Have you ever hired a vendor to do SEO on your site, but you don’t know if they did a good job? How can you tell if your website has been Search Engine Optimized? For today’s blog, we share how you can learn if your property management website has been SEO’d well enough to achieve higher rankings on Google. If you’re not sure whether your property management website is maximizing its SEO potential, there are a few ways to tell.
The Two Kinds of SEO
Your site can be SEO’d in two different ways. There is on-page SEO, where a company builds you a website, or you give someone access to go in and improve your already-existing website. There’s also off-page SEO, where a company doesn’t need access to your website, as they rely on activities that are performed on other websites to help yours. At the end of this blog, we’ll show you how to test the effectiveness of the two different methods, starting with on-page SEO:
6 Ways to See if You Have On-Page SEO
First, you can see if your website was built with SEO in mind by looking at the titles on your pages. Titles pop up at the top of your browser, written in the tabs.
Google treats them as an important indicator of what your page is about. On your homepage, does it say (for example) “Home – Bob’s Properties” or does it say “Portland Property Management?”
Many websites will have a company name there, but think of it this way:
- No one is likely to be searching for your company name right off the bat when searching for services
- When people do search for your company name, your site is already going to rank at the top of searches, without extra effort
What does this tell us? You don’t need to SEO your site to rank for your company name – yet that is typically how most pages are built.
Let’s go with a real-life example, which title would more likely to show up on the first page of Google for “Sacramento property management companies?” Would it be option A:
Sacramento Property Management
Or option B?:
Property Management Sacramento
Although option A sounds strong, option B is your best choice.
Examples of good titles are Orlando property management services or Orlando property management – about us. These are SEO-friendly titles.
Just below the title is the URL address; this also plays a role in how search engines understand what your page is about.
An example of a bad URL is: fourandhalf.staging.wpengine.com/id=152 or fourandhalf.staging.wpengine.com/page_407. Your URL should indicate what your site is about. You can’t use spaces in a URL, so the next best alternative is to use dashes. So, a URL built for SEO might say:
Having that URL actually spelled out gives you some property management SEO benefit, but mainly serves as an indicator whether or not your SEO or website company has done its job.
3. Google Analytics
It doesn’t add to your SEO, but any company worth its salt will add Google Analytics to your website. GA Checker is a tool that tells you if this has been set up on all of the pages of your website. Google Analytics allows you to analyze your website traffic in many ways.
Your home page doesn’t need as much content as your internal pages; its job is sending people to the right internal page on your site, so don’t load up there. But once they get to the destination page, they should find more than just a form asking for information. When a prospect arrives on your Services page, it should have content. Google will be looking for 200-400 words of content, and your Services page is the perfect place to talk about your customers’ pain points and how to solve them. That’s a property management services page built with SEO best practices in mind.
It’s always shocking when we find that one of our customers has purchased a site without a blog option. A blog is important to have because it allows you add content to your site on an ongoing basis, without needing to be in touch with your website developer. Even if you don’t plan on making regularly scheduled updates, you need a blog. Blogs allow you to be in front of people who have questions related to property management, ie: tenant screening, evictions, maintenance, etc. It’s one of the best ways to show off your expertise, and the number one way to get your site to rank for the long-tail keywords that are so effective at bringing in leads.
6. Mobile Friendly
Is your site mobile friendly? Google has indicated their search algorithm is now “mobile-first.” If your site is not mobile friendly, you’ll suffer when people search on mobile devices. It may not harm you today, when most owner research is still done on desktops, but a quality shop will make all of their websites mobile-friendly – because who knows how far Google will take this preference in the future. Be sure to test your site on the Google Mobile-Friendly Test Page now.
When someone contacts you and wants to SEO your site without having access to the code, they aren’t doing it on the page or changing your site in any way. They are typically looking to point links to your site in the form of backlinks and citations.
Backlinks are present when other sites link to you. Sometimes backlinks are gathered by using “black hat” SEO tactics. An example of black hat SEO is using a farm of fake sites to point links at your site. It’s bad, and these days, Google figures it out very quickly. We have worked with several clients who used these tactics only to get penalized by Google. Once caught, it takes a long time to rebuild your SEO credibility, so we highly advise against it. Moz has a backlink checker tool; it tells you how many links you have, what your domain authority is, and if you have any “spammy” links pointing to your site.
The other way to achieve backlinks is more honest. Someone might reach out and offer to write articles on other sites that will then include a link back to your site. If you hire someone and have them write content that points back to you, it’s honest work and Google won’t punish you for that.
Citations give you stronger results on local search. Do you have your name, address, and phone number on Yahoo Local, Yelp, CitySearch, and Google? More? You’ll get higher local search results if your information is listed consistently on a number of directory sites.
You can view the number and quality of your citations with Moz’s Local Citation Checker tool. It will tell you which online directories your company is listed on and whether your citations are complete and/or consistent with all your other online listings.
In conclusion, to know if your website is ranking as well as it can, you need to know if it has been properly SEO’d. We hope this article has cleared up a lot about SEO for you. If you have any questions about this or anything that has to do with internet marketing for property management companies, please contact us at Fourandhalf.
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