The real estate business is competitive and ever changing. It’s important that new realtors know what to do to stand out in a sea of competition.
The world of real estate marketing has changed and more and more agents are jumping on board by adapting their marketing strategies.
99% of home buyers between the ages of 23-56 are starting their search online. If you’re not online, you’ve got a problem. The billboards, mailers, and newspaper ads aren’t working anymore.
It’s crucial that you have a strong online presence and even your own individual realtor website.
The best way to get noticed with your real estate website is through SEO and to build a strong website, you need real estate backlinks.
In this guide, you’ll learn the importance of real estate backlinks, what they do for real estate websites, and how you can start building backlinks to grow your website and attract more buyers and sellers.
What are Real Estate Backlinks?
Backlinks are inbound links from one website to another website. Google sees these links as “votes” of confidence for a certain page. The more links you have, the more votes you have.
Now, you can’t simply put links on your own website linking to other pages on your real estate website.
The links need to come from another website to count as a vote.
Challenges Real Estate Professionals Face
Before we dive into the meat and potatoes, let’s take a moment to talk specifically about the industry and some of the issues real estate professionals face in today’s real estate climate.
When you have massive real estate companies like RE/MAX and Berkshire Hathaway, it can be difficult to compete as a small market realtor.
Not to mention the fact that these companies have large marketing budgets that they can use to build real estate backlinks to their website quite easily.
It’s easier for them to do outreach as well because people recognize them. The more backlinks you have, the more popular your website can become thus making it easier to build more.
It’s also important to understand that the competition is getting smarter. Other real estate agents understand SEO and how to build real estate backlinks.
Local SEO is Challenging
Local SEO is a challenge in itself because you’re all competing for the same sets of eyeballs. When you’re marketing on a regional, national, or international scale, there’s a much wider audience for you to target with your content.
When you’re marketing to a single real estate market, your options are much thinner and the chances of you standing out are much smaller.
By building a great real estate website, creating awesome content on it, and building links to it, you’re jumping the competition and increasing your chances of being the website they see when they look for a real estate agent.
Why are Real Estate Backlinks Important?
We know what backlinks are but why do agents specifically need them?
As I said before, backlinks serve as a “vote” of confidence for your website. When Google sees that you have backlinks, it’s telling Google that your site can be trusted.
If we search for real estate agents in Chicago, these are some of the top results. Where the arrows are pointing are the total number of backlinks on these sites.
As you can see, they all have close to or more than a million backlinks. Of course, sites like Yelp have a ton but some of these are individual real estate companies in the city.
They’re ranking at the top of Google for this phrase because they have a ton of backlinks and Google trusts them to provide searchers with the results they’re looking for.
Backlinks from relevant websites usually translate into organic traffic and better SEO rankings. The better backlink portfolio you have, usually the better search engine results you have.
Another reason backlinks are important for real estate is because it can help increase your site’s domain authority. This is a metric used to determine how “authoritative” a website is.
When your website has a high domain authority, it’s considered a highly trusted site that Google wants to rank.
If your website has a low domain authority, it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with your site, it could mean that the site is new.
But, regardless, your site will have a harder time outranking sites with a high domain authority. Increasing your real estate backlinks can help increase your domain authority.
Ultimately, you want to realize that backlinks are the key to ranking higher on Google, it’s as simple as that. They’re one of the most important ranking factors that Google looks at and the more quality backlinks you have, the higher chance you have of driving more traffic to your real estate website.
How to Build Real Estate Backlinks: 6 Tips
Now that you understand the basics of building backlinks for the real estate industry, let’s talk about some of the actionable steps you can take to start building real estate backlinks for your website.
1. Determine Your Unique Value
It’s important to first understand that outreach is at the center of all link building. You need to step out and reach out for backlinks if you intend to ever get a link from anyone.
To do this properly, you need to have some type of value proposition. Website owners are receiving emails from people asking for backlinks all the time. What can you provide that separates you from the rest of the people reaching out to them?
For one, you can provide your expertise in some way. You’re a real estate professional with a lot of experience and you’d like to contribute a piece of content for their website perhaps?
That said, we should also realize that a lot of people are doing this already.
One of the best ways to provide value when you reach out to a website is by pitching them on content topics you think they’d be interested in.
If we use the Content Explorer section in Ahrefs, we can see what topics are ranking well for certain keywords. If we potentially wanted to write an article about how to make a home sell faster, we could use these top ranking articles as examples.
2. Leverage Your Network
You know that the real estate business is a game built around relationships. The more people you know, the more business you have, it’s simple.
Real estate link building is very similar actually. You can leverage your network to build links by collaborating with other real estate agencies.
If you’re working with another agency in a transaction, it benefits two parties right?
You could potentially be working as the seller’s agent with a buyer’s agent. The both of you are going to collect a commission, why not work out a situation where you could both get a backlink as well?
If the other agent has a real estate website, simply ask them if you could do a quick little write up on their blog in exchange for a link pointing back to your website. This is a great way to build authority in the eyes of Google because it’s helping to determine that you’re a local expert.
You could also network outside of the industry as well. If you’re a popular name in the community, use that to your advantage. Reach out to business associations, chambers of commerce, social groups, local markets, and even non-profits. You could also pay to become a sponsor if it earns you a link.
One of the biggest benefits of link building is that it’s a double whammy. You’re building real estate backlinks which looks great for Google but you’re also increasing local exposure which helps more home buyers and sellers see you in the local market which increases your name recognition.
3. Create Geographically Relevant Content
One of the biggest things that separates the real estate business in the world of SEO is the fact that it’s hyper-local. The content you create and the audience you target is all within a specific area of the country so everything you do needs to be relevant for that small audience.
Building high quality backlinks when you have a small market is difficult so anything you can do to boost your exposure in the Google search engines will help.
We’ve talked about leveraging your network but now we need to talk specifically about the types of content you can create for link building that will speak to that local audience.
Think about it, this content doesn’t have much to do with the real estate niche, but it’s great local content. You could write a piece like this for your local chamber or a local tourism website to build attention and boost your real estate brand.
Even if people aren’t looking to buy or sell right now, they’re going to read that article and see you as more than just a business person who wants their money. They’re going to see you as someone who is invested in the community and likes building other people up too.
Not to mention the fact that you’re stoking the fire of your link building strategy and building high quality backlinks to your site.
4. Authentic Outreach
The ultimate question then becomes, how do you find real estate websites to reach out to for links? You can use your network and use local businesses that you know, but eventually, you’ll need to do some research if you want to make the most out of your link building.
One of the best ways to do this is with the SEO tool Ahrefs. Ahrefs allows you to see what websites are linking to your competitors so you can reach out to them and see if they’d be willing to give you a link as well.
Let’s take a rather small scale example. Bobbyzwest.com is a real estate website based in Pittsburgh.
In fact, the website only has 327 backlinks and 50 referring domains. A referring domain is the website that links to other real estate websites.
This is actually a great place to start your real estate link building if you have a new website because we’ve proven that these people are willing to link to smaller real estate websites.
If we click the referring domains tab, it’ll open up this big list of other websites that link to this site.
You can then filter them by domain rating (domain authority) and see the other real estate websites that link to this site. Some of the ones towards the bottom may be easier to reach out to and ask for a link.
It’s important that you understand that value and quality content are at the center of everything.
If your own website is crappy, doesn’t have any content on it, and doesn’t work properly, do you think your link building will work? They’ll see your website and likely ignore your email or social media message.
If they check out your website and see that you have a great blog with a lot of awesome content on it, they’ll see that you do this all the time, you’re an expert, and you provide a lot of value. As a result, they’ll be more inclined to at least open a discussion with you.
Once you’ve found a website that you want to reach out to, you need to find their contact information. Hunter.io is a great tool for this. It crawls the search engines and finds contact info on the websites that you want to reach out to.
5. Guest Posting
One of the best ways to promote value when link building is with guest posting. A guest post is when you write a blog post on someone else’s real estate blog in exchange for high quality backlinks back to your own site.
This is a great way to simplify your link building strategy because the value proposition is clear. “I’m going to write an awesome blog post for you, you’re going to give me a link.” It’s as simple as that.
One way to figure out if some of the real estate websites on the Ahrefs list are good options for guest posting is to see if it looks like other professionals guest post on their site.
Let’s take a look at some of these to see if we can create backlinks on other websites.
In just a few minutes I discovered that houserockrealty.com has a blog and while they only have a DR of 16, this could be a great opportunity for new real estate websites to kickstart their link building.
You could reach out to the owner of this website and offer them an awesome article in exchange for a link back to your website and a little exposure.
It looks like they want to create valuable content, it just seems like they have a hard time remaining consistent. That’s actually the issue with a lot of sites in the real estate niche.
You’ll find as you go through the list that this is the case with a lot of sites and you may find a number of ways to build high quality backlinks.
6. Establish Authority on Forums and Social Media
Using the search engines for high quality backlinks is great but sometimes building links isn’t all about immediate gratification. You’re ultimately trying to boost your real estate brand and become more popular and a great way to do this is by offering free advice on social media and local forums.
Be sure to provide useful insights and take the time to find people the answers they are looking for.
Also, get active on social media and use that as a gateway to drive people to your website.
All of this also helps you when you go to reach out to websites offering guest posting. They’ll see that you have your own blog, that you’re active on social media sites, that you’re offering free advice on forums.
This is all done in the name of boosting your brand, increasing your authority, and making it easier for people to trust you. Once you’ve done that, your link building will be much easier because people will want to give you inbound links because they’ll see it as a positive for them as well.
They won’t see it as “doing you a favor.”
It’s important to understand that link building is no longer optional if you want to be relevant online. Your local presence with billboards, mail ads, and radio minutes will only get you so far. It’s time to start building a strong online presence in the search engines.
Leverage your current network and see if anyone is willing to give you backlinks in exchange for value. Reach out to the websites you know, research using search engine optimization tools like Ahrefs, and see if anyone will allow you to write a guest post on their blog.
Make a name for yourself in the local community by offering free advice on social media and boost your brand which will benefit you in a number of ways. Utilize local events for networking and find ways to build relationships that will help you build backlinks.
Building backlinks is all about building a reputation and becoming a figure that people know and love. In reality, the real estate industry and link building are the same in a lot of ways.
If you find it too difficult or time consuming to handle your own real estate link building, we have a number of ways to help you. Contact us today!