Second in a series of Real Estate SEO articles by Austin SEO agency Semantic Advantage, Inc.
Links and Search Engine Ranking
Search engines view a link from another website to a page on your site as an
endorsement of your page by the referring site. As with product reviews and political campaigns, the value
of an endorsement depends on the
of the endorser
of the endorser’s opinion
the endorser gives to the endorsement
of the endorsement
of endorsements the endorser gives (dilution effect)
wording of the endorsement
of people who concur with the endorsement
Austin SEO agency Semantic Advantage does Off-Page search
engine optimization to obtain these endorsements -- establishing links to your
website from high quality, relevant websites and social media sites. Ideally these hyperlinks should be near
the top of the referring page, and the anchor text will include your web page’s
keyword (or similar terms).
Optimization – On-page and Off-Page
In our previous article on Real Estate SEO, we explored on-page techniques commonly used by an in-house web
marketer, ad agency or SEO agency. On-page SEO services include
keyword selection, competitive SEO analysis, long- and short-tail keyword
strategies, copywriting and website structuring. This article will examine off-page search engine
optimization methods, and how these can be used to enhance search engine
rankings and increase the number of visitors to your Real Estate website.
Note: For those not familiar
with search engine optimization terminology, here is an SEO Glossary (which
will open in a separate window).
Off-Page SEO refers to search engine optimization techniques
which do not modify your website pages. Our Austin SEO firm devotes most of its Off-Page SEO efforts to establishing links from other websites to
yours. These are called in-links, and they are created by
issuing online press releases, sending out email and newsletters, registering your
Real Estate agency with Internet business directories and professional organizations,
blogging, social media marketing, and encouraging owners of other websites to
add a link to yours.
Links from your website to other sites are called out-links,
and these too are beneficial to search engine optimization. An experienced SEO firm like Semantic
Advantage can design and implement a link development program to establish
in-links and out-links which will significantly improve your search engine
Link Building Strategy and Guidelines
While the internal workings of search
engine ranking algorithms are closely held secrets, SEO experts generally agree about the link and referring website characteristics which are most
beneficial from the standpoint of search engine optimization. A professional SEO agency applies
these heuristics to increase the number and quality of inbound links to your
Real Estate website, significantly enhancing your on-page SEO and search engine
rankings. For best results, look for referring sites with these characteristics:
Authoritative (high Google PageRank or
Yahoo! WebRank) sites. Government (.gov) or Educational (.edu) sites – those related to housing or interest rates are applicable to Real Estate SEO. Google Places, Yahoo! Local, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and
Twitter are also high authority sites.
In general, you want links from sites with PageRank higher than yours –
easy if you’re just starting out!
Highly relevant websites. Real Estate association
websites and blogs, local business directories, local newspapers and e-zines,
green building sites. The main keyword
of the referring page should be similar to that of your target page.
Highly relevant pages. Even on a highly relevant website, it’s
important that the link come from a page that is relevant to your Real Estate
business (and with keywords similar to your page). At the risk of stating the obvious -- you should blog on websites and topics most relevant
to your agency and services.
Pages with few outbound links. A referring page with lots of links dilutes the
value of the link to your page. Search engines
especially dislike pages with dozens of links (suspected link spammers), and
Relevant anchor text. The text of the hyperlink should
contain your page’s keyword – or a synonym or other contextually relevant
words. Examples of sub-optimal
anchor text are ‘Click Here’ and ‘<more>.’ Link near the top of the page. Search engines attribute more
importance to words and links they find near the top of the page.
Longstanding links. The longer the link has been there, the
more credence search engines give this.
Pages with high traffic, Click Through Rate
(CTR) and links with low Bounce Rates. We don’t know of any search engines using this information
currently for search rankings, but expect they will begin doing so in attempts
to combat link spam, content farms and web spammers.
Avoid paid links and bad neighborhoods. Search engines are getting very good at
detecting paid links, link exchange farms and other low quality sites with tons
better – but slowly. Subject
to the above quality guidelines, the more inbound links to your page, the
higher search engine ranking you can expect. But search engines are wary of sites and pages that acquire
dozens of links overnight. It’s
best to build your links gradually.
Selecting an Austin SEO agency for On-Page and Off-Page SEO
Link building is a long-term proposition, and your SEO firm
should devise and implement a link acquisition strategy that will increase the
quality and quantity of in-links to your Real Estate website, beginning with
the pages containing your most important keywords.
Note: As a leading white hat Austin SEO agency, Semantic
Advantage supports the guidelines and Terms of Service (TOS) of the major search
engines. We do not condone the use
of paid links or cloaking to enhance search engine optimization. These techniques violate the Google
Webmaster Guidelines and Terms of Service of Yahoo!, Bing and other search
engines and advertising platforms.
Your website pages should have as many high quality in-links
as possible, from sites relevant to your page’s keywords. Each page should also have two or three
out-links to high quality reference sites. In Real Estate SEO, these could include links to the
National Association of Realtors (NAR), National Association of Real Estate
Brokers (NAREB), Institute of Real Estate Management, Realtor.org, as well as
to your state and local real estate organizations.
All out-links on your website should open a new browser
window, to enable the visitor to easily return to your page. The anchor text for the out-link will
generally be the name of the organization you’re linking to, and you should
link to the home page – unless there is a higher PageRank page or specific
information resource you want to provide your visitors.
Sources of High
There are many categories of websites that are good
candidates for high quality in-links and out-links. An experienced SEO firm will develop a program and schedule
for establishing links to and from the following types of websites:
directories: Google Places, Yahoo Local, state and local business directories,
YellowPages,com, YellowBook.com, LocalPages.com, SuperPages.com, etc.
directories (some of these require paid listings): DMOZ, Yahoo, Americas Best
Directory, Ezilon, Best of the Web, etc.
(.edu) and Government (.gov) sites:
Search engine give heavy weighting to links coming from .edu and .gov
domains. Links from .gov sites are
difficult to obtain, but many colleges and universities have blogs.
media sites: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Because of their high traffic volumes,
the search engines value links from these social sites very highly.
and Reviews sites: Angie’s List, BBB.org and Yelp. Real Estate-specific sites include AgentScoreboard.com, RE-Agent-Review.com,
RealEstateRatingz.com and Zillow.com
sites and forums: By blogging or
participating in online forums, you can leave links to your website pages. Note: Not all blogs or forums allow you
to leave links (or embed HTML code with anchor text and a link to a specific
web page), and some render links “no-follow” which prevents search engines from
considering these in determine your search engine ranking.
Articles: Most editors are delighted to receive relevant and informative
articles, and will publish these with a link to your site
and Display Ads: In addition to directly driving traffic to your site, every ad creates an in-link; and the SEO benefit of this in-link depends on the authority and relevance of the referring site. This is something to consider when you specify where your ads appear.
Releases: Issuing online press releases is a great way to get your content and
keywords out there – along with a link to your site – and there are many press
release distributors that do this for free: PRLog.org, Rree-Press-Release.com,
I-Newswire.com, Mashable.com, PRFree.com, etc.
Every email you send should include your home page in the email ‘signature’ and
at least one more URL link to one of your website pages which is germane to the
topic of the email.
A newsletter gives you a chance to communicate to your audience
periodically, and also provides a vehicle in which to distribute multiple links
to your website. If you do distribute
your newsletters through a leading commercial newsletter company like Constant
Contact, MailChimp or Vertical Response, your newsletter (and in-links) will be
hosted on their high PageRank website.
Increasing Real Estate Website Traffic With Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO is an important component of search engine
optimization. Combined with
on-page SEO techniques, off-page search engine optimization can significantly
grow your Real Estate website traffic, bring you new buyers and sellers, and
increase your sales.
Semantic Advantage is an Austin SEO agency specializing in
Google search engine optimization, Google Places SEO, enhancement of clients’
Yahoo! search rankings and Bing SEO techniques. For more information on enhancing your online marketing
program, fill out the Semantic Advantage Contact Form or email us at info@Semantic-Ad.com