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AIMx 2022: Budget Season: How to Determine & Justify Your SEO Budget

Professional SEO Leads to Greater Website Performance

Apartment companies that include professional SEO on their websites are seeing significantly higher performance, according to Esther Bonardi, Vice President of Marketing at Yardi.

“It’s the lowest costing strategy and also provides the greatest net return,” she said. 

The “cost per lease” can plunge when effective SEO techniques are used, Bonardi said. For example, Towne Property’s cost was $63; PRG Real Estate’s was $50; and Fore Property’s was $38.

Bonardi said some apartment marketers have difficulty convincing their bosses to make the investment,“ mainly because those who they are suggesting it to don’t fully understand it.”

Bonardi explained several effective pitches that can be used to gain approval.

  • Search behavior is constantly changing: You must track trends regularly, SEO as a “set it and forget” approach is not wise.
  • Website load speeds: Some companies are unknowingly slowing their load speeds by including content with extreme file sizes. Slow speeds are a resident prospect turn-off.
  • Every webpage that is crawled by a search engine is evaluated with a Lighthouse score based on five categories: Performance, Accessibility, Best Practices, SEO and PWA. The result is a score from 0 to 100. Companies should know how to track this and improve it so that their sites can appear higher on the search results.
  • Community information (such as hours of operation and rents) must be consistent. Otherwise, Google frowns upon those listings.
  • It’s important to check on expired web pages (or the 404errors) because that reduces users’ confidence in the website overall.
  • Sites should be optimized for long-tail searches. A recent Yardi study of more than 100 sites showed a 50-50 split in the prospect’s journey when comparing long-tail to brand search.
  • Communities must generate appropriate lead reporting, including case studies that compare optimized sites with non-optimized sites to produce the differential, which can be used as a selling point to have professional SEO.

Here is the replay:

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