24th October 2014 Mario Gheghici

Short Link Building Strategy for Real Estate Websites

If you’re into real-estate, you already know the big issue with this industry: duplicate content. If there’s a house to sell, you won’t have too many different descriptions… The name would be the same in all the directories, same as the location, the space, etc.
And most of the time, Google is only choosing one website to show the listing. To stand out from the crowd you need to build an authority real-estate website. And for that you need good back-links.

Anchor text

A few years ago, the main purpose of [intlink id=”598″ type=”post”]SEO[/intlink] was to rank well for an important keyword, like “real estate Dublin” that’s why it was important to get backlinks with this anchor text. The SEO changed, and now having a lot of backlinks with the same anchor text (in our case “Dublin”) is part of grey/black SEO.
That’s the main reason you should start a campaign of getting new backlinks.

Content is the holy grail of SEO?

That’s unfortunately untrue, except maybe for Wikipedia. On your website you can keep a blog and have a lot of good articles, written by specialists. How many of your articles do you think will be quoted on other websites/blogs, with a back-link like “read more here”?
But, you can start working on content based on what you’re targeting. Have a strategy for the most important pages on your website, not only for the main page. Let’s have your-real-estate-website.ie/Cork, for the sake of this example – you have to write post articles based on what you target. Do we want to push the Cork page? Then, you need to have 1-2 articles about Cork – and links to Cork page from those two articles. And you need to push the articles in social media as well.
Twitter is the most important SM tool for SEO, and it’s quite used in Ireland.
Also, you need to get some good, clean real backlinks to Cork page, from different other websites.
You can to the internal SEO for the Cork page in a tremendous way, but you still need some good links pointing to that page to be sure it will be well ranked (and same story with all the landing pages). You can use the wow factor, and the new way of writing articles – easy to read, full with good content (and keywords) – like “10 things you never knew about Cork”, or “best shops in Cork”, or “funny stuff about Cork lads” – create buzz in articles. The “top shops” example could get links from shops’ sites as well, something like “we were nominated top shop in Cork on domain.ie website. Check it here”. And you can have articles about best restaurants, hotels, etc.
I found this graph on the Interned, unfortunately don’t remember exactly where. That’s a good workflow chart about how content should be part of your strategy:

seo-content

 

Is your article good? If “No”, then it’s clear what to do. If “Yes”… the next question: is our article good for SEO? Does it have the keywords in title (not “real estate”, but more like “Cork shops”, “How to… in Cork”). If the answer is “No”, even if it’s a good article you have to revise it.
You can use http://topsy.com/ to find what’s trending, to find ideas to write about:

topsy1 topsy2

If you see that something was trending on “all time”, but is not there in the past 10 days, then is something interesting, but not updated – it’s a good start for an article: you know the subject.

Twitter

Since we were talking about twitter, we should use a way to automate the tweets for all the listings. There are some plugins for WordPress, but you can also use ifttt.com and the RSS feed. You need to set up the automated tweets to also have the proper hashtags – like #Cork #realestate #relocation
It’s something that needs to be done once, and that’s all. The tweets will be posted automatically.

Blog Aggregators

There are a few steps to have the blog accepted, but we’ll say that you have a good quality blog – then I don’t see any problem in getting the blog into some aggregators – like this you can get your articles spread over the internet, and you may have the chance of getting some good backlinks – That’s another one time setup, you don’t have to update those settings daily or weekly.

Blog commenting

Blog commenting can be a spammy technique. We all know, from our blogs, how much spam we get, and comments that have nothing to do with the post. On one of my blogs I’ve deleted like 1000 comments from the past few weeks only.
Still, comments are a good tool for backlinks, if done properly. First of all, no one said comments are dead. All the big blogs have comments enabled (starting with Matt Cutts) – Of course, most of them have comments with “no-follow”. Surprisingly yet, I got some no-follow links indexed in Google Webmaster Tools.
But don’t use tools to post comments for you. Just find a blog a day, and make one comment a day – a decent one, after reading the article. Comment about the article, come with new ideas, and don’t ever post something generic like “I like your blog”.

Guest blogging

A few months ago Matt Cutts said that guest blogging is dead (even I had a manual penalty because of that – happens. But guest blogging is still working if is done in a natural way)
Find websites related to travel, holidays, relocation, expats, blogs that accept articles about Ireland. The articles should be generic, or talking about a subject that is not specifically related to real estate.
Usually you’re just browsing the net and find good blogs (or you can just Google “real estate blogs”), look for the contact page, and contact the owner/admin of the blog. Some will ask for money. The price is usually between 100 and 1000 Euro. If it’s a good blog you may pay for it. Before contacting the owner of the blog, we have to check if they’re using “no-follow” links on their articles. You should only contact those with do-follow.
Also, some will ask you to write the article, but other ones will write the articles themselves.
One of the biggest mistakes is to point all the links to the home-page. It is clear that is not a natural backlink. For example, if you post an article about Shopping in Ireland, and you mention Dublin, you shouldn’t use the anchor text “Ireland” but “Dublin”, and we should link to Dublin’s page, not to the home page.
You need to be careful with the blogs you get links from. You don’t want to post an article on a blog about football, for example, even if we talk in that post about the Irish football. Having links from unrelated websites is a Penguin factor.
Also, we have to try to get as many backlinks as possible from the content of the article – some blog owners will tell you that they only accept your links from the author bio – which is usually at the bottom of the article.

Directories

Directories were a powerful tool for link building years ago. Not as important now, but still a good tool for backlinks. Before choosing a directory to submit the links into it is important to look at the Domain Authority (DA). Also, you need to choose only directories that allow you to register/login and edit your listing.
If, in time, you consider that you don’t want the backlink from that directory, for any reason, you can just log in and edit/delete your listing.
An easy way of finding directories is to see what backlinks your competitors get – especially if they have an intense activity in getting backlinks from directories.

Citations!

That’s mostly directories as well. The only difference is that Google is looking into how many times a brand is mentioned in other websites. So, you don’t need to get a backlink, or the backlink can be “no-follow”. We need to keep exactly the same info as we have on our Google Plus page:
Company Name – use the same name all the time – If is Company Name Ltd – Use it all the time with Ltd.
Address: Same format all the time, same Post Code (weird, but even some Irish directories ask for Postal Code, even if is not used in Ireland)
Same number format: not +353 011 111 111 and (+353)011111111 and 00353011111111
Try to also keep the same description of the company, and the same opening hours (normaly that shouldn’t be a problem)

Competitor backlinks analysis

I mentioned something about your competitors before, when I talking about directories. CognitiveSEO and SEM Rush are some great tools for that – you can not only see what links are they getting, but I’m sure you’ll be checking to see where they get their backlinks from. There are many other great tools to spy your competition, even some free ones.

Press Releases

I got a good backlink from my last press release. Press releases were important a few years ago. Unfortunately they were overused by “SEO specialists”, and Google doesn’t like them so much anymore. Still, as a good practice, you should send PR every time you have something important to announce. There are quite a few PR distribution systems – some paid, some free. What’s the difference between the paid and free ones? Well.. as always, the difference between paid and free.

Links from .edu and .org

Those are the most important backlinks you can usually get. The easiest way to find blogs where you can post your comments is to use the following search queries:
Ireland site:.gov inurl:blog “post a comment” -“you must be logged in”
Ireland site:.edu inurl:blog “post a comment” -“you must be logged in”
And use it on Google.com not on google.ie!
A good way of commenting is talking about students that come to Ireland to learn English. It’s a huge subject, and the comments will almost all the time be accepted. With this type of subject you can even have a good article on your site (a case study, something serious, not just a 500 words article), and then contact one of the .edu bloggers – tell him about the article, the subject, and you can get a link from one of their articles, not only from comments.

Broken-link building

That’s one of the best ways to get links. A good article about it you can find it here:
http://moz.com/blog/the-broken-link-building-bible
It’s actually about finding broken links on websites related to travel, real estate, and the notifying the owner of the site that his link to a resource is broken. But, before that, you find from “Web archive” about what was the resource. Use something like this link, obviously replacing your-domain.ie with the broken link: http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://your-domain.ie
You find what was that article about, copy it from web archive and create an even better one, then contact the owner of the blog with the broken-link and tell him that you like his blog, that you noticed a link not working and that you have found an article exactly about the same subject… and like that you can easily get a backlink from a site.

Infographics

No one knows how Google will change its algorithm in the future, but it’s clear that now Google loves infographics. The only issue is that it’s a bit expensive to create infographics using designers. I was using an Indian designer, and he was charging like 100 Euro for an infographic. I tried the ones on Fiverr, but the result was exactly the one expected for 5 Euro. We can use some online tools like http://infogr.am/ [is not only the first result in Google for “create infographic tool”, but it’s also tested and good](I am creating my infographics myself now). Then post the infographic in your blog, and spread it into directories.

Here’s a link to a list of infographic directories (updated 2014): http://www.modernmarketingpartners.com/blog/top-20-free-infographic-directories-and-submission-tips

About the Author

Mario Gheghici Mario Gheghici has over 15 years' experience in media and advertising. Throughout his career he has been a journalist, a PR expert, advertising guru, and now he is widely known as a social media, online marketing, web development and SEO consultant. | Follow @mariusdigital | Follow on Google+ | Connect on LinkedIn |

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