March 8, 2014
Smart SEO for Smart Property Managers Part 2 - Build a Great Website
It’s no secret that we benefit from telling you that great SEO efforts start with a great website, but I think most neutral parties that you ask would agree. Your website is the center of your SEO universe. On-site factors only account for about 20-30% of most search algorithms, but they can make all the difference in competing for highly competitive terms. They also make the rest of your SEO efforts more powerful and clear to the search engines, after all they are nothing but computer programs. We are going to ask you to do some time consuming and expensive items to compete for search, and if you don’t have a great foundation, those efforts will be more time consuming and more expensive than they have to be.
You can check our previous posts for the details on how to set up a property management website from a coding perspective, but I will reiterate a few key items as they make a big difference for search. In addition to solid meta data, internal linking, sitemaps etc., a great site helps your business capitalize on conversion metrics. Conversion metrics are what happens when a visitor arrives at your site, and every search engine tracks behavior post search. If a visitor comes to your site and leaves, that is called a bounce. If a visitor bounces a search engine will assume that that particular visitor did not find what they were looking for and your search results will suffer. Many property managers make the mistake of dumping all of their content on the front page so everyone can see it including search engines. This doesn’t give the visitor any reason to visit additional pages and often results in a bounce. Property management companies have at least 4 different types of visitors each looking for different content. Existing owners, prospective owners, existing tenants, prospective tenants. Use the front page as a traffic cop to get these visitors to the right content and reduce your bounce rate. It is also a much better experience for your visitors to get only the content they require.
Make sure that the content that each of these visitors receives is relevant to any search that they may have conducted to find your site. Use video if possible. Great content and use of video will increase a user’s time on site and increase their interaction with your content. These are conversion metrics that search engines love, and your search rankings will start to increase as your target audience devours your content.
Many property management websites that we see have major conversion problems, the most important is the absence of forms and prominent phone numbers. Forms are your life-blood for multiple reasons. First and foremost, they are the climax of your traffic and conversion efforts and help deliver new business to your door. They also help your tenants conduct business online rather than call you. Why spend the effort and expense of driving traffic to your website if you fail at the moment your new customer wants to contact you? This goes for both your property management landing pages, and your rental listings. Here are examples of good landing page lead forms, and rental listing layouts. Notice phone numbers and contact forms are easy to find. If yours aren't this easy to use make a change. Forms increase conversion by 300%. Let me repeat that... Forms increase conversion by 300%
Between the on-site factors and conversion metrics, building a great website can truly make or break your search efforts. Make sure you choose a company that has experience in the property management industry. Stay tuned for more…