A Simple Website Audit Every Apartment Management Company Should Do
In the property management industry, your online presence becomes more important with each passing day. With millions of customers across the country searching the Internet for apartment information, how can you be sure you’re getting the most out of your online presence? An apartment website that isn’t updated is more likely to fall in search engine rankings, lose traffic over time, and not convert visitors into prospects. While an in depth website audit can cost you thousands, here are five free steps that will help maximize your content, customer experience, and monthly leases.
1. Review Your Content
It’s still amazing to me how many people pay for a website, but never actually go through and read the content that’s on each page. From text, to images, and even videos, make sure that everything our your property website is up to date and accurate. Fresh content not only improves the resident experience, but also helps with search engine optimization.
Also be sure that your website aligns with your messaging and the type of residents you are looking to attract. It wouldn’t make much sense to pay good money for a car but never wash it. It’s the same thing with your website. Keep it clean, relevant, and update it at least once a month.
2. Monitor Monthly Traffic
If the majority of your monthly leases came from resident referrals, wouldn’t you want to know who those residents are? Installing free software like Google Analytics is an easy way to see how people are finding your website, and what they are doing once they get there.
Website analytics can tell you everything from how long people are staying on your website, to the pages that customers aren’t finding useful. It should be your goal to present only the most useful and compelling content on your websites.
3. Check Your Backlinks
Right up there with content (Step #1) is reviewing the other websites that link to you. There are plenty of free tools that can help with this like Majestic SEO and Open Site Explorer. Use them to determine the websites that are currently linking to you and, more importantly, how they are linking to you.
If you find that a certain type of website links to you, it’s probably a good idea to reach out to other websites in that same niche. You can also use those same tools on your competition to determine what links they have that you may be missing out on.
4. Optimize the Social Experience
It’s not enough to simply launch your Facebook fan page and let it sit there with 14 likes (13 of those being your friends and family). Leverage social media to help your online marketing efforts, and don’t allow it to be another drain on your resources. Coordinate weekly events, post monthly specials, and share resident reviews and testimonials. Don’t just broadcast one-way messages, find out what your residents are passionate about and engage them.
5. Analyze Conversion Rate
What if I were to tell you I could get 1,000,000 visitors to your website each month and it still might not do anything for your bottom line? Well if your website doesn’t have a phone number, contact form, or online leasing it won’t matter how many people visit, they won’t convert.
The goal of your website should be to gain lots of visitors and then convert those visitors into prospects. This process is called conversion rate optimization, and it’s how you lead a visitor all the way from Google and the world wide web, all the way down to filling out a contact form on your website.
Are there any barriers that would cause someone not to fill out a form? Is your phone number or address difficult to read? These are all easy things you can change that can have a dramatic affect on your bottom line each month.
Remember: Optimization is Ongoing
Just because you build a good website, doesn’t mean you won’t have to update it. Search engine optimization done in 2010 won’t necessarily apply in 2013. In short, the key to staying on top of your online marketing is to be forward thinking with your website, and always be prepared for the next big thing.