The post pandemic world is going to look a lot different for apartment marketers come 2021 and beyond. We are moving rapidly into a digital-first world where almost everyone is using technology for virtual meetings, online learning, and even virtual leasing. We are now living in a world where you must have a community website and thriving SEO to be able to compete on the Google landscape. By focusing on your community’s brand equity through Digital Marketing, you can drive more qualified traffic to your website.
You will see data below for Pre-Pandemic and Post Pandemic Google Analytics Highlights for Percentage of New Sessions. The multifamily industry has been holding steady around 60% and we are hoping to start trending more towards 65% of New Sessions as time goes on.
Google Analytics Highlights
YTD % of New Sessions: 59.92% New Sessions – Up 3.79%
YOY Pre-Pandemic (Jan. 1st to March 11th, 2020): 60.61% New Sessions – Up 2.58%
YOY Post Pandemic (March 12th to Sept. 3rd, 2020): 59.77% New Sessions – Up 0.58%
SEO for Apartments is shifting yet again. We are moving into a more private and decentralized world, where we either opt-in or opt-out of being tracked. While some will appreciate highly targeted ads, others will want to stay anonymous while surfing the web. It’s going to be important to track your local keywords on Organic Google and Google Maps for Mobile and Desktop searches. By keeping a pulse on your local rankings, you can make adjustments to your website’s copy to improve your Google rankings over time.
Focusing more on User Experience will also be very important for Apartment Marketers in a post pandemic world. Being able to see how users engage with your mobile and desktop website will offer valuable insights, you just can’t get from Google Analytics. When you can see Heat Maps, User Flows, and how users actually engage on the website, it can make for very powerful data to improve the user experience of your landing page.
Monitoring your Time on Site in Google Analytics is also a very important metric to keep a close eye on. Here are Pre-Pandemic and Post Pandemic stats for Time on Site for the Multifamily Industry. We see users staying on the website longer in a Post Pandemic world vs Pre-Pandemic world.
YTD – Avg. Session Duration: 2 Minutes and 39 Seconds – Up 4.77%
YOY Pre-Pandemic (Jan. 1st to March 11th, 2020): 2 Minutes and 30 Seconds – Up 1.19%
YOY Post Pandemic (March 12th to Sept. 3rd, 2020): 2 Minutes and 41 Seconds – Up 8.50%
Outside of your community website and SEO, the next most important platform for driving Organic Google traffic is Google My Business. When new users search your community’s brands or local keywords, your Google Knowledge Graph populates with a wide variety of information.
GMB Data Includes:
- Basic information
- Questions and Answers
- Reviews curated around the web
- Google Posts
- Related Searches
There are 3 specific Google My Business features you will want to keep top of mind to ensure your GBM Listing is firing on all cylinders in a post pandemic world.
- Google Reviews and Responses – Boosts exposure in Google Maps and creates more long tail keyword ranking opportunities.
- Google Posts – Post every week to add more value to your GMB Knowledge Panel and increase your visibility for branded searches.
- Google Questions and Answers – Anyone can ask a question and/or post an answer, so it’s important to manage on a daily basis. You can even ask and answer common Community FAQ’s.
Below are Google My Business Highlights for Multifamily for Pre-Pandemic and Post Pandemic. We saw a rapid 28% rise in Click to Calls Post Pandemic meaning people were leasing virtually more than actually driving to the community. More virtual tours are being utilized to lease apartments without having to drive to the community. Even Click to Websites from Google My Business was up 37% Pre-Pandemic and up 23% Post Pandemic.
Google My Business Highlights
YTD Click to Calls: 568,827 Total Click to Calls – Up 8.58%
YOY Pre-Pandemic (Jan. 1st to March 11th, 2020): 145,967 Click to Calls – Up 10.07%
YOY Post Pandemic (March 12th to Sept. 3rd, 2020): 452,978 Click to Calls – Up 27.91%
YTD Website Clicks: 2,447,630 Total Website Clicks – Up 22.65%
YOY Pre-Pandemic (Jan. 1st to March 11th, 2020): 707,554 Website Clicks – Up 37.08%
YOY Post Pandemic (March 12th to Sept. 3rd, 2020): 1,855,134 Website Clicks – Up 22.94%
Pre-Pandemic and Post Pandemic both heavily rely on active Google Ads Search campaigns to power a steady flow of traffic coming into the community. We did see a major dip in Organic Google traffic but there was plenty of Google Ads Paid Traffic to take advantage of for more qualified traffic. We saw a high average Click through Rate for Search Ads of close to 7% which means when users saw the ads they were more likely to click on our communities’ paid ads based on relevancy and pre qualifying users with ad copy.
Google Ads Highlights
YTD Search CTR: 6.83%
YOY Pre-Pandemic (Jan. 1st to March 11th, 2020): 6.74% CTR
YOY Post Pandemic (March 12th to Sept. 3rd, 2020): 6.96% CTR
Post pandemic Social Media Marketing will be a fully connected digital world. We are heading into an opt-in or opt-out type of environment. You will still have social media giants like Facebook and Twitter for the majority of users, but also new platforms will emerge that focus more on zero censorship and are completely anonymous; this will be known as the Deplatform Social Media Movement.
Decentralized Social Media Platforms:
Reputation Management for Apartments in a post pandemic world should be more focused around Google My Business. Having a positive reputation on Google My Business will ignite the amount of Google Maps traffic to your GMB listing and community website. It’s also important to focus review efforts for other major listings like Bing, Apple Maps, Facebook, and Yelp as well but you get the most SEO value from Google My Business. By having a strong GMB presence and using all the different features it has to offer, you can ensure a steady flow of local qualified traffic over time.
Google Analytics and Conversion/Goal Tracking in a post pandemic world will be vitally important. These are the main Conversions/Goals to set up for any Apartment Website to get a clear picture on how your website is performing:
- View of a Key Page – Contact Us
- Mobile Click to Call for Mobile Website
- View of a Key Page – Thank You Page after Email Lead Submission
- Apply Now – Button Click
- Schedule Tour – Button Click
Apartment Marketing in a post pandemic world won’t be as apocalyptic as one might think. Instead, we keep a positive outlook moving into 2021 by being prepared for what’s to come. We continue to shift with new digital marketing strategies to ensure our communities continue to have a competitive edge on Google’s search engine results pages and by keeping an SEO-First mindset in everything we do.
You can count on Apartment SEO to be the Apartment Marketer’s Top Choice, when they need a strong Digital Marketing Partner in their corner.
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