Your Ultimate Guide To Digital Marketing Terms For New Multifamily Marketers


If you’re new to multifamily marketing or ever found yourself lost when discussing or reading anything on the topic of digital marketing, this guide is for you.

There are a lot of terms and acronyms floating around out there that will make even well-versed apartment marketers scratch their heads.

Digital Marketing Terms for Multifamily

That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide of digital marketing terms and what they all mean. 

It’s got everything you need to know. So, let’s dive right in.

A/B Test – When you want to determine factors that make one webpage have a higher conversion rate than another page, you can perform an A/B test. Two pages will have the same information with different variables. Users will be shown each page at random. Basically you’re running a test to see which page performs better.

Above the Fold – This refers to the top portion of a website. This is what a user will see when opening the webpage, without having to scroll down. It’s recommended that your most valuable content is above the fold, to entice a user to stay on your page or take action.

Above the Fold

Ad Extensions – When you’re running Google ads, there is a small amount of callout text that is highlighted in blue below your ad copy. This typically includes information about your community, including: a phone number, your location, links, specials, reviews, and anything else that may improve your performance.

Ad Group – Multiple ads that target the same keywords. You can have several ad groups within a single campaign.

Alt Tag – This is the alternate text that will appear in place of an image, should the image not be viewable. This should be a short description of the image, and could also be optimized with a keyword.

Anchor Text – This is when you see a clickable link throughout the text on a website. It is usually underlined and a different color than the rest of the text.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – In digital marketing, this is the use of a computer system in place of where a human would normally perform a task. You can use AI tools to sift through and analyze data to find leads and more.

Backlink – When another website has a link back to your website and vice versa. The more quality backlinks you have, the better opportunity your site will have to rank on Google.

Chatbot – This is an automated system on your website that can communicate live with visitors. This gives your site a live chat component that answers questions immediately for prospects, and can also be used as a tool to collect lead information.

Bounce Rate – When analyzing your data (typically in Google Analytics), the bounce rate is the percentage of people who go onto a page on your website, and then leave it without doing anything else, like navigating to another page on your site.

Call to Action (CTA) – This is whatever you want your reader to do. What action do you want them to take next? You will usually have something like, “Call today” with a phone number, or, “Visit us at…” with your web address. Or, you may have a “Learn more” link to another webpage. Your CTA should be included on every marketing piece you put out there.

Call to Action

Click Through Rate (CTR) – When analyzing your data, the CTR is the percentage of people who click on a specific link.

Content Marketing – A type of marketing that involves attracting residents through online content, rather than an ad for a community. Content marketing usually includes blog posts, social media posts, online videos, and anything that users find interesting and engaging.

Conversion – When someone responds to your call to action. Could be filling out a form, calling a phone number, etc.

Conversion Rate – This is the percentage of people that responded to your call to action.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) or Cost per Conversion (CPC) – How much money you spend to acquire a new customer (or resident). The formula is how much you spent on a campaign divided by the number of conversions, and that equals your CPA.

Cost Per Impression (CPI) or Cost per Thousand (CPM) – CPI is the cost for each time a digital ad is viewed by a potential customer. The formula is the total campaign cost divided by the number of impressions (people who viewed the ad), equals your CPI. CPM is the same thing, but it equals the cost per thousand impressions.

Crawling – When Google, Bing, or another search engine spider visits and analyzes your website.

Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) – This means marketing toward your current customer base to maintain a positive relationship with them.

Drip campaign – This is when you send a series of emails over an extended period of time to nurture prospects. Emails usually contain more information about your apartment community to continue to generate interest.

Email Blast – When you send a mass email out to all recipients in your database, rather than segmented lists.

Email Blast

Embed – This is what you do when you want to integrate a visual element – like a video, image, or gif – into your webpage using specific coding.

Engagement Rate – In social media, you want people to engage with your posts – meaning like the post, leave a comment, or share it. The engagement rate measures the amount of engagement a post gets, relative to the total number of “followers” you have.

Geofencing – Establishing a virtual boundary with GPS or radio frequency identification that triggers a marketing campaign (such as a text, email, social media advertisement, app notification).  When a person enters this geofenced area they will receive the marketing campaign on their phone.

Google Ads – These are the ads that are displayed at the top of the search engine when you do a Google search.

H1 Tag – The title at the top of a webpage, which should include your keyword. Think of it like this, if your webpage had a headline, this would be your H1 tag.

Hyperlink – A link within your text or on your image that goes to another page, document, or file. It’s typically highlighted and underlined, so users know it’s a link.

Hyperlocal – When your marketing campaign targets a very specific group or niche. This can include residents in a specific location, like walking distance to your community.

Image Optimization – Taking a high-quality image and compressing its size (optimizing) for the web.

Impression – This is simply when someone views your webpage or ads.

Indexing – The results from Google crawling your webpage are put into an index in Google search results.

Internet Listing Service (ILS) – This is a website dedicated to listing available apartment communities in a given location. Prospects can search these sites based on their criteria for more accurate results.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI) – When analyzing your data, this is a measurement for achieving your goals, so you can make smart marketing decisions. For example, you can have KPIs surrounding your lead to lease data.

Keyword – Words or phrases in your web content that make it possible for residents to find your website via search engines.

Keyword Frequency – How many times the keyword appears within the text on a single webpage.

Landing Page – This is a single page that is created specifically for a marketing campaign. It’s usually reached through a PPC ad or an email campaign.

Landing Page

Lead Generation – This is the process of collecting information from a potential resident who shows interest in your apartment community. You can then use their contact information to market directly to them.

Lead Nurturing – This is when you want to literally nurture your lead until they sign a lease. You can send this lead a series of emails, for example, to keep them interested and to keep your apartments top of mind.

Load Time – The amount of time it takes for your webpage to be fully downloaded and functioning. This should take mere seconds, or you risk losing prospects.

Lookalike Audiences – Creating an audience of people that have similar demographics, likes, and interests from an existing audience you already have.

Meta Description – This is the text that appears directly under a URL in search results that describes the webpage. It’s important to optimize your meta description for higher Google rankings.

Micro Interaction – When a user takes a single small action on a website, like changing a password, updating a Facebook status, or even liking something on social media. The purpose is to engage with your prospects and see how they interact with your brand.

Organic Traffic – Visitors who find your website using a search engine like Google or Bing. They are not referred by any other website or paid ads on the search engines.

Page Rank – Where the website appears in search results. If the website lands at the top of the list, it has a high page rank.

Paid Traffic – This is when you get prospects to visit your website through a digital ad that you paid for. For example, buying ads on Google or Facebook.

Parallax – This is a type of web design, in which the background of the page moves at a different speed than the rest of the page when the user is scrolling. It’s an attractive visual effect that can entice prospects to scroll.

Pay Per Click (PPC) – Buying ads that send traffic to a website. Each time the ad is clicked, that would be referred to as Pay Per Click.

Pop-up Offer – When you’re looking at a website and a box pops up on the screen to get your attention usually containing a special offer.

Remarketing/Retargeting – When a user visits your website and leaves without taking an action – like filling out a schedule a tour form. You can have ads follow them around on other websites they visit.

Responsive – When you design a website, you want to make sure that it looks good on any device a person is using – mobile, tablet, laptop, and desktop. A responsive design adjusts the site’s appearance to fit any device.

Responsive Design

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) –  This is essentially the key to getting your webpages to rank higher in Google search results. Since people typically search for what they need using search engines and click on the first few listings, ranking higher is the quickest way to increase your website’s traffic.

Sitemap – A sitemap is a single file that includes all the information about your website, including its pages, files, links, videos, etc. and how they connect to one another. This file is what Google or other search engines review in order to best crawl your website.

SSL Certificate – A web security technology that ensures that when a user inputs their personal information, it is protected by your secure website.

Sticky Navigation or Persistent Header – This is when the navigation at the top of the page (meaning the main menu that lists the other pages on the site), sticks in one place and does not move, even when the user is scrolling.

Targeted Ads – Digital ads that appear online for a specific audience based on factors like their location, social media usage, and online browsing behavior. You can also show ads to users based on their location (geo targeting), or their social media habits.  

Title Tag – The clickable headline that appears for your community in search engine results.

Traffic – All the users who visit your site.

Unique Visitors– A visitor who is brand-new to your site, rather than a returning visitor who has been there before and came back.   

Wireframe – A skeleton layout of a webpage. This is usually created first, so you have a general idea of what the page will look like. Then, the designer will build their design off of the wireframe.

Let’s Wrap This Up…

Keep in mind, this is by no means a complete list. We’ll be adding more terms to this in the near future. If you have some words you’d like added to this list, please respond in the comments.


Written by Josh Grillo

Josh Grillo is a #1 Best Selling Author, Speaker and Co-Founder of Resident360.

Recent Comments

  1. Additional terms:
    look-a-like audiences

  2. Thanks Louise… We’ll get these added.

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