Link Building for Real Estate
Real estate is high value and fiercely competitive. One way to stand out from the crowd is by developing a strong online presence so that buyers, sellers, and even investors become familiar with you or your company.
Many agents and brokers alike take the first step, which is setting up a website and some social media profiles. However, many of those same well intentioned agents never move beyond that first step, leaving a lot of potential customers on the table.
Building an online presence is not a “one and done” type of activity. It requires your on page SEO, content marketing, and link building activities to work together seamlessly to produce stellar results. It is also important to focus on strategies that work well for your niche. A car dealership link building strategy is going to look different than one for a real estate company.
If you are struggling to understand why you need link building or how to get started, we are going to change that today!
Why Do Links Matter?
Inbound links are and have been one of the most important ranking factors since Google first started using them as a ranking factor and this isn’t likely to change anytime soon.
Not so long ago, link building was a numbers game. Today, link building companies still look at building links in volume, but only if that volume can be reached without sacrificing quality and relevancy.
As a realtor, the concept of link building may seem a little foreign, but it is certainly worth taking the time to understand. The ability to secure quality inbound links will help your website rank higher, increasing exposure and leads.
Without further ado, let’s look at 6 tips that will help you start getting links to your real estate site.
Use Your Existing Network
The real estate industry requires several elements working hand in hand to transfer a property from one owner to the next. Naturally, the reliance upon teamwork also is a great opportunity to promote yourself online through outreach link building.
Let’s say that you are a realtor with your own website and you commonly work with a handful of lenders and title companies. Since you are already in contact with these people, asking them for a link is easy and your likelihood of success is higher since they already know you.
Outside of those, you many also find that you work with organizations like your local Chamber, local news sources, and other great geo-relevant websites. Simply make a list of your contacts in your community that have websites covering the same location and send them a quick email asking if there is a way that you can work together to help each other.
In many cases, this is a very quick way to get some great geo-targeted links that will be harder for your competitors (especially non-local ones) to replicate.
Study What Your Competitors Are Doing
A solid competitive analysis can save you a lot of time and money when building your initial marketing plan. Over time, your first hand experience and data will alter your strategy, but it is still a great starting point.
Specific to link building for your real estate business, you should identify which competitors are dominant for the terms/keywords that are important to your business and create a list of your top competitors. This could be just a few or there could be a unique set for each of your main pages.
The easiest way to compile the list is by doing a Google search for your most important keywords and make a list of which sites are ranking in the top 5 for each. Once you have this, you can move on to analyzing your competitors link profile.
Not all of your competitors’ links are likely to be replicated and in many cases, you will find some that aren’t worth replicating.
In order to decide, you need to know what makes a quality backlink and your need to familiarize yourself with the most common link building tactics in 2020. Once you have a better understanding of those fundamental principles, you can start to build a target list of your competitors best links, followed by a plan to recreate them.
Define Your Unique Value or Approach
Many companies have a mission statement, a tagline, and other brand focused pieces of marketing collateral. When it comes to link building, this same approach can prove to be beneficial, just on the granular level.
For each piece of content that you are creating, it should have a purpose and it should have value. Value can be educational, but that isn’t the only way to create value.
Products and services were created to meet the needs of your target audience. Some content helps them in the recognition, consideration, and the comparison phase. A transactional page on the other hand helps them finish the loop and solve their problem.
When promoting a piece of content via link outreach, it is very important to make sure the context of the link fits the current stage of the buyer cycle. By doing this, you will be able to promote both content and transaction pages. We will talk about a specific example below under tip #5.
Create Geo-Targeted Content
Geo-targeted content is simply content focused on your location rather than your industry. If you sell homes in Nashville, TN creating content about neighborhoods in Nashville, best bars and restaurants, and other location relevant information will turn your website from a sales page to a resource.
This will help you in many ways. Let’s say for example in tip 1 (reaching out to your existing network) you find that you are on good terms with three local restaurants. If you were to create a post on your blog talking about some great local restaurants, why wouldn’t they link to you? That is just one example, but this approach can be scaled up significantly.
The other benefit is that all of the content you create and attract links too is likely to start ranking. If I was planning to move to a new city and a realtor site had detailed guides on neighborhoods, schools, entertainment, and other key information, I would be tempted to contact them first.
If you are using re-marketing strategies, this type of content can also help you build an audience with an interest in your area of operation.
Overall, good geo-targeted content has so many ways to add value that your imagination is nearly the only limitation. So, do it early and do it often.
Start Small to Build Big
If you do commercial and residential real estate across a few markets, you may be tempted to “spray and pray”, reaching out to sites in all of those areas, without one focus area. Resist the temptation… you can thank me later.
One of the earlier tips was to define your unique value or approach. Once you have done that, you should be able to narrow your outreach down to a few smaller groups.
For example, let’s say you have a rental home search website and one unique item you offer is filtering by pet friendly and pet free homes. This now gives your two different outreach targets.
For the pet friendly rentals, you could reach out to your local vets, animal shelters, and other animal help organizations and let them know your site allows pet owners to easily search for pet friendly rentals in the area. This is a win-win for all three parties.
On the flip side, for homes that have never allowed pets, you could reach out to allergy, asthma, and similar local sites and let them know you have an easy way for people to find homes that are not likely to trigger their pet allergies.
That is just one quick example, but regardless of what you offer, that way of thinking will help you to turn a “sales” page into a valuable resource.
Set a Clear Goal and Get Help If You Need It
S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that stands for:
Whenever you decide to launch any new marketing plan, you should have clear, S.M.A.R.T. goals in place. If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you have arrived?
As an individual or even a company, you may find that once you dip your toes in the water, link building turns out to be more time and resource intensive than you expected. This can put you behind schedule and cause you to miss your overall marketing goals.
Many companies start out handling their link building internally and then decide to outsource their link building when they need to free up time or ramp up the scale of their link acquisition.
As the marketing director or person in charge of your companies link building efforts, it is important to identify when the switch from in-house to outsourced link building is necessary to stay on track with your overall goals.
In many cases, companies find that working with a reputable link building agency allows them to reach the scale they need for a fraction of the cost of building out an in-house link building team.
Building real estate links is going to be challenging, but most things worth having are. The most important thing to keep in mind as you dive into link building is to focus on natural, quality links. You may not get as many, but over the long run, you will have built up a solid link profile that pays you back time and time again.
If you do not have the time or inclination to do link building on your own, working with a reputable link building company can help you speed up the process, without taking on more risk. Good services are not cheap, because they do not cut corners. Keep this in mind when speaking with potential link building partners.
No matter which way you decide to go, the best time to start is now, so get to it.