Google Updates: Fall 2019
Another day, another round of Google updates… when are they going to give us a break!? Recently we’ve seen some updates within Google that impact our industry specifically. Don’t have time to dive into the hundreds of articles covering these updates? No worries, we’ll catch you up on all the important stuff!
Google My Business Showing Hours (Again) for All Apartment Categories!
Have you noticed your property’s hours are showing up in your Google My Business knowledge panel even though your Google My Business category is not an apartment marketing agency? No, you aren’t dreaming! Google is finally showing property’s hours in their knowledge panel and Google Maps listings whether their primary category on Google My Business is apartments, apartment complex, apartment building, or apartment rental agency. Make sure to go into your property’s Google My Business listing and check that your hours are accurate so future renters know when you’re open!
Maybe it’s just us, but creating the perfect meta title is a hard thing to do! With the character restrictions Google has for meta titles, it’s hard to decide what keywords you want to focus on while also keeping your branding consistent across your site’s pages. Some of you may be wondering, what are meta titles? This is the clickable title/name of a website’s page that is displayed within the search engine results page (SERPs). This title helps users and search engines get a better understanding of what the site’s page content is about. Well, it looks like it might be time to start brainstorming new meta titles for your property's pages once again. Apparently Google has increased the text size for meta titles and is giving us even fewer characters to work with. In fact, it looks like the total amount of characters dropped is around 4-5, leaving us with a whopping 50-55 characters to create the ideal meta title for desktop SERPs. Let's hope that Google reverts back to the previous font size and gives us those dearly missed characters back. However, if the new larger font stays, it may be time to start thinking about some shorter meta titles. If you are looking for a simple way to shorten your titles by a few characters try dropping unnecessary words like “spacious” or “luxury” and mainly focus on terms you want to rank for like your property’s name, city, and “apartments”.
Google My Business Products Feature
By now, most of you have probably seen the new “Products” feature within Google My Business. For those of you who haven’t, we’ll give you a quick rundown. Essentially, you can now display your business’s products in your knowledge panel in the SERPs. Utilizing this feature can help you highlight your property's floor plan options to future renters before they reach your site. Your products can also include pricing information and detailed descriptions about specific units and their features at your property. Plus, the “Products” feature is located higher on the knowledge panel, which means more eyes seeing your property’s floor plan options. Start integrating your floor plan options into your “Products” feature in Google My Business as well as continuing to publish fresh content in the SERPs with Google Posts. The more you can showcase your property within your branded SERPs the better!
Competitor Ads on Local Business Profiles
Yup, you read that right. Google has started showing competitor ads within local business profiles. So much for Google MY Business, it seems more like Google My Business AND my competitor's business. These ads are a part of Google’s Local Campaigns and are designed to help drive more traffic to local businesses. While we have yet to see these ads displayed on any of our client’s Google My Business listings, this is just another friendly reminder that your listing is Google’s property, not yours (but our humble opinion: make sure to fight for your branding).
Surely by the time this post goes up, there will be even more new features and changes within Google and the SERPs, but don’t worry we gotcha! Subscribe to the Digible newsletter and stay up to date on any and even more new changes happening within the digital marketing and multifamily spaces.