SEO for Property Managers: A Primer, Part V: Synergy
Synergy is the quality of many things coming together to create a total more powerful than the sum of its parts. Also makes fabulous earrings.
Last Time: Social Media & SEO
OK, we’ve spent four weeks now on a brief glance at all of the aspects that go into optimizing your website for maximum search engine results ranking. That brief glance has been a solid primer on SEO for Property Managers, as the title has advertised, but it hasn’t had much to do say about how it all comes together to make business happen. Today, we’re bringing it all together. If you haven’t read the previous four posts (and you don’t already have a firm grasp on SEO and social media), you will want to go read them first.
Marketing Channels 101
SEO for Property Managers is a game of content — the more content you create & the more interesting it is, and the more effectively you distribute it, the better your SEO becomes. That means that an understanding of marketing channels is necessary background information to all discussion of SEO. Your marketing channels are broken down by type:
- Long-lasting fire-and-forget web pages you control either wholly or in significant part (i.e. your website, a permanent page like a Squidoo or Hublinks page, or a self-created entry on a directory of property managers.) These bits of content take the most effort, and need to be focused on content that is “evergreen,” meaning it’s content that people will keep seeking out for the foreseeable future. These are the pages you expect surfers to land on regularly, so they need to be highly effective at getting people from there to your website.
- Content repositories that you add to regularly, but that retain the content as you add more (i.e. your blog, LinkedIn page, YouTube channel, podcast, or Flickr account.) These bits of content can be put together more quickly, and are used to build authority in the eyes of the search engines by displaying your mastery of a wide variety of topics that fall under the umbrella of property management. They will also attract visitors, and in fact can be your most significant source of traffic, but you should write them with the goal of proving your expertise.
- Social media and other very short-lived media that require constant small amounts of effort (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, and so on.) These bits of content are most often thrown together on the fly, in response to local or world events, happenings inside your own business, or the posts made by the crowd. These serve the purpose of grooming and growing the crowd, with the secondary purpose of getting lots of attention paid to your new pieces of more permanent content from the other two channels.
This is not a complete list of marketing channels — or even online marketing channels — but it is a list of all of the marketing channels that are relevant to building strong SEO for Property Managers.
The Target Markets that SEO Property Managers Care About
Most businesses have one set of customers: the people that have whatever problem their product solves. Property managers are unusual in that our position exists between two very different groups: the owners we need to recruit to increase our units under management, and the tenants we need to find to fill vacancies, so that we can collect rent, so that our owners can make money and we can earn our keep!
This means that we need to effectively maintain two separate marketing campaigns going at all times: one targeting owners, another targeting tenants. Fortunately for our SEO efforts, very few tenants are going to find our vacancies by going through our business website. Most all of them are going to find our property advertisements on other sites like Zillow or Craigslist that take care of the SEO question for us. Targeting owners, however, is entirely our own responsibility. To do that, we need to understand how owners move through the Internet when they’re searching for property managers.
How Owners Find Managers
There are essentially four groups of owners that are on the lookout for property managers.
- Owners that have been DIYing their property management and are reaching the point where they are no longer willing or able to keep up, either because they are adding new properties or because they’ve had a significant life-change and can’t devote the time they used to,
- Owners that have a (usually) single empty property, often because they just moved out of it or because they just purchased their first investment property, and have decided to use it as a low-effort income stream,
- Owners that are professional real estate investors and have decided to make the switch from fix-and-flipping or wholesaling to the hold-and-rent strategy, but have no intentions of actively managing, and
- Owners that are currently using a property manager and have realized that their current manager is not meeting their expectations in some respect.
Each of these groups of owners is likely to search for property managers using slightly different keywords. They’ll all use words like “property manager” or “landlord,” but the surrounding context will vary. This is an opportunity, because it allows us to create long-lasting landing page content on our ‘website channel’ sites that target each of these groups with their own set of keywords. Then we can put out several blog posts and articles in our ‘content repository’ channel that point at the landing pages, and then we can put out several social media posts that direct attention to each of the posts on our content repositories.
This creates a ‘juice funnel’ that, when repeated over months and years, will build the juice of those landing pages to the point that they will appear on more and more Google searches. By no coincidence, it also creates a ‘sales funnel’ that drives customers along those same lines, moving from social media to content to landing pages and, ideally, onto being customers. And that is the end-game of SEO.