SEO for Property Managers: A Primer, Part II: On-Page SEO
Some of this is more accurately described as “on-site,” but that just gets confusing, so we’ll stick with the on-page/off-page categories.
Last Time: What Is SEO?
Welcome to part 2 of our five-week-long primer on SEO for property managers. This week, we’re talking about the kinds of optimizations you can perform on your company’s website itself in order to improve your rankings in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). On-Page SEO for Property Managers is divided into three basic areas: site performance, site construction, and page content.
Site performance is, by and large, the least important part of on-page SEO for Property Managers (unless it gets bad enough to negatively affect user experience — see below). In general, all you need to worry about performance-wise is that your website responds to pings within a quarter-second, and that it takes less than 10 seconds to fully load.
Site construction is of middling importance. The two most important parts of site construction, in an SEO for Property Managers sense, are that the Google ‘bots’ that surf the web can reach every part of your website, and that your page is easy for humans to navigate. The first part can be accomplished easily by creating a site map that has links to every page on your site. The second part is generally a matter of leaving an easy-to-use navigation menu visible on every page, and making the URLs of your site readable and intuitively obvious (so RoyalRoseProperties.com/blog/tenant/how-to-organize-a-closet is better than RoyalRoseProperties.com/WordPress/B/2016-04-13).
Page Content When Doing SEO for Property Managers
Most importantly by far, we have page content. Page content has two crucial aspects: user experience, and keywords.
User experience (uX) is an unusual metric, because it’s so subjective. But Google has come up with a wide variety of ways to tell whether a person is getting what they want from a webpage/site, including how long they spend on the page, whether or not they move forward (by clicking a link), back to the previous page, or just leave (closing the window or typing a new URL in manually). The easier your website is to use, and the more engaging your website is, the better Google will rate your uX. One of the easiest ways to tank your uX is to have a page that is so frustrating to use (whether because of long load times, unintuitive navigation, popups, autoplay video/music, or whatever) that people would rather close the window than use your page. Keeping things easy on the user is key!
Keywords were once the heart and soul of SEO for Property Managers — now they’re merely the heart. (User experience is the soul.) Keywords tell Google what your website is about, and researching and emphasizing keywords related to your industry is the major time-sink of every search engine optimizer out there. A perfect keyword has lots of people searching for it, but not a lot of sites using it, so the competition-per-search is low. Granted few keywords with awesome competition-per-search exist, but every one you find is a gold mine.
Not every page should be optimized for specific keywords – it’s better to build specific ‘landing pages’ for specific purposes. Once you’ve attracted a prospect via a landing page, you can then direct them to your functional pages. Because uX trumps keywords, though, it’s more important that your websites be written in easy-to-read, natural English than loaded with artificial-sounding, obviously out-of-place property management SEO keywords like that one. :p
The takeaway from all of this is that your #1 focus when it comes to creating your websites should be making them easy to use and as useful as possible for the people you expect will visit. Do that, and maybe pay an optimizer for a few solid keywords to work in on your landing page(s), and you’ll be ahead of 90% of the pack.
Next Time: Part 3: Off-Page SEO