It’s been awhile since I talked specifically about internet marketing. At this point in business, if you aren’t marketing yourself online, you are losing out on a massive amount of exposure and huge channels for building prospective customers. This goes for every market, and property management is no different. In fact, considering the personal level that you handle your business on as a manager of people’s homes, you are perhaps more swayed by your internet marketing strategies than many other businesses. In the past 6 months, Google has made some significant changes which are important to be aware of.
The changes that Google has made, probably won’t affect you, but it really depends on how you are running your IM strategy. If you have another company doing your entire web presence (which, in essence isn’t a bad idea), you could be in trouble if the haven’t been running entirely straightforward online marketing practices. The most critical underlying changes Google has made have been with relation to how they evaluate websites – tending to devalue those website which present obvious attempts to manipulate rankings (through building of links and other practices).
If you have been taking the practice of simply creating content and sharing it on your site – with no link building on the back end – then you should be fine. Though you may want to consider augmenting your IM strategies.
Without going into detail on what was done and why, you should simply check your website’s traffic – if you noticed a significant drop off in march/april, then it’s likely you have some improper IM techniques, and you should re-evaluate who does the bulk of your internet marketing.
I know that many businesses will simply create a static website and let it sit (or have someone else do IM traffic building practices with it). If this is you, then make no mistake, all you have there is a web based business card. If your web presence does not add value somewhere, then you are wasting your time.
If you don’t have a website at all, that does not mean internet marketing doesn’t pertain to you. You have a web presence whether you like it or not. One of the biggest changes Google made that affects every local business is that they changed their Google Local business section into Google+ Local – with integrated ratings and direct information about your business. They are really pushing their users to interact with this system. You are on the internet, so you might as well take control.
If at the very least you have a website up in order to utilize web based property management systems (which are awesome – just check out all the features of Propertyware), then you should take the opportunity to build value with your website, both for yourself, your tenants, our prospective tenants, and the community at large which you are a part of (see previous articles on creating community based websites to add value).
Building links is evil, but necessary. Even though Google has gone out of it’s way to make intentional link building practices bad for you, they still evaluate sites based on external indicators of value and popularity – namely social media channels and primarily via links pointing back to the website (since these are tangible assets they can track). There are specific ways to go about doing this that are not bad.
This week we will talk about different strategies that are still effective and what you should be focusing on. On thursday, I will talk about social media strategies. Social media – being both hyped up as one of the best marketing tools, and a necessity for businesses – is just one of the intelligent channels you should look to include in your web based marketing plans.
One of the most powerful tools which you can start using today is YouTube. YouTube is not just the place for random videos of cats and people doing stupid things, it is a fantastic resource for hosting your own informational value adding videos, and is also the second most trafficked web resource (behind Google). When you realize how many people go through YouTube each day, it becomes almost foolish to discount it. The beauty is that it does not take that much – you could record short 3-5 minute videos on your phone (perhaps about the community, or even start with just features of your properties), upload them to YouTube and link back to your site. Utilizing some intelligent keyword choices in the video titles, you will have an easy second source marketing channel based entirely around great content. On top of that, those links back to your website will push the value of your business in Google’s eyes.
Voila! Internet marketing at it’s finest….tomorrow I’ll talk about mobile marketing, and why I think it’s the bees knees.