In terms of making or breaking your standing with Google and bolstering your search engine optimization (SEO) outlook, few assets pack quite as much punch as the backlinks that drive traffic to your real estate website. Because of this reality, it’s no surprise that so many realtors consider purchasing these links as part of a variety of “get ranked quick” schemes.
Unfortunately, enacting this kind of strategy is an easy way to earn yourself a stiff rankings penalty from Google or one of the other search engine leaders, as well as a steep drop in site visibility and incoming traffic. To ensure that you never live through the SEO nightmare that comes with a substandard approach to backlink management, let’s spend a few minutes discussing why buying backlinks to your real estate website is never a good idea, as well as what you can do to grow these links via organic and “white hat” practices.
Understanding the Risks of Black Hat Tactics
On the surface, buying backlinks seems like a great idea and an easy way to generate a healthy influx of potential buyers and sellers to your website. After all, more links lead to more traffic, so this scenario is definitely a case where the concept of “the more, the merrier” applies, right?
“While the right inbound links can grow your Google rankings, revenue and brand, the wrong ones can get your site penalized. And you never know what Google will do next.” – Neil Patel, Neilpatel.com
As industry expert Neil Patel explains on his personal blog, leveraging “black hat” tactics is a quick way to do some serious damage to your real estate website. Digging a little deeper, purchased backlinks that artificially inflate the rankings potential of a page are arguably the biggest offenders on this front.
Yes, there’s a strong chance that these paid links will give your domain an SEO boost in the short term. However, once Google’s ranking algorithm and its spam fighting team catches on to this gimmick, you’ll find that the lasting penalties and repercussions make the fleeting benefits of this approach simply not worth the risk.
Focus on Quality and Give Google What It Wants
So if buying backlinks is not the right way to generate traffic and broaden the reach of your real estate website, how should you go about this process? Patel goes on to explain that growing a stable of organic and healthy backlinks that generate a positive impact on your SEO prospects starts with giving Google what it wants.
Specifically, developing winning realtor content that plays by Google’s rules and garners links from other industry leaders and marketplace hot spots requires answering two core questions:
- Is your content well organized?
- Does it provide useful information to both on-page readers and viewers on the sites that link back to your content?
By placing an emphasis on the concepts of proper organization and highly quality content, Patel notes that your blog posts and other offerings stand a far greater chance spreading across the web and driving traffic back to your page. If your content doesn’t key in on these two attributes, then garnering links becomes an unnecessarily difficult process.
Work on Networking and Content “Virility”
Of course, building great realtor content for your audience of buyers and sellers is only half of the equation. To really supercharge the growth of your backlinks and generate a serious amount of traffic and potential leads, you’ll also need to rub a few virtual elbows and promote the “virility” of these offerings.
Entrepreneur magazine’s Felix Tarcomnicu suggests deploying the following tactics to help spread the word about your real estate website and expedite the backlink acquisition process:
- Stand on Both Sides of the Guest Blogging Fence – Writing – and hosting – guest blogs is a powerful way to develop a tangible and impactful network of links both to and from your page.
- Distill Your Content Into Infographics – Infographics have a penchant for going viral and generating interest for the “fleshed out” version of the source content, so don’t be afraid to leverage these offerings as part of your realtor digital marketing strategy.
- Be Active on Social Media – Being active on social media isn’t just a good idea on its own, it also serves as another avenue to generate social backlinks; something that is becoming increasingly important now that Google ranks individual tweets and other social posts.
- Reach out via Link Requests – Know of a website that’s big within your local real estate community or city? Go ahead and reach out to the proprietor of this page with a request to feature one of your links in an upcoming post. Even if you don’t secure the spot initially, making these connections now ensures that you’re on this person’s radar and in a position to take advantage of a future opportunity.
As you can see, turning away from purchased backlinks and building the reach of your real estate website the right way comes in a variety of forms. It’s up to you to figure out which strategies and tactics work best for your unique take on the realtor digital marketing process.
Maintain a Proactive Stance on Your Backlink Management
Even if you eschew the temptation to purchase “spammy” backlinks, there will be times when bad or damaging links tether themselves to your page. For this reason, it’s vital that you go beyond the mere acquisition of backlinks and maintain a proactive stance on managing these connections.
With the help of a tool like SEO PowerSuite, you can manage and grow your stable of incoming links, as well as explore optimized keywords and a variety of other SEO considerations. Should you come across a backlink that you’d rather not have connected to your real estate website, submitting this link to Google’s Disavow Tool can help nip this problem in the bud before it becomes a serious issue.
By now, the message here should be pretty clear: There’s no reason to waste your time – and budget – buying backlinks that will only hurt your real estate website in the long run; especially when there are so many opportunities to go about this process the right way. As long as you understand this and play by Google’s rules, there’s no reason why you can’t start building a strong network of links today that bring in interested buyers and sellers from across the web.