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Blog Image September 21, 2018

Getting Your Apartment Community Website Ready for Mobile-First Indexing

Google has been a leader in delivering great user experiences, which is the reason that they are the biggest search engine in the world. From displaying the most comprehensive search results, to investing over one-hundred million in cyber security and creating Google Assistant, Google has defined itself as the go-to-source for finding what you need when you need it

Continuing to focus on providing outstanding user experiences, Google stays in “the know” when it comes to their users’ habits, including mobile usage. Today, there are 3.5 billion unique mobile internet users, which drives 80 percent of global online usage. A recent study established the majority of smartphone users start their online journey with a search engine. Those users are spending 69 percent of their media time on smartphones, making mobile the dominate platform for online searches.

What does this mean for apartment websites? Well, chances are, the bulk of your prospects are finding their next home by searching from a mobile device. But does your apartment community have a true mobile-first website? Now, it is more important than ever to take a look under the hood and find out - here is why.

Almost a year ago, Google announced they were experimenting with mobile-first indexing. To recap what that means, Google indexes websites through crawling sites with bots. Google’s crawling, indexing, and ranking systems typically looked at the desktop version of a webpage's content to determine where it should be place once a user conducts a relevant search. Now, Google has stepped beyond this, rapidly indexing websites under their once experimental mobile-first strategy. In this, Google utilizes the mobile version of your website’s content for indexing and ranking to better assist mobile users in finding what they're searching for.

Here are some tips that help ensure a site is ready for mobile-first indexing:

  • Make sure the mobile version of your website features the same relevant, high-quality content as your desktop version. This includes text, especially your all-important meta-description, as well as images with alt-tags, and videos in indexable formats.
  • Google uses structured data that it finds on the web to understand the content of the page. Structured data is critical for indexing your website in search engines, and it should be included on both the mobile and desktop version of your website.
  • Metadata should be present on both versions of your website. It provides insight to the search engine concerning the content on a page that Google is attempting to index and display during search. Most importantly, make sure that title tags and meta-descriptions are identical across both versions of the website.
  • Ensure the servers hosting your website have enough capacity to handle a potentially increased crawl rate for indexing. This doesn't affect sites that use responsive web design and dynamic serving, but instead, sites where the mobile version is on a separate host such as m.example.com.

If all this sounds confusing and overwhelming, no need to worry - we’ve got your back. 365 Connect has been a leading provider in apartment website design since 2003 and is, in fact, the first technology company in the multifamily housing industry to win an award for mobile-first apartment websites.

About The Author

Kerry W. Kirby is a renowned entrepreneur, speaker, and technology innovator. He is the founder and CEO of 365 Connect, a leading provider of award-winning marketing, leasing, and resident technology platforms for the multifamily housing industry.

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