Chapter 5: What is a Backlink?
How to Build Them Into Your Real Estate Website
What Are Backlinks for Real Estate?
Backlinks, also known as “inbound links”, are links from one website to a page on another website. Major search engines, such as Google, consider backlinks “votes” for a specific page.
Pages with a high number of quality backlinks tend to rank higher in organic search engine results.
Why is Backlink Building Important for Your Real Estate Website?
First, backlinks are a major piece of the SEO (search engine optimization) puzzle.
They go together like peanut butter and jelly. You need one to make the other better.
High-level, here are four quick reasons why it’s important to have a good backlink strategy:
- Backlinks are how Google (and other search engines) find your pages.
- Backlinks are a way to show Google that you have a solid reputation. Search engines will push searchers to websites they can trust.
- Relevant backlinks can boost your authority.
- Backlinks drive more traffic to your website.
Here’s an example. When someone types “sell my house in [market city]” or “real estate agent in [market city]” into Google, you want your website to come up on the first page.
If it doesn’t, then you’re missing out on a lot of website traffic, leads, and more importantly, deals.
Some 93% of internet experiences start with a search engine… that includes the real estate industry. When people — your target market — are looking for help, they’re going to Google.
And if you show up on the first page, that’s good for business.
Two of the most powerful factors for ranking in Google are website traffic and backlink portfolio.
In other words, the more traffic and backlinks a page on your website receives, the better that page will rank for your target keyword phrases.
Here is another example of a Carrot website. This member has 272 backlinks:
Backlinks have helped it climb the rankings to #1 for the target keyword: “we buy houses in Pittsburgh”.
Unfortunately, getting traffic and backlinks are also a few of the most difficult things to do. This is why, in this article, we’re going to give you some practical tips for promoting your content and building links to your website.
Not sure if you have backlinks? Use a free backlink checker tool.
Free SEO Keyword Bible Download
Here are 6 Simple Backlink Building Strategies You Can Use on Your Real Estate Website Today
Table of Contents:
- Consistent Content Creation
- Citations Are Important for Local Search Rankings
- Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
- Manual Outreach
- Using testimonials and reviews
- Guest blogging
1. Consistent Content Creation
This is your first step on the way to building your SEO rankings. Without consistently creating content for your website, you might rank for a few keyword phrases with your homepage, but you won’t rank for any longtail keyword phrases (like “how to deal with foreclosure” or “how to sell my how during a divorce”).
Think of every piece of content like a door to your website. The more doors you have, the more people who can visit your website, and the more opportunities you have to rank in Google. A good rule of thumb is to create one piece of content for each keyword phrase you’re targetting.
Whether your writing, shooting videos, or a combination of both using VideoPosts, consistency is key.
If you get stuck creating consistent content take a look at Fiverr, have a VA write for you, or if you’re a Carrot Content Pro or Advanced Marketer member, you have a full library of done-for-you blog content.
Many of our members, like Ryan Dossey, consistently get SEO leads from those done-for-you blog posts!
Action Item: Get writing! If you’re crunched for time, grab your phone and record a video. Once you have the video, send it to a transcription service and voilà… you have a full blog post.
2. Citations Are Important for Local Search Rankings
A quick-and-easy win for your SEO rankings is to make sure your citations are in order.
Citations are the business listings you have on third-party websites (Google Business, Yahoo, etc). The more citations you have, the better (aim for at least 50) — just make sure that all of those citations use the same contact info and have the same business name.
Practically speaking, building your citations is a matter of finding third-party listing sites and submitting your information… which can be a little time-consuming.
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Action Item: Building citations can be a time-consuming venture. Find a service that fits your needs and budget and get started!
3. Become a Source For Reporters and Bloggers (HARO)
HARO (which stands for Help A Reporter Out) is a great way to build backlinks and market authority all at the same time. Journalists sign up for HARO to get quotes and expert contributions from market experts.
And you can sign up for HARO (for free) to become a source of expertise for those journalists.
Often times, if they choose to quote you, they’ll also give you a backlink.
4. Manual Outreach
Social media shares are like gold — highly desirable but in short supply.
When someone shares one of your articles or one of your posts on social media, you get free publicity in front of all of their friends and/or followers.
Unfortunately, getting shares can be a real pain — even if the content you created is share-worthy.
Still, by explicitly asking certain people to share a piece of content you created, you can get more social shares and increase the content’s organic reach. If you know people who love your business, then why not reach out about a recent piece of content and ask if they’d share it?
You might be surprised at their willingness to help.
Try something like…
I just finished putting this together and I though you might find it valuable — [LINK].
If you do, would you mind sharing it with your audience. Either way, I hope you enjoy it! :)
Action Item: Craft a message to fit the person you’re messaging and the relationship you have with them.
5. Link Building with Testimonials & Reviews
Another way to build real estate backlinks in very little time (but with a big impact) is to offer testimonials for online businesses where you’re a customer.
All online businesses are looking for testimonials from their customers. And most of them won’t bat an eyelid at your request for a backlink in return. High-quality testimonials also build your online authority.
Subject: I LOVE your company…
Hey [name of business or person you’re pitching]!
My name is [name] and I’m a real estate [investor/agent] in [location]. I’ve been using your service for [length of time] and it’s completely changed the way that I do business. I love it so much that I wanted to send over a testimonial that you can use if you feel so inclined. :-)
I hope you can use that testimonial to encourage others to use your [service/tool/product]. It’s been absolutely amazing.
Thanks for building something so genuinely helpful.
And if you do decide to use the testimonial, it would be awesome if you’d include a link to [your website] when quoting me.
Either way, keep up the good work. :-)
Action Item: Make a list of all the online tools you use and love. Then send those businesses an email with your testimonial, asking for a backlink in return. Use the swipe template for that.
6. Guest Blogging for SEO
An oft-forgotten and easy way to build relevant backlinks are by being a guest on real estate podcasts or by guest posting on a real estate blog.
And the easiest way to find these podcasts is by Googling something like “real estate investing podcasts” or “small-business entrepreneurship podcasts” or “real estate investing blogs.”
Remember, the smaller the podcast or blog, the easier it will be get accepted as a guest. The more prestigious it is, the more difficult it’ll be.
Swipe Template for Podcasts…
Subject: Quick idea…
Hey [name of person or business]!
My name is [name] and I’m a real estate [investor/agent] in [location]. My business has [build credibility with revenue numbers, media mentions, or a testimonial from a past customer]. And I’d LOVE to be a guest on your podcast to discuss [pitch a relevant topic you’d be comfortable discussing].
What do you think? Is that something we could set up?
Let me know! I’d be happy to get it on the calendar. :-)
Swipe Template for Blog Posts…
Subject: Quick idea…
Hey [name of person or business]!
My name is [name] and I’m a real estate [investor/agent] in [location]. My business has [build credibility with revenue numbers, media mentions, or a testimonial from a past customer]. And I’d LOVE to write an article for your website. Here’s my idea: [pitch a relevant topic you’d be comfortable writing about].
What do you think?
Let me know! I’d be happy to get started on it right away. :-)
Action Item: Find an email on your target website or a “Contact Us” form and use the templates to pitch your idea (or have a VA do it for you).
Bonus: Warning – Avoid These Two Backlink Building & SEO Tactics
When it comes to SEO, it’s not just important that you use the right strategies, it’s also important that you don’t use the wrong strategies.
Shady link-building tactics — what is often referred to as “black-hat SEO” — can get your website penalized by Google and completely destroy your rankings.
For that reason, we recommend avoiding the following two link-building tactics…
1. Avoid PBNs (Private Blog Network)
Look, building backlinks are difficult. It’s time-consuming, expensive, and soul-crushing.
We all know it.
Which is exactly why PBNs are so darn tempting…
These services promise to build backlinks to your website at a remarkably low cost and get your website ranking in no time. They won’t say much about how they’re going to build those backlinks, but the promise of seeing your website on the first page of Google’s results is enough to persuade most of us to enter our credit card information.
Since they won’t tell you how they build backlinks to your website, though, I will…
In a nutshell, they purchase hundreds or thousands of expired/unused domains with a bit of SEO juice build from the previous owners. Then, they go to all of these domains and plug a backlink to your website on each.
After a bit of time, your website starts to rank and you’re thinking to yourself, “Wow! These guys are awesome!”
Here’s the problem: PBNs cheat the system. Google explicitly says that using a PBN won’t only get the PBN company in trouble, it’ll get your website penalized as well.
It’ll all be good and fine until Google finds out. And they almost always find out.
Once they do, your website will take a massive dive in the rankings (or get banned from indexing altogether) – and recovering from that loss will be harder than trying to get a new website ranking (because you’ve lost Google’s trust).
2. Paying for Backlinks
Google explicitly says that it doesn’t want people paying for backlinks… but still, this no-no comes with a little bit of a caveat.
If you’re going to pay for backlinks, pay for good white-hat backlinks — ones that come from real sites with real domain authority in Google’s eyes. And be very careful about buying cheap links from sites that promise quick and fast results.
Would you like to know your spam score? You can check using this SEO spam score tool.
Ideally, you want your backlinks to come from sites with low spam scores. Ask any SE firm you’re thinking of hiring how they build backlinks and where those links come from. That will tell you a lot about whether those links are high-quality or not.
Free SEO Keyword Bible Download
There you have it!
You should now understand how you can build your SEO rankings with backlinks to your real estate website.
If you have any more questions, though, feel free to ask them in the comments and we’ll help you out however we can!
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