Win More Residents With a Strong Local SEO Strategy
The new year is here! Does your property management company have any new goals in terms of revenue growth, improved net operating income (NOI), or resident experience? With new goals come changes in your marketing efforts. Local SEO often doesn’t get the credit it deserves in the property management industry. Local SEO can help your property management company (PMC) boost the online presence of local properties and ultimately, win more residents. Within this blog, we’ll take a look at various SEO tactics your property management company can hone in on in 2023 to increase online visibility and up your revenue.
Detailed Local Listings for Your Properties Are A Must
Local listings refer to the local profiles of your properties on key search and social sites – like Google Business Profile (GBP), formerly Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, Instagram, and more – not apartment listings sites like Apartments.com or Rent.com. While maintaining both local and rental listings are incredibly important for your PMC, we’ll focus on local listings for this blog.
Why social? Well, for one reason – 80 percent of apartment seekers look at social media before choosing their next rental. Why search? Over a third of renters start their apartment search via a search engine.
So, you get it – local listings are important for each of your properties, but are they updated with the most accurate and detailed information? The first thing you should look at is the property name, address, and phone number. Ensuring all of that information is correct is non-negotiable.
Once you have the basics covered, you can begin adding more detail to your local listings. Information that you can add into your local listings includes, but is not limited to:
- Photos of your property
- A CTA to schedule an apartment tour
- Ratings and reviews of your property
- An updated Q&A section that answers your property’s most frequently asked questions.
- Attributes that provide additional details about your property are essential as well. For instance, with attributes, you can share what size pets you allow, whether or not a fitness center is available, and other offerings.
Updated local listings can save your potential residents both time and effort. Rather than having to dig around to find information about your property, they can get all the information they need from your local listing. If residents are confident that your property provides them with the most accurate information, they’ll be more likely to remember your property when it comes time to look for an apartment.
While managing local listings across portfolios can seem challenging, SOCi is here to help! SOCi Listings empowers you to manage your portfolios’ listings at scale and effectively optimize your online presence and local search rankings. From syncing, updating, and managing your local listings to custom audits and profile recommendations, SOCi Listings covers every step of the process to propel your listings to the top of search results.
Reputation Management Efforts Are Key
Although listings are a critical component of a winning SEO strategy, reputation management efforts shouldn’t be overlooked. The data speaks for itself. Seventy percent of prospective residents decided to visit a property with a higher online reputation. Similarly, 80 percent of consumers consider reviews necessary to their property search. If your property management company isn’t optimizing its reputation management efforts, think of all the sales you could miss.
So what exactly does a strong reputation management strategy include? Our Top Property Management Companies in Localized Marketing report guides the way. The report analyzed how top PMCs are performing in local search and local social. The report found that top PMCs have a strong review response rate on Google when looking at reputation management. PMCs studied responded to 65 percent of the Google reviews they received. Review response can be a strong competitive differentiator for PMCs. Consumers increasingly expect businesses of all kinds to respond to reviews and do so in a timely fashion. Studies show that 20 percent of reviewers expect a response within one day! Is your PMC meeting or exceeding these expectations?
When it comes to reputation management, it’s also important to consider your property’s volume of reviews and average star rating. While you can’t directly control the ratings you receive from residents, you can indirectly improve your average ratings over time by responding to as many reviews as possible. Local property managers can also analyze the content of negative reviews to make meaningful improvements to your properties, therefore improving resident experience.
If you’re wary of how all of your PMC or local property managers will be able to manage ratings and reviews, SOCi again can help! Through SOCi’s next-level reviews solution, users can view every action taken on reviews and monitor every activity on social media. Now, your local and corporate teams will always know which reviews and social engagements are addressed and which ones still require attention to ensure the prompt responses residents expect. A solid online reputation will help boost your local SEO and increase your property’s visibility on Google.
Additional Factors to Boost SEO Efforts
Improving your portfolio’s reputation management efforts and local listings is an easy way to boost your local SEO strategy, but some other factors can help as well. For instance, Google Posts allow you to post directly from your local GBPand are a great way to make your profile stand out. Posts can include a photo, text, and a CTA to your website. If you have a CTA, be sure to use a tracked link so you can measure the success of your local posts. Your posts will appear when someone searches locally for “apartments near me” or your property’s name in Google Search or Google Maps, helping further increase your visibility and show you’re putting effort into your local GBP profiles.
There are four key opportunities when multi-location businesses can use Google Posts, two of which can be leveraged by property management companies:
- Highlighting an upcoming event
- Providing a special offer
For instance, if one of your properties has a special move-in offer for new residents or a referral offer for current residents, this could be shared in a Google Post. Similarly, if you have an upcoming event for current residents, this could be included in a Google Post as well.
Google Q&A is another excellent way to elevate your local SEO efforts. Google Q&A is a tool that allows Google users to ask and answer questions about a local property online, and it has steadily grown in usage since it was launched in 2017. SEO experts can’t agree if Google Q&A directly impacts ranking; however, it’s still a valuable section that should be optimized. As with most features in GBP, it’s an excellent opportunity for conversion. It’s a place for properties and residents to engage and for the properties to showcase why they are superior to their competitors.
If your PMC isn’t using Q&A and answering questions received, someone else can and will. This means you run the risk of having a question answered incorrectly, and you are no longer controlling the narrative around your properties. Ensure corporate and local teams are on the same page about who responds to the questions and what is expected for response time. Our previously mentioned report found that twenty-six percent of properties also respond to Google Q&A, far higher than the LMBR benchmark of 12 percent and a big improvement over 8 percent in last year’s property management report. If your PMC isn’t leveraging Google Posts and Google Q&A, it’s time to reconsider.
Get Started Building A Winning Local SEO Strategy
Improving your PMC’s local SEO efforts won’t happen overnight, but as you begin to make changes, you should also see increased leads and leases won. Whether you’re unsure where to start or already have an SEO strategy in place that needs to be taken to the next level, SOCi can make it happen. From ratings and reviews to local listings and more, SOCi has everything your PMC needs to manage local SEO efforts across your portfolio. For more insight into how SOCi can help, request a demo today!