Search Engine Optimization White Paper

bookkeeperquailInternet and Web Development

Nov 18, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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Search Engine Optimization


White Paper






28 March 2011



SEO White Paper • p2

Contents

INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................................................... 3

CONSUMER SEARCH OPTIONS ........................................................................................................... 4

KEYWORD RESEARCH ......................................................................................................................... 4

Choosing the Right Keyword ................................................................................................................ 4

Brainstorming Keyword Ideas ............................................................................................................... 5

Determining Search Volume & Competition for Keywords ..................................................................... 5

ON-SITE SEO FACTORS ........................................................................................................................ 6

Domain / URL Optimization .................................................................................................................. 6

Meta-Data Optimization........................................................................................................................ 7

Content Optimization ............................................................................................................................ 8

Image Optimization .............................................................................................................................. 8

Breadcrumbs ....................................................................................................................................... 8

Site Map Integration ............................................................................................................................. 9

Geo-Targeting ...................................................................................................................................... 9

Blogs ................................................................................................................................................... 9

A Few Warnings................................................................................................................................. 10

OFF SITE SEO FACTORS .................................................................................................................... 10

Link Building ...................................................................................................................................... 10

Articles.......................................................................................................................................................... 10
Directories .................................................................................................................................................... 11
Link Exchanges ............................................................................................................................................. 11
Link from Blogs ............................................................................................................................................. 11
Leveraging Social Media .................................................................................................................... 12

A Few Warnings................................................................................................................................. 12

ANALYTICS .......................................................................................................................................... 12

SEO ASSISTANCE ............................................................................................................................... 12

Internet Listing Services ..................................................................................................................... 13

Map Search Listing ............................................................................................................................ 13

CONCLUSION ...................................................................................................................................... 15

SEO Glossary .................................................................................................................................... 15






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INTRODUCTION

Over the past few years our culture has soaked in search engines. They have taken the place of phone
books, library research, help lines and operator assistance. We have integrated them into our daily lives,
becoming accustomed to having information literally at our finger tips. We have search engines on our
phones, our tablets, in our cars and even in our language: “Just Google it.” Search engines are one of
the ways a business can place themselves directly in front of the people looking for their services.

Search engines, though, are like over-stocked grocery stores. There are so many products and brands for
a consumer to sift through that they often rely on placement to tell them which is best. Just like getting
ideal placement on an aisle shelf will increase sales of a particular brand of cereal, getting the ideal
ranking in a search engine will increase the traffic you get to your site. So how do you earn that ideal
placement? One of the biggest tools to earn ideal placement is a search engine optimization (SEO)
strategy.

An SEO strategy is made up of three major factors.

1. Keyword Research: Choosing the keywords potential clients are searching
2. On-site Factors: Changes you make to your actual website
3. Off-site Factors: Efforts you make to get other sites to link to you and talk about you

SEO can be a powerful lead generation strategy and a way to stay on the forefront of consumer behavior.
With SEO you are utilizing the influence search engines have and are consistently working to earn the
best placement possible. This White Paper is specially targeted to the multifamily industry and is meant
to give you a solid start on your SEO strategy. Let's get going!



SEO White Paper • p4

CONSUMER SEARCH OPTIONS

Knowing and understanding the options your prospects have when they are setting out to find a new
apartment will help you focus your internet marketing strategy to be as effect as possible.

Most apartment internet searches fall into five general categories:

1. Searching Property Name. Using a search engine (i.e. Google, Bing, etc) to find a specific
apartment community.
2. Searching Keyword. Using a search engine without a specific apartment community in mind (i.e.
Dallas Apartments)
3. Direct URL Requests. Typing in an apartment community URL directly
4. Internet Listing Services. Searches conducted through a third party service such as:
Vacancy.com, Apartments.com, Rent.com, CraigsList.com, etc.
5. Map Search. Searching an address or business name in a Map interface (i.e. Google Maps)


Prospect Search Visualization

SEO will directly influence the first three options and indirectly effect the last two options described above.
We will discuss how to optimize for the ILS listings and map searches at the end of this white paper
because they can drive traffic to your site. However, the majority of this paper will cover the SEO
practices you can implement to affect your traffic from search engines.
KEYWORD RESEARCH

Choosing the right keywords is perhaps the most important step to building a solid SEO strategy. You
cannot rank for every possible keyword, nor would you want to. Driving targeted traffic, or traffic that will
become a customer, is the main goal of SEO not just to increase the number of visitors. Here are a few
tips on how to do some keyword research
Choosing the Right Keyword

What is the right keyword? The ideal keyword is one that your potential clients are typing into Google
AND has low competition in the industry. A wise thing to realize is that there are some keywords that are
extremely unlikely you will rank for. For instance if you are one apartment complex in Dallas, Texas the
odds of your ranking #1 in Google for the phrase “Dallas Apartments” is about as likely as this white
paper winning the Pulitzer Prize. It may be possible, but it is extremely unlikely. Pushing for these


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phrases can be waste of resources and you could be missing other opportunities. Moral of the story:
choose a phrase that is targeted to your audience and one that will give you results quickly.
Brainstorming Keyword Ideas

Write a list of words you think someone might use to search for an apartment. Be creative and think
outside the box. Consider geographic, demographic, and landmark related ideas.

1. Geographic: Perhaps the property is in a suburb of Dallas (e.g., Plano). You are much more likely
to rank well for “Plano Apartments” than “Dallas Apartments”
2. Demographic: What type of residents does your property cater to? Students, Retirees? Perhaps
“Student Apartments in Plano” would be an option.
3. Landmark: Think of landmarks near you that might be important for people to live close to. If you
have a property near a university, you should consider “University of North Texas Apartments” or
“Eagle Housing”.
4. Check your web-analytics tool to see which keywords are currently driving traffic to your website.
This is a very valuable way to validate the keywords you anticipate using.
5. Sign up for Google’s Webmaster Center. This tool will provide a wealth of options and information
to help you optimize your listings within Google, as well as identify the keywords your site is
successfully drawing traffic from.


Determining Search Volume & Competition for Keywords

The next step is to clean out your keyword ideas to make sure they get enough web traffic and low
competition to make the best use of your time and resources. The following steps explain how to find
search volume for your selected keywords:

1. Use the Google Keyword Tool: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal to pull
the estimated search volume.
2. Comb through the list and pull out the phrases that are relevant AND have decent search volume
3. Google each phrase that meets the criteria above. Are the sites currently ranking for these
phrases powerful sites? (i.e. Rent.com, Apartments.com, Wikipedia.com, etc). If so the
competition for this phrase is probably very difficult meaning the time it will take to rank could be
very long. It is a good idea to research the level of competition in each keyword.

The steps below will help to determine competition for keywords:

1. Go to Yahoo Site Explorer and enter the competitor’s domain. This will give you an idea of how
many back links this competitor has to their site. The larger the number of back links the more
difficult it will be to rank above that competitor. Explore this data for any site ranking above you in
the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
2. For each competitor also explore the Page Rank assigned by Google to that page. You will need
to install a plug-in or toolbar in your browser to be able to see this data but knowing the Page
Rank can help determine how competitive a phrase is. Page Rank is a score ranging from “No
Page Rank” to “10” that Google gives web pages telling how authoritative they view a site. The
closer the number is to 10 the more authority a web page has in Google eyes.

Tip: Try looking at competitors’ websites and their meta-data. They have often already
done some of the same research and you may be able to benefit from their work.



SEO White Paper • p6


ON-SITE SEO FACTORS

On-site optimization is directly changing elements on your website that will help give search engines a
keyword rich description of your web page. Including your keywords in as many natural places as
possible helps your rankings without incurring a penalty for breaking search engine guidelines. Below are
some of the major ways to speak directly to search engines in their language and their terms.
Domain / URL Optimization

A URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, is what you type into an Internet Browser to find a given website.
Properly structuring your URL not only helps users but it makes it makes it easier for search engines to
cache your data.

A URL is composed of four main components:

1. Scheme: The scheme identifies the protocol used to access the resource on the Internet. It is
less important to understand the technical part of what a scheme does and more important to
remember there are 2 major types of schemes you will see.
a. Open Scheme – http:// - be sure this is being used for data you want the search engines
to see and feed up in their SERPs
b. Secure Scheme – https:// (notice the 's') – be sure to use this for data you want to keep
private and want to transmit securely (i.e. Resident Portal™, online rental applications,
online rent payment forms, and online maintenance request forms)
2. Domain: The domain name or “host name” refers to the thorneberryvillage.com part of the URL.
Here are a few tips when choosing a domain:
a. Make it memorable and easy to spell – your website URL will be seen on your print
documents, web listings and outdoor signage
b. Reference your apartment community name – This will help you rank when people
search your name in the search engines
c. Use “.com” as your extension, the general consensus is that .com extensions will have an
edge over other options.
d. Avoid foreign extensions (or Top Level Domains) such as .cn, and .uk. In US campaigns
3. Path: The path is the end of a URL after the extension and identifies the specific resource that is
being requested with in a domain. (i.e. /provo-apartments/heritage-condo/)
a. Make sure the path portion is readable words - Search engines value human-readable
URLs, especially when those URLs match the content on the page
b. Do not use underscores to distinguish words; dashes (-) are strongly recommended

Tip: Use the Yahoo Site Explorer for link building too. Researching the number of back
links your competitor has not only helps you determine the competitiveness of a given
keyword, but it also gives you some great ideas where to get links to your site.



SEO White Paper • p7



4. Query String: The query string is the part of the URL after a ‘?’ sign. These are parameters or
variables passed on the end of a URL that can cause dynamic data to be output.
a. If the pages on your site are served with dynamic URL’s, it is likely that most of the
content on your site is being ignored by the search engines. This is rare, but if it is
occurring on your site you should take some time to research a few simple tricks to
include your query string inside your path configurations (I.e. /provo-apartments/heritage-
condo/page/33).
Meta-Data Optimization

Meta-Data by definition is data that describes other data. So in application to your website this is a way to
label your website for the search engines with the keywords you feel are most relevant to your site.

1. Title Tags: These are basically the title of your site and appear at the top of your browser and can
appear in your SERP listing. Title tags are a very powerful place to put keywords and can have
one of the fastest effects on your ranks.





2. Meta Descriptions: These are short descriptions that you can author and suggest the search
engines use when they display your web page in the SERPs.



3. Meta Keywords: These only show up in your code but when a search engine visits your site they
reference these to determine the topic of your site and categorize it under relevant search terms
to display in their SERPs. List 3 to 10 keywords here with commas separating each keyword.


Tip: Common title tag formatting uses a dash or pipe symbol between phrases.
E.g., Keyword One | Keyword 2 | Property name

Tip: The path is a great place to put a keyword, if you are trying to rank for Plano
Apartments try naming one of your pages “/dallas-apartments/plano-apartments”



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Content Optimization

Creating compelling and up to date content can be one of the biggest resources for your website. Not
only does it actively engage your visitors encouraging conversion but it also can be another place to
naturally put keywords and optimize your site even more. The first step is to create content that will turn
visitors into residents. After you have that in place go back through your content and try to add your
keywords in the following places:

1. Content Headers: The headings in your content is a great place for a keyword because it can be
one of the first things search engines read. (i.e. if your header is Amenities and you want to rank
for Thorneberry, try changing your header to Thorneberry Amenities)
2. Body Text: If there is paragraph of text on your page try to find a way to work in a keyword for
that page. Be sure to write naturally and keep the flow of the sentence. See the example below
as a way to work in keywords
a. Orginal Text: Thorneberry is perfectly and centrally located in the heart of Pleasant Grove
with nearby shopping and schools. You`ll love our huge floor plans and competitive prices,
on-site award-winning childcare center, spectacular mountain views and quiet neighborhood!
b. Optimized Text (keywords highlighted): Thorneberry Apartments are perfectly and centrally
located in the heart of Pleasant Grove with nearby shopping and schools. You`ll love our
huge floor plans and competitive prices, on-site award-winning childcare center, spectacular
mountain views and quiet neighborhood! Check out our overview for more information on our
Pleasant Grove Apartments.
3. Photo Captions: Add captions to your photos and stick a keyword or two in every once in a while.

Once you are finished analyzing one page, move to the next page and repeat the process.
Image Optimization

Images may seem like a straightforward component of your site, but search engines are blind to images
and can only see what you tell them. Optimizing images with your keywords will help your search results,
it is another place to put a keyword and further confirm the topic of your site to a search engine. To
optimize your images have your keyword in:

1. A distinct file name
2. An alt text (or alt attribute) in your code


Breadcrumbs

A breadcrumb is a digital trail which shows a user (and a search engine) how to go up in hierarchy from
the current page. A good example of a bread crumb would be “Home → Property Overview → Contact
Information → Phone Numbers”.

Search engines use breadcrumbs to understand a site’s hierarchy. A breadcrumb should match the site
map (see Site-Map Indexing below) and occasionally can be an additional place to put keywords.


Tip: Use the following HTML code to add an Alt attribute:
alt=”Insert Keyword”
Place this inside the call for your image.



SEO White Paper • p9

Site Map Integration

Site-maps are like handing a road map to the search engine when they arrive. It lists out the page
hierarchy and helps make sure they hit all the attractions on your website before moving on. They are not
difficult to create and are a great way to make sure every page on the site gets an internal link pointing to
it.


Geo-Targeting

Geo-targeting refers to the practice of locating your website hosting facility in a strategic location that will
increase geographic search relevance. Put more simply, geo-targeting would encourage you to host your
website in the United States, if you were trying to rent apartments in the United States. You should host in
Australia, if trying to rent apartments in Australia. Google has publicly disclosed the importance of this
concept and has acknowledged that geography does matter. The real question is how localized the geo-
targeting extends—a question that Google refuses to answer.

Unfortunately, deep search engine optimization contains a significant amount of pixie dust; or in other
words, a lot of speculation, trail, error, and assumptive guessing. Here’s a little Property Solutions pixie
dust: From trial and error, we feel Google geo-targets more specifically than the national level. We
speculate that you are more likely to come up in a search for Plano apartments if your website is hosted
in Texas, and perhaps even in the Dallas area.

Why do we think this? We’ve noticed a trend that websites hosted in a facility closer to the property
receive higher levels of organic search engine traffic. We are more rigorously testing this at present and
should have valuable data on this within six months. To validate this theory, Property Solutions has
deployed ProspectPortal™ websites at 50 hosting facilities across the U.S.
Blogs

Blogs can add a lot of power to your website and are essentially adding an active portion to your website.
We could write an entire white paper on blogs so we will only touch briefly on them here Blogs should be
hosted under the same website domain as your primary website domain. Linking to
thorneberry.blogspot.com will result in little benefit to the SEO of your core website. To install a blog
under your primary domain, consider using WordPress. Contact your web master for more details.




Tip: Here are three ideas that will help optimize each blog post:
1. Occasionally add a keyword to your title
2. Always add three to five tags
3. Link to other posts you have written whenever possible

Tip: Site maps should be XML files and must be included in the root directory



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A Few Warnings

Flash: While the aesthetics of a completely flash-driven website are alluring, flash can utterly destroy
your ability to be ranked in the search engines. Flash proponents will argue that search engines will now
crawl a flash site. With 8+ years of website development and search engine optimization experience,
Property Solutions has yet to see a flash web site successfully rank in any search engine. Using flash
snippets throughout your site are totally acceptable, but avoid completely compiling a site in flash. Never
display your core site navigation or content in flash unless there are alternative navigation and content
available as well.

Keyword Stuffing: Keyword stuffing is when you add more keywords to your page then looks natural.
For instance if every word in your navigation bar read 'Dallas Apartment – Amenties, Dallas Apartment –
Overview, Apply for a Dallas Apartment, etc' you would more than likely actually see a fall in rankings
because Google can see you are trying to use the system. Be careful to keep where you add your
keywords natural and that you don't have a keyword on there for more than about 15% of your text.
OFF SITE SEO FACTORS

Once you have completed your on-site SEO factors it is time for the weekly and monthly work to begin.
SEO is more than a checklist it is a process that needs monthly, weekly and in some cases even daily
monitoring and effort. Putting in constant and consistent effort is really where you are going to start to see
your rankings improve.
Link Building

When it comes to off-site factors the single most important thing is getting links to your site. A link is
basically a vote for your site. Getting rankings in search engines can sometimes feel like a high school
popularity contest, the person with the most and best votes wins. Just like in high school your goal is to
get as many people to say you are cool (or give you a link) as you can, and the more powerful the person
is the more their vote for you counts. When it comes to your website the number of links you get matters
as well as the quality. You need both a large number of links and links from authoritative sites to rank
well. Below are some great ways to start link building.
Articles

There are a large number of sites on the web that accept content from outside sources and allow the
author to put text at the bottom of the article stating who the writer is and what website they are affiliated
with. Write an article, submit it to one of these sites, put your link in this author bio section and bingo!
You've got your first link. Typically the articles need to be 450 to 550 words, informational in nature and
easily understood. Here are a few sites that accept content to get you started:
You will need to create accounts at each article site:

1. Ezine Articles - http://ezinearticles.com/
2. Buzzle - http://www.buzzle.com/
3. Gather - http://www.gather.com/
4. Squidoo - http://www.squidoo.com/



SEO White Paper • p11

Directories

Similar to ILS portals in the multifamily industry there are places much more generic to list websites.
These are similar to phone directories in that they categorize site based off the information they offer. The
key to getting valuable links here is to go to the directory homepage and find the category your site would
fit best in and then submit to that site. Some directories are paid and some are free, before you pay for a
listing in a directory analyze the directory and be sure it will be worth your money. There are a lot of
directories that are not worth the money so if you choose to pay take the time to research. Here are a few
ways to find directories to get you started:

1. Cities and States will often have business directories
2. Search for industry directories (i.e. housing directory, apartment directory, etc)
3. Search for blog posts with lists of free directories
Link Exchanges

You are not the only one out there that is trying to link build, which in some cases would seem like a bad
thing but if you can leverage that there are others wanting links and strike up a relationship with them you
could swap links. In essence you put a link on your site for them and they put a link on their site for you. A
few words of caution on this:

1. Try to trade links with people in your same industry – a link coming from another multifamily
housing oriented website will be viewed more valuable then one coming from a website about top
diet techniques or another completely irrelevant site.
2. Don't put links to outside sources on your homepage – This gives your visitor a chance to leave
and get distracted elsewhere
3. Try to get a link on a page of the other site that has few or no other external links.



Link from Blogs

The blogging industry is a powerful community to tap into. There are hundreds of thousands of blogs,
most with individuals posting regularly and all with the ability to link back to you. Here are a few ways to
approach a blogger about linking back to you, but be creative and brainstorm ideas beyond these as well.

1. Write a piece of content that is relevant to their blog and would interesting to their readers. Ask to
be a guest post blogger and post for the day so they don't have to write.
2. Commenting on blog posts can sometimes give you a link back to your site. Be sure to read their
post and leave an insightful comment. Comments that are too generic or irrelevant are most-
frequently deleted
3. Offer to donate prizes if they host a contest for their readers in partnership with you, ask for a link
back to your site in the contest post
4. Email and ask to be added to their blog roll (a blog roll is a list of links on the side of a blog)
5. Offer to write an e book or a 'how to' document for their readers if they will include a link to their
site somewhere on their blog.
Tip: Sometimes a site will have an “add URL” or “submit site” page. If that is the case
you don’t even need to trade links. Just submit your information. Try this Google search
string. It can give you a good idea if a site has an “add URL” page. Copy the format
over and insert the site you want a link from in the site section. If something shows up,
just add your link there: site:http://www.insertasitehere.com "add url"



SEO White Paper • p12


Leveraging Social Media

Social media is definitely a buzz word in this industry, there is a power in social media that can be hard to
harness and fully understand. One method for leveraging it on behalf of your SEO is to post links to the
content you publish on your site or blog. If the content is compelling enough other bloggers will put a link
on their blog pointing back to your post or web page. Social media can be a way to let people know you
have new content for them to check out and hopefully link to.
A Few Warnings

Black Hat SEO: Black Hat SEO strategies are the “get rich quick” schemes of the SEO world, they look
appealing and promise the answers to all your problems but they are in strict volition of Google's
guidelines. Search engines are smart and they are getting smarter every day. The odds of you being able
to get away with fooling them are about as good as winning against the house in a roulette game.
Occasionally you will get small wins and get away with sketchy practices but in the long term of things you
will lose, and losing could be a drop in rankings or even a ban in Google. Always avoid black hat
strategies, they may seem easy and appealing but they won't last.

Back burner SEO: Everyone reaches a point in their SEO campaign where the day to day tasks get put
on the back burner and constantly pushed backed by other more important or more appealing tasks. Back
burner SEO rarely ever sees an increase in rankings. Search engines like to see sites gaining new back
links on a consistent basis, updating their content and being active in the web. SEO is a long term
investment of time and resources but it does have the ability to improve traffic volume, visibility and lead
generation. Doing nothing only makes it easier for your competitors to rank, so be constant and keep up
the weekly efforts.
ANALYTICS

Installing an analytics platform on your website is a great way to track the progress of you SEO efforts.
Although having analytics installed on your site doesn't directly improve your SEO to a search engine it
does give you another tool to glean ideas from, as well as help you track the progress of your campaign.
With Analytics in place you can analyze how many visitors you get to your site, where they came from,
how long they spent on your site, what keywords are bringing in traffic from search engines and much
more. You can also get ideas for new keywords to try, ways to improve your site and ideas for new
content to write.


SEO ASSISTANCE

There are many great search-engine optimization (SEO) services available. However, there are a lot of
bad ones too. Be careful of SEO companies that promise the world, and tell you they can guarantee a #1
ranking for popular and competitive keyword searches (e.g., Dallas Apartments). No one can guarantee
top rankings for common keywords. Some SEO service providers will break the rules and get you into
trouble, potentially black listing you from ever again being listed in the search engines.
Tip: Google offers a free analytics tool (
http://www.google.com/analytics/
) that can be
integrated with your site



SEO White Paper • p13


It’s important that your SEO service have an understanding of optimization within the multi-family industry;
otherwise, mistakes can be made while selecting unfruitful keywords
Internet Listing Services

Internet Listing Services (ILS’s) dominate a large portion of apartment internet searches. Property
Solutions conducted research to find out how popular ILS’s were for searches for apartments in the top
250 metro areas of the United States. We scraped the top 10 results for each city by searching for the
keywords “City Name” + “Apartments.”

The results were quite interesting. Out of the 250 metro areas searched, the #1 most found website was
ApartmentRatings.com. Why?



Apartment Metro Search Rankings

The site is well optimized for search engines, but most importantly contains dynamic content, which
search engines favor. Our conclusion for why ApartmentRatings.com listed so well is three fold:

1. Good Search Engine Optimization Strategy: The site employs very sound search engine
optimization strategy, including inter-linking and URL optimization.
2. Dynamic Content: The ratings posted by renters on the site acts like a caffeine-laden energy
drink for search-engine crawlers. This is the same reason why a blog can help you optimize your
own websites (discussed later).
3. Site Size: ApartmentRatings.com is a huge site with 10,000’s of pages of content and adds new
content daily. Search engines weigh heavily the size of a site and they love to see that it is
growing in content.

Not surprisingly, the large ILS’s ranked very well. These make it hard to compete in the industry but not
impossible. ILS's are one of the reasons choosing keywords are such an important step. So in addition to
SEO be sure you are listing your properties in these listing services, they maybe bring you traffic you can
get no other way.
Map Search Listing

A search engine's main goal is to serve up the most relevant results possible for a query submitted.
Because of this goal search engines are getting more creative in the results they show, for instance
250
228
187
176
131
109
96
96
68
42
apartmentratings.com
rent.com
apartmentguide.com
move.com
mynewplace.com
forrent.com
apartmentfinder.com
apartments.com


SEO White Paper • p14

search for 'Brown Couch' and you most likely see shopping results that list specific products and prices in
the top 3 positions of Google. Search 'How to Fold a Paper Airplane' and you will most likely see a video
or two near the top. If you search 'The Plaza' a map result will appear showing an image of exactly where
properties called the plaza are located.

Being listed in these maps results is a great way to get extra traffic from search engines. However your
site is not automatically included in this listing. You must go to the following centers and submit your
information. Even though it can take some time to do it is well worth the effort. Here are the 3 major
centers to submit at:

Google Local Business Center: places.google.com/business
One of the most important (and also most-frequently overlooked) aspects of a web presence
strategy for multifamily properties is to help Google understand which location-specific Internet
searches are relevant to your properties. Google Local Business Center allows property
owners/managers with a valid phone number to verify the location of their property for map
searches. Once verification has occurred, Google lists the property at the top or near the top of all
search queries when location data (e.g., Dallas Apartments) appears in the search query.

Bing Local Listing Center: https://ssl.bing.com/listings/ListingCenter.aspx
Just like Google Local Business Center, a user can locate and verify their property’s location on a
Bing map and alert Bing as to what searches to show up for.

Yahoo Local Listing: local.yahoo.com/
Yahoo also has a way for property owners to verify their address. Once verified, the user can
specify specific keywords to show up for on map searches.



Tip: Optimize your Maps listing to rank better:
1. Add your address and phone number to every page of your website
2. Get current or past residents to review your property through their google, bing,
or yahoo account. The number of reviews a property has affects its rankings.
Don’t spam the reviews or make them up, that can get you banned.
3. Submit to local directories such as city websites, city directories, and city
information centers.
4





SEO White Paper • p15

CONCLUSION

Search Engine Optimization in the Multi-family industry is a key component of an online presence
strategy. Coupled with a targeted Search Engine Marketing campaign and effective Social Marketing, a
property can leverage the digital media to drive leads and convert prospects to leases. Vacancy.com and
Property Solutions are happy to assist you in developing your online presence strategy. Call us at
1.877.336.1443.

SEO Glossary

Anchor Text

The highlighted text that appears for a link. Making your anchor tex
t a keyword
when you are linking is a great idea for SEO

Black Hat

SEO practices that go against search engine guidelines to temporarily inflate
rankings. A lot of these practices can get your site banned from Google

Cache

The storing of data by a search

engine. They use their cache, or stored data, to
feed up results for user queries

Crawl

A search engine navigating a site and collecting data about what information each
page has to offer.

Keyword

A word or phrase chosen as the focus of an SEO campaign

Keyword
Ranking

Where your web page appears on the organic search engine results page for a
keyword search

Keyword Stuffing

Overly repeating or cloaking a keyword on your page in attempts to trick search
engines and increase keyword density. This tactic is easily seen by search
engines and penalized

Link

Text on a web page that when clicked loads another page. Search engines read
these links and count each link pointing to your site as a vote that your site is
valuable.

Meta Description

A short
description that you can author and suggest the search engines use when
they display your web page in the SERPs.

Meta Keyword

Keywords listed under the meta keyword section of your website code that lists
out what the web master views their site is about. Search engines take these
keywords as suggestions.

Page Rank

The authority score Google gives to a web page on a scale from No Rank to 10;
10 being a very powerful, influential site.

SERPs

Search Engine Result Pages

Site Map

A page that links to each p
age on a website. A site map’s major SEO benefit is to
help a search engine navigate and cache a sites pages.

Title Tag

The title given to a web page. It appears at the t
op of your browser bar and could

appear as the name of a web page when served up in search engine result pages