Google’s Update Signals Changes For Apartment Marketing

October 20, 2016

Apartment marketing for mobile devices is as much about usability as it is about getting noticed. In software engineering, usability is the degree to which a software can be used by specified consumers to achieve objectives with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction. Over the past 10 years, Google’s search algorithm updates have focused mainly on the “satisfaction” part of this definition. The updates that Google makes to its algorithm are usually intended to improve the experience users have browsing the web.

Quick, think of the most annoying thing that you encounter when browsing the web on a mobile device. Many of you probably thought of mobile pop-up ads, which cause slow web page loading times and delay how quickly we can access content. Google hears you, and the tech giant has updated its search algorithm to lower search rankings for websites that feature mobile pop-up ads.

This change to Google’s algorithm will have major implications for many property websites that run promotions through mobile pop-up ads. Threshold has been creating and implementing pop-up ads on desktop and mobile for quite some time, so it’s part of our job to stay on top of any changing trends in the industry. That’s why we’re going to explain how the latest Google update will affect your property’s website.

In 2014, Google made a push to make the web more mobile-friendly. Pages that were mobile-optimized—that is, they featured readable text and had well-spaced links that were easy to tap with a finger—were ranked higher in search results. That update had the intended effect, and in 2016 Google announced that 85% of mobile search results are optimized as Google intended. This prompted Google to introduce new mobile-specific ranking criteria meant to further improve the mobile browsing experience.

Enter Google’s latest update, which will now favor websites that lack “interstitials.” Interstitials are ads that force exposure to the advertisement before visitors can continue on their content path. Think mobile pop-ups, full-page ads and between-the-page ads.

The algorithmic changes will go into effect on January 10th, 2017, and Google’s official stance on the issue is as follows:

“Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible,” Google’s official announcement states. “This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller.”

Although Google’s new update may seem daunting because of the way it will affect your property’s website, it’s actually a good thing for the overall mobile web user experience. The easier it is for people to use the web on their mobile devices, they more often they will be able to search for your property and access your site. Instead of forcing users to view mobile-pop up ads, marketers and apartment managers must come up with new apartment marketing ideas that consider users wants and needs in creative ways. Google’s update won’t crush anyone’s business, it will just force us all to create a better user experience on mobile websites.

Staying on the first page in Google’s search results is more important that any mobile-pop up ad. Thus, the first step to conforming to Google’s algorithmic changes is to remove mobile pop-up ads and other interstitials. The second step is to create worthwhile content that draws users in without disrupting their mobile web experience. Blogs and other similar content will become more valuable than ever, as websites search for marketing ideas for apartments that get information to users without using pop-up ads. As usual, content is king.

Threshold performs blog writing services for many of our clients. If you aren’t using blogs to update your web content and boost SEO rankings, now is a great time to start. We are also  already making changes to our clients’ websites to prepare for the algorithmic changes. If you’re unsure about the viability of your mobile site, contact Threshold today for an assessment.