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Google Search Engine Optimization Basics | How to Boost SEO for Your Apartment Communities

In today's hyper-digital world, renting properties from walk-ins, print ads, or signs is all but a thing of the past, and digital marketing is king. Targeted ads on Google and social media can help, but they aren't nearly as effective as organic traffic - which is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in.


open laptop displaying search engine analytics in shades of blue

The basics of Google Search Engine Optimization can make a world of difference in organic lead generation, leading to more leases and rental bookings.


What is Google Search Engine Optimization, and how does it work?


The bottom line is this: You want to build your site and the words on it in a way that gives Google an accurate picture of what your site offers.


A search engine's job (like Google) is to help people - users - find what they are looking for on the internet. Since the internet is vast and growing by the day, this is no small task.


Add to that the amount of poor-quality content and information available, and it seems almost impossible for search engines to do their job well.


To solve that problem and serve users relevant, helpful content, Google reads websites to understand what they are about and if they will answer the user's query.


This is where search engine optimization, or SEO, comes in.


SEO is the process of building your website in ways that the search engine will know that your website is high quality, contains useful content, and is relevant to the user. From keyword research to accessibility, utilizing SEO helps your site show up higher in organic search results, which generates more high-quality leads for your rental properties.



Google front page with search bar on computer screen.

What factors play into SEO for Real Estate and Multifamily?


User Experience (UX)


User experience is above and beyond the most important factor for Google search engine optimization; Google wants to serve their users websites where they can easily find answers to their questions. That's a search engine's job!


While search engines aren't going to ask users about their experience on your site, there are a number of metrics they look at to determine if your site gives the user an enjoyable experience, such as how long they spend on your website, the number of pages they visit, and what action takes them away from your site (are they simply exiting your site or reaching out to contact you?).


There are many things that you can do to create a better user experience on your multifamily rental website, but three of the most important are:


  • Readability Something as simple as text and background colors on your site can have a huge impact on a user sticking around to read your content. Ensure a high-contrast pairing (like black and white) and a large enough font (a minimum of 12 pt) to help users read your website easily.

  • Site layout Organizing your site in a logical, intuitive way will also encourage a good user experience. When coming to your site, most users will be looking for apartment rental options - so you want to make your features, amenities, and floor plans are easy to find. Make sure you have links to floor plans, rental photos, and leasing office contact information in your main menu so potential tenants can find them easily.

  • Relevant and quality content Since you are looking to reach potential tenants in your specific apartment location (or locations), you want your content to be helpful and relevant to users looking for real estate rentals in your location. If you have a blog on your website or want to start one in the future, make sure your posts are relevant to your target demographic.

Keywords


The words you use on your apartment community website matter. You want to include keywords and phrases in your website copy that users will be typing into Google. Including those keywords tells Google that your website is one that the user will want to see based on what they typed into the search bar.


It's important to remember user experience when including keywords in your website copy. Keyword research will help you understand what keywords people are searching for - we like to use SEMRush and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) for keyword research.


Internal and External Links


Another way search engine crawlers understand what kind of information is on your site is by looking at what other webpages it is linked to - meaning, what pages link to your site as well as what external webpages you link to.


Linking to relevant webpages, whether on your own website (internal) or another (external) helps Google understand what your website is about and serve it in search results to the right people.


Information found in the code of your Apartment Community Website


While the word "code" sounds technical and overwhelming, thanks to website builders like RentCafé and Wix, rental property owners have easy access to the pieces of code to optimize for the greatest impact on SEO:


  1. Title tags

  2. Meta Descriptions

  3. Website copy



Other information about your Apartment Community on the Internet


As mentioned above, search engines take into consideration all of the information on the internet that is linked to your site - that means things like Google bBusiness, Yelp, and even social media pages inform what Google thinks about your site.


Make sure those pages are linked to your site and that information on them is accurate and up-to-date!


man sitting at laptop looking at google analytics page for search engine optimization

What are some simple ways to boost your Real Estate SEO?


Research and implement local, long tail keywords

Apartment communities have the unique perk and challenge of requiring local search engine optimization, since the services you offer are location-specific. You want to use those local SEO keywords on your website, and the more specific you can be, the better!


For example, if your apartment community is located in Los Angeles, you will want to target keywords like "one bedroom apartments for rent in Los Angeles" - a phrase that not only accurately describes what your site offers but is also a search term used by real people.


Fully effective search engine optimization keyword research is more extensive than just including your location in your site copy. Check out our SEO services if you want a done-for-you keyword plan implemented on your website!


Update your SEO tags


As mentioned above, website-building software gives easy access to altering pieces of code that impact SEO like Title tags, Meta Descriptions, and Alt text for images. You can read our guide for optimizing Title tags and Meta descriptions here.


Start a Blog for your Apartment Community Website


A blog is an excellent way to give your apartment community website an SEO boost. It opens up opportunities to target new keywords and reenforce your primary keywords as well as provide informational resources to potential leads - both of which can help boost your website's google ranking when done correctly.


Update your Multifamily Rental website to be ADA compliant


A relatively new factor in Google search optimization is ADA compliance, and the biggest opportunity for increasing accessibility on real estate rental websites is in the property photos.


There is a designation on each photo called the "alt text," and it is the text that is read if the photo cannot be seen. If someone with difficulty viewing the images visits your site, the alt text can be read aloud by accessibility software. Making sure you write alt text that accurately describe the images on your site is a huge part of ADA compliance - you can read more in-depth about alt text best practices here.


As a bonus, you can include your target keywords in your alt texts to bolster your chances of ranking for those keywords!


Google Search Engine Optimization can greatly increase your ROI by helping the right people find your apartment website and capture high-quality leads.


 

Ready to level up your Google search engine optimization game? J&J Creative specializes in providing multifamily companies with a framework to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their websites and digital marketing strategies as well as the opportunities and threats present in the multifamily industry. From high-converting web design, copywriting, SEO, website analytics, and ongoing maintenance, we are passionate about leveling up the digital presence of our clients to help them attract better leads and increase their digital footprints. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation! 


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