Out of hundreds of factors that go into search results, site structure, content and links are the three most important. If you have already built a sound website that is SEO optimized, well designed, well organized, and packed with great content, now it is time to get some links. If you want to beat your competitors at search, you need lots of great links pointing to your site.
A link from another website is essentially a vote by that website for yours. It means that the website likes the content of your site and is willing to re-direct some of its traffic to your site. For search engines, this is a powerful affirmation that your site is well liked by others. Sounds easy enough, but most GOOD websites are very hesitant to link to others, and that is why links are so powerful.
All links are not created equally. It is much more powerful to get a link from a powerful site than to get dozens of links from weaker sites. Page rank is a tool that Google created to gauge the power of a page. It is rumored that page rank will be going away, but it is still a good tool to use to judge the power of a particular page, and whether or not it is worth pursuing a link from that source. Here is a complete description of page rank. In summary, page rank is a logarithmic number from 0-10 assigned to each page to show how powerful that page is within Google’s algorithm. It is exponentially more difficult to move to each higher number, and only a handful of sites have a page rank of 10. A good page rank for a local property manager website is 2 or better.
It is better to get links from a site that doesn’t have many outbound links than from sites with lots of outbound links. The more links a page gives out, the less valuable each one is. The rank of the page is basically divided by the number of links that the site links to. Therefore, fewer links will give more power to each site linked to.
Links from property management or real estate sites are better than links from other industries. It is much better to build a collection of relevant links from others in the same industry. This shows that your site is respected within the community of sites that participate in the same business and will help your search rankings much more than getting links from sites outside of your industry. The exception to this rule is to get local .gov, .org, and .edu links from government sites and universities. If you can get these well respected links, they are always powerful regardless of industry.
Front page links are better than links from secondary pages. Generally, the front page of a website is going to be the most powerful page for that site. There are some exceptions, but as a general rule, you want to get links from the front page. It is also beneficial to get a link in the footer of a site as that will give you a link from every page of the site.
Anchor text links are better than generic links that only contain your website URL. As a part of your SEO strategy, try to get links with anchor text that match the search terms that you are trying to compete for. For example, if you want to compete for the term Denver Property Management, make sure that the link says “Denver Property Management” and not “FreeRentalSite.com.” The Denver Property Management link above is an example of an anchor text link that we just created to our Denver Property Manager page.
One-way links are better than reciprocal links. A one-way link means that the site links to you and you didn’t have to link back. This shows the search engines that the site thinks you are great and there was nothing given in return for the link. A reciprocal link is still valuable, but shows a bit of “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” Finally, NEVER pay for links with the exception of inclusion in paid directories. Google will catch you and if they determine that you are paying for links, they will black list you from search results.
In summary, it is best to get one-way anchor text links for search terms that you are competing for in the footer of powerful websites that are in the property management or real estate industry. Easier said than done right? Not really. Here is a winning strategy to get lots of quality links to your site: Ask.
Most of you know dozens of other property managers and real estate agents in your community, nationwide, and even internationally. If you have an associate in the same market but you have different service areas, ask for them to give you a link for business in your service area. This is a great local link from a relevant site in the same industry. If you don’t do real estate sales, ask an agent that gives you management referrals in your area for a link. If you have friends that you have met at conferences or trade shows from different markets, ask them for links. This strategy will take some time, but will pay off big time in search rankings if you can assemble a quality assortment of links. If you like the content of this article, we would appreciate a link from your site that says “Homes for Rent” to http://www.freerentalsite.com/. There, we just asked!
If you have any questions about technology for property management, whether you are a customer or not, feel free to contact us. 888.705.3404. We build technology for property managers through Free Rental Site and Property Manager Websites and we love it!