to a relevant audience, but only paying for those who take a look (aka. click into your website).

PPC ads display at the top or in the sidebar of search engine results. They are differentiated from the organic search results by a yellow “Ad” symbol.

google-seo-ppc-dallas

A successful PPC campaign combines your keyword research and your insights to design highly targeted ads that drive traffic to your website. It’s important to note that well-qualified traffic is the result of research and continued testing. Too many properties “set it and forget it” when it comes to PPC. Understanding your residents should be an on-going learning process and the foundation of any SEO or PPC campaign (not to mention, all digital marketing strategy).

Partners in Crime

SEO and PPC are partners in crime when it comes to driving traffic to your multifamily property. They work in tandem with each other, and yet serve slightly different purposes. SEO focuses on building a long-term presence in search engines, while PPC can be used to drive quick results if necessary (e.g., to promote leasing specials or the opening of a new multifamily property). Both are advantageous, if not essential, for driving traffic in today’s cluttered apartment market.




seo-mistakes-cta




These days, people aren’t just looking to the classified sections of newspapers or Craigslist to find multifamily properties. They’re turning to some seemingly unconventional tools for research and inspiration, such as Pinterest.

Apartments Pinterest

For those of you who don’t know what Pinterest is, it’s an online bookmark and picture-sharing site. Like other social media platforms, users can follow companies and other users and re-pin their images onto online “Bulletin Boards.” For multifamily properties, maintaining a Pinterest account can actually improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Enhancing your SEO ensures that your property website appears near the top of search engine results, which results in more leads, interactions, and a better brand value.

Here are a few simple steps that will help you build a strong presence on Pinterest:

1. Create a Pinterest Account

Use your full business’s name in your account. Be sure to include all necessary descriptive, contact information, or logos in your Pinterest bio.

2. Create Your Boards

On Pinterest, Boards are the topics by which you organize your content. You should create boards that showcase your property (rooms, amenities, events), as well as boards that provide tips and tricks for commonly searched apartment topics. Make sure to keep the number of boards fairly minimal to that you can keep all of them active, and create descriptions for each one of them.

Here are some ideas:

  • interior decorating tips
  • space-saving tricks
  • neighborhood guides
  • easy recipes for entertaining

3. Include Keywords

Make sure individual posts (called Pins) contain keywords your business wants to be searchable by, either in the title or Pin description. This will increase your Pin’s relevance in search engines and direct more people to your pins.

4. Customize Source Links

Customize your Pin’s link to direct potential renters back to your website so they can check your property out. To do that, click “Edit” on your pin and insert your website URL into the ‘Source’ bracket and make a captivating caption that will entice users to click on it.

dallas-amli-pinterest

Making Pinterest Part of Your Marketing Plan

Overall, Pinterest is a unique social media channel that may not be successful for everyone, but when utilized correctly, it could be your best friend. Pinterest can actually help your SEO — so make sure you at least get started and make Pinterest an integral part of your social media plan.