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Blog Image October 26, 2018

Mastering the Art of Hyper-Local Search Engine Optimization with These Six Basic Tips

Thanks to the emergence of mobile technology, we can search for anything, from anywhere. According to Google, who drives 96 percent of mobile search traffic, almost two-thirds of smartphone users are likely to purchase a product or service from companies that customize their online information to a user’s location. With over 57 percent of all U.S. online traffic now coming from mobile devices, search engine optimization, or SEO, has become a vital aspect of a modern marketer’s workflow, especially when operating on a local level.

That’s where local search engine optimization comes in. Local SEO is defined as the science of ranking well in location-based search results. Simply put, it’s the practice that drives Internet searchers to relevant, local businesses when seeking out shops, restaurants, or even an apartment community. Properly executed, it can do wonders for your multifamily community by boosting site traffic and lead generation, while establishing your property as one of the most prominent apartment communities in your area.

Considering that search terms including the phrase “near me tonight/today” have increased by 900 percent over the past two years, there’s never been a better time to emerge as a leader in local search results. With the following local SEO practices in place, you can reap the benefits of a well-maintained search presence and enjoy the organic conversion rates that rival social media conversions by over 300 percent.

Conduct keyword research.

Keywords are the compass – you must think like your end-user. What words or terms will they type in the search bar to find your website? Those are the keywords you want to target. To establish an effective SEO strategy, you must first understand prospective residents’ search habits. If you’re wondering how, there’s a very simple answer: keyword research. Instead of guessing at keywords, invest in research software to delve into the search terms that closely align with your property, or ask your website provider to do this for you.

Maintain NAPW consistency.

In the SEO realm, NAPW refers to your property’s name, physical address, phone number, and website domain. Ensure that this information is consistent and correct on your website, social media profiles, and any other online listings where your property is mentioned. Considering that information pulled from your NAPW largely contributes to Google’s “local pack” rankings – or the top three results for every local query – NAPW must not be overlooked. Whether you enlist the help of a service or decide to handle it manually in-house, make NAPW a priority.

Claim your Google My Business listing.

Surprisingly, a reported 56 percent of businesses or organizations have not claimed their Google My Business listing. Claiming your listing with Google My Business (GMB) allows you to establish yourself as a legitimate business in the eyes of the search engine as well as the general public. To set up your own GMB listing, you will need your property’s NAPW information, current images of your community, and the ability to verify your physical address or phone number. Publishing an optimized and verified GMB listing will ensure that your property is on Google’s radar.

Ensure that your website’s UX is up to par.

UX, or user experience, refers to everything regarding the frontend of your website including page speed, ease of navigation, and mobile experience. For years, we’ve known that page loading speed influences SEO rankings, but we now understand that Google also favors sites with easy-to-use functionalities that inspire engagement, especially across mobile devices. By providing users with an interactive, uncomplicated interface, you will establish reliability among searchers, which encourages longer and more frequent visits to your site.

Utilize title tags and meta descriptions.

Title tags and meta descriptions help search engines—and ultimately, your users—to better understand what your site is about. Title tags refer to the heading at the top of each website page, which should include keyword-rich content. Ultimately, they are machine readable snippets of content that label or reemphasize the content on your page. Meta descriptions, on the other hand, are pulled from the first 150-170 characters of your webpage content and appear under the clickable link in search. If you have any doubts about completing this task on your own, your website provider should be able to help your greatly in this arena.

Don’t forget about the on-page site content.

Any SEO efforts are arguably ineffective if your website isn’t making use of those thoughtfully-selected keywords. To maximize the power of keywords, consider implementing a content marketing strategy that includes various types of localized content. Search engines love fresh content as it gives them something new to index, so this tactic alone has the power to dramatically increase your ranking in organic search results. All in all, consistently produced content signals to Google that your website offers value to its users, which is key for differentiating yourself in the market.

Need help with SEO? 365 Connect has designed its platform to vastly impact your search engine rankings. By utilizing our expertise in keyword selection, content marketing, and social media integrations, we can help your property maintain a steady flow of prospects to your website while reducing marketing costs.

About The Author

Charles Raffay is a digital marketing strategist and search optimization expert. He is the Chief Operating Officer of 365 Connect, a leading provider of award-winning marketing, leasing, and resident technology platforms for the multifamily housing industry.

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