Optimizing apartment sites for local search should be a huge priority for property managers in 2015. Unfortunately, due to lack of marketing staff and technical resources, many communities are falling behind. The following tips cover the top 3 priorities for local business optimization in the New Year, along with explanations on how to initiate them.
Tip 1: Render Your NAP Info in HTML
The acronym “NAP” is simply webmaster jargon for Name, Address, and Phone number. While it’s fairly obvious that businesses should include this information on their websites, exactly how and where it should be included is not as clear.
The first rule of SEO best practices is that each line of visible text on your site should be written in HTML. This includes numbers. So if you have a logo image that includes your phone number or address, and this image is the only place where that information can be found, you’re going to have problems. Luckily, these problems can be easily fixed by simply removing the information from the logo, with a photo editing software, and then adding it back in with HTML, preferably somewhere in the site header near the logo image. And if you haven’t already done so, be sure to tag your logo image with your business name to ensure that search engines can read it.
Tip 2: Add Schema Markup to all Necessary Fields
Despite huge advances in algorithms, search engine robots are not the best readers. They recognize keywords, sure. And in some cases they are even able to recognize syntax and grammar. But when it comes to interpreting things like business hours, event dates, and employee names, they rely on schema markup and structured data.
Schema markup allows search engines to easily distinguish certain data sets, such as employee names, from other data sets, such as operating hours, within HTML. Useful markup documentation for many different types of pages, including local businesses, can be found at Schema.org. Implementing this markup on your site allows search engines to quickly identify information pertinent to a user’s search. For example, if a user searched for the phrase “ACME Communities closing time” – and the site in question featured schema markup – a search engine could provide an accurate response by reading the ‘openingHours’ data property.
Tip 3: Establish a Google My Business Account
Establishing a Google My Business account is an absolute must for every property manager, especially for the less technically savvy. In fact, everything that we covered in the tips above can be easily accomplished via the custom fields within each Google My Business dashboard. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this product only works for Google users, and fails to address other search engines like Yahoo and Bing.
While Respage does not offer service packages for Google My Business due to the fact that it requires local verification, our custom site development and content hub services are designed with local search in mind. If you enjoyed this article and would like to get started on optimizing your community for local search, but don’t have a team of web developers to initiate the process, reach out to Respage to see what we can do to help!