For a few months at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, websites across many sectors, including Multifamily, saw a change in search traffic as people scoured the internet for virus-related news and information.
More than six months in, people have settled back into pre-pandemic patterns, but that doesn’t mean things have returned to normal.
For example, an increasing number of people have been conducting question-based searches, Google trends show. “What” searches peaked earlier in the pandemic, and now “how” searches are becoming more prevalent.
To stay ahead of the competition, apartment marketers should be aware of online search trends and what it means for your apartment SEO strategy. Read on for some points to keep in mind and how you can respond to these changes.
COVID has affected online search behavior
Google has reported a surge in searches related to life as we’ve known it recently: stuff to watch on Netflix; fitness equipment; DIY projects and video conferencing tools. At the same time, searches around travel and tourism have seen a sharp decline.
Not only have search trends changed, the same searches are happening at different times than usual. Netflix searches, for instance, have been spread out over different times of day rather than primarily in the evening.
How should you adjust your Apartment SEO strategy?
Given the shifts in search behavior, your approach to Multifamily SEO should also shift so your apartment website remains at the top of search engine results. Here are 4 actions you can take to adapt:
Add content based on apartment search trends.
Google Trends tracks what people are searching for at any given moment. By keeping an eye on what’s trending, you can adapt your content to capture that traffic and become more visible in apartment searches.
For example, your apartment website could get a boost in traffic if you include content related to seasonal DIY projects suitable for apartments, at-home fitness routines, or whatever relevant topics are trending at the moment with apartment residents. However, you should remember that a trend is just that. Over time, these pages will naturally decline in traffic.
Continue adding evergreen content.
Unlike trending topics, evergreen content stays fresh and relevant and can build more and more traffic over time. Here’s an interesting point to keep in mind: The beauty of Multifamily content is that many of the trending topics, like the DIY projects and home fitness examples above, are also evergreen.
This means your trend-focused pieces should only need a bit of tweaking to make them evergreen and give them a longer shelf life. Some formats to consider include lists, how-to tutorials and videos.
Publish a COVID-19 page on your apartment website.
Doing so will inform prospective renters and current residents about what’s happening at your apartment community around the coronavirus all in a dedicated website page. You can include any current apartment community COVID-19 procedures you’re following to keep everyone safe, including changes in amenity usage, and so on.
This is a smart approach for two reasons. One, you can offer reassurances that your community cares about the health and safety of its residents and prospects. And two, many trending search terms have shifted to questions related to COVID-19, so your apartment website can cater to these terms.
Optimize your apartment Google My Business (GMB) profile.
If your apartment GMB profile isn’t completely filled out and updated regularly, your chances of appearing in Google features including Maps and the Local Pack — right at the top of the organic search results — are small. Ensure that you’re choosing the correct categories when filling out your GMB profile and that the contact information is consistent on both your profile and your apartment website.
Here’s another issue to be aware of: As a result of Google temporarily shutting down the capability for users to leave reviews for different types of businesses, including apartments, your most recent apartment reviews might be a few months old. It makes sense to try and get more recent reviews to make up for this blackout.
Apartment SEO isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it task. This is especially true now, when COVID-related searches continue to be strong. To stay ahead of the competition, it’s worthwhile to monitor current apartment search trends and look for ways to build great multifamily content that caters to those terms while they’re popular. In the longer term, though, evergreen apartment content will be the key in sustaining your spot in apartment search rankings. If you need help navigating apartment SEO, Respage can help! You can also sign up for a free SEO evaluation with us.