If you master SEO and backlinks in particular, then you'll be visible to the millions of potential homebuyers who are searching Google for answers and opportunities.
The National Association of Realtors reports that 74% of home buyers significantly relied on the information they found online to make their buying decisions. And another 44% of homeowners said that they bought a home that they found online.
There's always some chatter about the real estate market potentially slowing down or grinding to a halt in the near future, but agents currently have little reason for concern.
In short, 55% of real estate businesses believe the market is experiencing remarkable growth. So it’s settled. More people are looking to close house deals today than in previous years.
Real estate professionals were feeling very optimistic about 2018.
Things are looking optimistic for 2019 too, despite recession predictions that would affect real estate prices in major U.S. cities.
Bottom line, there's no major, credible problem with the market. The problem is getting on the radar of all the willing buyers out there.
Well, look no further. They're online.
Albeit, the battle for new clients in the real estate market is fierce.
A new dedication to SEO and backlinks might just be the advantage you need.
10 Important Things to Know About Real Estate Backlinks
It's all too clear that, to compete in this modern real estate market, you must have a solid online presence. You shouldn't skimp or cut corners on this.
And since backlinks are kind of our thing, we're going to walk you through everything you need to know about high-quality real estate backlinks.
The backlinks that you should seek must be:
Relevant to the real estate niche
High quality enough to help boost your search engine rankings
To secure these links, however, you must have a strategy that focuses on gaining the attention of the search engines, or else you’ll be wasting your time.
1. Existing Backlinks
If you have a website, even a small or relatively inactive one, you probably already have some backlinks.
You can sign up for a free trial of SEOptimer now to see the backlinks that have already been built to your site. As an added bonus, it's a complete SEO tool that will also show you the keywords that you're ranking for in Google.
Come back to this article after signing up and review all of the rest of the important factors in this list: This will tell you everything you need to know about your current real estate backlink profile.
2. Link Diversity and Velocity
A healthy portfolio of real estate backlinks determines how popular the search engines perceive your real estate website and listings.
To develop a healthy portfolio, getting backlinks from one single source doesn’t cut it. You should aim to get as many real estate backlinks from as many sources as you can manage: blogs, directories, website pages and even social media. Search engines prefer to see that you've been cited as a reputable source across different platforms. This is known as link diversity.
Another metric is link velocity. This metric takes into account the speed at which other websites are linking to your real estate site. If you suddenly acquire 2,000 backlinks overnight, popular search engines like Google will suspect you or paying for backlinks and trying to cheat the system. If you're slowly and steadily creating fantastic content, publishing linkworthy listings and building relationships with other real estate websites in an honest way, you'll acquire backlinks at a natural pace and have no need to worry.
3. Citation Flow and Trust Flow
Citation flow tells the search engines how many websites are linking to your content. It's measured on a scale of 0-100. The higher the score, the better for your real estate business.
Page authority is a statistical metric to determine how well a specific page ranks on the search engines.
Domain authority is an aggregate of all your pages’ authority. They both signify how relevant your content and website is to your target customers.
Same as for citation flow and trust flow, both of these metrics are measured from 0 to 100, and higher is better. You not only want to grow page authority and domain authority, but you want to seek backlinks from pages that score high in these metrics too.
5. Anchor Text Ratio
The anchor text is the text that the backlink is embedded in. When you're building backlinks, you can often choose or request a certain anchor text be used.
To ensure that your real estate backlinks don’t get discarded as spam, follow these rules:
Keep your anchor text relevant to the link.
Avoid constantly using the same exact-match keywords, or Google may perceive your links as spam. If you use an exact-match keyword like "real estate listings new york" 90% of the time, this comes across as spammy keyword optimization. Vary it!
You can use variations of your target keywords, and use the name of your website or brand instead.
6. Link Relevance
Since you’re in the real estate niche, you have no business seeking backlinks on food-related websites.
Your backlinks, and the websites where they're placed, must be relevant to real estate and related industries like property financing. There is some flexibility with this rule though.
For instance, you can seek backlinks from websites that focus on "gardening" or "landscaping." These options are valid because gardening and landscaping are complementary niches to the home sale business.
Just be sure that the connection is in earnest—flout this rule enough, and you might just run out of favor with the search engines.
7. Website Preparation
Once you're prepared to build backlinks, you need to prepare your website for traffic.
Make it a place where people will be happy to stick around and read for a while.
Write more great, engaging content. Edit. Proofread. Add exciting multimedia for site visitors to interact with. Put your best listings front and center.
You should send your real estate backlinks to your "About Us" page as often as you can. You can also target links to some of your best real estate listings too.
Instead of sending these links to specific listings, create a page where you list your best properties. Make sure to list out these properties in order of relevance to the target group who might click on the link.
Update these pages frequently.
This tactic ensures your visitors have relevant listing to view on the pages they land on.
You can also send some real estate backlinks to the best blog posts on your site. Attracting high-quality real estate backlinks to these contents cements your authority on the subject matter.
However, optimize every blog post with a Call to Action. You still want to earn leads you can convert from these blog visitors.
9. Study Competitor Link Sources
The real estate niche is saturated with big players. These players are big because they're doing something right.
Don't attempt to compete directly with them on broad, general topics. Instead, focus on building your local relevance. Aim to be the master of your own domain. It will be easier (and more valuable) to rank for keywords that include local town and city names.
If you're aiming to compete with another local real estate agency, then you've got your work cut out for you—especially if they're already focusing a lot of attention online.
Generate and save a list of their best links for safe keeping. You’ll use this list in the next step.
10. Create Content That the Competition Will Envy
If you're going to secure the kind of links your competitors have, then you must stand out. Your content must be a lot more powerful than theirs. The rule of the thumb is to create content that even they would want to link to.
You can hire content writers to do this for you, promote your content via social media and other channels—and eventually, secure real estate backlinks from your competitors link sources. You already have a list of them.
Now, we'll tell you all the best places to score backlinks.
I’ve elaborated on the strategy of building backlinks for your real estate business. This next stage will focus on implementing these strategies.
1. Take the Low-hanging Fruits First
As a real estate business looking to get their name out, it makes sense to target the easy-to-win links first. Easier doesn’t mean spammy or weak.
"Easy" here means the path of least resistance. That is, the real estate backlinks you can earn with very little or no effort.
a. Resource Pages
Resource pages are directories for the best articles in a specific niche.
Because they feature a lot of the best articles, these pages enjoy a significant amount of traffic.
In short, resource pages exist for the sole purpose of linking (and of course, for the benefit of site visitors). A backlink on a real estate resource page is very relevant and beneficial to your site, and there are tons of these pages floating around on the internet for you to take advantage of.
For the real estate business, you have to prospect for these resource pages first. Simply Google "real estate resource page" and see what comes up. Then go about contacting webmasters with sweet and simple outreach emails.
b. Broken Link Building
Accidents happen, and links get broken. This is a great chance to swoop in and claim that lost spot for your business. First, seek pages that link back to other real estate businesses; an excellent place to start is resource pages.
If you find one, you should send a polite email requesting for your link to replace the dead link in their stead. Easy right?
You can also review the backlink profiles of competitors on SEOptimer, find which valuable backlinks they've recently lost, then contact the webmasters of those sites.
2. Use Bait
Now that the easy part is over, you may want to consider more technical approaches.
This section is all about baiting. Research shows that most purchase decisions are emotionally driven. One good way to entice home buyers to work with your agency is to run smart bait programs. These programs should paint your real estate business in a positive light, showing that you embrace positive values like education, family, honesty and so on.
You may have to invest a little to get the ball rolling, but what I'm about to suggest could attract a lot of attention and build a lot of trust.
a. Offer Local Scholarships
Once you set up a scholarship, you can list your sites on popular scholarship networks online. This exposure will earn you backlinks and drive a ton of leads to your site.
When they're local scholarships, you can earn press in local news media and open lines of communication with local schools and businesses.
Ask any organization with an interest in your scholarship to mention your brand online, specifically on their website. This really serves to get your name out there, and getting backlinks from other local websites is a great way to build authority and dominate rankings for local searches.
b. Run Contests on Your Website
A contest is a great way to generate buzz about your real estate business online. Run this contest on your website and share the links to various contest boards.
As more people interact with your contest submission, your business will get more social mentions. And consequently, more backlinks.
You can look through this link for a list of helpful contest ideas for your real estate business.
c. Run Newsworthy Promotions and Offer Virtual Tours
This technique will improve your social media mention by a wide margin. You can create and offers and promotions that are sure to gain traction. Do this on popular news platforms in your locale.
These tours could be virtual reality, video or photography. Start out with what you can afford.
d. Give Back (Charities)
Nothing melts hearts faster than an act of charity. If you have a couple of low-cost offerings on your catalog, you can give it to displaced families for the meantime. Asides the innate nobleness of this gesture, you’re sure to see tons of mentions of your business.
These mentions will spread across, local and regional news outlets and blogs. You can contact them to link back to your site. Most of them wouldn’t mind.
Be careful however to give your houses out to only those who are just going through a rough patch. Make sure they have a plan to move eventually, or you may get caught in a dilemma.
Force them out and risk bad press for your brand. Allow them to stay indefinitely, and you’ll be losing revenue for a long time. It's a fine line to tow here.
e. Offer Free Real Estate Consulting or Training
Another effective means is to offer free training for real estate enthusiasts. This free training will help you secure a good rapport with your local and regional news outlets. The side effects also spill into winning great backlinks for your real estate blog.
If you prefer to provide free consultations, then get prepared to advertise your offering. Many news and social media platforms will be quick to report this gesture on their platforms. This way you build a sound brand reputation and win good backlinks in the process.
3. Real Estate Backlinks from Authoritative Institutions
People trust the powerful institutions and for good reasons too. If your real estate business gets featured on one of them, this trust spills into it also. The next strategies will focus on these platforms and how you can expect to win backlinks from them.
The academic institutions enjoy a trust that's built on perceived infallibility. People rarely doubt their assertions. It's why the domain authority of ".edu" sites are so high. This blind trust is why you should seek to get your links featured on them.
Academic websites are however more rigorous in accepting links. They only accept and list valuable links on their pages.
For a real estate business, you must provide an insightful piece of content. It should be link-worthy enough even for a university.
You can shoot them an email afterward pointing them to your awesome content. If it meets their standards, you’ll get that backlink.
b. Government Websites (.gov)
Like .edu sites government websites enjoy ridiculously high domain authority. Getting a backlink from here is a good way to improve your brand’s ranking.
To get a backlink here are some strategies:
1. Get active on government forums and link back to relevant articles on your site.
2. Create a stellar content about real estate and the government. Contact an administrator on the site and politely ask for a link back from government sites' resource pages.
3. Comment on content posted on ‘.gov’ websites.
4. List your events on your local, state or national government's events listing sites.
5. List your opportunities (like scholarships) on government news and community pages.
Charities are known to influence our emotions by no small measure, and popular charity websites can drive a lot of traffic. This makes a suitable hunting ground for great backlinks.
If you have any charities you're currently donating to, contact the admins of these sites and request a feature or mention somewhere on their pages. Most often than not, you get a backlink for your effort.
d. Associations and Unions
The bigger the association/union is, the more valuable their links will be. Seek out powerful unions in your niche and request a feature or mention on their pages.
These associations are available in every region. You just have to seek them out. A backlink from them is sure to help bolster your SERP rankings.
4. Attract Links with PR
HARO is a tool for journalists to get stories and content in real time. Many prominent publications with huge domain authority use it too. You can register as a contributor and offer to provide content for these news outlets. In return, they’ll let you have a byline and a backlink to your site.
Given the size of companies that use this platform, it's an excellent backlinking opportunity.
5. Get on Real Estate Directories (Paid and Free)
Real estate directories are like resource pages, but they're solely focused on showcasing relevant websites. An example is the Reals Directory.
These directories feature a list of real estate businesses according to their specialty. Due to their search engine relevance, they have a considerable domain authority. Getting your business featured here will mean winning a profitable backlink.
Another way to win real estate backlinks is to review property listings and agencies in the real estate business. Pulling this off isn't easy though. You must ensure that your reviews are factual and unbiased. An honest review will see your authority soar amongst other competitors in your niche.
This could win you some backlinks as people share your review content to potential home buyers.
7. Use Events and Meetups
This method offers excellent returns especially if you seek to improve your local relevance. Find out about meet-ups and gatherings that are relevant to real estate business. Wherever you go, you can network, make valuable new contacts and discuss featuring each other on your websites.
Attend events for homeowners, property managers, landlords and homebuyers too. You can offer to sponsor a small segment of the event or buy a stand, if it's that kind of event. Use this avenue to win the hearts of your potential customers and collaborators, and collect their contact information.
You don't have to limit your events and meetups to face-to-face situations, either. You can use online events too. You can organize virtual home tours and live Q&A sessions. Savvy real estate websites are already earning real estate backlinks this way.
Virtual tours help potential buyers experience the property without leaving their offices or homes or altering their busy schedule.
Virtual tours can be in real-time like Georama does with Travel. Or you can offer pre-recorded or 3D virtual tours. Want examples? Search for "virtual home tours [city]" and you'll find how your competitors are taking advantage of this opening.
And here's what I found!
You can also host webinars for your target audiences and list these events on events listing websites. We've discussed specific events listing backlinks strategy somewhere else on this site. Remember you can list your online and offline events on relevant sites.
Final Thoughts on Real Estate Backlinks
Securing potent backlinks for your real estate business isn’t too complicated. You just have to be willing to do the work.
As you have seen in this article, you have to take the battle to your competition. First, profile their links sources and document them. Next, execute your strategies with exceptional finesse.
These strategies are not one-off activities though. You must continually, test, monitor and execute them for as long as you're in business. Only this will guarantee you continued dominance. With the information in this article, you're on the right path to winning those links.
Cheers to your success!
Nicholas Godwin has worked on projects for Fortune 500 companies, global tech corporations and top consulting firms, from Bloomberg Beta, Accenture, PwC, and Deloitte to HP, Shell, and AT&T. He has an ingenious competency in technology, business, and marketing contents.
Nicholas runs TechContentLabs and roams the globe (in his free time). We strongly recommend you talk to Nicholas for your business's SEO, content marketing, content strategy, deep web-research and WordPress needs.
SEO Audit & Reporting Tool. Improve Your Website. Win More Customers.