The multifamily industry depends heavily on search engine traffic from local residential searches. Therefore, improving one’s local SEO is something every property manager needs to do. According to Search Engine Land, a vital prerequisite to implementing a true SEO campaign is to claim your community’s listings. Claiming a listing is like staking your place in the digital landscape, marking territory for your community. The more you claim, the more credibility you build—a system that search engines reward.
Property managers need to make their communities visible and easy to find in local search results. Search engines favor and reward fresh, updated, and accurate information by ranking those sites higher in search results over dubious or incomplete listings. According to Moz, “The core work of any local search marketing campaign is the creation of local business listings.” This means that you need to get organized and do some legwork before launching an effective local SEO campaign.
When you claim or create a local listing, you make your business more visible on the internet. Consider each action you take as an investment toward a better online presence. Each new piece of accurate information boosts your business’ credibility, and, therefore, your chances of being found by your target residents. In addition, Moz affirms that local indexes tend to share information with one another, creating external links that increase the trustworthiness of your business data. The more information you give, the better it will be for your community.
If you have not claimed your business listings yet, start with some of the most prominent and well-known directories, such as Google My Business, Yelp, The Yellow Pages, and Bing Places. Google is the most frequently used search engine with over 4 billion searches conducted daily worldwide, so your community absolutely needs to be on its radar. Yelp is an immensely important directory that often appears on the first page of Google, and ranking as one of the top 10 communities in your area in Yelp can drive more traffic to your community listing. Less frequently used search engines, such as Bing and Yahoo, still get over 1 billion searches daily. The more your business builds its presence on these directories, the more professional your online presence will be to both the search engines and your target audience.
An unclaimed listing usually has just the bare bones information about your business drawn from public records. When you claim your listing, you can flesh out the description and add accurate details about your community. You also gain the ability to interact with reviews and respond to residents’ comments and concerns. The more complete your listings are, the better they will rank in search results.
Here are some key tips for updating your listing:
Some of these online directories require payments. Check to see if the investment is worth the opportunity. Will you be able to respond to reviews and add photos? If you gain considerable visibility from your target residents, the cost might be worthwhile. The most important thing is to be where your potential and current residents are and to be able to interact with them.
Apartment searches typically start online. Because people expect and respond to visual images on their screens, be sure to add quality photos and, if possible, a video tour to your listings. According to HubSpot, video content is going to represent 74% of internet traffic this year. Fully informed people make confident choices, so by providing compelling details in addition to the photos, you can increase the chance of converting quality leads to new residents.
The process of claiming online business listings requires patience and time. Moz’s guide to claiming listings gives a thorough explanation of what to expect when you are going through this process. Each directory will have its own process, but they all have the same goal: to enable you to post accurate information about your community. Some directories take months to verify and update your listings, but the time is a valuable SEO investment that will give your online presence better visibility for your targeted residents.