With inventory shrinking by almost 27% and homes selling almost 11 days faster than before, it's apparent that the housing market is incredibly competitive right now.
Smart realtors need to do everything they can to stand out from the crowd when it comes to finding new clients and listings. Although you might have found billboards or benches with realtors' faces on them in the past, today everything happens online.
In fact, 97% of people looking for a home start their search online. So how do you get found online?
The answer is through real estate backlinks. This will help you get found on search engines and skyrocket your business. Let's take a deeper look at how SEO backlinks work for real estate businesses.
Keep reading to learn more.
Backlinks, otherwise known as inbound links or one-way links, are simply the "blue text" links that lead from one website to another. Major search engines like Google view these backlinks as "votes" for the authority of a specific page.
So if your website has many backlinks, search engines will think that your website is a useful, valuable, credible website with a lot of authority.
Of course, it's important to keep in mind that there are several other factors that go into determining your SEO (search engine optimization) score. All of these factors will eventually help decide how well your website performs on SERPs (search engine results pages).
The higher up your website is on SERPs; the more potential customers will see your website. This means more business, clients, leads, and eventually revenue.
Absolutely. Although backlinks are quite important for all industries, it varies how much impact they will have.
For an industry like real estate, where almost all home searches begin online, it becomes essential to make sure that your website's SEO is in good standing so that you show up on SERPs as often as possible.
The answer is no — not all backlinks are created the same. In fact, you can even get penalized for having spammy, low-quality backlinks that lead to your website.
Simply put, it's much more valuable to have one high-quality backlink rather than a hundred low-quality ones.
Some qualities that low-quality links may have include:
What about high-quality links? They usually come from websites that include:
With these in mind, let's take a look at real estate link building.
Before we get started on helpful strategies, it's important to keep certain things in mind. There are specific challenges that pertain to realtor backlinks. Let's take a look at a few of them.
If you're in the real estate industry, you already know how stiff the competition is. This is no different when it comes to finding high-quality backlinks.
You are likely competing against some of the biggest corporations in the game, like Berkshire Hathaway, RE/MAX, and Keller Williams. Finding quality backlinks can be time-consuming and hard to do, especially in the crowded real estate industry.
If you're a real estate agent, chances are you aren't an SEO professional as well. It can be hard to differentiate good links from backlinks.
The truth is, even links that come from sites with great traffic and look pretty good could be a toxic link. It takes time to figure these out.
Although general SEO is always helpful in extending your business's reach, the most valuable leads for realtors come from local search terms. This could be something like "houses near me."
Your strategy for acquiring backlinks should address this.
Now that we've covered the basics and challenges of getting backlinks in the real estate industry, it's time to dig into the good stuff. Here are several strategies and tips for getting high-quality backlinks for your website.
It's not news how important relationships are when it comes to the real estate industry. Who you know is just as important as what you know. This is the same for building links.
The goal here is to leverage your local network for as many quality links as possible. If you are an active realtor, you likely already have a sizeable network, so use it for your backlinks as well!
Reach out to your local network and even start building relationships with other websites and blogs in your industry and area. Although getting backlinks from other real estate agents is great, you can also mine other local organizations, like business associations and social groups.
You might be able to land some quality backlinks with a simple and polite email.
Linking is more than just getting votes of authority from search engines. It's also a great way to build strong relationships with local businesses, which will in turn, build your brand awareness and name recognition.
That all leads to more clients.
As we've mentioned, local, location-based targeting is absolutely essential for real estate agents. It's important to create the type of content that will drive the kind of traffic that you want.
Geo-targeted content can be many things, including:
If you start posting fresh, valuable content like "The Top 6 Burgers in [Place]", you'll start picking up more traffic and valuable attention — even from people who might not be looking for homes. But once they are looking, you'll be one of the first authoritative realtors that comes to mind.
The more valuable your content is, the more likely it is that other websites or even social media accounts will link back to you.
Create as much valuable, high-quality, geo-targeted content as you can make.
No matter what kind of industry you're in, one of the most powerful tools that you can utilize is social proof. Having positive reviews and testimonials can shoot your business's legitimacy through the roof.
However, we're not talking about getting testimonials or reviews for your own business — for this strategy, you'll be giving them to other businesses.
A great way to build links for your website is to give testimonials to other businesses. It can be anything. Find products or services that you love and give them a positive review. It can include:
If you give them a good testimonial, they may post your review (along with a nice link back to your website) on their website. You can also do this on other review platforms like Yelp or Google.
Not only will you establish your authority and get useful backlinks, but you'll build stronger relationships with local businesses as well. Once you do this, they'll be happy to give you backlinks in the future.
Another unique strategy for building backlinks and local goodwill is to find charities in your area that link out to other websites.
You can offer to sponsor their website. For example, you can make a list of the top charities in your area and contact them on the phone. You can offer to sponsor a cost for them, like their website expenses, which is usually around $20 a year for hosting and domain costs.
Chances are that most of the charities that you offer this to have never gotten a proposal like this and would be happy to oblige. Then, on the website, you can ask them to have them add "Sponsored by X Agent" with a link back to your website.
It's important to note that Google will give more weight to links that are located in the same area as you. Also, charities are also typically highly linked to, giving it a great backlink profile whose "juice" will pass on to your business.
Not only does this look great for you and your business, but it provides a powerful backlink as well.
Another common strategy for link building (not only in the real estate industry) is utilizing HARO. HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out.
If you sign up for their service, you'll receive emails from HARO that includes a variety of requests for expert opinions on different topics. Reporters looking for professional real estate agents are quite common.
If your experience fits the mold for the request, you can simply email them back with some professional advice that fits their request. Then you can get a great backlink for your website from a journalistic organization.
Another highly sought-after type of website backlink is, EDU links. These types of links are highly trusted by Google because they represent professional education establishments. This means they are also harder to get.
However, similar to our charity strategy, you can try to go through the sponsorship route. You can usually find different organizations within a school, like a:
Many schools have sections of their website like a blog, that they update regularly. A simple $50 donation to a local club can go a long way. Oftentimes, even a $25 donation is enough to get a link from the school.
To do this, email the person that is directly in charge of the club. You can ask them about any sponsorship opportunities there. Most likely, there is no formal process, so you can just ask or suggest a dollar amount and request a backlink in the process.
This particular strategy is a common backlink-building strategy in other industries as well. To do this, you'll need a solid amount of knowledge about the businesses around you. Keep track of businesses that have gone under recently.
These websites most likely had several other websites that linked back to them. Use your best web-crawling skills to find these websites. Once you find the websites that are linking back to broken websites, you can write a well-crafted email to them to suggest updating their information with your own website link.
To find these websites that were linking to the out-of-business company, just search for — "Link" + "URL of company."
This will give you a full list of websites that link back to the out-of-business website.
You're actually helping those webmasters with their websites while gaining a link of your own. To do this though, you'll need to have relevant, high-quality content on your website that can take the place of the old link.
You can also look into reproducing better versions of the content that the out-of-business website had. Webmasters will have a hard time not choosing your better-quality and up-to-date content.
That's everything you need to know about real estate backlinks. They're not only an important part of building any website's SEO but are especially important in the real estate industry.
The next step is to get out there and start networking to build your company's SEO. Although it may take some time and effort, it can do wonders for your business if you can land on the first page of SERPs.
If you want to stay up to date on the latest in real estate marketing, make sure to check out our other articles as well!