The real estate market is more competitive than ever. And smart realtors need a way to stand out from the crowd.
But, the days of throwing up a billboard with a picture of your smiling face and waiting for the leads to come rolling in are over.
Like everything else, real estate has gone digital.
Did you know 97% of home buyers start the process with a Google search?
It’s true. Long before they’ve made the decision to contact a realtor, they’re browsing available houses in the area, checking prices, taking virtual tours – and checking out real estate agencies.
That’s why it’s of utmost importance to have a strong web presence.
But that means more than just having a Facebook profile – you need a real estate website that will stand out from the background noise and land you new clients.
And that starts with getting your site ranked highly by search engines.
But how do you do that?
One of the best ways to improve your position on search engine results pages (SERPs) is by building quality inbound links.
These incoming links, which are also known as backlinks, signal to search engines how important and reliable the content on your site is.
And the higher you’re rated in these categories, the higher you’ll be ranked in search engine results.
Right now, you’re probably saying, “But wait, I’m a real estate agent, not a search engine optimization specialist. I don’t know the first thing about building links!”
Relax, you’re in the right place.
In this piece, we’ll show you four proven ways you can earn quality backlinks.
Challenges The Real Estate Industry Faces With Backlinks
Before we get started on the ways you can create inbound links, we need to address some of the specific challenges of link building in this industry.
The Market Is Overcrowded
You don’t need to be told how stiff the competition in the industry is. But that just makes it even more important that you generate good backlinks.
You’re competing with giant conglomerates – Keller Williams, RE/MAX, Berkshire Hathaway; the average local real estate agent is competing with massive nationwide firms to land clients.
Finding good linking sites is difficult.
When you’re soliciting inbound links, the quality of the linking site is important.
Researching these sites can be time-consuming and building a relationship to earn links can be frustrating.
Metrics Can Be Misleading
It’s a simple fact, not all backlinks are created equal.
As someone who’s not an SEO professional, you may assume any incoming link is a good one.
Or, you may think that a link from an unrelated site with great traffic is superior to a less-trafficked, but related site. It’s not.
Local Search Is Crucial
General SEO is good, but most of your valuable leads are going to be searching for local search terms like [houses near me]. Your backlink strategy should address this.
Now that we have all that out of the way, let’s dive into the four tactics you can use to generate links, improve your website’s visibility, and hopefully, land more deals.
1. Network, Network, Network
The real estate game is all about relationships. It’s about who you know, as much as what you know, or even what’s on the market. Link building is the same.
The Goal: Leverage your local network to get good incoming links.
The entire industry is built on collaboration.
From working with other agents to transfer property on a sale to meetings with groups like the local chamber, no one achieves real estate success on their own.
And since you’ve got the network, why not use it for backlinks?
Reach out to your local sources and build relationships with blogs and websites in the industry and in your area.
The websites and blogs of other real estate agents are a great source of links but don’t forget about business associations, social groups, and even churches in your neighborhood.
Getting them to link to your content may only take a polite, well-worded (and short) email.
By securing these valuable local links, you’ll improve your visibility in local searches.
And just as importantly, you’ll be able to capitalize on these geo-targeted links at the expense of non-local competitors.
Target Audience: Homeowners and homebuyers.
Don’t think backlinks from your network are just for search engines.
On the contrary, when someone links to your content, they’re sending a very strong message that they believe and trust in what you’re doing – something that’s not lost on homeowners and homebuyers.
And the more they see links pointing to your website, the greater name recognition you’ll achieve. Both of those mean one important thing: more clients.
2. Create Geo-Targeted Content
Are you starting to grasp the importance of location-based targeting when it comes to building links and driving traffic to your website?
The Goal: Boost your exposure.
In the last section, we talked about the importance of building your local network.
In this one, we’ll talk about the importance of creating the type of content that will get the eyes of people in your community on your website.
Geo-targeted content could be about a new listing, a new trend in real estate (e.g., the growing popularity of a revitalized neighborhood) or even social life in the area.
A blog post on the 10 best cocktail bars in your city is sure to garner attention, even from people who aren’t actively looking to buy or sell a home.
But when they are, guess who will be top of mind?
This type of content serves as a resource for web searchers and will likely result in a link to your post on the websites and social media accounts of the places you mention.
Target Audience: Influencers who can bring you traffic.
The only limits to creating geo-targeted content are the limits of your imagination.
Create content that has value for people in your area, and it will be picked up, shared, and linked to.
3. Build Your Network With Testimonials And Reviews
Nothing convinces the general public about a company’s legitimacy like testimonials and reviews.
But in this case, you’re not soliciting them to build your own reputation – you’re giving them out.
The Goal: Expand your network by engaging with other businesses.
A quick and powerful way to build links to your realty website is by offering testimonials to other businesses.
Do you have a favorable opinion of your appraiser? Or a favorite dry cleaner? Maybe you love your email marketing program? Give them a positive review on Google, Yelp, and other platforms. And be sure to include a link to your own site in your profile.
And in addition to establishing your authority and providing a boost to your own business, they’ll also cultivate goodwill with the businesses you’re reviewing.
And once you’ve established that positive relationship, most companies will be only too happy to provide you with a backlink.
Target Audience: Other businesses in your community.
Make a list of all the businesses you use, whether it’s online tools or local service providers.
Leave them testimonials on review sites. Then send them an email linking to the review and asking for a backlink. More often than not, they’ll agree.
4. Post On Forums
Buying or selling a home can be stressful and confusing for the people involved.
The Goal: Establish yourself as a real estate authority.
It’s not enough to just promote your business on forum sites.
In fact, if you do nothing but self-promote, it’s likely to have a negative impact on your reputation there, especially in communities like Reddit, where users vote on the quality of content.
Instead, you need to provide valuable information and be genuinely helpful.
Help people find solutions to their problems and establish your credentials before you start using these communities for link building.
Put links only where they feel natural and follow guidelines. Once you’ve created a reputation as an expert, your links will be more appreciated and more likely to get clicks.
Target Audience: Homebuyers and sellers.
Don’t be put off by the idea of building backlinks for your real estate business. It may sound daunting, but there are lots of ways to do it. And this article is just a start.
In addition to the four tactics listed here, there are many other ways to solicit backlinks. For example, you could try:
- Guest posting/guest blogging/appearing on podcasts. The host will give you real estate on their site or podcast to link back to your own site, allowing you to create links and expand your audience at the same time.
- Making your content shareable on social media. Just adding quick share links to your post so it can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites can lead to new links without a lot of effort on your part.
- Taking part (and posting about) community events like fundraisers. A good way to generate publicity, taking part in local events that are covered by the press can generate incoming links from reputable and trusted news outlets.
- Creating whitepapers and infographics others will find valuable. The best content is the content with the most value. And because humans love to share their knowledge and finds, if you create whitepapers or infographics with relevant information, they’ll be shared organically. And that means inbound links.
Creating links is really all about showing initiative and having the right mindset.
If you use natural tactics to create backlinks, you’ll be able to win the SEO game in the long run. And that’s a win for your real estate business.
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