Refocusing Your Online Marketing
The All Property Management platform is one of the most profitable ways property managers win new clients and grow their management portfolios. While APM would like to own 100% of your marketing budget, we think every property manager should continuously update their own company Website as a secondary source of new business.
Before you shell out thousands on online marketing consultants, there are two simple things that you, or your Webmaster, can do today:
1) Optimize your company Website for lead conversions.
2) Optimize your Website for local search discovery.
Lead Conversion Optimization
Your site design and content must work together to produce a user-friendly experience. You need to make it easy for visitors to convert into viable leads which you can follow up and close. Don’t make your visitors work to find your contact information. More importantly, don’t make them work to figure out where they can leave their contact information!
Don’t hide your site’s “call to action” either. The call to action is what you want visitors to do after they’ve visited your site. If you want them to call you, make your phone number easily discoverable. If you want them to leave their contact information, make data entry forms readily accessible. If you are more interested in finding new properties to manage than finding tenants for your current units under management, make sure you grant most of your site’s real estate to content about your property management expertise. The less time visitors spend looking for stuff, the more likely they are to enter your lead “conversion funnel.”
Content is King
Relevant and well-written content that differentiates you from the competition is crucial. Good content gives your site visitors confidence that you run a reputable business and their assets will be safe under your management. Your content also provides information that can help users decide whether to share their information with you.
But your content isn’t just being written for humans. You are also writing for search engine algorithms that are getting more sophisticated every day. Some of the best engineers and scientists at Google and Bing are developing ways for machines to figure out which sites are the most authoritative in their respective categories and which ones are not. The higher the quality of content, the greater the assumed authority of the site. Thus, the higher rankings on Google and Bing search results pages.
Keywords are the phrases consumers type into search engines when they are looking for something. If your site has keywords that relate to what consumers are looking for, you have a better chance of ending up in their search results. Your keyword strategy is the backbone of effective online marketing. Search engines look for keywords as they appear in Website page titles, headings, image tags, and body text. They then use this data to determine the main theme of your site.
Using keyword research tools can help you identify the most commonly used phrases that describe your services. Using a Web analytics program, you can also see the words and phrases currently driving visitors to your site. Comparing the two lists can help you figure out which keywords to emphasize on your site.
Local Search Discovery
When Google and Bing assume that a user is looking for a nearby service, they list local businesses above all the other results. For example, if a user searches for “Chicago pizza,” he or she will be presented with a listing of nearby pizza restaurants before they are given results on, say, the history of Chicago-style pizza.
You want your listing to appear in local search results!
To help achieve this you must claim your “Google Places,” “Bing Local” and “Yahoo! Local listings.” It’s free and simple. Just follow the instructions with each search engine to set up your business listing. Add photos, contact information, business hours and anything else that you think differentiates your service and helps customers find you.
You also need to work with aggregation services. Submit your site to local listing aggregators. These directory services compile key information (i.e. company name, address, phone number, etc.) about local businesses. Since search engines prioritize local search results, having your site listed with these aggregation services can give your site a boost on results pages. The three largest aggregators are Acxiom, Localeze and Infogroup.
Manage Your Reputation
Don’t be shy. Ask customers to include feedback about you in Yelp and other review sites. Online reviews play a major role in customer decision-making. Rather than passively waiting for your customers to write a review, include a request for a review in "thank you notes" and email to your tenants and property owner clients. A simple request may increase the number of reviews you get. And, if a customer searches Yelp in addition to Google and Bing, you want to make sure your name shows up in a good light with a strong rating.