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Property Management SEO in 10 Steps

Over the past few years, property management marketing has transformed from mere “For Rent” signs to maintaining a consistent online presence. Today, Search Engine Optimization is the most important strategy for property management companies to grow their portfolios!

For many property managers, SEO still means entering random keywords inside their website content and expecting organic site traffic traction. However, in 2021 these stone-age strategies stand no chance against smart search engines. Property managers need to take SEO seriously and be more vigilant when developing their content strategy.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization requires optimizing your property management website, so it ranks higher in search engines organically for keywords relevant to your niche.

SEO takes continuous monitoring to ensure your website stays on top of search results. Unlike other channels, property management SEO is a relatively long-term strategy that requires serious efforts upfront but continues paying off into the future.

Why Property Managers Need SEO?

Here are some facts on why property management SEO matters:

  • 75% of clicks come from the top three organic results. (Moz 2020)
  • 91% of renters begin their house hunt from online searches. (NAR)
  • 60% of smartphone users have contacted a business directly using the search results such as the “click to call” option. (Think with Google, 2019)
  • Search is the number one traffic source for blogs across all industries. (SEMrush, 2019)

So let’s get started!

Property Management SEO Step 1: Keyword Research

The first and foremost step to a profitable property management SEO strategy is well-planned keyword research that includes shortlisting search terms or queries that rental property owners might be entering in the Google Search engine.

Your goal is to filter search terms that are highly relevant to your target audience; then craft useful content around those terms, whether it’s in the form of blogs, e-books, whitepapers, case studies, or guides.

Start from listing broad topics such as your services, geographic location, nearby competitors, or any other subject your property management website addresses.

Here’s a list of broad topics for you to start:

  • Best property management company in [your location]
  • Property Management Companies
  • Property Management Services
  • Property Management Fee
  • Handling Maintenance
  • Rent Collection
  • Marketing Properties
  • Site Inspections
  • Finding Tenants

These broad topics are called seed keywords or Parent Keywords. You can enter these keywords in any free keyword research tool or Google Keywords Planner to extract more keyword variations.

But suppose you’re a property management company located in Los Angeles, California, then property owners of Los Angeles might be searching for “Property management companies in Los Angeles.” This whole phrase in property management SEO is called a long-tail keyword.

According to Moz, long-tail keywords account for 70% of the search traffic and are generally easier to rank.

A good keyword strategy balances the usage of both seed keywords and long-tail keywords to drive qualified owner leads. Here are the results we got through SEMRush for our long-tail keyword:

Prioritize the best property management keywords and pick the ones that will give your website the most significant strategic advantage.

Property Management SEO Step 2: On-site SEO

Once you have shortlisted property management keywords for your website, you need to optimize your website to show up on Google’s first page.

Optimizing your property management website for SEO helps search engines pick your domain faster and crawl its contents. So Google can push relevant information from your site to answer user queries. The more optimized your website is, the higher your chances of showing up on the first page.

We have further divided this section into elements of on-site SEO:

1. Page Title

One of the essential elements of your property management website is the meta title of every page. It’s better never to leave this element auto-generated.

Always create a meta title that matches your page’s contents, as Google has the authority to change your title to increase the relevancy of the search results. They may algorithmically change single words or even whole page titles.

Here’s a Title formula for you: [Descriptor] – [Service] – [Company Name]. For example, Best Property Management in LA – Stern Property Management Company.

Sticking to our previous example of Property Management Companies in LA, the companies that show up on the first page have the following meta titles:

Best practices for page titles:

  • Make sure every page of your site has a unique, descriptive, and natural title.
  • Ensure your title is 50-60characters. Otherwise, Google will truncate your page title.
  • Always add a local SEO keyword that best describes your services.
  • Use your brand/company name in every Page Title.
  • Include a separator like a colon, a dash, or a bar to separate your keyword and brand name.

2. Meta Descriptions

Although Google doesn’t take meta descriptions as a ranking factor, they are still critical to convincing rental property owners to click through your website.

An excellent meta description summarizes the content of a page in a way that ensures readers have found the answer to their query, compelling them to click through.

Here’s a Meta Description formula for you: Problem - Solution - Outcome - CTA

Problem (Use emotional descriptors to hint at a problem your target audience is facing) – Solution (Explain how your services solve the problem using core keyword) – Outcome (Communicate the tangible and intangible benefits your target audience will gain in the result) – Call-to-action (Actionable CTA enabling your users to learn more about your company)

In short, the meta description helps users see what your company is about in search engine results.

Best practices for meta descriptions:

  • Write enticing descriptions that are highly relevant to the content of the page
  • Sell the reason why people should click
  • Use active voice and not passive
  • Add your core seed keyword ONCE in your description
  • Make sure length is within 150-300characters to avoid truncation in SERP
  • Include a clear call to action

3. URL Structure

Your URL is another important factor for property management SEO. A short and clean URL helps Google crawl your pages and website easily and quickly.

An example of a wrong URL would be:

This URL is too long and is stuffed with all the keywords a Property Management company in LA might want to rank for. Search engine crawlers are smart enough to detect a keyword in URL and then crawl the page’s content to understand what you are writing about.

A right URL looks like this:

Best practices for URL structure:

  • Add only one keyword
  • Ensure URL length of 50 characters
  • Avoid usage of symbols, numbers, and parameters
  • Only use hyphens to separate words for better readability
  • Avoid case sensitive URLs. Use only lowercase
  • Ensure you’re using a secure protocol, “HTTPS://” instead of “HTTP://” You can do that by obtaining an SSL certificate.

If you are using a website provider such as Appfolio, Buildium, Propertyware, you should contact them to add the following codes in your website’s <header> section:

For page title: <head> <title>Example Title</title></head>
For meta-description: <head> <meta name=”description” content=”Description of page here.”/></head>

4. Header Tags

Only 16% of internet users read the article word-for-word; the rest are just skimming.

Header tags catch the reader’s attention and help them understand your content better. Headers help to structure and break up your page’s content for Google crawlers and readers. Headings range from H1 to H6.

You can repeat all tags throughout your content except for the H1 tag. H1 tags are unique titles of your sub-pages and help engines understand the purpose of your content.

If you search your company name in Google, your Page title will show up in the SERP. However, if you enter a long-tail query for a blog on your site, your blog’s H1 (also page title) will appear in SERPs.

Best practices for header tags:

  • Optimize headers for keywords.
  • Using long-tail keywords in headers improves your chances of showing up in Featured Snippets.
  • Use related keywords or synonyms of keywords already present in Title tags for your header tags.
  • Ensure there is only one H1 in the text body.
  • 20-70 characters is an appropriate length for your H1 tags.

Property Management SEO Step 3: Image Optimization

53% of users will abandon a page if it takes more than three seconds to load, making image optimization crucial for SEO more than ever.

Image optimization includes adding Alt tags, proper links, and images that are easier to load. Adding Alt text to your images aids search engines crawl images and make your photos accessible for visually impaired people.

Alt text ensures search engines understand an image’s content and check whether it’s relevant to your content.

You can use image resizing tools that ensure heavy images don’t increase your site’s load time. You can also use compression tools such as Optimizilla or ImageOptim.

Property Management SEO Step 4: Responsive Websites

Almost 80% of owners and renters use cellphones for their web searches.

Your site needs to be user friendly and responsive for incoming leads to spend more time on it without interruption. A mobile-optimized property management site is different from a mobile version of your site. Mobile versions of the site will add an (m.yourwebsite.com) in your domain. In contrast, responsive sites adapt to changes in screen orientation and size without changing your domain name.

Best practices for mobile-friendly property management sites:

  • Don’t upload heavy image files that take too long to load on a cellphone.
  • Compress CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files using Gzip.
  • Remove code comments, special characters, spaces, and unused codes from CSSNano.
  • Avoid adding too many pop-ups that might clutter the cellphone’s screen.
  • Redesign your mobile website to provide the best navigation experience.

Property Management SEO Step 5: Content Marketing

Optimizing your property management website content for SEO means updating the text on your home page, adding relevant pages of evergreen content to your site, and avoiding keyword stuffing.

An appropriate length for your home page content should be within 700 to 1000 words.

Instead of stuffing keywords throughout your home page, you should build upon the services your property management company offers in detail. Ensure the content you publish is highly relevant to what your company offers and speaks directly to your target audience. The best strategy includes publishing timeless content and always ranking high on FAQs or ‘People Also Search For’ in the SERP.

Here are some other free blog topic generators for you:

  • https://www.hubspot.com/blog-topic-generator
  • https://buzzsumo.com/
  • https://www.inboundnow.com/apps/kill-writers-block/
  • https://www.contentrow.com/tools/headline-generator
  • https://builtvisible.com/content-strategy-helper/

Property Management SEO Step 6: Add High-quality Videos

72% of searchers prefer video content over textual content when inquiring about a product or service.

Adding rich content in the form of high-quality videos boosts your property management SEO and keeps readers engaged for a longer time.

Search engines tend to rank sites better on which users spend more time. Video content in the form of short explainer videos, answering FAQs, or summarizing the blog’s content can also gain the top spot in SERP features.

Engaging videos improve your SEO rankings and help property owners connect with your service. They are a powerful way of humanizing your brand in the digital world. With videos, you can also increase the shareability of your content on social media and online communities.

Property Management SEO Step 7: Link Building

The success of SEO for property management websites is no longer dependent on the number of keywords stuffed inside your content. It is more about your site’s trustworthiness and authenticity.

Off-site SEO-related factors carry more than 50% of the ranking factor weight.

It includes actions you take outside your site to improve your search engine rankings, such as link building. Backlinks mean when other sites link your site in a blog or some other piece of content, it is considered an external link. Backlinks are also called “inbound links” or “incoming links.”

Getting backlinks helps boost your site’s credibility and attracts more traffic to your property management website.

Try to earn backlinks from sites related to your niche and have domain authority higher than yours. When it comes to backlinks, remember quality is more important than quantity.

Here are some outreach strategies for gaining some quality backlinks:

1. Leveraging Current Partners

Begin your outreach with people you already have good relationships with. You can ask your existing vendors or your partners who can link your content on their sites.

You can also reach out to local companies in your region that are relevant to property management. These could be nearby restaurants, stores, service providers, and local community attractions.

2. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is one of the easiest ways to create authentic backlinks. You can craft content around your niche and give yourself a backlink. Ensure you are not spamming the blog with links back to your site, as it looks too pushy and unnatural.

3. Reaching Out Industry Experts

You can also reach out to industry experts through LinkedIn and take their interviews or participate in their podcasts. That gives out a natural backlink to your site as well.

4. Participating in Local Events

You can also participate in local events such as sponsoring charity events or attending Property Management Summits to get your website some high-quality backlink.  

Always be mindful of fake backlink providers or scams, as it makes your site appear shady to search engines, and that might harm your rankings in the longer run.

Property Management SEO Step 8: Social Media Presence

Social Media presence is an essential factor that supports your SEO efforts, and Google does take that into account. However, the number of followers or subscribers you have on social media accounts doesn’t impact your SEO rankings.

Following are the advantages of utilizing social media as a part of your property management SEO strategy:

  • Improved online visibility and website traffic
  • Reviews on social media sites increase your domain authority
  • Consistent social media profiles result in better brand recall, e.g., your logo, brand colors, and taglines
  • Increases chances of content shareability
  • Wider content distribution across channels as you can re-share your older content on channels

Google crawls your social media pages and links them back to organic results in SERP features. For example, when you search Google, their official social media pages show up in the top 10 organic searches as snippets.

Property Management SEO Step 9: Online Reviews

The ranking factor Google gives the highest priority to is domain authority (DA). A high DA score corresponds to a better ability to rank in search results. Online reviews from clients are a great way to increase your property management site’s online reputation.

Syndicating reviews to your site is beneficial for local SEO, as Google considers them fresh user-generated content.

You can do that by installing a widget to your site, which automatically pushes reviews from other sites on your main homepage.  

  • Genuine reviews from authentic sources improve your clickthrough rate and also influences the owner’s final purchase decision. More Reviews = More Conversions
  • Engage with negative reviews and acknowledge their concerns by negotiation.
  • Be present on review and comparison sites such as All Property Management, Yelp, Google My Business, and others.
  • Stay away from fake reviews or purchase online reviews. Google will catch it and then punish your site for it!

Property Management SEO Step 10: Analytics

Analyze the organic keywords your site shows up for, and the traffic your website attracts monthly. If these metrics are going up, then your property management SEO strategy is working. However, if you have a new property management site, it might take more than 6-8 months for your site to start ranking.

Tags
Property Management Marketing
Property management leads

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