Digital apartment marketing experts will often say that it’s important to update your website frequently, but have you ever wondered why? We are often recommending periodic website updates to our clients, but not always for the same reason. The truth is, there are many different reasons why updating your website frequently pays off for your digital apartment marketing goals. Here’s how updating your website can boost your SEO, improve your user experience (UX), increase your online conversions, and more.
Google Will Reward You With Higher Search Rankings
Google takes a lot into account when determining where your site ranks in search results and how current your site is plays a key role in their search algorithm. Think about it: Google wants to deliver users relevant and accurate info when they search so that they keep using Google. Having updated your site recently signals that your website more likely to be up-to-date with accurate info, modern web design, and other factors that contribute to a positive user experience.
Web Standards Are Constantly Changing
If your website hasn’t been updated in several years, there’s a good chance some of the web standards you’re following have gone defunct, fallen out of vogue, or even become illegal. For example, Flash used to be the main way to display multimedia content, but now fewer operating systems are supporting it because there are better ways to accomplish what Flash was once used for. Web security guidelines and requirements are also constantly being updated.
Helps You Keep Up With Apartment Marketing Trends
You may be keeping up to date with apartment marketing trends in your industry, but does your website reflect that? Planning regular website updates puts you on a schedule to audit your website for off-trend features, messaging, and design elements that can make your community seem older and less desirable. For example, it may be time to update your amenities list to reflect how people are referring to their amenities these days (e.g. dog park vs. bark park, sparkling pool vs. resort-style pool, etc.). Additionally, take a look at the functionality your competitors are including on their site: Do they have a chatbot? An online tour scheduler? Virtual tours for every floor plan? Are you less competitive in your market if you don’t have these features?
On a related note, take a look at the information your competitors are including on their websites. The recent example of COVID-19 messaging, which is now common on apartment websites, shows how important it can be to make timely website updates in order to meet the new expectations of your audience and keep up with your competitors.
Leads to More Conversions
Keeping up with or even pushing ahead of the curve goes a long way to inspiring confidence from prospects and current residents alike. Your site doesn’t have to be flashy and cutting edge, necessarily, but just having accurate information, timely specials, no broken links, and messaging that speaks to trending housing needs can ensure your property makes it from a prospect’s awareness phase to their consideration phase. Plus, residents who see their apartment community working hard to maintain consistent website functionality and provide current information will be that much more likely to renew their lease and recommend your property to others.
Best Ways to Update Your Real Estate Website Regularly
So now that we’ve established why you would want to update your website regularly, what are the best ways to go about that? It all depends on what your primary goals are and what resources you have at your disposal.
Adding a blog to your website is one of the most common ways to incorporate regular website updates into your digital marketing strategy. This isn’t just so that you can share useful information with residents and prospects, it’s also a great way to boost your on-page SEO efforts. Not only does it allow you to update your site each time you post (signaling to Google that your site is current), but it also gives you added opportunities to incorporate SEO keywords without running the risk that Google interprets your efforts as keyword stuffing because your keyword density is too high on a given page (which can actually hurt your SEO).
But while a blog is great for SEO, it isn’t the only way to update your website regularly. Consider: what do your prospects need from your website? Were there features you didn’t initially include that you could add now, like a chat bot, tour scheduler, or virtual tours? Do you have current photos or video of all your amenities and community spaces? Do your prospects have a way to view current specials? Could you benefit from adding resident reviews on your website?
In addition to these considerations, we recommend that once a year or so, you review your keyword strategy. If you’re not sure how to create a keyword strategy, check out our post on How To Do Keyword Research For Your Real Estate Website. As search trends change, you may find that you’re missing out on a lot of potential traffic from keywords you hadn’t been targeting before.
Finally, every few years, we recommend that you do a more in-depth design update. Trends change and a website can begin to look out-of-date quickly. You don’t necessarily have to overhaul your entire website design, but a few tweaks here and there can help you keep up with the times.