Local optimization is an extremely important, but often overwhelming, aspect of search engine optimization. For multi-location businesses, keeping all data accurate and up-to-date can feel like a never ending process.
So how do you ensure that your data is accurate without spending your entire life scouring the internet for listings and updating them constantly? We’ve put together a few of the most important first steps for getting the ball rolling when it comes to your multi-family local optimization process.
Create a Master Spreadsheet
Having consistent location data is of the utmost importance when it comes to local optimization. In our experience, the best way to ensure that the right data is distributed is to create a master spreadsheet that can be accessed by key personnel and updated when needed.
Your spreadsheet should include information for at least:
- Business Name
- Phone Number(s)
- Website URL
- Email address
- Products / services
- Hours of operation
- Social media links
- Payment methods
- Brief description of location
- And any other relevant information
This spreadsheet is the center of your local optimization process. Any updates made need to be distributed throughout the local directories. And if you ever run across a discrepancy in the data available online, this spreadsheet will be the deciding factor in what is considered accurate.
Distribute Data to Top Aggregators
In order to efficiently handled multi-family housing local optimization, you have to understand how the local search ecosystem works. And there is no better way to understand than through this useful image:
As you can tell from the image, there are the “Big Four” directories: Infogroup, Localeze, Axcion, and Factual. Each of these larger directories feed data into smaller directories like Foursquare, Bing, Citysearch, Yahoo! Local, etc.
By getting the data right in the “Big Four”, you will ultimately simplify the local optimization process as those are the biggest aggregators and are typically checked against for accuracy. While you will still have to create and correct other directory listings, for multiple locations it is most efficient to deal with the “Big Four” first.
Target Niche Directories
The multi-family housing industry relies heavily on niche directories to create new leads. It is important to set up listings on directories like Apartments.com, ApartmentSearch.com, ApartmentFinder.com, ForRent.com, and more.
The niche directories you choose to list your locations on will really depend on which websites are actually driving qualified leads your way. Because being listed on most of these websites require a fee, you want to be sure that your choosing directories wisely.
Test a few locations on different niche directories, and analyze the results based on the quality of the leads you receive, as well as tracking if there are certain cities and locations that perform better than others. More people in a certain geographical position may be using one directory, while others in another area might use a different directory.
If you’re afraid of beginning the multi-family housing local optimization process, it is simply time to stop. Using these beginning steps can help you break down and begin the optimization process, as well as allowing you to focus on the most impactful aspects for the multi-family industry.