News & Opinions
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Content Management Delivers Better SEO for Properties
John Caulfield / MULTIFAMILY EXECUTIVE / September 23, 2013
A property’s social media presence drives residents to the development’s online locations the quickest.
You may think your properties’ websites effectively attract traffic. But a leading expert in marketing via search-engine optimization says many multifamily developers and apartment managers aren’t fully tapping into social media, which determine how Google ranks the relevance of a property or company link for users in its SEO pecking order.
Kerry Kirby calls delving into social media “community advocacy.” And his company, New Orleans–based 365 Connect, where he’s CEO, has been helping developers and property managers “connect the dots” so they’re getting the maximum benefit from their online presence.
The first step, of course, is getting the location of a property listed on Google Maps, which “isn’t rocket science,” says Kirby. It’s simply a matter of creating a listing on Google Places for Business (which is how locations show up on Google Maps). That listing, he says, can be as robust as the lister chooses.
Google will then mail a postcard to the address to verify it exists. The building must demonstrate that it can handle inquiries from current and potential residents. And it might take several days after the property manager inserts the verification code online before the listing is activated.
This system offers analytics, such as number of impressions, and registers “actions” such as clicks requesting more information, links to the company’s website, or driving directions.
Tweets Drive Traffic
However, too many developers and managers, says Kirby, mistakenly believe their property’s position in a Google search is determined by certain keywords. In fact, “Google doesn’t pay attention to keywords,” says Kirby, quoting Google distinguished engineer Matt Cutts.
What it does pay attention to is what social media users think of that property. This is where Google + comes into play in a major way. Google + is where real estate companies set up Local Place pages, and where their businesses can interact with customers, create Google ad campaigns, and so forth. Google +, Kirby explains, uses “social signals”—content flowing back into social media, such as “likes” or “retweets”—to determine search-engine optimization.