Link building is one of the biggest challenges for most real estate professionals. It’s the most complex and time consuming aspect of search engine optimization (SEO).
Not long ago, link building used to be a number game. The more websites or pages you had linking to you your website, the more leverage you could get in boosting your search engine results. The quality of links or relevancy of pages linking to your website didn’t actually matter.
But the introduction of several algorithm changes by search engines, particularly Google, has made link building enormously difficult. The black-hat SEO is almost out of picture now. If you really want to build links, you have to work your tail off. There are no short-cuts.
But, is it possible for real estate professionals to take time out from their busy schedule to even think about link building. They are already juggling with so many other pressing obligations like generating, capturing and nurturing leads.
Whether you like it or not, you have to take on the challenge and give some serious thought to link building because search engine traffic is as important for your business as any other real estate marketing endeavor is.
Here are a few steps you can take to eliminate some stress from your link building efforts:
A quick note: There are many easy link building techniques like directory submission, business listings, press release submission to PR websites etc., but these are outside the scope of this blog. The bottom line is to build links naturally to win the SEO game in the long run.
Leverage your network
When black hat SEO ruled the roost, SEOs used to build phony websites (Private Blog Network) and link them to their target website to build links. The game has changed. Now you need to have real people linking to your website – that too naturally.
You need to leverage your sphere of influence in order to give your SEO campaigns an initial boost. As a real estate professional, you probably already know the industry leaders in your area. These could be:
Quote them, praise them, do round-ups and interview them in your content from time to time and let them know what you expect in return.
Bonus tip: Don’t try to pursue people who are too famous to notice your praise. It’s possible to draw celebrities’ attention, but it’s really time-consuming.
Blogging is the easiest linking building technique. Many real estate professionals believe that blogging is very time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be like that.
Because, if you share your experiences with regard to what challenges your clients – mainly home buyers and home sellers –face, you won’t have to stare indefinitely at a black document on your computer, thinking about the next topic and blog content.
As a real estate professional, you meet new people regularly. You can’t afford to be an introvert. It means you get to listen to other people’s experiences with regard to buying and selling properties. Develop a habit of noting down your clients’ emotions, challenges, and fears. Include those experiences and personalize your content to give it a unique voice.
People tend to share highly personalized content. They will link to your website naturally. And, natural links is any SEO’s biggest achievement.
Here are some other content writing strategies that can get you links naturally:
Link out to others
Link exchange can get you in trouble and invite a search engine penalty, but if you believe someone you know has created a great resource that is helpful to your website visitors, there is no harm in linking out to that resource.
If you will link out to others, they will definitely return the favor somehow. They would hopefully at least share your post on their social media channels, driving traffic to your website.
Exposure in local media
As an experienced real estate professional, you or your brand should come out with insightful commentary on the local property market trends. You should hang around with journalists of local newspapers in your area and share your insights with them. They may find it interest and write a piece on what you have to say. Most local news websites are high authority domains. When they will quote you, they will probably link to your website.
Another way to grab attention of local media is to share latest developments in your business through press releases. If you have hired a hotshot agent, opened up a new office or organized an event, you should write a press release and share it with the local media and industry influencers.
Positively review brick-and-mortar businesses
It is quite natural for real estate websites to have separate sections to cover local amenities, restaurants, and events.
You can write reviews on restaurants, featuring their most delicious dishes.
Do you know a good plumbing or any other service related to home improvement ? Without sounding too promotional, you can mention or quote them in your content. Let them know you wrote a review on them and depending on your relationship with these businesses, you can directly or indirectly ask them to link to the review.
You can also write reviews on events organized by private organizations in your area and reach out to them for a link to your website.
You can write and publish content on other websites related to your niche. Guest blogging has become a link building powerhouse in the SEO industry these days.
Make sure that the websites you write guest posts for allow a ‘dofollow’ link to your website, at least in the author bio. If they allow you to place a link in the main content, that’s even better. Be subtle while placing links in guest blogs. Make anchor texts sound natural.
A lot of home buyers and sellers post questions and discuss their challenges related to buying and selling homes on public forums like Quora and reddit. These forums are immensely crowded. Apart from being active on these forums, you can create your profile on local forums – relevant to your town or communities.
Don’t be on these forums just to build links. You need to be really helpful to people when they discuss their problems and challenges. Build your credentials before you start using these forums for link buildings. Place links only if they sound natural. Besides, follow guidelines that forum administers have put in place.
Be communicative on the web
If someone has really created a useful resource, you should leave meaningful comments and even share these with your audience. It will help you grow your network on the web. These people will most likely return the favor and share your content.
Link building is not for the faint-hearted, but if you manage to surmount the challenge, you will reap benefits for years to come. You just need to have patience when it comes to link building for real estate SEO.