SEO for Realtors – Off-Page Search Optimization
To improve SEO for Realtors websites, we use a combination of On-Page and Off-Page enhancements. In our previous article on Austin Real Estate SEO, we explored On-Page strategies and techniques.
This article discusses Off-Page SEO for Real Estate agents and broker sites. The methodology includes the gradual development of high quality hyperlinks to your agency or brokerage website. This article gives recommendations and examples of Off-Page SEO techniques we use for Realtor websites. Our search engine optimization experts apply these to our clients’ sites to improve rankings and traffic levels. Contact Semantic Advantage today to learn how we can help you acquire more buyers and sellers.
SEO for Realtors Off-Page Optimization
Off-Page search optimization refers to methods that do not modify your website. To improve SEO for Real Estate Agent clients, we establish beneficial hyperlinks from other websites. SEO practitioners call these backlinks or in-links. Realtors can create these by issuing online press releases, blogging, or sending out email or newsletters with embedded links. Our agency creates backlinks by creating and optimizing business social media profiles, making keyword-enhanced social media posts, and registering businesses with high authority business directories.
In marketing parlance, links from your website to other sites are called out-links. Although too many of these would leak ‘SEO juice’, one or two out-links from each page improve the user experience. To enhance SEO for Realtors, Semantic Advantage can design and implement a comprehensive in-link and out-link development program. This will produce high quality hyperlinks that will significantly improve your online brand and search engine rankings.
Link Building Strategy and Guidelines
While the internal workings of search engine ranking algorithms are closely-held secrets, SEO experts generally agree about desired link characteristics. Needless to say, a professional SEO agency applies these heuristics – while conforming to Webmaster Guidelines. Over time, these links will improve SEO, search rankings and website traffic. For best results, we 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 My Business, Yahoo!, 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 about 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 discount these.
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>.’
More SEO Tips for Realtor Website In-Links
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/or links with low Bounce Rates. We don’t know of any search engines using this information currently for search rankings, but expect they may begin doing so in the never ending attempt 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 of links.
More is 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.
Choosing the Best SEO Firm for Realtors and Brokers
Successful link building is a long-term proposition. And as you have probably experienced, SEO for Realtors gets more competitive every day. The search optimization firm you select should devise and implement a link acquisition strategy and program 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.
In-links and Out-links 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.
Off-Page SEO for Real Estate Agents – Quality Backlinks
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.
Business Directories. Google Places, Yahoo Local, state and local business directories, YellowPages,com, YellowBook.com, LocalPages.com, SuperPages.com, etc.
Web directories. (some of these require paid listings): DMOZ, Yahoo, Americas Best Directory, Ezilon, Best of the Web, etc.
College/University (.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.
Social media sites. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Because of their high traffic volumes, the search engines value links from these social sites very highly.
Ratings and Reviews sites. Angie’s List, BBB.org and Yelp. Real Estate-specific sites include AgentScoreboard.com, RE-Agent-Review.com, Realtor.com, RealEstateRatingz.com and Zillow.com.
Additional Sources of Realtor In-Links
Blog 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.
Online Articles. Amazingly, most editors are delighted to receive relevant and informative articles, and will publish these with a link to your site.
PPC and Display Ads. In addition to directly driving traffic to your site, every ad creates an in-link. The SEO benefit of this in-link depends on the authority and relevance of the referring site. This is something to consider when deciding where your ads appear.
Press Releases. Issuing online press releases is a good 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, Free-Press-Release.com, I-Newswire.com, Mashable.com, PRFree.com, etc.
Email. 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.
Newsletters. A newsletter gives you a chance to communicate to your audience periodically. It also provides a vehicle in which to distribute multiple links to your website. If you 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.
Improving Real Estate Website SEO and Rankings
Off-page SEO is an important component of search engine optimization for Realtors. 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. Using a combination of on-page and off-page techniques, we elevate website SEO for Realtors and Brokers. For more information on enhancing your online marketing, please complete and submit our Contact Form.