Lessons From an Apartment Marketing Analyst w/ Cynthia Zamudio, Marketing Analyst at Apartment SEO

Ronn and Martin

Guest: Cynthia Zamudio

Martin: All right, it’s that time again, the multifamily podcast with Ron and Martin and today’s episode is going to be a very informative one. We have a very analytical guests for today’s show. It’s my pleasure to introduce to our audience Cynthia Zamudio, marketing analyst at apartment SEO. Today, we will be covering attribution and the different types of attribution, levels and all things Google. She is one of apartment SEO shining stars with a specialty in Apartment Marketing, Google Analytics and attribution. Welcome to the multifamily podcast, Cynthia.

Cynthia: Hello, thank you so much for having me. I’m very, very excited to be on the podcast today.

Ronn: Sweet. That is so awesome. So, the I’m so glad you’re here. Thank you, Martin for welcoming us. And yeah, we are truly excited. Anytime we can highlight a hometown hero, that is really like it taking apartment SEO to the next level is really important to us. Hopefully you guys get a lot out of this from what Cynthia has to share. But speaking on Cynthia, really quick, I mean, she is like I said a hometown hero, total rockstar, she has been with us for a while. And when this role came up, the idea of the role came up, to be a marketing analyst for our clients, and for our account managers and our sales team. Cynthia was definitely front row center for that. And I think I shared with you Cynthia earlier that, you know, it is definitely one that I’m like, why didn’t we do this before? You know, it was people like you. And some of our aim is, of course, throughout the years that really have stood out in an analytical perspective role. And I think they can by really focusing on that discipline, and getting the right person. I mean, as you know, we’re creating a division out of this. And it’s ultimately for those listening, anybody, an active client or even a prospective client, it is something you can expect out of apartment SEO is to have a marketing analyst behind the scenes, working in concert with your account management team, to really just give you the best of the best. And as you know, it is all about analytics today. So, I wanted to ask you really quick, Cynthia, like what do you think initially gave you the bud to be in Apartment Marketing? It’s very sexy, right? You know, and what made you interested in learning digital marketing, first of all, and then analytics overall.

Cynthia: Yeah, so I started my digital marketing career in the health and wellness industry. But I kind of quickly realized that that particular role that I was in at that time, and just the industry overall, it just really wasn’t for me. So, I did, you know, enjoy learning all aspects of digital marketing, it clicked for me really easily, I was able to just understand everything. But again, because of the industry, I just still felt like it wasn’t really for me at the moment. So, I wanted to explore other opportunities. And that led me to apartment SEO. And the second I started I mean; I feel like it just clicked for me even more. And so, I was just, you know, I was able to explore all areas of digital and Apartment Marketing, which was great. So, I really got to get a feel of really wanted to do. And so, yeah, as time went on, and I was growing in my position, you know, I just found myself drawn to the analytic side. And so I was, you know, loving going into the data, diving way deep into the data, finding solutions to problems or ways to improve performance. And you know, I’m a problem solver by nature, I just, I really have a determination if someone says, I’m not sure about this, or I don’t think it can be, I will come in and be like, no, no, I can find a way to fix this problem. So, and for me, it’s you know, the more challenging, the better.

Ronn: That’s awesome.

Martin: You definitely, when it really comes down to it, yeah, you’re always there to take on escalated situations, you know, things that are a little more complex, and definitely require a lot more specialization. So, Cynthia, as an apartment marketer, why is it so important to understand your community’s website metrics in the first place?

Cynthia: Well, yeah, metrics are such a crucial part to the success of any website, because it’s essentially feedback on your website’s performance. So, metrics can help identify problem areas, that can highlight elements that are working well, providing information on the user experience, which is especially huge right now. So, these are all you know, valuable insights that can help guide your marketing strategy and these decisions you make to improve and perfect it.

Ronn: Sorry, guys, I was on mute. That’s awesome. So, what are Google Analytics goals? And why should communities use them? I think this is a powerful question.

Cynthia: So, goals in Google Analytics are measurable targeting objectives that are valuable to your marketing efforts, but they also play a major role in your Google Ads bidding strategy. So basically, if a user lands on your website, you know, what actions are they taking that are beneficial to your marketing goals? So, this will give you know, some additional insight as to the user journey or the path that they took to even, you know, complete the conversion goal. So, in turn, you can use that data to make adjustments, if necessary to your strategy and even to your website.

Martin: Okay, well, can you actually recommend some common goals to set up for apartment websites for audience?

Cynthia: Yeah, so I recommend, if you to actions on a website that Google Analytics currently cannot track on its own, at least, you know, not yet because, you know, there is a new analytics GA four coming out, and they are constantly working on that. So hopefully, we can start to see that as GA four grows. But for now, I would just recommend, so form submissions would be a big one, contact us schedule a tour, creating an account, anything that involves the user filling out a form and clicking a button to submit, also click to calls or clicks to the phone number on the site, floor plan visits, any actions that they take on the floor plans page, and whether that’s you know, the availability button and then clicking further to select the unit and then apply or just requesting to be on a waitlist. So I think those are all, at least great starting goals, and then you can continue to work on them as the data flows in.

Martin: Totally, that makes total sense.

Ronn: Those are definitely good ones. So, what is, can you dive into what is attribution and the different types of attribution?

Cynthia: Yes, so attribution has to do with conversion. So, it’s a process of assigning credit for conversions to touch points, or different ads, clicks, factors along a user’s path to completing a conversion goal. So, you can choose from six different attribution models. And again, this will kind of guide how they determine where the conversion credits gonna go. So, kind of just touching on each of the models. So, you have last click, so that gives all credit for the conversion to the last click Ad and corresponding keyword. First click, so that gives all credit for the conversion to the first click Ad and corresponding keyword. And then you have linear, so that distributes the credit for the conversion equally across all in Ad interactions on the past, we have time decay, so that gives more credit to Ad interactions that happen closer in time to the conversion, vision based. So that gives 40% of the credit to both the first and last Ad interactions and corresponding keywords, with the remaining 20% spread across the other Ad interactions on the path. And then the newest one that is data driven. So that distributes credit for the conversion based on your past data for this conversion action.

Martin: What would you say is the best attribution model to utilize for apartment websites according to Google’s best practices?

Cynthia: So, it would definitely be data driven. So that’s the way to go. It’s highly recommended by Google. So much, so that it is actually the default attribution model when you are setting up conversion goals in Google Analytics, or Google ads. So, data driven attribution, as we mentioned, it gives credit for conversions, based on how people engage with their various ads, and how they decide you know, to become your customer. So, it uses data from your account to determine which keywords Ads and campaigns have the greatest impact on your business goals, which is just so important, because your Ads are exactly how you’re getting that traffic, at least with the most traffic. So, with that information, you can, for example, tailor your Ad copy to match that have the highest performer or you can know which information with your Ad that customers are finding, you know, the most appealing or important that’s driving those clicks, and then you can highlight it elsewhere throughout the account. So also, if you’re using in automated bidding strategy, which most are, to drive those conversions, your bidding will use all this information to just help you get more and more conversions.

Ronn: That’s amazing. So, what are, I noticed is, we get this often because a lot of what we do is education. So, thank you so much for sharing so far. But this is a good question. What are some top items that apartment marketers out there should consider when they are setting up their own analytics and their overall performance reporting. Obviously, we want to ensure for proper tracking on all marketing channels.

Cynthia: So, to start, and I know this seems so simple and easy, but it’s just, ensure you are actually implementing the analytics code correctly. The code is incorrect, your data is incorrect. You know, but every website builder is different. So, it really is an easy mistake to make. For me, there is a Chrome extension called tag assistant and it basically tells you what codes on your website and helps indicate there’s an error with any of those tags. It’s definitely my best friend because if I noticed something wrong with the data, as I’m going into these accounts, I checked that first just to make sure that the codes right and it has helped me fix all types of errors, to make sure that we are getting the most accurate report. But just some other things to touch on UTM codes are huge. So, a UTM or urgent tracking model codes, they are attached to the end of your website your own. And so this allows Google Analytics to identify where the traffic came from, what campaign directed them to use, so you can properly measure, you know, each campaigns performance.

A DNI or a dynamic number insertion. So that is essentially just a truck, a call tracking feature. And it’s implemented by adding a snippet of code into your website, so that whenever someone visits your website, the code will dynamically replace that phone number, so that it is a unique trackable number. So, it’s specifically associated with that Ad source and the user. So that way, you can get specific data from that user, on how they came to your website, their activity, you know, while they were on your website, maybe what led them to certain conversions. So that is a very, very useful information, having the DNI and then kind of going in with that. With mobile traffic on the rise, we are seeing a growing percentage of conversion starting with phone calls. Because obviously, you know, you’re on your mobile phone, and it’s so easy for you to just be on the website, click the phone number, and then reach out to the community right then in there. So very important for the DNI. 

And then lastly, just making sure that you are connecting your Google ads and Google Analytics account because one thing that Google Ads doesn’t provide within its platform is, the ability to actually see certain site metrics like bounce rate, session duration, and pages per session, which are very important to the user’s journey. So, in order to see these metrics, you need to make sure you’re connecting your Google Ads account to Analytics, which is done within your Analytics account. So again, this just provides more in-depth data to better analyze your Ad groups, keywords, the users, etc.

Martin: Wow. I mean, these are some great recommendations that I know of our audience isn’t implementing every single one. If they were to get up to speed with just these, they will definitely be ahead of the game. So, what’s your number one apartment marketing lesson you would like to share with our audience today, something you wish you knew earlier in your career or anything recently, you have learned as a marketing analyst for the multifamily industry?

Cynthia: Absolutely, you must stay up to date, know the current trends and recent SEO or PPC updates, and whether you know, that’s just within your industry. And just overall, as we know, digital marketing is always evolving. Google, you know, they’re constantly making updates, whether the change in the SEO algorithm, or the updates that you know, they’re constantly making within Google Ads. I also just for myself, look at the popularity of Tik Tok and how it’s become a major marketer now, so I just think you need to stay in the know to stay relevant, to be relevant. For myself, I bookmark a variety of blogs, I join forums, I follow top marketing experts, I subscribe to amazing podcasts like the one I’m on now. So, I make time every week to review and see what information can contribute to the success of our clients and apartment SEO.

Ronn: That is awesome. I guess you do have to be want to go seek out information, information is knowledge and when you’re in the analytical role, right? 

Cynthia: Absolutely. 

Ronn: Staying in the know.

Martin: And changing on the daily.

Ronn: Daily. Like nine years ago or 10 years ago, what were you studying on building apartment SEO, we are, I always say, we’re such daily, we’re a different company, because we have to look at it from a different lens every day. 

Cynthia: Yes, yeah. 

Ronn: And so, do you, my friend. So obviously, you review a lot of apartment websites on a daily basis at apartment SEO, thank you, reviewing issues and making recommendations, obviously, to fix these problems for our account managers, our accounts and our clients alike. But what would you say are some common items for our audience, and they should keep in mind when marketing their communities on the www.

Cynthia: So, one major thing I’ve been noticing, especially lately is that, you really need to optimize your website for the mobile experience. We touched on mobile a little bit earlier. And just you know how easy it is to be browsing the web on your phone, click a phone number, boom, you’re already reaching out to the property. So, whether it’s pasty or the overall functionality of the site, you just need to make sure you’re optimizing. I was reading some stats, and it was almost 60% of website traffic is from mobile devices. And that’s huge. And especially after COVID, it’s gone up a lot more so. And then 53% of mobile users will leave a site if the load time is more than three seconds, which just is so little, but I find myself doing the exact same thing. All that you know is potentially highly valuable traffic that you are missing out on. So, ensuring that your mobile site looks and functions as well as your desktop, is so important these days.

Martin: Yeah, that’s right on the money because you know, Google’s going to rank your site accordingly. So, if you have a killer desktop site, but your mobile experience is really bad, your mobile rankings will suffer.

Cynthia: Exactly.

Martin: There are ways to make an immersive experience now with you know, the tours, virtual tours, YouTube videos, all those different things are keeping them on the site longer. So as long as they’re incorporating some of those immersive experiences, and I think that’s gonna do pretty well. Now, we know making sure your community’s website, you know, easy to navigate is vitally important. Also ensuring your Google Analytics and attribution is properly set up to help marketers make data driven decisions instead of just guessing. Next importance is making sure your organic Google rankings and Google Ads are firing on all cylinders. Cynthia, what are some key elements to keep in mind when developing a landing page experience for SEO or digital Ads.

Cynthia: So aside from optimizing for mobile and page speed, your landing page is where the user becomes familiar with your community. It’s almost like an introduction. So, for SEO, ensure that you have your title tags, your H1 header, you have rich and relevant content with keywords Incorporated, you have media or photos, current offerings or specials are highlighted. And you want to also emphasize your trust signals like links to your social media pages, or testimonials and reviews, and also a distinct call to action. So have it within the homepage content, but you can also have a contact form or you know, a clickable phone number that’s easily displayed. Someone can easily see, NPPC it’s very similar. However, I would say you want to ensure that your content is in line with your Google Ads copy and content. So that whoever clicks on your Ad, they know that they are in fact being sent to the correct place. This is huge, because this is one of the ways that Google determines your Ad quality score, by comparing your ad with the landing page and making sure that they’re both relevant.

Ronn: So true. So, let’s talk about a Google Map, I mean, I want to say.

Martin: Google business profile.

Ronn: I know.

Cynthia: All the time, all the time.

Ronn: Who’s there yet? I’m not there yet. Right? Yeah, I still talk about 2020 ss if it was a year that we kind of did. So Google business profile, how important it is, for our communities, local traffic, obviously. And obviously, as digital marketers, we usually see this traffic source in the top three traffic sources of web traffic overall. So, my question for you is what advice do you have for our audience to help improve their GBP presence. And to get more exposure online, from your experience.

Cynthia: always make sure that your Google business profile is fully optimized, you have photos, you have a logo, your phone number, business hours, you want to include your product offerings, like you know, floor plans, make sure you have reviews, and that you’re also responding to reviews, that’s a big one. And that you’re doing it in a timely manner. Google doesn’t want to see that you’re replying to review a month after it was posted. It really like, you know, the 48-hour kind of quick responses, your business description, you know, make sure that is providing helpful and relevant information. And also, that you are routinely making updates or being active with your GBP. I find the best way to do this is with Google posts. So those are huge. So, make sure you’re posting at least once a week to show that you’re are engaging with your potential prospects.

Martin: Nice. No, I mean, Google business profile is definitely where it’s at. This is where the majority of our client’s traffic’s are coming from, and for the most part, and that’s their biggest opportunity. But you know, they always say, you know, going against the IoS is going against Zillow and apartments.com. They take over a lot of the organic rankings on Google, but the Google business profile and Google Maps that’s where the individual community always has a huge opportunity to shine.

Cynthia: Exactly. Yeah, exactly what you said on the Google Maps, that’s what’s huge, because the iOS is they just take over the first page. I mean, it’s tough to try and compete with them. But Google Maps is where you can so definitely optimize your profile.

Ronn: And for those that don’t know, shameless little plug, we do have a GBP only marketing package. And so, Cynthia, you shared all the reasons why they should be focused on it. We know that most marketers and property level, peeps don’t have the time to keep it up consistently. So, we are here for you. 

Martin: And GBP is becoming more of a publishing platform now with the new Google algorithm, fresh content update as well. So, you need to have the communities, companies, individual people build their own authority on Google to build their own knowledge graph for the company and for personal identity too.

Ronn: Make it easy, so that’s the cool part.

Martin: So, oh my god, it was so much fun talking about all things department marketing, attribution. and Google, thank you so much for joining us today, Cynthia, we look forward to watching you continue your journey as you dive deeper into the world of digital marketing and analytics.

Ronn: We’re done. 

Martin: Yeah.

Ronn: I want to hear more. I certainly have learned a lot, Cynthia, I know again, you’re a total rock star. I’m so proud of you. I’m so proud of us for doing this marketing analyst role. As you know, and spoiler alert for our audience is, if you’re a current customer, or even a prospective customer, our idea is to continue to grow this department so that way, every department community has an analyst behind the scenes on them. The current clients probably already know and feel the love and that all comes from our Cynthia, so thank you again for, not only everything you do but for being our guest we appreciate it.

Cynthia: Thank you so, so much. Yeah, it was great to be on the podcast and I love everything about apartment SEO and I’m just going to continue to grow as the company grows. 

Ronn: Amen.

Martin: We can’t wait. So, remember to subscribe to the multifamily podcast at multifamilypodcast.com and schedule your free SEO analysis at apartment seo.com, to schedule time with us to learn more about getting your digital marketing campaigns up and running as soon as possible. Have a good one Cynthia and Ronn and until next time. Bye everyone.

Ronn: Bye guys.