We’re living in a digital-first world, and that’s become even more true in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year has tossed an unprecedented series of curveballs our way, transforming the way we use technology for meetings, schooling and even apartment leasing.
This major shift to digital means that communities need to have strong apartment SEO to stand out on Google. Apartment marketers must keep up-to-date on trends and best practices in order to stay competitive as algorithms change and updates are rolled out.
Traffic, social shares and backlinks are just a few metrics that apartment marketers should monitor. Read on for insights into some of the most important search engine optimization trends to be aware of for 2021 so you can plan your apartment SEO strategy accordingly.
Making your apartment website mobile-friendly will improve your apartment search rankings.
Google introduced mobile-first indexing in 2019, which means that the search engine considers the mobile version of a website to be the “primary” version rather than desktop. This makes sense, since about three-quarters of internet users are expected to access the web solely on smartphones by 2025.
You can assess how mobile-friendly your apartment website is by using Google’s free mobile-friendly test, which will list page loading issues or any other concerns and how to address them. Also, take a look at the mobile usability report in Google Search Console. The tools and reports in the console can help you measure your apartment website’s search traffic performance and fix any problems.
Optimizing for voice search will help you capture more traffic.
Voice search technology allows a user to say a voice command to access information on Google — think Siri and Alexa — and it’s on the rise. As such, Google is expected to react accordingly. Just as we saw with mobile-first indexing above, we could see voice-first indexing in the future, so it’s smart to be prepared.
One of the best ways to do this is to create conversational content targeting long-tail keywords. Identify longer phrases that people use when talking. For example, a voice search might be, “What are some of the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia in 2021?” but a typed search would be something like, “best Philadelphia neighborhoods 2021.”
Local search will play a stronger role in SEO strategies.
While the internet is a global tool, most people use it to search for local goods and services, including apartments. Zero-click searches have made local apartment SEO more important than ever. In a zero-click search, the user’s query is answered within the search engine results, without the user having to click on any of the search results.
These results are referred to as a “local pack,” and to get your apartment community listed there, you need to optimize your apartment Google My Business page. 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. Also, make sure to update your profile regularly.
Apartment websites that satisfy Google’s EAT principle will rank higher.
High-quality content is crucial when it comes to ranking high on Google, but what exactly is high-quality content? It should show expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness, referred to as the acronym EAT.
The importance of EAT comes into play the most for websites that deal with YMYL (Your Money Your Life) topics — financial planning, health, medical concerns, and so on. The goal is to protect users from potentially harmful information that would impact a person’s future health, financial stability, or safety. While EAT might not have a huge impact on apartment websites, it’s helpful to be aware of it and strive to provide quality content.
Video content will become more important.
If you don’t have video content on your apartment website, now is the time to get started. Video is expected to surpass all other forms of content in terms of consumption by 2023, according to a report released earlier this year by Cisco. Luckily for Multifamily marketers, video content is the ideal way to market an apartment community.
Video content can help your apartment website get noticed by Google, which can improve your search rankings. To optimize your video, make sure the title and description are engaging, and work in relevant keywords. The video thumbnail should be compelling — it’s what users will see during an apartment search, and it plays a strong role in whether people click.
Optimize your images for better apartment SEO results.
Just like video, images can help sell your apartment community, but they need to be properly marked and optimized in order for search engines to understand and classify them. Use high-quality photographs and ensure that each file name accurately describes the image. Add alt tags, too, which help search engine crawlers classify your images.
Image file size is also something to keep an eye on. If your images are too large, it could slow down the load time of your apartment website, which could negatively impact your apartment SEO. JPEG files tend to be more SEO friendly than PNGs, and the maximum file size should be 100Kb or less.
Apartment SEO is an effective way to drive traffic to your apartment website and, in turn, drive prospects to your community, but only if you use it correctly. SEO is always evolving, so staying on top of the latest updates can be a challenge, but it’s worth the effort. If you could use help with your apartment SEO, Respage can help. We are experts at apartment SEO. Sign up for a free evaluation!