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People who don’t know your website’s URL will often search for your name, real estate agents, or homes for sale in your area in order to find the information they seek. If you want to show up in the search results for these people, you have to optimize your website for search engines. This is also known as search engine optimization, or SEO. A big part of a successful SEO strategy is link building.

What is link building?

Search engines have complex algorithms in place to determine which websites relate to any given search terms and what order they should be displayed in. One common component accounted for in these algorithms is trustworthiness. To determine if yours is a trusted website, search engines examine how often your site is visited, whether or not visitors engage with your content, and whether or not other trusted sites share links to your website.

In the past, website creators could create a directory page with links to well-known, trusted websites to build up their own credibility. However, search engines are smarter now. They don’t want to see a list of links to outside sources. The algorithms favor relevant links that make sense in context. It also helps to have reciprocal links, in other words, to have the trusted websites that you link to include links to your website on theirs.

Choosing Link Building Partners

Because link building works best when it’s reciprocated, you should think about what you have to offer the businesses that you share links to on your website as well as any other companies who may benefit from a link on your website. Before you create a link or approach a business about reciprocating links, make sure they have a high quality website, as these are more likely to benefit you than a low-quality website. Look at the quality of the content, how easy their site is to navigate, and how well it actually runs.

What to Offer

When you approach someone about sharing your URL on their website, be prepared to explain how it will benefit them. A creative agent can leverage and promote their partners in endless ways. Start by knowing what your website traffic is, and, if you have high traffic numbers, include that in your pitch. If your followers are on social media, offer to do a live video talking about their business or message. Where applicable, you can also refer clients to them, include them in top 10 lists/eBooks, or make a video together. If you host any seminars or classes, offer to let them speak during your lesson. You can even offer to co-sponsor an event or fundraiser with them to help spread awareness about their business.

Incorporating Links

If you have existing partnerships with local businesses, create pages or blog articles that talk about their role in the home buying, selling, or owning process. Be sure to include links over to their website. If you’re not sure what other partnership opportunities you should explore for link-building, consider starting a page about your community. This will give you a platform to speak about and share links to restaurants, stores, and service providers of all kinds. Just remember to include the links organically. Create your content first and then include the links where they make sense.

Link building is just one of many important SEO building tactics you’ll need to employ to show up in local search results. Download the free SEO Simplified eBook here, or, let Homes.com help. Visit Marketing.Homes.com to learn about our SEO services for real estate agents.