The real estate market is more competitive than ever. And smart real estate agents 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 leads to arrive 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 real estate agent, they’re scouring available homes in the area, checking prices, taking virtual tours, and checking out real estate agencies.
This is why it is of utmost importance to have a strong web presence.
But that means more than just a Facebook profile – you need a real estate website that will stand out from the background noise and bring you new clients.
And that starts with getting your site ranked high 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 to build quality inbound links.
These inbound links, also called backlinks, signal to search engines the importance and trustworthiness of your site’s content.
And the higher you score in these categories, the higher you will rank 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 know nothing about link building! »
Relax, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll show you four proven ways to earn quality backlinks.
Challenges the real estate industry faces with backlinks
Before we get started on the ways you can build 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 anyone to tell you how tough the competition in the industry is. But that makes it even more important that you generate good backlinks.
You compete with giant conglomerates – Keller Williams, RE/MAX, Berkshire Hathaway; the average local real estate agent competes with huge national companies to land clients.
Finding good linking sites is difficult.
When 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.
Measurements can be misleading
It’s a simple fact, not all backlinks are created equal.
As someone who is not an SEO professional, you can assume that any inbound link is good.
Or, you may think that a link from an unrelated site with high 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 search for local search terms like [houses near me]. Your backlink strategy should address this.
Now that we’ve got 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 about relationships. It’s about who you know, as much as what you know, or even what’s out there. Link building is the same.
The goal: Leverage your local network to get good inbound links.
The whole industry is built on collaboration.
From working with other agents to transfer property during a sale to meeting with groups like the local chamber, no one is successful in real estate alone.
And since you have the network, why not use it for backlinks?
Reach out to your local sources and build relationships with industry blogs and websites in your area.
Other real estate agents’ websites and blogs are a great source of links, but don’t forget professional associations, social groups, and even churches in your neighborhood.
Getting them to link to your content can only take a polite, well-written (and short) email.
By securing these valuable local links, you will improve your visibility in local searches.
And just as important, you’ll be able to capitalize on those geo-targeted links at the expense of non-local competitors.
Target audience: Home owners and buyers.
Don’t think that your network backlinks are just for search engines.
On the contrary, when someone links to your content, it sends a very strong message that they believe and have confidence in what you do – something that homeowners and homebuyers don’t miss.
And the more links they see pointing to your website, the more your name will be recognized. Both mean one important thing: more customers.
2. Create geo-targeted content
Are you beginning to understand 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 grab the attention of your community members to your website.
Geo-targeted content can be about a new listing, a new trend in real estate (eg, the growing popularity of a revitalized neighborhood), or even social life in the area.
A blog post about the top 10 cocktail bars in your city is sure to grab attention, even from people who aren’t actively looking to buy or sell a home.
But when they are, guess who will top the list?
This type of content serves as a resource for people on the internet and will likely result in your post being linked to 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 is valuable to people in your area, and it will get picked up, shared, and linked.
3. Build your network with testimonials and reviews
Nothing convinces the general public of a company’s legitimacy better than testimonials and reviews.
But in this case, you’re not asking for them to build your own reputation – you’re giving them away.
The goal: Expand your network by engaging with other businesses.
A quick and powerful way to build links to your real estate website is to offer 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 don’t forget to include a link to your own site in your profile.
And in addition to establishing your authority and boosting your own business, they will also cultivate goodwill with the companies you review.
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 companies you use, whether online tools or local service providers.
Leave them testimonials on review sites. Then send them an email with a link to the review and requesting a link back. More often than not, they will agree.
4. Post to Forums
Buying or selling a home can be stressful and confusing for those involved.
And, many of those buyers and sellers will turn to forums like Reddit, Quora, and local sites for answers to their questions. It’s there that you intervene.
The goal: Establish yourself as a real estate authority.
It is not enough to promote your business on forum sites.
In fact, if you’re just self-promoting, 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 should 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 to you and follow the guidelines. Once you’ve built an expert reputation, your links will be more popular and more likely to get clicks.
Target audience: Home buyers and sellers.
Take away food
Don’t be put off by the idea of building backlinks for your real estate business. It may sound daunting, but there are plenty of ways to do it. And this article is just the beginning.
In addition to the four tactics listed here, there are many other ways to solicit backlinks. For example, you can try:
- Guest posting / guest blogging / podcast appearance. The host will give you real estate on their site or podcast to link to your own site, allowing you to build links and grow your audience at the same time.
- Make your content shareable on social media. Simply 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 much effort on your part.
- Participate in (and post on) community events like fundraisers. A good way to generate publicity, attending local events covered in the press can generate inbound links from reputable and trusted media.
- Create white papers and infographics that others will find useful. The best content is the content that has the most value. And because humans like to share their knowledge and discoveries, if you create white papers or infographics with relevant information, they will be shared organically. And that means inbound links.
Bonding is really about showing initiative and having the right mindset.
If you use natural tactics to build backlinks, you can win the SEO game in the long run. And that’s a win for your real estate business.
Featured image: khunkorn/Shutterstock