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If you top the search rankings for relevant keywords, motivated seller leads will call you even if you never spend a dollar on ads. But it’s not that easy. Other investors, tech companies and real estate businesses compete for the top spots and try to out-rank you.

Most SEO experts will say you need more links to rank better. Some people claim them as a magic bullet, others say links are useless nowadays. Who’s right? Find out in this week’s episode of REI Marketing Nerds.

Want to know the truth about links? Listen now!

Show highlights include: 

  • How the wrong links can kill your SEO results. (4:09)
  • Why it’s so hard to get links as an investor. (4:28)
  • The case against creating content to get more links. (4:59)
  • The SEO strategy that gets your website blacklisted on Google. (6:48)
  • How to benefit from your competitors’ laziness. (10:11)

To get the latest updates directly from Dan and discuss business with other real estate investors, join the REI marketing nerds Facebook group here: http://adwordsnerds.com/group

Need help with your online marketing? Jump on a FREE strategy session with our team. We'll dive deep into your market and help you build a custom strategy for finding motivated seller leads online. Schedule for free here: http://adwordsnerds.com/strategy

Read Full Transcript

You're listening to the “REI Marketing Nerds” podcast, the leading resource for real estate investors who want to dominate their market online. Dan Barrett is the founder of AdWords Nerds, a high-tech digital agency, focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you get more leads and deals online, outsmart your competition, and live a freer, more awesome life. And, now, your host, Dan Barrett.

Dan: All right, hello everybody, and welcome to this week's episode of the REI Marketing Nerds podcast. As always, this is Daniel Barrett here from AdWordsNerds.com—and, hey, by the way, now you can officially find this podcast at REIMarketingNerds.com.

That is right, REIMarketingNerds.com is finally a thing. That'll take you straight to the website where you can get all of our podcast episodes, episode notes, show notes, links, all that stuff and more. So, once again, it's REIMarketingNerds.com. Go and check it out. I really appreciate it. [01:16.3]

And, hey, if you have been a long time listener of the show, I cannot tell you how much we appreciate it. If you are new, welcome to the fold. We really try to make this show the single most valuable marketing resource for finding motivated seller leads online that you could possibly have, and I appreciate you being here. If you get a chance to leave us a review, leave us a comment, wherever you listen to podcasts. I read every one and it really helps.

Okay, this week we're talking SEO. This week we're talking search engine optimization. Of course, that is anything you do to rank your site more aggressively, more highly in Google, so that people can find you when sellers go on Google and they type in “I want to sell my house fast” or “I need to sell a house in foreclosure,” or “How do I sell an inherited property?” Whatever it is, when they go on Google and they search for those things, we want your site to come up when those people are in your market, right? [02:10.1]

That's what SEO is all about. How do I get my site to show up? People always say, I want to be in the top spot in Google, right? So, how do we get that to happen?

I will tell you over the last couple years, I have been absolutely flabbergasted. To use a word you don't hear every day, I have been absolutely flabbergasted and flummoxed to find that there are people in the real estate investing community who actually will go out there and claim that links, back links to your website don't matter for investors. There are literally people today who will go out and say, You don't need to build links to your website. Backlinks are less important. SEO has moved beyond that. You don't need links. Links aren't important. [03:01.4]

And there are people that will say this. I run across this all the time and on forums and people doing YouTube videos, specifically telling investors this. And I will tell you that there are many people in the SEO community, the broader SEO world out there, the people who are kind of at the top of the industry or whatever who say things like that, and I don't know if it's true for their industries. I don't know anything about their industry. All I know is real estate investors, right, because that is what we do and, specifically, all we do is motivated seller leads.

I will tell you in every single piece of research that we've done—and we do all our own research, we gather our own data. I don't ask anybody else what works. We go out and figure it out with our clients—links and reviews, but primarily links are still the single biggest differentiator for real estate investors. They are the thing that moves the needle. [03:59.8]

Now, if that's the case, why do people say they don't matter? Okay, there are a couple of different reasons, all right, and they're important to understand because it is very possible to do links for your website in the wrong way and actually end up behind rather than ahead. So, I'd want you to listen to this because like everything in life, the details matter, all right?

One of the reasons that people will poo-poo the power of links and say the links aren’t important is because links are very difficult for investors to get. There are not many people who sort of see it in their best interest to link to a local real estate investor. You're certainly not going to get links from a competitor, right, and many agents and realtors and stuff, they don't feel comfortable linking to real estate investors. That's the same for contractors. There's just this kind of stigma around real estate investing and many people don't want to link to real estate investors. [04:59.1]

And going the content route of sort of creating content and getting it published, it's incredibly time consuming. It's incredibly labor-intensive. When we do this for clients, we literally spend hours doing research and finding websites that might feature a thing that we wrote and emailing them, and developing relationships with them and getting to know them, and doing work for free and all. It is a huge amount of labor. And real estate investors, in general, have a tendency to seek the shortcut, to seek the easy thing to do, and links are not easy to do.

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So many of the people in the real estate investing space just think like, It's difficult to do. I don't want to do it. It isn't worth it. No, it's totally fine to say, Hey, this isn't worth it for me, and it’s totally fine to say, I don't feel like doing that. But that is very different from saying they don't work or it isn't worth it in general, because I will tell you just a few high-quality links literally make all the difference.

Now, the other reason that a lot of people are claiming that links don't matter for investors right now is because investors, given the context of what I just said, this tendency that investors have to seek the easy way out, to seek the shortcut, many people will go on some website like Fiverr or something like that and they will get a low cost link-building package. It'll be like, Oh, give me 20 bucks and I'll build you 50 links. [07:02.4]

And these links are from random German video game websites and they're spam comments on blogs. They're all done via software. There's nobody involved. No one ever reads them. No one ever clicks them. It's just a thing that's meant to fool Google, and the thing about this is that Google is not dumb.

You can feel however you want to feel about Google, right? People have positive opinions and negative opinions about Google, but the thing you need to understand is they are not dumb. They are not dumb. They know what is happening and they have ways of detecting it at scale. And so, what ends up happening is these investors go out and they get these cheap links because they think links are going to help them, and then it ends up hurting them instead of helping them.

In fact, it has happened to me multiple times that we will take on an SEO client and I have to spend the first couple of weeks of my time with them, not optimizing their website or not making new content, or not building out their Google My Business, none of that. I've got to spend the first two weeks of my time with them just removing the links that their old SEO people built. And this is very common. [08:10.6]

It's very common because for SEO companies, too, they know building links is difficult for real estate investors. If you've ever worked with a real estate investor, you have run into this problem of how difficult it is to build links, and so, the agency, the SEO company, they have an incentive to say, Hey, Mr. Investor, I want to keep you as a client, so I want you to know that I'm busy and I'm doing a lot of stuff. So, look, we built you 50 links. Isn't that great? But the problem is the links are garbage and they end up biting the investor in the butt. Maybe not now, but sometime in the future.

And if you think about how critical your website is to your business moving forward, putting that at risk is basically like lighting an open flame or an open fire inside a grocery store or a restaurant, just letting it burn. You’ll be like, Yeah, maybe it's not going to burn down the building right now, but sooner or later, it's going to get out of control, and sooner or later, you're going to pay for it. [09:13.0]

So, for many people right now in this industry, it is easier to go out and say links don't matter and try to convince investors that links don't matter. It's easier to do that than it is to figure out a way to actually consistently build quality links for real estate investors. It's hard. I will tell you for a fact, it is hard because we have had to do this in our team.

The team at AdWords Nerds, when we do SEO, we have had to develop a link-building strategy and it is hard. It is probably the most time-intensive thing that team does. It was a pain in the butt and it remains a pain in the butt. So, why do we do it? Because it helps our clients rank, and it helps our clients rank because there's a huge barrier to entry that most other investors just don't want to put in the time to get over, and that's actually an opportunity for you. [10:10.9]

If you are listening to this, if you are willing to put in the time and the effort to actually build quality links, it will make all the difference. I've said this on this show a million times, the bar is low for you as a real estate investor. The bar is low.

And so, if you can get out there and do the good work, build quality stuff, build links from real local sources that are real-estate-based—right? We're not talking about German video game websites and blog comments. We're talking about legitimate articles, legitimate messages, mentions in the news, legitimate content—it will make all the difference. But there's no way around that work that's involved. There really isn’t. If there was, I would’ve done it by now, right?

If there was an easier way, I would have done it by now. But, in a way, I'm thankful for that because it keeps a lot of people out, and it means that the work that we do and the work that you do, if you so choose, is much, much, much more valuable than it could be. [11:15.7]

I hope that makes sense. I hope you liked this episode. As always, REIMarketingNerds.com, that is the website right now. Go on there and check out all our past episodes. And, of course, wherever you get your podcasts, leave me a like. Leave me a comment. Leave me a review. Whatever the thing is, I’d love it. I read every single one, or just go to REIMarketingNerds.com and check out all our past episodes.

I hope you and your family and your friends and your loved ones are happy, healthy, safe, and prosperous. And I will see you next week for more online marketing talk about real estate investing. This is Daniel Barrett signing off.

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