Our customers constantly ask us for new ways to boost their visibility in Google Search. And while we certainly don’t shy away from discussing how we can help through our apartment SEO and apartment PPC services, we’re not in the business of hiding free SEM alternatives from our partners. That’s just not who we are as a company.
With that in mind, we wanted to take some time to discuss some search engine marketing tips from a free tool that is either overlooked or underutilized in multifamily. That tool is Google My Business.
If you’re unfamiliar with Google My Business (GMB) take some time to read about what it is on Google’s official GMB page. When you’re finished, consider the following GMB tips specifically geared towards apartment marketing strategies.
Tip #1: Ensure Your Community’s GMB Profile Is Complete
Google My Business makes it easy to share vital information about your community in Google Search. But this information doesn’t appear on its own. You must input your info if you’d like it to show in Google’s search engine.
Here’s a list of community details you should add:
- Property Address
- Property Phone Number
- Office Hours
- Community Description
- Q & A
Double check that all information is added and up to date. It doesn’t look good on your part when a prospect visits a closed leasing office at 4 p.m. on a Sunday because Google said it was open until midnight.
You should also take some time to build out your community description and Q&A sections. The community description can be used to paint a great image of your community. Plus, it may even have an SEO advantage. The Q&A section also paints a good image, and allows you to answer common questions that otherwise wouldn’t display, such as those related to your pets policy.
Tip #2: Add (And Keep Adding) Images
Our brains register images faster than they register text. For this reason, adding images of your community to your Google My Business listing is extremely important. A handful of these uploaded images will display at the top of your GMB card in Google Search.
Here are a few ideas for getting the most out of this feature:
Upload Images of Everything – You want to give the best first impression you can give. In order to do that, you’ll (literally) need to cover as much ground as possible. Your GMB should have images of your units and their amenities, your grounds, your lobby, your pool, etc.
Take Quality Photos – Bad lighting doesn’t play well in advertising. To have the most impact on your prospects, only upload quality images of your community. You may even consider hiring a professional photographer.
Ask Your Residents to Join In – Input from your community shows prospects that your residents generally enjoy living where they live. That’s a vote of confidence that can go a long way on influencing another prospect’s decision.
Quick note on that last tip: Communal picture uploads can backfire. If you have a problem with trash collection, you probably don’t want residents promoting photo evidence of it on your GMB listing. That’s why it’s critical you regularly monitor “Images Submitted by Customers” and delete anything negative. Which brings us to our next point…
Tip #3: Always (And We Mean Always) Respond to Reviews!
We take apartment reputation management serious here at Respage. And even though many apartment marketing strategies frequently change, responding reviews is not one of them. You should always respond to reviews. Always.
Made an honest mistake that angered a resident so much he has taken to the Internet? Respond to it. Explain the situation (for him and potential prospects reading the exchange). Apologize. Maybe offer some kind of compensation.
Did something awesome and earned a glowing online recommendation from a resident? Respond to it. Let them know how much you appreciate the thoughtful endorsement.
No matter the review, respond to it.
Tip #4: Utilize The New GMB Posts Feature
Google My Business Posts are a relative newcomer to the apartment search scene. We wrote about them in great detail in this post last week. But for the sake of this post, we’ll sum up GMB Posts as a means of sharing content within Google Search and Google Maps.
This content can include:
- Blog Posts
- Honestly, the list goes on…
Offering this content upfront in Search is fantastic news for your multifamily marketing strategy because the posts basically serve as free ads. Events and promotions posts, for example, can display an image, a headline, a brief description, and a Call to Action button.
That’s about as close to an ad as you’re going to get in Google,without paying for apartment PPC. Need we say more?
Tip #5: Use Videos
We mentioned earlier that photos are vital for your GMB listing. Ditto that for videos.
Video is becoming more and more important for apartment marketing strategies. It gives prospects a clear understanding of what your community has to offer. People can learn a lot about your floor plan from a thirty-second video tour.
The ability to upload videos to Google My Business is relatively new. Still, you can make the most of this feature by adding videos to two places:
Add videos to Photos – These videos will appear in the photos section of your page
Add videos to Posts – These videos will appear as posts and can be accompanied by text
Please note that Google does place size limits on video uploads. For optimal results, it’s recommended you limit length to 30-seconds or less.
Time To Implement!
Looking to get started on using the tips outlined above, but don’t have the time or resources to spare? No problem. Contact us to see how we can optimize your Google My Business listing and increase your apartment’s online visibility today.