4 Reasons Why Effective Apartment Marketing Strategies Require Paid Search Campaigns

Ignoring the power of paid search is a big mistake. Unfortunately, it’s also a mistake that’s incredibly common. In order to shed light on why apartment marketers should avoid making this blunder, we’ve assembled the following four reasons explaining how paid search works wonders for online marketing strategies.

Reason #1: Paid Search Creates Brand Visibility

Nearly 50 percent of all web traffic comes from organic search, according to conductor.com. While this figure dwarfs the meager six percent of traffic that comes from paid search, marketers must remember that the presence of a paid ad creates value in the form of brand visibility. So even if your paid ad doesn’t receive a click, your brand name is still getting exposure. And when it comes to pay-per-click campaigns, marketers receive this exposure absolutely free of charge.

Reason #2: Paid Search Reinforces Credibility

Ranking higher in both organic and paid search reinforces the credibility of your brand. Think about it: If a user searches for “Upper West Side apartments” and is immediately confronted with not only a high ranking organic result, but also a top paid result, that user will likely come to the conclusion that the high ranking brand is the premier apartment complex in the area.

Reason #3: Paid Search is Highly Targeted

No credible SEO company will discount the value of organic search. But that doesn’t mean organic is superior to paid search in every sense. When it comes to targeting a specific audience, for example, paid search has an incredible advantage over organic search because marketers can customize the messaging of their paid ads. This allows marketers to focus on niche opportunities with higher ROIs, and it’s extremely different from organic search, where the messaging is limited to a set title and meta description of the page.

Reason #4: Paid Search Provides Free Apartment Marketing Tools

Calling paid search a free tool may sound like an obvious contradiction, but it’s actually quite true. There are plenty of ways that marketers can pay nothing, or close to nothing, for their paid search tools and still gain a ton of value. For example, Google Adwords users can sign up for Adwords, pay absolutely nothing for their account or ads, and still take advantage of the keyword planner tool. The insights gained from this tool can then be used to develop search engine optimized copy for organic search.

Need Help Creating an Apartment Marketing Plan?

If you’re thinking about accelerating your paid search initiatives, Respage can help. In addition to our social media and review response initiatives, we also offer PPC and SEM services for the multifamily industry. Contact us today to get started!

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New Facebook Sweepstakes! Enter to Win an iPad Mini!

To enter the Sweepstakes, Like our Facebook Page and then look for the Sweepstakes tab (image shown below) located on our Facebook Page to enter. Sweepstakes ends February 28, 2015.

For mobile users ONLY, like our Facebook Page, and then click here to enter!

Facebook Call-To-Action Buttons Deliver 2.5X Higher Conversion Rates

Businesses can now add call-to-action buttons to their Facebook pages, according to a recent announcement from the social media giant. And if the results from initial test phases are any indication, these buttons will cause a significant leap in page conversions.

The new CTA button appears to the left of the ‘like’ button and features seven distinct phrase options: Book Now, Contact Us, Use App, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up, and Watch Video. Business page administrators are tasked with selecting a CTA button and pairing it with an appropriate destination URL on or off Facebook.

During the feature’s beta phase, Facebook enlisted the help of Dollar Shave Club, a subscription service for grooming products. According to Brian Kim, Dollar Shave Club’s Director of Acquisition, the results were nothing short of impressive.

“Over the course of a three-week test, the Sign Up call-to-action button delivered a 2.5x higher conversion rate versus other comparable social placements aimed to drive new user acquisition,” says Kim.

Although more creative marketers may be disappointed in the limited phrase options, it’s important to note that the choices do represent common web activity actions, including booking, e-commerce, and content consumption. Other phrases, such as Contact Us, provide a universal solution.

Facebook began rolling out the call-to-action button option in the United States approximately three weeks ago, though it is not available for all U.S. businesses yet. Plans to extend the service worldwide are slated for 2015.

Saying Goodbye to 2014: A Recap of Last Year’s SEO Changes

Dynamic and always in flux, the SEO industry is one that is rife with change year to year. And 2014 was no different. Provided below are some of the biggest changes that hit the industry since last January.

Cutts Cuts Out

Show us a search marketer who doesn’t like Matt Cutts and we’ll show you a bad search marketer.

As the head of Google’s Web Spam team, Cutts is the man responsible for ensuring that users get the search results they want. And the Internet loves him for it. That’s why it was a sad day this July when the search engine rock star announced on his blog that he would be taking a temporary leave to spend more time with his family. Now more than five months later, Cutts has yet to make an appearance and Google has made no announcements regarding his return.

Fortunately, Matt left a highly capable team at the helm when he left. And Google’s spam fighting updates are working as good as ever, which brings us to our next point…

The End of Big Algorithm Updates?

From Penguins to Hummingbirds to Pandas, SEOs have dealt with a number of major algorithm updates over the past three years. But 2014 remained relatively quiet. Sure, there have been a handful of tweaks here and there, but nothing as serious as their predecessors.

Is 2014 the year that Google’s algorithm became so smart it no longer needs major updates? Only time will tell.

Mozilla Firefox Drops Google

Mozilla Firefox officially dropped Google as its default search engine earlier this year. Yahoo has taken its place. Considering that Google’s Chrome is one of Firefox’s top competitors, it makes sense that Mozilla would end the partnership. However, it’s hard to say what this will mean for the future of search.

Immediately after the release of Firefox 34, Yahoo gained a shocking 20 percent of the search market, effectively reaching 29.4 percent of consumers. Whether or not they will hold this market share is anyone’s guess. But given Google’s advantage in the mobile search industry, Yahoo cannot limit its land grabs to desktop interfaces and expect serious gains.

Conclusion

The past year has certainly been an exciting one for the search engine marketing industry. Let’s look forward for more of the same in 2015!

Top 3 Local Optimization Tips for Multifamily Apartment Marketing in 2015

Optimizing apartment sites for local search should be a huge priority for property managers in 2015. Unfortunately, due to lack of marketing staff and technical resources, many communities are falling behind. The following tips cover the top 3 priorities for local business optimization in the New Year, along with explanations on how to initiate them.

Tip 1: Render Your NAP Info in HTML

The acronym “NAP” is simply webmaster jargon for Name, Address, and Phone number. While it’s fairly obvious that businesses should include this information on their websites, exactly how and where it should be included is not as clear.

The first rule of SEO best practices is that each line of visible text on your site should be written in HTML. This includes numbers. So if you have a logo image that includes your phone number or address, and this image is the only place where that information can be found, you’re going to have problems. Luckily, these problems can be easily fixed by simply removing the information from the logo, with a photo editing software, and then adding it back in with HTML, preferably somewhere in the site header near the logo image. And if you haven’t already done so, be sure to tag your logo image with your business name to ensure that search engines can read it.

Tip 2: Add Schema Markup to all Necessary Fields

Despite huge advances in algorithms, search engine robots are not the best readers. They recognize keywords, sure. And in some cases they are even able to recognize syntax and grammar. But when it comes to interpreting things like business hours, event dates, and employee names, they rely on schema markup and structured data.

Schema markup allows search engines to easily distinguish certain data sets, such as employee names, from other data sets, such as operating hours, within HTML. Useful markup documentation for many different types of pages, including local businesses, can be found at Schema.org. Implementing this markup on your site allows search engines to quickly identify information pertinent to a user’s search. For example, if a user searched for the phrase “ACME Communities closing time” – and the site in question featured schema markup – a search engine could provide an accurate response by reading the ‘openingHours’ data property.

Tip 3: Establish a Google My Business Account

Establishing a Google My Business account is an absolute must for every property manager, especially for the less technically savvy. In fact, everything that we covered in the tips above can be easily accomplished via the custom fields within each Google My Business dashboard. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this product only works for Google users, and fails to address other search engines like Yahoo and Bing.

Need Help?

While Respage does not offer service packages for Google My Business due to the fact that it requires local verification, our custom site development and content hub services are designed with local search in mind. If you enjoyed this article and would like to get started on optimizing your community for local search, but don't have a team of web developers to initiate the process, reach out to Respage to see what we can do to help!

What Will Your Marketing Strategy Look Like in 2015?

Familiarizing oneself with next year’s marketing strategies before January 1st is a good way to get a leg up on the competition. Provided below are a few key takeaways from Jayson DeMers recent Forbes article, Top 7 Online Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2015, as well as explanations of how Respage helps clients act on DeMers’ online marketing forecast.

Trend #1: Mobile or Death

Optimizing a site for mobile devices is no longer an extra option for aesthetic design. Rather, it’s a must-have feature that will prevent your bounce rate from skyrocketing. As DeMers points out, Google has acknowledged that mobile usability is “relevant for optimal search results,” which means sites that are not mobile-friendly will suffer from lower listings in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Although mobile design strategies have attracted much attention as of late, the developers at Respage identified and embraced this trend long ago. In fact, all of our turnkey website designs are mobile-ready (and have been for some time). Even better – they’re affordable and extremely easy to use.

Trend #2: Social is Spreading

Increased social media interest will be another rising trend in 2015. This should come as no surprise. After all, consumers spend more time on social media than any other major Internet activity, and advertisers need to be in front of their audiences. Once again, the Respage model has succeeded at staying one step ahead of the game in this regard, as providing quality social media and blogging services has always played a role in our platform.

Trend #3: All Hail Content

Content is king. It always has been king. And in 2015, it’s apparent that it always will be king.

DeMers is correct in his assessment that companies will take budgets originally earmarked for PPC and SEO and reallocate them to content marketing efforts. He’s also correct that “A major struggle, however, will be finding ways to stand out amidst the throngs of other content vying for attention [and that] research-intensive content, and content that abides by the 12 quality metrics, will be what gives businesses an advantage over their competitors.”

While developing content that offers real value is a struggle, the Respage content marketing approach is without equal in the multifamily industry. All of our content topics are based upon analytical data of moving-oriented search queries within a given region. This data provides us with the insight needed to answer a potential new resident’s questions before he or she even asks. As a result, the content that Respage produces on behalf of our SEO clients engages potential new renters from the get-go..

Trend #4: Brands Get Personal

According to DeMers, “brands will realize that their customers are on social media channels to interact with other people, not with brands and corporate-sounding lingo. Brands that are able to connect with their audience on a human-level will enjoy higher conversion rates, better brand loyalty, faster audience growth, and happier customers.”

For years, Respage clients have enjoyed a personalized approach to social media through our blogging services. These services encourage conversations between residents and increase brand loyalty by providing information about local businesses and events in the area. Taking this strategy one step further, our new Reputation Management and Review Response offerings make sure that client communities always know when they’re mentioned so that they’re never left out of the conversation.

Conclusion

DeMers mentions much more about the blurring of SEO, content marketing, and native advertisement. But if truth be told, these three disciplines have always been one in the same. If you are authentic, knowledgeable, and informative in your marketing efforts, you will enjoy a successful year in 2015. And if you need help, you can always contact the multifamily marketing experts at Respage.

Google’s Newest reCAPTCHA Update Simplifies U/X and Enhances A.I.

Taking web security and user-friendly design to even greater heights, Google introduced its newest update to the reCAPTCHA application programming interface (API) on December 3rd, 2014. Many web users will recognize reCAPTCHA as the security feature that prompts an individual to verify that he or she is "not a robot" by interpreting text within a digital image. And for all of those who have ever failed to differentiate a blurry number "1" from a distorted letter "l" – especially those who have experienced such frustrations before having their morning cups of coffee – this new reCAPTCHA update is certainly a welcomed one. However, there's more to this story than a universal sigh of content-consumer relief. In fact, the updated reCAPTCHA API represents a paradigm shift in visual artificial intelligence and a computer's ability to interpret objects in the real world.

In the past, webmasters used reCAPTCHA as a security feature to protect websites against malicious automated software. To verify human authenticity, the API presented images of numbers and text and then prompted users to interpret the images through digits and characters. It then cross referenced the user’s response with a database of correct answers to determine if the user was “not a robot.” This process largely relied on the fact that previous algorithms could not accurately distinguish characters within images. However, that all changed last spring when Google updated its Street View algorithm and accidentally created something extraordinary.

According to Google’s Online Security Blog, the company’s research team developed an enhanced visual A.I. sometime in April of 2014. As a result “today’s Artificial Intelligence technology can solve even the most difficult variant of distorted text at 99.8% accuracy. Thus distorted text, on its own, is no longer a dependable test.”

Although the accuracy of Google’s newest software is remarkable, the implications of the advancement can only be speculated at this time. Meanwhile, we can all rest easy knowing that the reCAPTCHA replacement – which Google has dubbed the “no CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA” – promises a simplified yet equally secure user-experience that won’t have us screaming at our laptops every time we try to read the morning news.

What’s the Average Number of Followers for a Multifamily Social Media Site?

Apartment communities around the country access thousands of social media sites through our Respage Express Dashboard. With so many social media connections, we've come up with some quick statistics on the average number of followers and Likes for multifamily communities.

Apartment community Facebook pages using Respage average more than 250 Likes each. Twitter accounts and Google+ pages check in with fewer average connections. Respage connected Twitter accounts average nearly 70 followers apiece; Google+ pages are less active, with the average number of followers checking in at slightly more than 20 per account.

Some simple ways to increase the number of your social media connections? Be more active on social media, connect with other local businesses, and share relevant content. If you'd like more ideas about how to increase the reach of your apartment community's social media sites, click here to read about "Fan Base Building" in our Respage Learning Center.

How does your follower count stack up against these averages?

Twitter App Adds Tweet Analytics Details for Select Users

Do your tweets now offer Analytics Details when you view them in the Twitter iOS app?

The social network has long had its very own analytics dashboard available on the ads.twitter.com website, but some users of the Twitter iPhone app have begun noticing an option to "View Analytics Details" directly from the tweet view in the app. New York Times technology columnist Farhad Manjoo was among the first to notice the change, which is currently available to a sample of Twitter app users.

A blog post on Tech Crunch described the new "Analytics Details" info. On the screen, users can see stats on how many impressions and engagements a specific Tweet has received, along with relevant highlights like retweet, favorite, and click-through rates.

The feature currently seems to be limited to a small number of Twitter app users, but it may be rolled out more widely in the coming months. In the interim, users can also view Tweet analytics at ads.twitter.com.

http://techcrunch.com/2014/11/27/twitter-in-app-engagement-analytics/ [TechCrunch]
https://ads.twitter.com [Twitter]

Is Your Property Responding to Reviews on the Most Popular Apartment Review Sites?

Searching online apartment reviews is an important decision-making trigger for most potential renters. As a result, it's a good idea to create an account on the most popular apartment review sites so that you can manage and respond to any reviews that come in.

Not sure where to start? Respage has compiled a list of the most popular apartment review sites with simple instructions on how to set-up a new account. Click here for more information.

Need assistance responding? Contact us about Respage Review Response.