Real Estate Backlinks: What You Need to Know to Boost Your Online Presence

Photo By Damien Lusson

Backlinks for real estate marketing might seem like one more thing to add to your digital to-do list, but it’s a simple, strategic part of any online presence. Here, we’ll demystify the concept, give you some practical ways to expand your backlinks and show you what to avoid when it comes to risky and ineffective strategies.

What are Backlinks?


Backlinks, also known as inbound links or incoming links, are hyperlinks placed on a separate website which link back to your site. Search engines like such hyperlinks because they basically show another site is endorsing your page. Essentially backlinks act as a vote of confidence, indicating to search engines that the content on the receiving end is valuable, credible, and worth referencing.


Why Are Backlinks Important?


Backlinks are crucial for search engine optimization (SEO). They help improve a website’s authority and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). Google’s algorithm considers backlinks as one of the top-ranking factors, viewing them as endorsements from other sites. Simply put, the more high-quality backlinks your site has, the more likely it is to rank higher in search results.

Backlinks, E-E-A-T and the Google Helpful Content Update

In recent years, Google has placed significant emphasis on E-E-A-T: Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. According to Google, this framework helps determine the quality and reliability of content. Google’s 2022 Helpful Content Update (HCU) further reinforced this by prioritizing content that provides genuine value to users over content designed merely to attract clicks.


More recently, the March 2024 “Core Update,” made changes to the Google algorithm, basically increasing Google’s scrutiny of website content and penalizing low-quality, poor content. Many sites have experienced significant traffic dips post-Core Update, meaning that it’s more important now than ever before to tick off all of the boxes that Google wants to see implemented on a site, particularly backlinks.


Practical Ways for Real Estate Agents to Achieve More Backlinks


It’s not enough to just amass backlinks from any source. In fact, you’ll want to stick to only high-quality sites with good reputations. More on this later, but first, let’s create a strategy for attaining more favorable backlinks.


1. Begin by Creating High-Quality, Localized Content


Ask yourself, what pages or blog articles on your website would appeal to other websites to share? You’ll need content that’s informative and interesting for other sites to consider including your page as a link on their site.  Some examples of attractive content includes:


  • Market Reports: Publish regular updates on local real estate trends, housing prices, and market forecasts.
  • Neighborhood Guides: Create comprehensive guides about local neighborhoods, highlighting schools, amenities, transportation, and lifestyle information.
  • Case Studies and Success Stories: Share detailed stories about successful sales, including client testimonials and the strategies used.
  • Events Calendars and Business Profiles: Provide helpful content that local readers will turn to for unique content to their neighborhood.


2. Collaborate with Local Businesses


Form partnerships with local businesses to create mutually beneficial content. This could involve:


  • Guest Blogging: Write guest posts for local business blogs or community websites, offering insights into the real estate market and linking back to your site.
  • Joint Content: Collaborate on joint content pieces, such as “Top Home Improvement Tips from Local Experts,” which can be shared across both of your websites.

3. Engage in Community Activities

Yep, real world, offline activities can be a good way to backlinks:


  • Sponsorships: Sponsor local events, charities, or sports teams and ensure your website is listed on their promotional materials.
  • Event Coverage: Host or participate in community events and write about them on your blog. Local news sites or community blogs might link to your coverage.

4. Leverage Social Media and Online Directories

Increase your online presence and backlink potential by:


  • Social Media Sharing: Share your content on social media platforms to increase visibility. High-quality content may be picked up and linked to by other sites.
  • Online Directories: Ensure your business is listed in relevant online directories, such as Yelp, Google My Business, and local real estate directories. Many of these listings include a backlink to your website.

5. Network with Local Influencers

Building relationships with local influencers and bloggers can help you earn backlinks:


  • Influencer Partnerships: Partner with local influencers for home tours, market insights, or interviews. They can link to your website in their content.
  • Press Releases: Send press releases about notable listings or market reports to local media outlets and bloggers, who may link to your site when they cover your story.

6. Educational Content and Resources

Provide valuable resources that others in your industry will want to link to:


  • Webinars and Workshops: Host webinars or workshops on real estate topics and share the recordings on your site. Participants and other sites may link to these resources.
  • Infographics and Ebooks: Create informative infographics or ebooks about the real estate market. These can attract backlinks from other sites looking to share useful resources.


Practices to Avoid When It Comes to Backlinks

Understanding how important backlinks are to search success, it’s tempting to want to try to simply go the easiest route and throw thousands of links up on any site that will take them. There are plenty of online services which will provide just that, sometimes for pennies on the dollar. However, this is an online reputation minefield which can end up doing far more damage than having no backlinks does. Here are some common “black hat” or inappropriate backlink building strategies to avoid:

  • Buying Backlinks: Purchasing backlinks from questionable sources can lead to penalties from search engines.
  • Link Farms: Avoid participating in link farms or networks designed solely to increase backlinks, as these are easily detected by search engines.
  • Irrelevant Links: Don’t acquire backlinks from websites that are not relevant to your industry or content, as they provide little SEO value.
  • Over-Optimized Anchor Text: Using the same keyword-rich anchor text repeatedly can look suspicious and result in penalties.
  • Spammy Commenting: Avoid leaving generic or spammy comments with links back to your site on unrelated blogs or forums.
  • Low-Quality Directories: Don’t submit your site to low-quality or irrelevant web directories that offer no real value.
  • Automated Backlinking Tools: Using automated tools to generate backlinks can lead to a high volume of low-quality links.
  • Reciprocal Linking Schemes: Engaging in excessive reciprocal linking (I link to you, you link to me) can be seen as manipulative and harmful.
  • Private Blog Networks (PBNs): Creating or using PBNs to build backlinks can result in severe penalties if discovered by search engines.
  • Ignoring Nofollow Links: While nofollow links don’t pass SEO value, they can still drive traffic and provide indirect SEO benefits. Avoid focusing solely on dofollow links.
  • Neglecting Link Diversity: Relying on a single type of backlink or source can appear unnatural. Aim for a diverse backlink profile.
  • Broken or Dead Links: Ensure that the backlinks you have are live and functional; broken links can negatively impact your SEO.

Steering clear of these practices can help build a healthy and effective backlink profile that enhances your website’s SEO and authority.

By focusing on high-quality, localized content and actively engaging with your community, you can build a robust backlink profile that enhances your site’s authority and visibility. This not only improves your search engine rankings but also attracts more clients to your real estate business.

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