Has real estate SEO become just too much trouble for your results? Don’t feel alone, as the changes in Google’s algorithms over the past couple of years have relegated most real estate agent and brokerage websites to results pages that get them few clicks. The big players like Zillow.com and Realtor.com are dominating first page results, and we’re even getting some competition from our own MLS organization websites with listings.
These days, it’s not as much about keywords as it is “domain authority.” Here’s one definition of domain authority:
Domain authority is a measure of the power of a domain name and is one of many search engine ranking factors. Domain authority is based on three factors: Age, Popularity, and Size.
Notice the Popularity and Size criteria. There is no way your website can compete on those items with Zillow or Realtor.com. They get millions of views and have thousands of pages. So, what are you to do to help move you up in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)? Really, if you are using “long tail” key phrases and creating lots of localized content, your main competitors for the lower placements on page 1 are your local competitors.
Assuming that you and your competitors are all using a lot of the same key phrases in your content, how can you get a leg up on them in the search results? Using domain authority is how.
Rule #1: Become an Authoritative Domain with Backlinks
Part of that “popularity” measurement involves links back to your site from different servers. This means servers other than the one on which your site is hosted. You need to have backlinks, links from other relevant sites to your site. Relevant sites would be any site related to real estate or the content on one of your pages.
Action #1: Plan Backlink Text for Your Content
Check out your content pages/posts/articles for their main theme. If you are creating content with a theme or topic for each page, then that is your SEO value content. An example: a page discussing title insurance and title binders. Your backlink text item should be something like “Understanding YourTown Title Insurance.”
Go through all of your content and come up with backlink text for each of your pages or articles. What you are doing is planning your backlinks’ text to be highly relevant to the content of the page or article.
Rule #2: Have the Right Social Sites & Pages Set Up
The strategy being used here is to create backlinks across the social sites that take visitors to your website and content highly relevant to the link text on the social sites. So, you need at the least:
- Facebook Business Page
- Business Twitter Account
- Business Google+ Page or Community
- Instagram & Pinterest Business Pages
Action #2: Set up Any You Do Not Have & Add Content
Make these social site profiles and business pages extensions of your website with valuable content of their own, all pointing back to your website for expanded content. In other words, everything you put on those social sites should be a condensed version of more valuable content on your website. These social site pages need to develop their own authority of a sort.
Rule #3: Follow a Backlinking Strategy
This is really simple. Just take your backlinks’ text you developed and plan to place that text into social site posts that are relevant to the backlink’s page it references. Also, the text in the social site needs to be of value to your followers, friends, and others. An example: writing a Facebook post about the importance of title insurance and using the backlink we discussed earlier in it.
Action #3: Place Backlinks on All Social Site Pages
Get on a schedule and stick with it. Post on your social site pages. Post with headlines and text that offer information, and lots more of it on your website. Use the backlink text you developed to drive traffic to your site.
However, besides getting some traffic, you’ll be adding some popularity and domain authority to your site, and that’s going to help you with real estate SEO and climbing above your competitors in results.