There are few people who wouldn’t agree that search engine optimization has become critical in any online marketing strategy for 2013 and link building is a core component of achieving this. Therefore, if you have a Real Estate business and your website is focused on competing and ranking in search engine results for their local keywords and phrases, you definitely need to address the issue of building links.
This is even more important if you happen to compete in a busy online marketplace crowded with many website competitors, where great a website domain and quality SEO content may not be enough to reach those number one page results.
Search engines such as Google read quality links or ‘votes’ from external sources as indicators of website popularity rather than self-promotion. Links provide another valuable metric for search engines to use when determining their natural ranking results. In addition, quality links can drive a lot of traffic to your site just from their appearance on already popular websites. As you can imagine the traffic stream that might come from your website being mentioned in a Realtor.com article or a local online newspaper. There are a variety of ways and means to accumulate quality links (ones that are inbound, and one-way), to your Realtor or Real Estate office website. The summary below will point you in the right direction.
Links Within Your Website
Interlinking within your website should be first on the agenda when thinking about the link profile of your page. This means creating website architecture which properly links together all of the pages on your website and showcases your best content to the search engines. Make sure your most valuable content (content that is original and relevant to real estate in your local market) is linked to from the homepage, and is not buried too deeply within the site. Until you have a lot of content on the website, you don’t want to have more than a couple of layers of “depth” to it, meaning that people should have to click on or two times at the most to find any content on your site. When you do connect your content pages to the site, connect these pages together intuitively and use proper and descriptive anchor text in those links. Helping the usability and interconnectedness of your website will push the right pages into your audience’s view, and will in turn help facilitate the natural inbound linking that happens to quality content pages over time. This is because people will be able to more easily find your content and refer to it later.
External Link Building Strategies And Tips
Links equal votes for your website, but a link from cgarchitect.com is going to be vastly more valuable than a link from your personal Facebook page. Not all link votes are created equal. Trusted domains, websites with high Pagerank, websites with high relevance to your industry (real estate) are the types of online sources you should hope to attract. Here are a few ideas to seek and find those quality links:
1) Submit your website to high value directories such as Yahoo Directory, Business.com and BestoftheWeb. These are widely recognized as solid link building vehicles for your site. Some directories are paid and some are free. Look for directory sites with decent Pagerank and also ones related to your business/industry.
Blast out newsworthy press releases online by using a SEO-friendly service like PRWEB. Here’s an example: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/08/prweb1233794.htm
2) Write content for other websites, article submission websites, anywhere of relevance online that is looking for and will accept the content you provide. It’s important to remember the guidelines of using proper anchor text and linking to the best pages on your website.
3) Call, email, write letters to webmasters of related websites to be included on their websites. The grassroots, DIY work ethic is alive and well online, and although a more labor intensive method you can get great results when done effectively.
4) Ask people you know for a link, whether it's your friends, relatives, employees, colleagues, business partners, clients, or anyone else, ask them for a link. Someone you know has a website or blog, so take advantage.
6) Research Competitors A large chunk of my time finding links is by looking through my competitor's link profiles. Essentially, you're piggy backing off of their success. While some links are unobtainable (i.e. a random mention in a news post), others can be diamonds in the rough (a high quality niche directory). I suggest using SEOmoz’s Open Site Explorer for this. Plug-in your competitors and export their back links to a CSV. Do this for all of your competitors so you can get all of their links in one place on Excel. Then you can sort them by various link metrics to find the best opportunities.
7) Building Relationships is the number one link building strategy in the world. Get to know people! Build relationships with them, because it'll come back to you in the form of links (that is if they're the RIGHT people). Remember how people say, "it's not about what you know, it's about who you know"?
Test The Effectiveness Of Your Link Building Strategies
There are wide host of other effective link building strategies out there, and the few tips above really just scratch the surface of how those strategies work. However you start your link building campaign, it is important to gauge the effectiveness of that work. Check your web statistics to look for upticks in monthly audience and traffic and also the referring websites coming to you. Install Google Analytics on your site. Check your search engine rankings for the terms you’ve targeted in your campaign and see if those have increased in position.
We hope we have helped you on your way to an extremely effective link building strategy. Make sure to visit the blog at blueprinteffects.com for future tips and tricks!