Coworks users aren’t unique in having a specific design approach, but we love to celebrate the coworking operations that use our platform to manage...
SEO basics for coworking spaces
Meet Jake Bolling of CoworkingSEO, helping operators expand their reach and drive leads to fill their space.
You may not know this, but Coworks coworking software got its start in an actual coworking space in Raleigh. Our founders loved the experience of the space and the community was an absolute joy. But the tech behind it needed help.
Turns out, that origin story isn’t as unique as we thought. The same thing happened to Jake Bolling, a digital marketer from Long Island, New York. Just a year ago, he was doing freelance project-based marketing work for a variety of small businesses out of The Benchspace, a coworking operation in Mineola.
“I’m a social person, and it doesn’t matter where I am, I'm going to make friends with every single person there. I got to talking with the other members of The Benchspace, and one was a commercial real estate broker. We did some projects together, and that introduced me to marketing for CRE. He then introduced me directly to the owners of The Benchspace, who asked if I could help with their Google ad campaign.”
After a robust approach to expanding the reach and impact of the digital strategy for The Benchspace, the rest is the stuff of a very impressive case study that includes getting the space to page one of the search engine results within four months, 103x ROA on Google Search Ads, and the space’s first wait list in the five years they’d been in business.
Bolling’s own takeaway? Rinse and repeat.
Creating a comprehensive digital strategy for coworking spaces
Today, CoworkingSEO offers an extensive array of services for coworking and flex spaces. That includes full digital campaign development, as well as:
- Paid social
- Google PPC
- New web sites
- Graphic design
- Google business profiles
- Google reviews
- CRM chat widget
- and more
“We can do a lot for coworking spaces, even though our name says SEO,” Bolling explained. “Spaces can even outsource their entire marketing operation to us, or access tools we’ve built and templatized to make it easier to do in-house.”
CoworkingSEO’s product list is expanding everyday, and Bolling is excited about it.
“I love seeing the impact our work has on these folks. Finally, they’re at capacity, they have a waiting list, they’re partnering with other local businesses. It’s why we do what we do.”
That impact starts when Bolling is able to help coworking space owners and operators understand why SEO matters in the first place.
“Think about how you use Google, and that’s what your user is doing,” he explained. “70 to 80% of us ignore sponsored results. We know they’re paid ads. And the last statistic I found showed that 67% of people searching will click on the first five organic results. That means optimization matters more than ever, so the people who are looking for you can find you.”
And for coworking spaces, that means an emphasis on local. In fact, he points out that 88% of people who search for a local business or use ‘near me’ in their search will visit that business within a week. That is some high intent.
“If you're missing out on SEO, you're leaving a lot on the table,” Bolling said. Happily, we asked Bolling to give us a primer on SEO, so our coworking space audience would not only learn something they could use right now, but they could get a feel for his expertise.
Tips to optimize your coworking space web site
“One of the fundamentals of SEO is called ‘on page’ optimization,” Bolling explained. “This looks at how relevant Google finds your site on the specific subject matter.”
So if you say you’re a coworking space in Mineola, but are those phrases in heavy use on your site? Does your site validate that? Here’s how you get started:
“You achieve on page optimization with content marketing — your blog and your web content. You look at keyword optimization, which isn’t just packing your site full of the same words. You make sure you’re using H1 tags and writing meta descriptions. You’re providing alt text on all images — which is a best practice for accessibility anyway.”
Then there is ‘off-page’ optimization. This is about authority, and that means other sites validated your content by linking to you.
“We try to be really strategic with the keywords that we assign to each page,” Bolling explained. “It’s like a mind map, you have your homepage, and then a services page, and you should have a product page for each of your individual offerings. That includes hot desks, coworking memberships, private offices, virtual memberships, and meetings. Having a page for each of those rankings is going to help you on the local searches when people are searching for them.
And for every page, Bolling recommends including your location information, but not just for your specific town, but also surrounding areas.
And don’t just guess how your site is performing. Leverage technology.
“A good starting point is a tool like SiteChecker.Pro or Google Search Console. There's a lot of helpful tools on AppSumo. Make sure you find a good SEO audit tool so you can benchmark where you are today and see how the changes you made impact your ranking over time.”
Directories and aggregators are also helpful for backlinks and authority scores. And one last tip is an easy fix that’s more like housekeeping. It’s looking for duplicate pages.
“Sometimes when you’re adding content to your site, you clone or copy an existing page so you have a starting point. But you also clone that URL, otherwise known as the ‘slug.’ Go back and make sure all your pages have unique slugs that accurately reflect that content.”
Take the time to be listed in your local directories
“According to Moz, local citations represent about 11% of the factors in your search ranking,” Bolling noted.
A local citation is a data set typically made up of seven data points:
- Your business name
- Your business street address
- Phone number
Bolling suggests listings on Facebook, Google My Business, Apple Maps, LinkedIn Directory, Yelp, Bing, Foursquare, Hubspot, Yellow Pages, Yahoo! Local.
“But don’t forget the coworkings-specific aggregators, such as: Drop-desk, Instant Offices, Coworker, Upsuite, Desksnear.me, Spacelist, Easy Offices, and all the location-specific ones — these are big!”
Being part of these directories may seem like muddying the waters, but remember what authority scores are: these sites provide good backlinks, some can collect reviews on some of them (Facebook, Yelp, GMB), and most of all, they impacts Google Local search results when your NAP (name/address/phone) is consistent across all the sites.
Of course, all this is hardly the extent of Bolling’s expertise or CoworkingSEO’s capabilities. We’re excited to showcase more!
Learn more about CoworkingSEO.