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4 Of The Best Tactics

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4 Of The Best Tactics

The real estate market is more competitive than ever. And smart realtors need a way to stand out from the crowd.

But, the days of throwing up a billboard with a picture of your smiling face and waiting for the leads to come rolling in are over.

Like everything else, real estate has gone digital.

Did you know 97% of home buyers start the process with a Google search?

It’s true. Long before they’ve made the decision to contact a realtor, they’re browsing available houses in the area, checking prices, taking virtual tours – and checking out real estate agencies.

That’s why it’s of utmost importance to have a strong web presence.

But that means more than just having a Facebook profile – you need a real estate website that will stand out from the background noise and land you new clients.

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And that starts with getting your site ranked highly by search engines.

But how do you do that?

One of the best ways to improve your position on search engine results pages (SERPs) is by building quality inbound links.

These incoming links, which are also known as backlinks, signal to search engines how important and reliable the content on your site is.

And the higher you’re rated in these categories, the higher you’ll be ranked in search engine results.

Right now, you’re probably saying, “But wait, I’m a real estate agent, not a search engine optimization specialist. I don’t know the first thing about building links!”

Relax, you’re in the right place.

In this piece, we’ll show you four proven ways you can earn quality backlinks.

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Challenges The Real Estate Industry Faces With Backlinks

Before we get started on the ways you can create inbound links, we need to address some of the specific challenges of link building in this industry.

The Market Is Overcrowded

You don’t need to be told how stiff the competition in the industry is. But that just makes it even more important that you generate good backlinks.

You’re competing with giant conglomerates – Keller Williams, RE/MAX, Berkshire Hathaway; the average local real estate agent is competing with massive nationwide firms to land clients.

Finding good linking sites is difficult.

When you’re soliciting inbound links, the quality of the linking site is important.

Researching these sites can be time-consuming and building a relationship to earn links can be frustrating.

Metrics Can Be Misleading

It’s a simple fact, not all backlinks are created equal.

As someone who’s not an SEO professional, you may assume any incoming link is a good one.

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Or, you may think that a link from an unrelated site with great traffic is superior to a less-trafficked, but related site. It’s not.

Local Search Is Crucial

General SEO is good, but most of your valuable leads are going to be searching for local search terms like [houses near me]. Your backlink strategy should address this.

Now that we have all that out of the way, let’s dive into the four tactics you can use to generate links, improve your website’s visibility, and hopefully, land more deals.

1. Network, Network, Network

The real estate game is all about relationships. It’s about who you know, as much as what you know, or even what’s on the market. Link building is the same.

The Goal: Leverage your local network to get good incoming links.

The entire industry is built on collaboration.

From working with other agents to transfer property on a sale to meetings with groups like the local chamber, no one achieves real estate success on their own.

And since you’ve got the network, why not use it for backlinks?

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Reach out to your local sources and build relationships with blogs and websites in the industry and in your area.

The websites and blogs of other real estate agents are a great source of links but don’t forget about business associations, social groups, and even churches in your neighborhood.

Getting them to link to your content may only take a polite, well-worded (and short) email.

By securing these valuable local links, you’ll improve your visibility in local searches.

And just as importantly, you’ll be able to capitalize on these geo-targeted links at the expense of non-local competitors.

Target Audience: Homeowners and homebuyers.

Don’t think backlinks from your network are just for search engines.

On the contrary, when someone links to your content, they’re sending a very strong message that they believe and trust in what you’re doing – something that’s not lost on homeowners and homebuyers.

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And the more they see links pointing to your website, the greater name recognition you’ll achieve. Both of those mean one important thing: more clients.

2. Create Geo-Targeted Content

Are you starting to grasp the importance of location-based targeting when it comes to building links and driving traffic to your website?

The Goal: Boost your exposure.

In the last section, we talked about the importance of building your local network.

In this one, we’ll talk about the importance of creating the type of content that will get the eyes of people in your community on your website.

Geo-targeted content could be about a new listing, a new trend in real estate (e.g., the growing popularity of a revitalized neighborhood) or even social life in the area.

A blog post on the 10 best cocktail bars in your city is sure to garner attention, even from people who aren’t actively looking to buy or sell a home.

But when they are, guess who will be top of mind?

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This type of content serves as a resource for web searchers and will likely result in a link to your post on the websites and social media accounts of the places you mention.

Target Audience: Influencers who can bring you traffic.

The only limits to creating geo-targeted content are the limits of your imagination.

Create content that has value for people in your area, and it will be picked up, shared, and linked to.

3. Build Your Network With Testimonials And Reviews

Nothing convinces the general public about a company’s legitimacy like testimonials and reviews.

But in this case, you’re not soliciting them to build your own reputation – you’re giving them out.

The Goal: Expand your network by engaging with other businesses.

A quick and powerful way to build links to your realty website is by offering testimonials to other businesses.

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Do you have a favorable opinion of your appraiser? Or a favorite dry cleaner? Maybe you love your email marketing program? Give them a positive review on Google, Yelp, and other platforms. And be sure to include a link to your own site in your profile.

And in addition to establishing your authority and providing a boost to your own business, they’ll also cultivate goodwill with the businesses you’re reviewing.

And once you’ve established that positive relationship, most companies will be only too happy to provide you with a backlink.

Target Audience: Other businesses in your community.

Make a list of all the businesses you use, whether it’s online tools or local service providers.

Leave them testimonials on review sites. Then send them an email linking to the review and asking for a backlink. More often than not, they’ll agree.

4. Post On Forums

Buying or selling a home can be stressful and confusing for the people involved.

And, many of these buyers and sellers will turn to forums like Reddit, Quora, and local sites seeking answers to their questions. That’s where you come in.

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The Goal: Establish yourself as a real estate authority.

It’s not enough to just promote your business on forum sites.

In fact, if you do nothing but self-promote, it’s likely to have a negative impact on your reputation there, especially in communities like Reddit, where users vote on the quality of content.

Instead, you need to provide valuable information and be genuinely helpful.

Help people find solutions to their problems and establish your credentials before you start using these communities for link building.

Put links only where they feel natural and follow guidelines. Once you’ve created a reputation as an expert, your links will be more appreciated and more likely to get clicks.

Target Audience: Homebuyers and sellers.

Takeaways

Don’t be put off by the idea of building backlinks for your real estate business. It may sound daunting, but there are lots of ways to do it. And this article is just a start.

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In addition to the four tactics listed here, there are many other ways to solicit backlinks. For example, you could try:

  • Guest posting/guest blogging/appearing on podcasts. The host will give you real estate on their site or podcast to link back to your own site, allowing you to create links and expand your audience at the same time.
  • Making your content shareable on social media. Just adding quick share links to your post so it can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites can lead to new links without a lot of effort on your part.
  • Taking part (and posting about) community events like fundraisers. A good way to generate publicity, taking part in local events that are covered by the press can generate incoming links from reputable and trusted news outlets.
  • Creating whitepapers and infographics others will find valuable. The best content is the content with the most value. And because humans love to share their knowledge and finds, if you create whitepapers or infographics with relevant information, they’ll be shared organically. And that means inbound links.

Creating links is really all about showing initiative and having the right mindset.

If you use natural tactics to create backlinks, you’ll be able to win the SEO game in the long run. And that’s a win for your real estate business.

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SEO

8 Pillar Page Examples to Get Inspired By

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8 Pillar Page Examples to Get Inspired By

Pillar pages are high-level introductions to a topic. They then link to other pages, which are usually more detailed guides about parts of the main topic.

Altogether, they form a content hub.

Example of a content hub

But not all pillar pages look the same. 

In this guide, we’ll look at eight examples of pillar pages to get your creative juices flowing.

Excerpt of beginner's guide to SEO by Ahrefs

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 1,200
Backlinks: 6,900
Referring domains: 899

Overview of Ahrefs' beginner's guide to SEO in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

This is our very own pillar page, covering the broad topic of search engine optimization (SEO)

Why I like it

Besides the fact that I’m biased, I like the custom design we created for this page, which makes it different from the articles on our blog. 

Even though the design is custom, our pillar page is still a pretty classic “hub and spoke” style pillar page. We’ve broken the topic down neatly into six different chapters and internally linked to guides we’ve created about them. There are also custom animations when you hover over each chapter:

Examples of chapters in the SEO guide

We’ve also added a glossary section that comes with a custom illustration of the SERPs. We have explanations of what each element means, with internal links to more detailed content:

Custom illustration of the SERP

Finally, it links to another “pillar page”: our SEO glossary

Takeaway

Consider creating a custom design for your pillar page so that it stands out. 

Excerpt of Doctor Diet's ketogenic diet guide

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 92,200
Backlinks: 21,600
Referring domains: 1,700

Overview of Diet Doctor's ketogenic diet guide in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Diet Doctor is a health company focusing on low-carb diets. Its pillar page is a comprehensive guide on the keto diet. 

Why I like it

On the surface, it doesn’t exactly look like a pillar page; it looks like every other post on the Diet Doctor site. But that’s perfectly fine. It’s simply a different approach—you don’t have to call out the fact that it’s a pillar page. 

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Diet Doctor’s guide is split into 10 different sections with links to its own resources. The links bring you to different types of content (not just blog posts but videos too).

Video course about keto diet for beginners

Unlike the classic pillar page, Diet Doctor’s guide goes into enough detail for anyone who is casually researching the keto diet. But it also links to further resources for anyone who’s interested in doing additional research.

Takeaway

Pillar pages need not always just be text and links. Make it multimedia: You can add videos and images and even link to your own multimedia resources (e.g., a video course).

Excerpt of Wine Folly's beginner's guide to wine

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 5,600
Backlinks: 2,800
Referring domains: 247

Overview of Wine Folly's beginner's guide to wine in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Wine Folly is a content site devoted to wine knowledge and appreciation. Its pillar page, as expected, is about wine. 

Why I like it

Wine Folly’s pillar page is a classic example of a “hub and spoke” style pillar page—split into multiple sections, with some supporting text, and then internal links to other resources that support each subsection. 

Supporting text and links to other resources

This page doesn’t just serve as a pillar page for ranking purposes, though. Given that it ranks well and receives quite a significant amount of search traffic, the page also has a call to action (CTA) to Wine Folly’s book:

Short description of book; below that, CTA encouraging site visitor to purchase it

Takeaway

While most websites design pillar pages for ranking, you can also use them for other purposes: capture email addresses, sell a book, pitch your product, etc. 

Excerpt of A-Z directory of yoga poses

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 11,100
Backlinks: 3,400
Referring domains: 457

Overview of Yoga Journal's A-Z directory of yoga poses in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Yoga Journal is an online and offline magazine. Its pillar page is an A-Z directory of yoga poses.

Why I like it

Yoga Journal’s pillar page is straightforward and simple. List down all possible yoga poses (in both their English and Sanskrit names) in a table form and link to them. 

List of yoga poses in table form

Since it’s listed in alphabetical order, it’s useful for anyone who knows the name of a particular pose and is interested in learning more. 

What I also like is that Yoga Journal has added an extra column on the type of pose each yoga pose belongs to. If we click on any of the pose types, we’re directed to a category page where you can find similar kinds of poses: 

Examples of standing yoga poses (in grid format)

Takeaway

The A-Z format can be a good format for your pillar page if the broad topic you’re targeting fits the style (e.g., dance moves, freestyle football tricks, etc.).

Excerpt of Atlassian's guide to agile development

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 115,200
Backlinks: 3,200
Referring domains: 860

Overview of Atlassian's guide to agile development in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Atlassian is a software company. You’ve probably heard of its products: Jira, Confluence, Trello, etc. Its pillar page is on agile development.

Why I like it

Atlassian’s pillar page is split into different topics related to agile development. It then has internal links to each topic—both as a sticky table of contents and card-style widgets after the introduction: 

Sticky table of contents
Card-style widgets

I also like the “Up next” feature at the bottom of the pillar page, which makes it seem like an online book rather than a page. 

Example of "Up next" feature

Takeaway

Consider adding a table of contents to your pillar page. 

Excerpt of Muscle and Strength's workout routines database

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 114,400
Backlinks: 2,900
Referring domains: 592

Overview of Muscle and Strength's workout routines database in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Muscle and Strength’s pillar page is a massive database linking to various categories of workouts. 

Why I like it

Calling it a pillar page seems to be an understatement. Muscle and Strength’s free workouts page appears to be more like a website. 

When you open the page, you’ll see that it’s neatly split into multiple categories, such as “workouts for men,” “workouts for women,” “biceps,” “abs,” etc. 

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Workout categories (in grid format)

Clicking through to any of them leads us to a category page containing all sorts of workouts:

Types of workouts for men (in grid format)

Compared to the other pillar pages on this list, where they’re linking to other subpages, Muscle and Strength’s pillar page links to other category pages, which then link to their subpages, i.e., its massive archive of free workouts.

Takeaway

Content databases, such as the one above, are a huge undertaking for a pillar page but can be worth it if the broad topic you’re targeting fits a format like this. Ideally, the topic should be about something where the content for it is ever-growing (e.g., workout plans, recipes, email templates, etc.).

Excerpt of Tofugu's guide to learning Japanese

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 39,100
Backlinks: 1,100
Referring domains: 308

Overview of Tofugu's guide to learning Japanese in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Tofugu is a site about learning Japanese. And its pillar page is about, well, learning Japanese.

Why I like it

This is an incredible (and yes, ridiculously good) guide to learning Japanese from scratch. It covers every stage you’ll go through as a complete beginner—from knowing no Japanese to having intermediate proficiency in the language. 

Unlike other pillar pages where information is usually scarce and simply links out to further resources, this page holds nothing back. Under each section, there is great detail about what that section is, why it’s important, how it works, and even an estimated time of how long that stage takes to complete. 

Another interesting aspect is how Tofugu has structured its internal links as active CTAs. Rather than “Learn more” or “Read more,” it’s all about encouraging users to do a task and completing that stage. 

CTA encouraging user to head to the next task of learning to read hiragana

Takeaway

Two takeaways here:

  • Pillar pages can be ridiculously comprehensive. It depends on the topic you’re targeting and how competitive it is.
  • CTAs can be more exciting than merely just “Read more.”
Excerpt of Zapier's guide to working remotely

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 890
Backlinks: 4,100
Referring domains: 1,100

Overview of Zapier's guide to working remotely in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Zapier allows users to connect multiple software products together via “zaps.” It’s a 100% remote company, and its pillar page is about remote work. 

Why I like it

Zapier’s pillar page is basically like Wine Folly’s pillar page. Break a topic into subsections, add a couple of links of text, and then add internal links to further resources. 

In the examples above, we’ve seen all sorts of execution for pillar pages. There are those with custom designs and others that are crazily comprehensive.

But sometimes, all a pillar page needs is a simple design with links. 

Takeaway

If you already have a bunch of existing content on your website, you can create a simple pillar page like this to organize your content for your readers. 

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Keep learning

Inspired by these examples and want to create your own pillar page? Learn how to successfully do so with these two guides:

Any questions or comments? Let me know on Twitter.  



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