Whether your property management business is new or not, if you’ve done the work to put together a marketing strategy, you’ve encountered the concept of inbound marketing. While not simple to implement, this concept is simple to describe.
You’re enticing members of an audience to come to you where you can convert them from leads to clients. Inbound marketing works by generating visibility for your property management business through the creation of useful content—and your content must be visible to the audience that you are targeting.
Get to Know SEO
Since you’ll primarily be conducting inbound marketing online, a significant method of improving the visibility of your content to your audience is to practice good Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you can optimize the design and content of your property management website in the right way, you can influence where your site ranks when a search engine algorithm returns results to a user.
Well-optimized sites managed by competent practitioners of property management SEO will rank early in a search engine’s returns. An enormous percentage of visitors click through to a site they find on the first page of a search result, so this can severely impact your ability to find leads.
Optimization Is More Than Keywords
While SEO is conceptually simple, many practices make up a well-executed SEO effort. Optimizing your website for a search engine means more than finding the right keywords: focus on great content and making your website easy to access first.
These aspects of your web presence are public and will keep leads engaged with your content longer. However, don’t ignore the behind the scenes work that goes into making your website easy for a search engine to parse. You can have some great content on your property management website—but if Google’s algorithm can’t navigate it, you’re getting nowhere fast.
Structure Your Website’s URLs for Your SEO
URL stands for "Universal Resource Locator." Think of the URL as the “street address” of your site on the internet. On a basic level, a site’s URL serves as a way to specify the location of the page on a computer network and how to retrieve it.
URLs can do more than serve as a pin on the map: with the right descriptive text, a page’s URL can quickly let a user know what the page will discuss. With the right keywords, the URL of a page can also be a ranking factor when a search engine’s algorithm can parse it quickly and easily.
Stop thinking of your URLs as utilitarian addresses: start thinking of them as opportunities for communication. Make an effort to have your URLs be descriptive and easy to read.
What Makes a Good URL Important?
This time investment might seem worthless on the exterior: after all, your site’s address is more or less behind the scenes. This idea is less accurate than you would think. It’s essential to pay attention to every aspect of optimization, and a proper URL will do the following:
- A well-structured URL will enhance the user experience on your property management website. Both human users and search engine crawlers will find your site easier to navigate and transparent.
- A well-formatted URL can help drive clicks when used as a link. URLs that provide a clear picture of their destination make it easier for a user to decide to click through a link. This practice means more traffic, more leads, and more clients.
- Keyword use in a URL can also serve as a minor ranking factor for SEO. If you’re looking for one more thing to bump your site over the competition, this is worth considering.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind when structuring your website and URLs for your SEO efforts.
- Keep it short: Shorter URLs rank better than longer URLs. Three to five words, or no more than 60 characters, should be your target. This length will allow you to keep your address brief while still informing your readers about the content of your page.
- Keep it readable: Readability means ensuring that your URLs are not only short but descriptive. A user should be able to tell at a glance what the destination of a link will be. Beyond helping keep people on your page longer, a readable URL has a better chance of being copied and shared down the line.
- Keep your keywords: While your URL should be short and readable, you should still include keywords. They’ll serve the same purpose that they do elsewhere in your content from a ranking standpoint and can also serve as anchor text if someone copies your content. Follow the same set of guidelines you would elsewhere and avoid keyword stuffing. One to two keywords is a good target for your URLs.
- Keep your URLs in check: Use lowercase letters and hyphens. Avoid the use of uppercase letters and characters other than hyphens for separating words. This practice can avoid issues with duplicate pages, search engines, and rendering challenges.
- Keep things simple: Avoid excessive use of folders in your URLs. Minimize the number of layers in the organization of your property management website. This practice will keep your site user-friendly and your URL easy to decipher. While we love hashtags at Rent Bridge (#automationdomination, anyone?) avoid gimmicks such as the use of the hash for all but a handful of specific purposes.
While SEO may seem content and keyword focused, it can (and should) encompass the entire design of your website. As a property manager, you know that getting SEO right for your property management business can take a lot of work.
Part of that workload means paying attention to how you structure your URLs and design your property management website. If you’re struggling with how to do this well, you aren’t alone! That's why we put together our ebook: "The Property Manager's Guide to SEO in 2020." When you download your copy, you're making an investment in the future of your company.