Getting the most out of links
Most of us all know the search engine ranking benefit our
websites receive from getting inbound links to our websites from
other relevant topic specific websites.
When you think about it though, for the most part the way agents are exchanging links currently (Peer to peer link exchange from buried links pages) this is the only benefit being gained from the exchange.
So I think it is time we evaluated this proposition - consider the following:
#1 - The real estate industry is built on referrals and networking as much as any other medium of lead generation, some agents make a living solely on referrals
#2 - Links (When they are properly included in a website) are a great way to send qualified traffic to the destination website that the link points to
#3 - As evident from the huge volume of posts in our link exchange sections, our members are already investing a TON of time and resources into building links to increase their search engine rankings
#4 - Search engines are getting smarter and smarter at evaluating links and allocating credit for such links based on the legitimacy of the way the link is placed on a website, the more legitimate a reason for a link exchange to happen, the more valid that link is considered (And thus more credit is given to these types of links)
Do it right the first time, and you never have to worry about it
So why not just combine all of these things, that we already do,
and increase the volume of traffic and referrals we recieve from
the links we get placed on our referral partners websites while at
the same time revamp the way we exchange links so that it is a much
more legitimate setup ?
This way no matter how smart search engines get they will never have a problem with the way we link to each other because it will make sense from a business and marketing perspective, it won't appear to be "linking for linking sake" - which in reality it shouldn't be to begin with.
If I were a realtor
I would obviously have a website that I was trying to rank as
highly as I could in the search engines, this would mean I would be
contacting other realtors to get them to link to my website.
I would not stop here - sinse I am contacting them anyways, I might as well make the best use of this time and also set up a referral relationship with these realtors so that we can send relocation clients back and forth and benefit from the referral fee that we are able to receive by sending the client to an agent we know and trust.
Normally a relocation client would contact their local realtor and say "I am moving to area X and I am looking for a realtor, can you suggest someone" and then the local realtor (My referral parnter) would refer the client to me because I am in area X and they already know I am set up to recieve relocation referrals and they trust that I will take care of the referral.
Doing this each time a new person comes to them looking to relocate to area X means that my referral partner has to take quite a bit of time out of their busy day to provide the referral with my contact details and explain who I am and why they should work with me during their relocation.
To make my referral partners life easier and to save time I would provide a write-up to my referral partner about me and my services that my partner could then post on their website.
Now when someone comes to them wanting to relocate to area X, my partner can now just send the referral to my page to find out all why they should work with me and how to contact me including a link to my website.
Of course this referral relationship is a two way street, so I would suggest that my partner write a similar page for me, so that when I have clients wanting to relocate to his or her area I can send them to a convenient page on my website explaining their features and benefits and save myself the time of having to explain the same thing over and over again each time a new client comes to me.
- I save time which I can now invest in my websites content or other marketing of my business
- I get more relocation leads from agents I have built relationships with
- I have an easier time converting my leads because they come from a trusted source (A referral)
- I make more $ because I am closing more real estate transactions
- I get more benefit from my link exchanges as they are set up for legitimate reasons (Not just linking for linking sake)
The downside (The only downside)
- I now have to invest much more time (Once per linking relationship) because I am no longer simply sending an impersonal "hey you wanna swap links" I am entering into a valuable business relationship that requires more intense initial screening and communication to verify that this person is in fact someone that I would feel comfortable sending my referral clients to.
But shouldn't we all be doing this anyways?
Take search engines out of the mix, say they never existed, and we STILL should build relocation and referral relationships with realtors in other areas. It is a smart move for us to make from a business perspective AND this is why the foundation of link popularity was built the way it was in the first place. People link to other because they have a legitimate reason to do so, they trust the site they are linking to and are providing the link as a resource to their visitors. So in essence we have come full circle.
I am not a realtor, so what do I know
But if you respect my article, and what I have said here (Or
anywhere else on this website) and feel that it would benefit your
visitors or colleagues or you just want to thank me, please link to
this article or any of your favorite articles or pages on this
You already know how this will benefit me and my business, and I thank you for your referrals.