So you want your real estate (or other) website to rank high in search engines. You have the basics down. Your page titles are on point. Your content is good and provides value. Your navigation is seamless. Any user would have a fantastic experience on your website. But there's one problem: Your site's having a hard time ranking in search engine results pages.

Some in the SEO industry don't want to talk about rankings. You'll hear this phrase a lot: "It's not about rankings; it's about the user experience... and everything will fall into place." Although I believe wholeheartedly that there is truth in that approach, I also believe that you can help yourself by improving your rankings.

Who wouldn't want to be on the first page in search results organically? That's one of our main goals as online marketers. Some 75% of searchers never going past the first page during their search, so it's imperative that you be on the first page, or that you at least strive to be.

Various ranking factors contribute to ranking your website and content high in search results, but the one that is seemingly ignored among them in the real estate industry is consistently identified as the one with the biggest impact: links. Top influencers in the search industry say links are one of the main contributors to higher rankings.

Just to clarify: I dislike the term "link building." For the rest of this article, we'll call it "link earning." Earned links will have a serious impact on your website, your business, and eventually your rankings.

What is a Link and How Does It Help My Website?

We could get all technical with this, but it can get boring. So in my own words I'll explain what links are and how they help your website.

What Links Are

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image of Caleb McElveen

Caleb McElveen is the director of SEO at Listing Power Tools, which provides marketing solutions for real estate agents.

Linkedin: Caleb McElveen

Twitter: @cj_mce