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How to Get Quality Backlinks for Real Estate Websites

By Mihaela Lica Butler | November 23, 2021

Backlinks count among the top ranking factors to get your site listed on the first pages of Google's search results - the prime search engine real estate you must own for site traffic and authority, brand awareness, and sales. 

Because they are crucial for a successful online business, they are also tough to acquire. There are many tactics you could employ for link building, but the one thing that never fails is creating valuable content. 

How to Get Quality Backlinks for Real Estate Sites

What Is Linkable Content?

Linkable may as well read "irresistible" to do it justice. Every time you create content, you should put your targeted audience's interests first and make your message informative, relevant, and engaging. 

Depending on your personality and writing style, other attributes you could consider may include humor, friendliness, formality, optimism, and so on. 

Any content Wikipedia editors would consider a "resource" works. As a real estate professional, you may consider any of the following formats:

  • a real estate market study
  • an infographic
  • a how-to guide (how to choose the right home or how to apply for a mortgage) 
  • a video
  • an ebook or a whitepaper
  • striking images of fancy homes and interiors
  • intriguing featurettes, like homes owned by celebrities
  • lists (for example, 20 Things to Consider Before Buying a Home)
  • home buying stories (interview your clients and transform their experiences into enjoyable articles)

To make your content even more appealing, you may want to mention and link back to influencers within your industry. It is the easiest way to get their attention, especially if you highlight their value as professionals whose opinions matter or shape the future of your industry. 

"A person's name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language." – Dale Carnegie.

Keywords that Rank 

The first step to building a successful backlink portfolio is identifying the best ranking keywords within your industry: those are the keywords that generate interest and attract readers. 

Not sure how to use keyword research to generate topics of interest? Use a tool like AlsoAsked to identify the best ones related to your keywords:

The keyword phrase "real estate" is too generic, and it will be impossible for you to rank on the first page of Google for it, even with hundreds of backlinks

Instead of the generic "real estate" term, you could rank with a "long-tail" phrase that generates interest now. 

But, if you use Ubersuggest to analyze the SEO difficulty for the phrase, you will note that even some of its immediate long-tail neighbors are hard: 

However, if you analyze the topics suggested by AlsoAsked, you will notice many long-tail ideas for articles and blog posts that will trigger your readers' and peers' interest. 

Write Attention-grabbing Titles

Titles are the "first impression" you need to make your content count. A good title says all the readers need to know to decide whether to read your article or not. 

You must write titles that attract the right readers: you don't want to write a title for consumers to get B2B backlinks and social shares. 

Consider some "tricks" here too: 

  • Follow the 4Us technique: write titles that are unique, ultra-specific, useful, and with a sense of urgency.
  • Titles with a good EMV (emotional marketing value) score get more traffic, shares, and backlinks. Use a tool like the headline analyzer from the Advanced Marketing Institute to determine your title's EMV.   
  • Titles starting with "why" or "what" get more backlinks, according to Backlinko. (image why what)
  • Numbers in titles generate more social shares, and over 40% of the top articles in 2020 were listicles (source). Although we are hard-wired to prefer even numbers, "Odd numbers stick in our brain more, are harder to digest -- and as a result, gain extra meanings." Therefore, you may find odd numbers in titles more shareable and linkable than their even counterparts. 

Good headlines drive posts' conversion and click-through rates through the roof. 

Length Matters

When it comes to getting quality backlinks, studies show that long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links than short articles, according to a 2019 content study by Backlinko in partnership with BuzzSumo:

Long-form content generates numerous backlinks.
Long-form content generates numerous backlinks.

similar suggestion comes from Neil Patel, who aims for over 3000 words. 

Here are the most important three things you should know about the Skyscraper Technique:

1. Identify Real Estate Sites that Rank Well

Look at real estate sites whose content gets loads of backlinks. 

You can use the free backlink checker by Ahrefs for a sneak peek at the best-performing content from your competitors or sites within your industry. 

backlink profile for Zillow.
Backlink profile for Zillow for the term keywords "real estate"

2. Emulate and Make It Better

Once you see what your competitors do well, emulate their ideas, but go in-depth, bring it up to date, and make your content more informative and longer. 

Zillow got 4970 backlinks for their "8 Tips for Achieving Maximum Coziness" - why don't you take this idea and blow it out of the water? Make it 100 Tips for Absolute Coziness this Holiday Season or something along these lines. Then, you can get ideas from your competitors without plagiarizing them. 

3. Distribute Your Content

It's not enough to publish your content: the skyscraper technique doesn't work without distribution. So, for example, find people who linked to your site in the past, reach out and email or message them about the article you want to promote. Use a friendly nudge, a heads up if you will. Tell them why your article is link-worthy (informative, up to date, in-depth, etc.). 

If the article is publicity-worthy, you can even run an ad campaign to reach more readers - and many of them may be bloggers and journalists looking for resources to offer their readers. 

Does the Skyscraper Technique Work?

When done right, it is an incredible way to get quality backlinks for your real estate site. 

SEO expert Brian Dean tested this "Skyscraper Technique" successfully in 2016 with his "Google's 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List," and he keeps on updating the article every year. This example serves to show you what types of content will work. 

If you want to emulate it for your industry, consider a title like "The Complete Mortgage Guide for First Homebuyers," and include everything from tips to V.A. mortgage calculators, loan benefits, pros and cons, etc.

Look at the number of backlinks Investopedia got for a "how-to" article about mortgages. As you see, the topic is popular and gets a lot of interest. You can include a more extended, better "how-to" section in your mortgage guide, and you will provide an even more helpful resource for your readers.  

backlinks for How to Choose the Best Mortgage for You by Investopedia.
Investopedia's "How to Choose the Best Mortgage for You" got over 1200 backlinks.

Become a Resource for Bloggers and Journalists

When a journalist or blogger quotes something you write or say, they will likely link to your site. 

HARO (Help a Reporter Out) by Cision is the best and most popular platform to connect with journalists and bloggers if you want exposure. 

HARO alternatives include:

JustReachOut: use it to pitch bloggers, podcasters, and journalists to get backlinks or exposure for your brand.

Muck Rack: built like a PR platform to help you find journalists, monitor news, and build relationships with the media.

Qwoted: build a relationship with members of the media who are writing about your industry.

SourceBottle: become a resource for journalists and the media. Amplify your PR efforts.

GroupHigh: build a list of influencers within your niche for your next content or marketing pitch. 

You can use these resources and Twitter to look for sites within your industry that feature interviews. For example:

Let's take a look at some of the most popular tools used by SEOs and marketers today:

Ahrefs: already mentioned above, it offers incredible free and paid tools for keywords research, ranking tracking, site audit, backlink growth, and more.

Link Explorer by Moz: get link data on any domain or URL, including page authority and domain authority. 

NinjaOutreach link building software: an all-in-one backlink tool for link building strategies, with link request outreach templates, email campaigns, guest post link building, podcasts and interviews link building, and much more.

Link Prospector: helps link builders and content marketers find and organize new outreach opportunities to earn new links and social shares.

Raven Tools: a suite of SEO tools, including competitor ad copy analysis, keyword choices and landing pages, competitor backlink visualization, rank tracking, and site analysis. 

cognitiveSEO: a powerful tool to perform a site audit and identify all the on-page and off-page factors influencing Google rankings. Use it for keywords research, rank tracking, content optimization, in-depth backlinks analysis, Google Penalty prevention and recovery, social visibility, and much more.

Majestic SEO: a tool to identify the sites linking back to yours or your competitors. Use it to find desirable editorial-style links, see where a website is positioned compared to the very best sites in over 800 categories, and measure the impact of your content.

Monitor Backlinks: check the good and bad backlinks for you and the competition.

Avoid Google Penalties 

Whatever backlinking strategy you choose for your real estate site, avoid at all costs the link schemes Google frowns upon:

  • buying links or posts that contain links may attract severe Google penalties;
  • exchanging goods or services for links attract the same penalties as getting paid in cash;
  • offering or getting "freebies" in exchange for content containing links may attract Google penalties;
  • engaging in "link to my site, and I will link back to yours" schemes is a gray area, but excessive use of such strategies may attract Google penalties;
  • article marketing or gues post campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links may impact your site negatively;
  • automated programs or services to create backlinks to a site are dangerous for your site's health too. 

See Google's quality guidelines before adventuring in such backlinks-building strategies. Then, if you want to stay on the safe side, follow the tips we offered in this article and put in the effort required to build evergreen, compelling content that provides value for the readers and establishes you as an authority in your line of work. 

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Mihaela Lica Butler is senior partner at Pamil Visions PR. She is a widely cited authority on public relations issues, with an experience of over 25 years in online PR, marketing, and SEO.She covers startups, online marketing, social media, SEO, and other topics of interest for Realty Biz News.
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