Real estate websites hoping to compete and rank in search engine results for their local keywords and phrases 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 website domain age and SEO content might not be enough to reach those coveted page #1 results. Search engines read quality links as a indicators of website popularity, as ‘votes’ from external sources as opposed to self-promotion, and in this light 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 local online newspaper. There are a variety of ways and means to accumulating quality links (ones that are inbound, and one-way), to your Realtor or real estate office website. The overview below will point you in the right direction.
Link Building Strategies Start With Your Website Itself
On-site and on-page link building is the first place to start when thinking about the link profile of your website. That means creating a website architecture and properly linked-together website that 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 = votes for your website, but a nytimes.com link is going to be vastly more valuable than a link from your personal Myspace 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:
- 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 using an SEO-friendly service like PRWEB. Here’s an example: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/08/prweb1233794.htm
- 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.
- 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.
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. Use Yahoo Site Explorer to search for Inlinks.
You are now on your way to a coherent and effective link building strategy. Keep it tuned to www.RealEstateMarketingBlog.org for future tips and tricks!