The Truth About SEO


When it comes to marketing your property online, terms like responsive websites, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Internet Listing Service (ILS) advertising frequent the rhetoric. And while these words seem big and promising, there’s a lot of misconception around what you can actually do to make sure your online marketing is effective.

For starters, there are a few things we know to be true:

  1. Having a mobile-friendly website is crucial for any property hoping to show up on the first page of a Google search. You can learn more about that in this previous post.
  2. ILS Advertising is a great way to push your vacant units out to hundreds of listing sites without having to manually update each ad.

But when it comes to SEO, many have fallen victim to an over-promising sales pitch. Some companies will even try to sell SEO as part of their website package. They’ll guarantee a high page rank on Google with a few code tricks and the right wording, when in reality, no one can affect your SEO but you.

SEO is no longer about flooding your website with a multitude of keywords, it’s about content. And content is something only you can produce. You see, as the pros at Google continue to update their complex algorithms, the SEO game changes dramatically every day. Google’s goal is to provide you (the searcher) with the most relevant information every time you enter a query (a search), which means they are scanning the web for high-quality relevant content, written in simple language, without an overload of redundant information.

But what is quality content and how do you go about producing and publishing it?

The first step is your website. Property management companies should have descriptive copy on their website that pertains to certain inquiries people might type into Google. For example, make sure the basics like your location, property name, and what you offer are easy to find (3-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment or 1500-sq.-ft. office space). Also be sure to use good diction—that is, mix up your word choices. Don’t just repeat the phrase “generous living space” or “upgraded amenities.” Google tends to get suspicious if they notice an excessive use of key terms, which could ultimately harm your ranking. Again, they want to reward good writing and clear information so make sure your website has the right balance of quality content.

The next step is a blog. Hosting a blog on your property’s website is a great way to tie content back to your main pages, boosting your page rank and visibility in the Google-scape. This one is a little trickier since maintaining a blog can be serious business. Start small by publishing an article twice a month. Be sure your posts are consistent in tone (blogs are typically pretty conversational) and free of typos.

Not sure what to write about? Look around your property. Share tips for residents, community news, or gather tenant testimonials. Also, look to other property management blogs like ours and share the content of industry leaders.

If your blog and website are in good shape, power through your SEO challenge to make sure your property has a strong social presence as well. Having a community Facebook page and twitter account (these are the two most common social platforms) will boost your visibility online. Consider your key demographic. Most of your tenants are already engaged on social media so creating a page for your property will help you reach your audience directly. You can share photos, blog posts, announcements and more on an easy-to-maintain social page, complimenting your website efforts and keeping you connected to renters and prospects for free.

In a world so saturated with “tech talk,” it’s hard to weed out the truth from the false promises. If your web developer is charging big bucks for SEO services without mentioning content, it’s time to reconsider what you are really paying for.

Take your searchability into your hands and boost SEO the only real way you can—with great content.