The Best SEO Beginner’s Guide for Multifamily Websites
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a buzzword you probably hear thrown around a lot, but you may not fully understand how it works. It’s one of those topics where many who consider themselves web savvy know just enough to make it dangerous. You probably understand that the basic goal of SEO for your property’s website is to have it show up high on the search results page when someone searches for apartments in your area AKA the highly sought after first page of Google. The bad news is, there is no magic wand that brings your website to the top of search engine rankings (I wish!). The good news is, if you follow all of the SEO best practices, it is likely for your site to rank highly for your targeted search terms.
Whether you hire an SEO consultant or have one in-house, it is important as a property manager to understand what they are doing so that they do not inadvertently hurt your page rankings. This brief guide should provide you with a basic understanding of how search engines work and explain why it is important to optimize for them.
How SEO Works
SEO is the process of optimizing your website to meet search engines’ ranking factors in order to have the best possible shot at ranking highly in search results pages. Search engines scan websites across the web using crawler bots that capture key information from websites and index it for search results. Their algorithms then take into account a variety of ranking factors to determine your placement for searches. Since Google is the most popular search engine, we will focus primarily on Google’s rankings factors. However, the following SEO principles apply to most other search engines.
In order to understand how SEO works, it is important to keep in mind Google’s incentives. Google became the leader of search engines by providing the most relevant search results to its users. So in order to maintain and grow its user base, Google needs to consistently provide the best results for searches. When people started gaming the system to unfairly improve their page rankings, Google had to change their search algorithms so that its users continue to receive the most relevant search results. In order to prevent black hat SEO’s from gaming the system, Google does not disclose all of its ranking factors. Since there is no way to know all of the ranking factors and how they are weighted, it is up to SEO’s to do their best cover all of the known ranking factors.
Since there are so many ranking factors that google uses in its algorithm, the following are a few of the main ones that Google takes into consideration:
- Ability to Crawl Site
- Back Links
- Keyword Placement
- HTML Tags
- URL Structure
- Content Quality
- Site Speed
- Mobile Responsiveness
- Social Media Shares
- And many others
Stay tuned for our follow up articles on SEO best practices in the multifamily industry. We will discuss how to make sure how Google crawls your site properly and provide more details on specific steps you can take to optimize your ranking factors.
If you are interested in SEO services for your property website or you would like a free SEO audit of your website contact us today!