(I enjoyed writing my previous article on the reasons that real estate agents should blog, and it got me thinking about all the other bits of advice I’d like to share with real estate agents… I have a bunch of ideas, many of which are still only half-baked, so I’m looking toward your comments and suggestions to see where I should take this mini-series on blogging basics for real estate agents.)
What are the three most important factors in determining the value of real estate?
While this well worn mantra forms a fundamental building block of real estate value, the concept of location is nearly irrelevant in the on-line world. I’m located in Seattle, WA, the servers hosting this site are in Santa Monica, CA, and you could be reading this from anywhere in the world.
If you’re an agent thinking of moving on-line, there are a bunch of real estate fundamentals that you’re going to want to relearn if you are going to be successful. I’ll start be revising the well-worn mantra to make it relevant on-line…
What are the three most important factors in determining the value of your real estate site?
And just as all locations are not created equal, not all links are created equal.
If you’re looking to build up a website that ranks well with search engines, then you’re number one focus should be on getting high quality inbound links (i.e. other sites linking to your site!). In particular, you want to build up as many inbound links from popular blogs and websites as you can. It’s common knowledge that 3 high-quality inbound links are more valuable than 1000 links from lame link farms… You want links into your site, but more importantly, you want quality links into your site!
Note that you do not get any search engine benefits from outbound links (links from your site to other sites). At best, outbound links won’t affect your ranking and at worst, they can seriously damage your ranking should you link to spam sites. In other words, if you’re linking to quality sites, you’re fine… If you’re linking to spam sites, you can expect the search engines to label you as spam.
Since there’s no benefit to outbound links, does this mean that you should not link to other sites?
No Way! Quite the contrary! Linking to other sites is critical to building up your site’s credibility with other bloggers. Join in some of the wonderful conversations that makes up the web and you’ll likely find that more and more people begin to link to your site. Find a blog you really like and then write articles about their articles! Link back to them and you’ll be surprised how quickly they start linking back to you! It’s actually a lot of fun to be part of this process.
There are very few sites that can build up credibility without linking to other sites and if you’re reading this blog looking for advice, you are probably not one of them. My advice to new bloggers: link… link… link… and link some more. Link to a blog saying something nice about their site, and there’s a pretty good chance they’ll link back to you!
So why are links so important
Links are the lifeblood of the web. The search engines rely heavily on links to determine how to rank your site. And more than any other factor, the rank of your site on search engines determines the value of your site. Granted, if you’re writing a blog for personal reasons, then you might not care how many people reach your site via search engines, but if you’re blogging to get clients, then you’re sites success depends on your how you are ranked by Google. Ranking high on Google searches generates web-traffic which generates leads which generate sales.
There are other ways to generate web-traffic, but none of them are as cheap and/or effective as generating leads through searches. (This site has a nice overview of how of how search engines work!)
So, all of this leads to an obvious question… How do you generate inbound links? Check back in a few days. I’ve got a bunch of ideas/thoughts on this subject. I’ll try to gather my thoughts and turn them into a post!
On a related note, I get asked by other bloggers on a regular basis if it is okay if they link to Rain City Guide. My answer is always “Yes”. I love links! Any business blogger who refused a link would be nuts.