SEO is for Humans, Not Robots

A long time ago, 'technical SEO' was everything. Meta keywords, meta descriptions, sitemaps, and directory submissions defined the search-friendly. No more. Today, Google wants users to find what they're looking for, and the technical side of things simply aids in that.

What does this mean for your business's SEO strategy? Here's how it breaks down:

Intent over Keywords

Traditionally, SEO has been about understanding what keywords to rank for. With search patterns undergoing such dramatic change in recent years, understanding intent is vital.

This helps you craft useful, compelling content — the key to SEO success.

Yes, there are no shortcuts: your content must be geared to problem solving. Keywords are still an important starting point, but users prefer content that offers solutions. Got everything consumers need to know about building a better mousetrap? Google will reward you.

The Interconnected Web

Include outbound links where possible and appropriate. They show that you're part of the global discussion around your industry. This isn't just cosmetic; it allows Google to associate you with related topics. If your content is valuable, others will link to you as a resource.

But please, don't over-do it — only drop in high quality links to trusted, valuable resources. Your customers will thank you.

Useful Content is Shareable Content

What's shareable? The unique, the memorable, the truly useful.

A useful piece of content understands the longtail of user intent and helps solve a specific problem or provide desired information. In order to do that effectively, it's likely you'll need to pull in outside resources to do it — so link to them.

Don't Forget About the Robots Completely

Don't abandon technical SEO — it's still important to make sure your site is optimized to help humans find all that information.

Meta descriptions tell humans what your site is about, even if they don't technically hold any weight in the algorithm. Structured data markup helps search engines understand your business, content, and authors better as well.

Just Act Natural

At the end of the day, Google wants its users to find what they're looking for, regardless of how they search for it. Ranking better for all of those searches will rely more on relevancy, authority and quality more than tight focus on keywords.

Facebook is Listening

No really, it is.

This week the social media giant announced a forthcoming mobile app that uses your smartphone's microphone to identify the music, movie, or TV show playing in the background. Users will then get the option to share this as a 'visual' post.

Facebook promises that while no sound is stored, the data is archived.

What's this mean? Your guess is as good as ours. But it appears to create the potential for Facebook to eavesdrop on private conversations.

Many people are understandably uncomfortable with that. Read more here.

Want to Know How Multifamily Professionals Use Social Media?

We recently surveyed the multifamily industry and got responses from 387 property management professionals on how they use social media. The results were interesting.

First, Facebook is king. Over 96% of respondents have pages there, leaving Google+ (48%) and Twitter (37%) in the dust. Pinterest (23%), LinkedIn (21%) and Foursquare (15%) bring up the rear.

Over 76% don't have apartment community blogs, presumably preferring to use Facebook for brief messages.

70% manage social media at the property, with no platform or third party assistance.

Respondents are smart on content, with over 24% posting daily and 34% multiple times per week. That's the basis of any good social media plan.

What can we learn from this survey? First, one size doesn't fit all. Social media outlet choices vary, as well as how frequently properties update their pages. Most communities don't use blogs, probably because social media is managed in house and they don't have time to create custom long-form content. Finally, many companies are missing the opportunity to use social media management platforms, which give marketing managers better insight into and control over social media interactions.

It will be interesting to see how these trends evolve over time. How do you think your property's use of social media will evolve over the next year?

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Google Will Reportedly ‘Carve Up’ Google+

Know a dedicated Google+ user?

We don't either. According to TechCrunch, Google is prepared to 'carve up' the failed social network and may integrate its features into existing Google products.

That means Google+ will no longer compete with Facebook, but you'll probably see features like photos and Hangouts pop up elsewhere. Most Google+ employees are being folded into the Android team, so look for increased capabilities there.

Mandatory Google+ integration will also be at least 'scaled back.' Former Google+ head Vic Gundotra (and many privacy advocates) clashed with the company over its policy of forcing users who sign up for unrelated services to create Google+ accounts.

Despite these changes, experts speculate that Google+ will remain an important SEM tool moving forward. Read more here.

Respage Now Integrates LinkedIn Business Pages

LinkedIn is an important front door for your business.

So Respage takes care of it. If you have our posting/monitoring service, we'll now post to and monitor your LinkedIn business pages at no extra charge.

We do the same for every major social media platform, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and WordPress blogs.

You asked for it, we listened. It's just another way Respage helps you harness the power of social media without the time commitment.

Interested? Contact your account representative to get started

New Twitter Profiles Are Here

Those new Twitter profiles we told you about? The ones that bear a striking resemblance to another social network?

They're here.

After months of testing and beta use by elite tweeters, the radical new look is now available to the masses. The changes include a larger font, bigger profile pictures and a wider cover image, as well as a new "pin" feature, enabling sticky tweets atop your page.

It's opt-in for now, but the change will probably be imposed on everyone in the coming months. The new look is thought to be an effort to spike Twitter's engagement level and reassure stockholders.

We'll keep you updated on effects and reaction.

Facebook Is Watching You

Gone are the days when real-time tracking of another human being required an unmarked van, a satellite, and men in dark glasses.

The launch of Facebook's "Nearby Friends" feature allows users to track their friends everywhere.

The feature displays nearby friends on a map of the local area. It promises accuracy within half a mile and works quite well in spaces like airports and train stations, where Facebook encourages you to simply 'walk toward the dot.'

Disturbing? Slightly. But — for now anyway — this is a voluntary and fully opt-in feature that requires your permission before activating. Naturally we encourage your discretion with this feature. Find out more here.

About Those LinkedIn Changes…

Noticed any changes to LinkedIn?

As of April 14 your Products and Services pages are gone, along with customer recommendations on them. Deep (direct) links to the pages no longer work.

Replacing them are Company Updates and Showcase Pages. Company Updates allow you to post general daily updates, and Showcase Pages are devoted to specific products.

Click here for a breakdown of the new features.

Respage Express: Now With SEO & PPC Reporting

Respage Express now includes SEO and Pay Per Click (PPC) reporting.

Why? Because you need to know how your social media and online marketing works for you. You shouldn't have to go elsewhere to do it, and it should be easy.

Respage Express easily breaks down SEO and PPC results into Summaries, Analysis/Recommendations, and Data. PPC & SEO reporting through Respage Express is available to any of our clients currently using Respage's PPC & SEO services.

Got questions about how it works? Ask us.