Why Apartment SEO and Multifamily PPC Are Essential for Effective Marketing
While responsive apartment web 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 multifamily PPC come in: search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising (paid search).
A Short Story: Distributing Flyers
While rebuilding his organization’s website, a client raised a crucial question about the significance of apartment SEO and multifamily PPC. He wondered if creating a great property website would suffice. However, relying solely on the “build it and they will come” approach, popularized by the movie Field of Dreams, is not an effective multifamily marketing strategy.
To illustrate the importance of targeted promotion, an analogy was presented. Imagine starting a band and wanting to publicize the first gig. Flyers are a classic method for such promotion, capturing attention and generating interest. Investing in professional photography, captivating design, and high-quality printing demonstrates commitment. However, the impact would be negligible if those flyers were stacked on a street corner.
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, multifamily PPC acts as a direct hand-off. It’s like sending a guitar player into the club the week before, flyers in hand, distributing them to the very people who’d likely return next week. It takes more money and effort, but it often produces more significant results.
Apartment 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 your property’s unique features 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 backward: 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
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 apartment SEO for another day. 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 and associate your keywords with your property. In Criterion.B’s post about optimizing social media pages, we discuss some of the basics of apartment SEO.
Multifamily PPC + Targeted Traffic
While SEO is the organic approach to driving traffic, PPC is paid. You’re paying for each click on your website (hence the name “pay-per-click”). Continuing our example above, PPC is 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.
A successful multifamily PPC campaign combines your keyword research and insights to design highly targeted ads that drive traffic to your website. It’s important to note that well-qualified traffic results from research and continued testing. Too many properties “set it and forget it” when it comes to multifamily PPC. Understanding your residents should be an ongoing learning process and the foundation of any apartment SEO or PPC campaign (not to mention all digital marketing strategies).
Partners in Crime
SEO and multifamily PPC are partners in crime when driving traffic to your property. They work in tandem with each other and yet serve slightly different purposes. Apartment SEO focuses on building a long-term presence in search engines. At the same time, multifamily PPC can be used to drive quick results if necessary (e.g., to promote leasing specials or the opening of a new property). Both are advantageous, if not essential, for driving traffic in today’s cluttered apartment market.