What if I told you that you might be neglecting 20% of what Google takes into account when deciding where to rank your website in searches?
But it’s the truth.
In Search Engine Optimization (SEO), what happens off your site is nearly as important as what’s happening on it.
That’s where inbound links come in.
But what is an inbound link? An inbound link is a hyperlink back to your site from another website.
Getting people talking about and linking to your website builds your reputation as a valuable and reputable source, and Google loves that.
So what can you do to grow your popularity on the web?
Let’s start with four of the best ways to get more links to your real estate or mortgage website.
1. Offer free resources
Everyone loves the word, “free.”
In fact, it’s consistently included in lists of the most powerful words in marketing, like this one from e-mail marketing company, VerticalResponse.
But did you know you can use this tactic in your own real estate or mortgage business’s marketing?
No, I don’t mean you need to give away free homes. Even small things can make a big impact when they’re free.
The best part is, there are endless ways you can offer something free.
For example, eBooks are a great way to provide visitors to your website with content that is both free and relevant.
Because we know how important it is to offer something of value to your prospects, we offer multiple pre-written eBooks for both mortgage and real estate customers that can be easily added to your Pipeline ROI website.
If you’re not a Pipeline ROI customer and would still like to take advantage of the ability to offer free eBooks on your site, simply jot down a few common questions you hear from clients and then format your answer(s) in a PDF you send out after they fill out a short form on your site.
One possible topic to cover would be an explanation of FICO scores. You could write about the factors considered when determining your score, the minimum score most homeowners should have, methods to improve your score, etc.
Need a template for your new eBooks? Click here for a free download.
Offer small portions of the services you provide, whether it’s a loan quote, home value estimate, market analysis, or daily rate lock advisories. The more you can provide your potential customers any resources that position you as the go-to expert, the better.
Once you’ve loaded your website with free offers, other sites have something to link to when attempting to answer the same questions your customers are asking you. Instead of having to write their own eBooks or other content, they can simply point people to your website. It’s a win-win!
Remember, to turn these visitors into leads, you’ll need to make sure to include lead capture forms on each page where you have a free offer.
2. Interact with others
You’ve heard it since kindergarten and it’s no less true now – you have to play well with others.
When it comes to your marketing behavior on the Internet, engagement is key.
A great way to get started engaging people online is by commenting on social media posts and blog articles. Contributing to the conversation demonstrates your knowledge and invites conversation (which other bloggers love!)
Research and subscribe to real estate or mortgage blogs. Then, after reading, provide a comment that adds to the conversation started by the post. It could be your input on the topic, polite disagreement or further information you think is important.
When entering your comment, there will be a place to put a link to your site. If someone finds your comment valuable, they’ll click it! Thoughtful and relevant comments also solidify a reputation as an expert and business professional.
Answering questions on real estate or mortgage forums is another way to get links to your website on outside pages. They will also often include a place to enter your web address. You can use Google to find some of these, as well.
At the end of your comments on forums and blog posts, include a tag line that includes your name, business name, and where you’re located.
Including your location when answering questions on random forums or blogs is a must. We want qualified leads, not just anyone. A New York-based customer does you no good if your business is in Texas.
Another way to interact is by contributing content. Through guest blogging and writing for your local news source, you can continue to get your name (and URL) out there.
Use your Googling skills to discover a few local blogs from your community. Contact the owner and ask if you can contribute a post.
You’ll want to make sure that what you want to write about will benefit their audience and is relevant to their site. We have a great article that talks about how you can find potential guest bloggers for your own site. Just view the article from the opposite perspective to know how best to approach others for article submissions to their site.
Something else to consider is the neutrality of the blog’s content. You probably won’t want to associate your business with one that is political, satirical, or religious in nature, as you would run the risk of alienating or upsetting potential clients.
Be sure to include a link to your website at either the end of your post or in an “about the author” section. This is about outside linking, after all.
Writing an article for your local newspaper is another great option for everyone involved. They don’t have to pay a staff-writer for an article, they get an expert’s perspective. You get a highly valuable link to your site and position yourself as a local expert people can trust. Win-Win!
If you really want to make an impression, get yourself an AP stylebook – otherwise known as the journalist’s bible. Using the correct writing style helps showcase your professionalism.
3. Blog consistently
We’ve harped on this again and again, but we’re not stopping anytime soon. Want to know why? Because it’s that critical.
You simply cannot afford for your blog to become an afterthought. Especially not if you want to be successful in your marketing.
Your website must be plush with new content for search engines and other bloggers to take it seriously. No one wants to visit a real estate website where the most recent blog post is about the 2008 housing bubble bursting.
Neither Google nor fellow writers are going to showcase a link to your site when you don’t keep it updated. After all, they want to maintain their reputations, too!
By keeping your blog current with fresh, relevant content, you are welcoming others to link to you as an information source.
Having new blog posts frequently also gives you the opportunity to link to them on your social media. Not only will this bring you traffic, but also allows other social media users to easily link to your site through sharing.
4. Join business directories
Remember the days when the only business directories that existed were thrown onto your front stoop or crammed into your mailbox?
Well, those days are over.
There are now multiple forms of directories, including the classic Yellow Pages, and they’re all online.
Having a presence on every business directory will only serve to take you a step further toward building your reputation outside of your site. It also shows search engines that you’re a real-world business and gives your customers multiple options to find you as well.
As you continue to add profiles for your business, you’ll see the benefit of more and more traffic to your site. People want it to be easy to find you online.
Online directories will have a place for you to link to your website. Not only does this increase the amount of inbound links to your site, it also gives you the chance to give as much info about your business as you’d like. The more, the better!
Curious as to which ones you should join? Check out this list of 50 online local business directories for local marketing, brought to you by HubSpot.
By employing these 4 tactics, you’ll continue to work your way closer to the top of the Google results page. Remember, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Keep making the time investment and doing the right things and you’ll continue to watch your ranking rise naturally.
Want to know how Pipeline ROI can help you with your real estate or mortgage business’s marketing? Give us a call at 866-300-1550 or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to talk with one of our product specialists or receive a free one-on-one demo, click below.