SEO for Property Managers Part 4 - Evaluating the Market
It is important to realize that like specific markets, not all property management companies are created equal. There are literally hundreds of factors that go into a search algorithm and many of them are out of the control of the company. Here are the following considerations for a property management company to consider before embarking on an SEO strategy:
Size of the Company – The size of the company plays a big role in its ability to gain momentum in search. Big companies have a big advantage in search engine optimization. Search engines love usage data, visits, time on site, page views, form submissions, video, etc. and big companies have a big advantage in this area. A company with 1000 properties under management is going to have 1000 existing tenants and owners interacting with their site, and hundreds of prospects searching for properties, filling out applications, reading about their services, etc. This is usage volume that only large companies can obtain. There is no way to fake size. Smaller companies should not be discouraged, there are ways to compete with the big boys, but it might take more time and more effort to overcome their size advantage.
Size of the Market – Market size is the next factor to consider in deciding an SEO strategy. Smaller markets are generally, but not always less competitive that larger markets. A large market like Atlanta is going to have dozens of large companies competing for the basket of 5 search terms. This is going to drive up cost and time for those wishing to compete for these terms. A smaller company in this market might want to focus their efforts on Alpharetta or Roswell instead of spending all of their resources on the most competitive and expensive terms. See the landing pages section for more detail on this highly effective strategy.
Number of Competitors – This does not necessarily mean the actual number of companies in a market, but more specifically those competitors that understand search. Property management companies don’t have to worry about the companies that do not understand the value of SEO as they probably won’t be ranking anyway. After reading and understanding this white paper, a property manager will be able to conduct a quick search on any of the 5 key terms and see if their competition is employing the appropriate strategies to compete for those search terms. If the first page of search results is full of large companies employing most of the strategies in this document, it will be difficult to gain momentum in that market. If the companies appearing in search are not relevant, or not employing the appropriate optimization tactics, the prospects for domination are good.
Age of Company – The age of the company and its URL (Website name) are a huge factor in search placement. Generally, older companies and specifically older website URL’s do better in search.