Choosing The Right Keywords For Your Multifamily Marketing

by Jul 16, 2020Blog, Paid Traffic, PPC, Search, SEO

In the digital marketing world, perhaps no term gets used with as much frequency and with a lack of clarity as “keywords.” We all know they’re necessary for a comprehensive strategy, but how? Leveling up your marketing can depend on knowing what kinds of keywords to use and when. First, we’ll break down the terms that we use to describe the different types of keywords, and then we’ll look at when to use them in your marketing funnel and the shopper’s journey.

Long-Tail vs Short-Tail

The first need-to-know category is if a keyword is long-tail or short-tail. The distinction is very easy to understand, but how they differ is slightly more nuanced. Physically, the difference is as simple as the name suggests. Short-tail keywords are short, and long-tail keywords are long. 

Short-Tail Keywords

  • Apartments in LA
  • Apartments Near Me
  • Blue Line Lofts

Long-Tail Keywords

  • Apartments with a Washer and Dryer Near Me
  • 2 Bedroom Apartments in Columbus, OH
  • Blue Line Lofts Apartment Reviews

These two types of keywords differ in the user’s intent. For example, someone searching “Apartments Near Me” is most likely in the beginning stages of looking for a new apartment. They probably don’t have a specific price range, neighborhood, or brand in mind yet. Conversely, someone searching “2 Bedroom Apartments in Columbus, OH” has a more concrete idea of what they’re shopping for, and is further along the marketing funnel. Although short-tail keywords get searched for in far higher volumes, users who search with long-tail keywords tend to produce higher click-through-rates (CTRs), and have a higher likelihood of converting into a lead.

Branded vs Unbranded

Our next set of keyword distinctions come from whether the keyword involves a company name (or “Brand” name, hence the term). For example, “apartments in Chicago” is unbranded, because it does not include any specific brand names. On the other hand, “Blue Line Lofts Chicago” includes the name of an apartment community, so it is a Branded keyword. Branded keywords almost always involve very high user intent. The industry average CTR for unbranded keywords is around 2-3% for organic search, a branded keyword could be as high as 50%. The reason for this is that branded keywords enter a prospect’s vocabulary far down their journey when they are much more likely to convert.

Shopper’s Journey 

To understand how keyword marketing works both for SEO and PPC search ads, we must also look at where different types of keywords are most effective. The lines between the stages of the journey can become blurred, below is a good representation of where keywords fall in the 30 Lines’ Look, Learn, Lease, Love framework.


Look  Learn  Lease Love
Short-Tail, Unbranded Long-Tail, Unbranded Short-Tail, Branded Long-Tail, Branded


When users search with more intent the length, and specificity of the keywords used increases. As we move down the marketing funnel and prospects move through the shopper’s journey, we also see an increase in CTR, indicating that people are more primed and ready to rent the further down they go.

As a staple of a good digital marketing strategy, keywords focus your content at every stage in the marketing funnel. Next time you build a marketing campaign think about who it’s aimed toward and where they are in their journey. This allows you to select the right keywords at just the right time.


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