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The Role of Link Building in Real Estate SEO

Backlinks are critical to the success of your real estate marketing campaign

Enhancing SEO with Link Building Strategies

America's real estate market is worth over $3.8 trillion, creating fierce competition between real estate companies. With the Internet at our fingertips, 97 percent of potential home buyers search for properties using search engines.

However, although online real estate marketing has become popular, many agents don't go beyond creating a website or social media profile.

But such a generic approach isn't so advantageous, and real estate SEO (search engine optimization) experts know that building a vibrant online presence is no one-off activity. Real estate businesses must leverage content marketing, on-page SEO, and quality link building to drive organic traffic on search engines to your real estate listings, generate leads, and increase their ROI.

In this piece, we explore how link-building can help real estate websites rank higher on the search engine results page (SERPs). Search engines rely on these links to know how relevant and reliable your real estate website's contents are.

You'll find: 

  • what link-building means to your real estate business
  • the role of link-building in SEO for real estate
  • how to build excellent links for your online pages
  • how to monitor the success of your real estate SEO efforts

What Is Link Building in Real Estate SEO?

Link building creates links to connect one website with another. It's a critical aspect of real estate SEO and can help to improve a real estate business's visibility on organic search results. 

Real estate SEO experts build links on real estate websites to create relationships with relevant external websites, often through promoting local content or other outreach activities. The bottom line of this real estate SEO technique is getting other websites to link to yours to increase your credibility and authority on SERPs.

These links come in various shades, ranging from internal links to nofoloow links, but they're all called "backlinks" (because they link 'back' to your page) and work towards the same goal. They include:

  • Internal links: Internal links connect different pages within your website.
  • External links: link other websites back to your website
  • Sponsored links: are paid-for content on other pages
  • Nofollow links: don't show authority to search engines, but can to human readers
  • Directory entries: adding real estate business information on directories like Zillow
  • Guest posting/Blogger outreach campaign: including your website's links in guest posts on third-party websites
  • Contextual/editorial integrations: insert natural-looking editorial text with promotional material containing backlinks

These real estate SEO tips help build credibility for websites and their readers, build more traffic, increase your organic rankings on search engines for relevant keywords, and ultimately generate more leads. However, quality link-building requires thorough planning and research to help businesses remain competitive in their real estate niche, local market, or industry. 

Real estate businesses need as many quality backlinks as possible to rank high on SERPs

Link Building: Not a Game of Numbers

The first lesson every realtor should note is that link-building is not a game of numbers. You will only rank high on search engine results if you've filled your pages with thousands of backlinks. Search engines 'want' websites to link 'naturally' and can even de-rank a real estate website if it thinks there's a link spam

For instance, Google, the world's most popular search engine, will penalize a website if it thinks:

  • You bought or sold links for ranking purposes
  • The site contains text advertisements or text links that don't block search engine rankings
  • There are excessive link exchanges between two websites or partner sites exclusively for cross-linking purposes
  • You used automated services to generate links to the site
  • You posted on low-quality directories or bookmark sites
  • Keyword-spammed, secret, or low-profile links multiple widgets (or ads) across various websites
  • Website comments or poster signatures contain optimized links

The entire purpose of search engines is to provide Google searches with the most relevant content in the fastest and most accessible way possible. To achieve this goal, Google and other search engines will likely de-rank pages if they think the owners merely "paid" their way to rank on SERPs. 

That way, search engine algorithms can sift out credible and resourceful content for readers. Now that we've cleared the air on how not to integrate links to your pages for an effective SEO for real estate strategy, here's what high-quality links look like for real estate businesses.

First, natural links include links that: 

  • don't seem to have come directly from your company, or 
  • were not created exclusively for ranking purposes

Instead, real estate SEO leverages various strategies to ensure your website ranks by getting organic links from websites with the following qualities:

Domain Rating/Domain Authority

After years of implementing SEO for real estate websites, it's clear that search engine results prioritize backlinks from websites of at least 20 (based on domain rating) or 30 (based on domain authority).

Relatively High Organic traffic

Real estate SEO experts create backlinks on websites with high organic traffic. A good rule of thumb is backlinks from sites with at least 1,000 unique monthly visitors, and the website should also show a pattern of seeing more traffic with time. 

Little or No Sidebar Links

Search engines prioritize websites with little or no sidebar links. Effective real estate search engine optimization avoids sites with sidebar links are pages that link to casinos, forex, adult sites, scholarships, and others that are often spammy links. 

Relevant Category

Yes, the page you're backlinking from shouldn't only rank high, have more traffic, or avoid sidebar links. You want to create backlinks on sites relevant to the real estate industry. Is the website relevant to your real estate niche? Does your brand's content or search engine optimization plan fit into the site's existing content? If the website or blog ticks these questions, it could be a great site for your real estate SEO backlinks. 

Quality Content

There's no undermining the impact of quality content in real estate marketing or any other form of marketing. You want to scrutinize the website to ensure it contains quality content. How does the website protect its existing quality content? Is there a standard, or would they publish just for any low quality content in exchange for money?

Your real estate website benefits in various direct and indirect ways from quality backlinks

Why Link Building is Important to Real Estate SEO - and Your Business

Effective link-building helps to keep your real estate listings on top of organic search results to improve your chances of generating quality leads. But this SEO strategy isn't just crucial to your entire real estate marketing strategy because it links to ranking websites, but because of the steps that lead to an effective link-building strategy.

Real estate SEO experts execute the following steps to attract the right audience for your real estate business and generate qualified leads via link-building:

Market Research to Know the Audience

Link building in real estate search engine optimization typically begins with thorough market research that helps you know your audience. In-depth market research lets you know your target audience better to understand what they'll likely look for in a property or what content they'll more likely read. That way, you can customize your strategies to fit their requirements.

Local Keyword Research

After identifying your target audience and their likely behavior, it's time to conduct local keyword research on issues that interest them. Local keyword research discovers keyword ideas (a string of words, which could be short-tail or long-tail keywords) potential site visitors often use in search queries.  

Quality Content Creation

After conducting a proper keyword research, it's time to create quality content based on your real estate SEO keyword research towards increase your visibility on Google searches. Quality contents include infographics, statistics, videos, images, and more other information that steps up your SEO for real estate. They increase your website's citation potential from other real estate websites or blogs and have others link organically to yours.

One way to create contents that resonate with your local audience is to curate geo-targeted content. Geo-targeted contents in real estate SEO help to curate information that will interest people in the community and will be easily accessible on search engines. An excellent idea for geo-targeted blog content includes the following:

  • Top 10 attractions in or near your city
  • A new trend in real estate or interior home design
  • Latest information on a social movement in the community

Geo-targeted content posting in real estate SEO aims to get the attention of existing and future residents in your properties' neighborhoods. They could also serve as an online resource for web searchers, possibly leading to additional backlinks from other websites and social media platforms.


The real estate link-building game thrives on what you know about the market or your business and who you know. You want to leverage your local network to get quality backlinks. Reach out to other websites and writers that publish content related to the real estate industry. 

Real estate blogs and websites of other real estate agents in your network are also excellent sources of links. Not to forget your business associations, social groups, or even churches; it works pretty much like getting home buyers or deals in the real estate industry.

Show appreciation for other professionals via testimonials and online reviews and watch them talk about you and your real estate business

Create Testimonials and Online Reviews to Leverage Your Network

One of the best ways to establish credibility and resourcefulness is through clients' testimonials and reviews. However, in this situation, you're not the one receiving testimonials - you're giving them. Offer testimonials and online reviews to other businesses. 

Give your favorite appraiser, dry cleaner, or email marketer, or real estate SEO experts online reviews on Yelp, Google, and other search engines. Of course, your profile will include a link to your real estate website, which will help you gradually build a reputation as an authority in the market and create goodwill for you with the companies in question.

Establish Yourself As an Authority by Posting on Public Forums

Buying or selling a house can be stressful, confusing, or emotionally challenging. Prospective home buyers or sellers will often turn to public forums like Reddit and Quora for helpful information about the real estate industry. Here's where real estate agents can come in to establish authority.

Provide valuable answers to the problems of forum members and establish yourself as a credible figure before using these sites for link-building. You also want to abide by the forum's regulations, and it's best to include links organically in your comments or content in a way readers will more likely appreciate them. Remember, your goal here is to reach out to potential home buyers or sellers interested in your real estate SEO services.

Final Thoughts

There's no doubt - real estate link building appears to be an uphill task. But there are various ways to do it, leaving you to choose to navigate your real estate SEO strategy via your favorite channels. The prospects of having your real estate websites right on the front page of search engines far outweigh the challenges of creating effective backlinks, in the long run.

Other ways beside the real estate SEO tips we've discussed to create quality links for your real estate websites include:

  • Guest posting/blogging/appearing on real estate podcasts
  • Participating and sharing content at community events, like rallies and fundraisers
  • Creating a whitepaper your audience will find helpful

The goal of these real estate SEO effort is creating natural, quality links with the prospects of yielding in the long run. However, while link building and real estate SEO benefits are abundant, real estate agents often need more time to execute a thorough real estate SEO strategy.

When it comes to running a successful real estate agency, you know that not just anyone with a license will do. The same goes for choosing a real estate SEO company - you need a team with a proven track record of success. That's where Kris Reid and the experts at Ardor SEO come in. 

With fail-proof real estate SEO services, they have helped countless businesses multiply their leads and ROI. By allowing Ardor SEO to optimize your website and digital presence, you can save time and focus on what you do best - prospecting, negotiations, home showings, and closing deals. Don't wait to take your real estate agency to the next level. Contact Ardor SEO today and watch your leads and profits soar.

FAQs on The Importance of Link Building to SEO for Real Estate

Link-building contributes immensely to your entire real estate SEO. The more quality backlinks on your website, the more credibility it has with search engine algorithms and the more likely your potential audience will find your real estate agency.

Here are straightforward answers to some common questions around SEO for real estate and link-building.

What Are the Top 5 SEO Strategies for Real Estate Businesses?

The five most impactful real estate SEO strategies real estate agents want to focus on for a successful online marketing plan include:

  • Keyword research
  • Content marketing
  • On-page SEO
  • link-building
  • SEO Outsourcing

Each real estate SEO strategy works uniquely, but in conjunction with others, to give your real estate website more organic traffic.

Is Doing a Local SEO Worth It?

Local SEO optimization improves your search engine optimization strategy by helping you rank for specific services in a city, region, or country. When prospective clients search for your real estate business's services and location, local SEO optimization helps them quickly find real estate agents on the spaces above SERPs, which converts to more leads.

Does Search Engine Optimization (and Link Building) Work for Real Estate Agents?

Yes. Ranking for relevant local keywords using search engine optimization will always be a plus for real estate websites. Online marketing experts have successfully employed real estate SEO strategies towards ultimately helping real estate agents generate more leads and make more money.

How Can I Improve My Real Estate SEO?

The first step to improving your real estate SEO is to conduct an SEO audit. An SEO for real estate audit helps real estate agents identify what aspects of their real estate marketing strategy need tweaking to boost your search engine rankings. 

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About the Author

Tomás Fonseca is the host of two popular podcasts in the real estate industry, including the Icons of Real Estate Podcast and the Ardor RE Marketing Podcast.

Known for his charismatic hosting style and infectious positivity, Tomás brings his Portuguese charm to all of his interactions, making him a beloved figure in the community. Tomás loves to travel and to deliver high-quality content and valuable insights to his listeners.

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