If you’re running a property management business, you know that a good marketing plan is critical to getting the most out of your company. Your property management marketing plan likely makes abundant use of inbound marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). There’s a lot that goes into good SEO, and it can be a tricky thing to do well.
SEO is the process of optimizing your web presence so that you can rank higher on the search results of any given search engine. There are a variety of ways to do this, but they all come down to boosting the weight that your content carries with a search engine. You can achieve this goal through well-executed design and content; you can also do this by improving the relationship between your website and other websites.
If the content that you provide on your property management website is valuable enough, then other websites will likely begin to link to it. This event is a definite sign that you are producing meaningful content—and it goes a long way towards increasing your credibility. Any link that points from another website to your own is known as a “backlink.”
A Backlink Breakdown
Think of a backlink as being similar to a citation in a book or research paper: if you're generating backlinks, it means that another business or content creator is referring to your website when talking about running a property management business.
Good news! They feel that you have something authoritative to say and that you may be able to say it better than they can. Backlinks are one of the important metrics used by search engines to decide the value of your page. The idea of ranking pages based on their value rather than keywords alone came during the late 1990s when many nascent SEO practices (such as keyword stuffing) and inefficient search algorithms were rendering search engines increasingly useless to average users.
Google itself was born out of the idea of bringing order to chaos with its PageRank system. Backlinks are a crucial part of how Google does this.
So, How Can I Generate Backlinks?
Backlinks are a critical part of SEO. It is possible to generate some backlink activity through methods such as link buying—but this is a scenario where you can’t merely “pay to win.” Search engines generally forbid paid links, and they can—and will—penalize you for using the practice.
Google defines link buying as: “Exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a ‘free’ product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link.” Under this definition, sponsored guest posts and paid reviews qualify, so generally speaking, you should avoid any exchange of services or money in return for a link.
Earning backlinks is the most effective way to generate them. If you’ve built a website and developed content that establishes you as a property management business leader, then you’ll attract the right sort of attention naturally. The backlinks that you achieve will be genuinely earned. Think of your property management website as a sort of garden: you need to tend to it regularly. Just as you need to weed a garden regularly, you need to check your site for good and back backlinks—and disavow the bad.
What Makes a Backlink "Good" or "Bad?"
Luckily, the distinction isn’t too hard to make. A good backlink will come from an established and authoritative property management website. If the linking site has similar content to yours and high domain authority, it will be good for your SEO efforts.
A lousy backlink will come from a website that is unrelated to the property management business or a site that has a history of violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Bad backlinks can sabotage your efforts and bring down your rankings.
Stay on Top of Things!
The best way to make sure that you’re effectively “weeding your garden” is to check up on your backlinks regularly.
- You should do your best to investigate new backlinks whenever you earn them.
- Try to explore the linking website and get a feel for their legitimacy and authority.
- Be sure to investigate their content and determine whether or not they’re using excellent or harmful SEO practices.
If they’re a legitimate property management website and not a "link farm," then you’re in luck! If you’ve generated a good backlink, reach out to the other site and establish some rapport. You may be able to create a beneficial, mutual relationship.
When you encounter bad backlinks, act on them as soon as you can: the longer you wait, the more readily that link can become a problem. Make use of Google’s disavowal tool in this scenario. This action lets the search engine know that you don’t want that link to factor into your page rankings.
Don’t neglect regular preventative maintenance—even on well-established backlinks. Regular check-ups will let you watch for growth or decay and address broken links before they, too, become an issue. You should do this as part of a monthly or quarterly plan to keep up on your SEO.
Backlinks are an essential part of your SEO efforts! If you’re delivering high-quality content on your property management website, you’ll be able to earn some well-deserved backlinks with time. Doing this right can take time and work—and not every backlink you generate will be helpful.
If you want some assistance with your SEO—or even a little help with your backlink strategy—reach out to RentBridge! We know Inbound marketing and SEO, and we want to take your property management marketing to the next level. That's exactly why we put together our ebook, "The Property Manager's Guide to SEO in 2020."
In property management, if you're not ahead of the competition, then you're already behind. Let's start the new year off on the right foot together with powerful SEO tactics for your property management company!