Let's face it, without inbound links to your website, also known as backlinks, you will not rank in the search engines for any meaningful terms.
Once you have all the SEO basics covered, getting other websites to link to you should be your number one priority. It should be done in a consistent manner over time.
If you can get two to three links to your website per month, you are doing a good job and will be rewarded.
The more links you get from a diverse number of websites, the better off you are. Generally, it's much better to get ten links from ten different websites, than ten links from the same website.
Don't believe it when someone says you can rank in the search engines for any good terms without backlinks. They are as important today as they were ten years ago. Of course there are many other factors, but links remain a major one.
A few years back in 2012 Google cracked down hard (Penguin update) on people getting links in a careless way, and since then website owners and some SEOs have been overly cautious in advocating the pursue of inbound links. Don't be - if you do it in a way that makes sense, you'll be okay.
It's Not Easy
Keep in mind, getting backlinks it's probably the most difficult aspect of SEO, so don't be discouraged at first. If you keep at it you'll see your rankings improve.
Where To Get Links
Try getting links from local websites and websites somewhat related to real estate - this can be a very extensive list. Just think of all the services and industries that are connected to real estate in some way.
Any business that you have had contact with during the course of your real estate activity is a potential backlink.
Don't be stuck in the "local" and "related" aspect too much. If you can get a link from a totally unrelated and nonlocal quality website, go ahead and get it.
Here are some examples of local and related websites you can try getting links from:
- Other real estate agents
- Real estate websites/forums
- Mortgage brokers
- Home stagers
- Real estate photographers
- Title companies
- Home inspectors
- Home appraisers
- Chamber of commerce
- Tourism websites
- City/town websites
- Local business directories
- Contractors & tradespeople
- House cleaning services
- Local businesses
- Clubs and organizations
- Schools, colleges, and universities resource pages
- Events and activities
- Charity events
- Home decorating websites
- Insurance agents
- Architectural websites
- Local charities
- Websites about any trades related to real estate
- Wedding websites
- Senior websites
- Online magazines
- Real estate directories
- Clients with websites
Where Not To Get Links
- Fiverr and similar services
- Link networks
- Link wheels
- Link pyramids
- Link farms
- Bad neighborhoods
- Nonlocal or totally unrelated directories
- Paid links*
How To get Links
It's easier to get inbound links if you have a good reason for people to link to you. So, create something of value.
- Quality blog post about a certain town or area; a certain local event; a certain community, etc.
- Local guides
- Local videos
- Information about city and state services
- How-to Guides
Basically create content that would be of value to someone thinking of buying a home in the area.
Now that you have something worth linking to, you have to ask for it. You can try emailing first, but the response may not be good. A phone call will work much better.
First, visit the site you want the link from and figure out where you would like your link from. It's easier to ask for it if you can tell them exacly where you want it. It may be the home page, a resources page, or a specific blog post or page.
You could always offer to write a unique article for them to add to their website and have a link to your website in it.
Get involved in local events, organizations, churches, and programs. Ask for links from their websites.
You could exchange a link on your website for a link on another. I know some people advise against this, but if it is done with the visitor in mind, it's fine. For example, if you have a web page or blog post about popular paint colors, why not link to a local painting company, and in return have them link to you from a web page about real estate agents in the area. It's a win-win.
Curate a list of local blogs and resources, then let them know about it. Many will reciprocate by linking back to you.
Write a testimonial about a product or service you have bought. Let them know about it, and some won't resist linking to your website.
This is an old strategy that still works. Use a service like Majestic (https://majestic.com) or Ahrefs (https://ahrefs.com) to view your competitor's backlinks. Try getting links from the same websites. The above services are paid, but you can buy reports from people at Fiverr.com for $5.
Interview A Professional
Interview someone connected to real estate. The interview can be done in person, via email, or phone. Add the interview to your website and add the interviewee's information. Ask the interviewee to link to the interview page on your website. You could interview a mortgage lender, home inspector, home stager, etc. There's no shortage of subjects to interview about.
The reverse of the above tip - get someone else to interview you and place it on their website.
Offer a student scholarship. Let local newspapers know about it.
Give to a local charity or cause. Ask for a link back.
Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
Reporters are always looking for experts and sources to quote in their articles. Be the expert. Sign up for free and you'll get daily requests for opinions related to your industry. Find out more at https://www.helpareporter.com
You could offer money for someone to add a backlink to their website/blog, but you have to be very careful. Don't do it if it's obvious the website sells links to everybody. If you see many web pages or blog posts on many different subjects, and all of them link out, stay away. At first, it's best to avoid paid links.
Words Of Caution
Don't get all your links with the same anchor text. It's okay to have a few here and there with the terms you want to rank for, but don't overdo it. Having many links with your domain name or website url as anchor text is okay.
If you have any other ideas for ways and places to get links from, please go ahead and add them to the comments.