Last week we talked about the blog in all its glory. Today, we’re going to talk about backlinks and what they can do for your real estate business.
What are they?
Backlinks are links leading to your website from another website. Clicking on the link will take the viewer directly to your page. Think of them as roads that lead to your business.
The more backlinks you have, the more popular your webpage is. However, these backlinks can’t come from any old website. Search engines–Google in particular–know when links are forged or spammy (never underestimate the all-knowing Google!), and these links don’t count when measuring your site’s popularity. Quality over quantity!
Why do they matter?
A backlink might seem pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of digital marketing, but they are, in actuality, a very powerful tool for enhancing your business’s online presence. A couple of backlinks can make the difference between whether or not Google decides to display your page, in turn, affecting how much traffic your site will attract.
We need not mention how important it is for your real estate site to receive heavy traffic. You already know that! But, what we can tell you, is that there are several ways you can acquire quality backlinks. A strong network of backlinks is a must if you want to establish authority in the eyes of Google and experience long-term real estate success.
Ready? Let’s get started!
How to build your backlink portfolio:
- Run a Backlink Audit
Before you get to work on building your portfolio, it’s important to evaluate what kind of backlinks you already have. Don’t think you have any? Think again! Chances are you’ve already acquired a few backlinks, no matter how small or inactive you consider your site to be. Whether or not they are quality backlinks, however, is another story.
There are tools out there to assist you in finding what websites already have you linked, such as Google Search Console. When performing your audit, be on the lookout for any weird or bad links as well as link building opportunities. These two factors are your most important areas of focus.
Now that you’ve completed your backlink audit, you’re ready to start prepping for your SEO plan.
- Make a List of Websites You Could Work With
What websites do you know of that share your target audience? Which of those are reputable? Your answers to these questions make for potential websites you may want to partner up with.
Think of as many sources as you can: websites, blogs, social media pages, directories. Search engines favor those websites that not only have a large backlink portfolio, but also a diverse one. Link diversity, your page’s citation across a variety of platforms, is another important factor to consider when acquiring backlinks.
Tip: Don’t be overly pretentious when making your list, especially if you’re new to the game and just trying to get your name out. Target easy websites first. Easy does not mean spammy!
You shouldn’t only look for sites that share your audience, but it’s a good place to start. Once you’ve thought of a few, you’re ready to widen your scope. (Remember, diversity!) Which values does your real estate business cherish? Family? Education? Integrity? Kindness? Think of companies or programs that promote these values. Those companies may make a great partner!
Let’s recap: So far, we’ve defined backlinks and discussed how they impact your online presence. We’ve also brainstormed some potential businesses and companies that may be reputable providers of those links. But, we have yet to examine active steps you can take to acquire them. Time for less thinking, more acting! Without further ado, let’s begin:
- Implementing Your Backlink Game Plan
In order to acquire backlinks, you need to start engaging with potential providers. Gain attention by involving your business with the community. The tactics below are productive (and rewarding!) methods for earning backlinks:
- Give back
Donate to local charities. Contact them and offer to sponsor their website expenses–it’s cheaper than you think. As a sponsor, your name will appear on their website with a link to your business’s page. Google favors links that originate in the same geographic location as your own. Local links essentially weigh more on the backlink scale, thus improving the chance your site will attract traffic.
Author’s note: We’re not saying you should donate to charities solely for the marketing benefits. Giving back is something we should all consider. Choose a cause you truly care about. Make this act both professionally and personally rewarding!
- Run contests
Contests are a fun and easy way to generate online buzz involving your business. Post the contest on your website and share the link to different contest boards. Contest submissions create more social mentions which create more backlinks. Easy as 1, 2, 3!
Need contest ideas? Hold a photo contest with a curb appeal topic: gardens, front porches, holiday decorations, etc. Participants can enter to win by posting a photo with a link to your site in the caption. The winner gets tickets to a local sporting event!
- Sponsor schools
Google loves .edu links, as they are highly trusted. Sponsor a school club, sports team, the marching band, or any other group looking for sponsorship. Most of these groups have a page on the school website, and they may offer link placement in exchange for a donation.
- Give testimonials
Think of your go-to plumber, handyman, hairdresser, mechanic, etc. Check out their website. Most of them should have a customer testimonial section. If they don’t, suggest they add one. Businesses love customer reviews! Offer to write a testimonial in exchange for a link. Do this for ten industries you regularly interact with, and your backlink portfolio will gain some major weight.
There are many other ways to get digitally involved with your community (e.g., government forums, real estate directories, event pages). Get creative, or think of people and companies you currently interact with. Keep in mind that these relationships should be beneficial to both parties. Always offer something in exchange for a backlink!
Time to Wrap It Up
Backlinks are incredibly useful marketing tools. They direct traffic to your site while providing a higher Google ranking. When building your backlink portfolio, remember to:
- Value quality over quantity
- Aim for link diversity
- Keep it local
If you’re willing to put in the work, you’ll be securing high-quality backlinks in no time.
Happy link building, everyone!