As a contractor in today’s technology-directed world, you must maintain a solid internet presence to continue to grow your business. You must have a good website that’s easy for visitors to navigate and provides valuable and optimized content. Even if you have these aspects of a good website, you may not be attracting all the potential leads you could be if you’re not taking advantage of link building.
Site owners and digital marketing professionals use link building as part of their comprehensive search engine optimization (SEO) strategies because it proves essential for outranking competitors on search engines like Google and attracting more potential leads. Adding many links to your website may seem intimidating, but we’re here to help.
This article will discuss how to execute a successful link-building strategy if you run a local business for plumbing, HVAC, electrical, or another service. We’ll walk you through what link building is, why it matters, and how to build links while avoiding common pitfalls.
What Is Link Building and Why Is It Important?
If you’ve spent time navigating through a website, you’ve probably clicked on links relevant to your search intent and followed them to new pages on or off the site. SEO experts use links like these to help website visitors find relevant content and achieve higher search engine rankings for web pages.
Robust link-building strategies include a good balance of external links and internal links. Let’s define each of these and examine why they are both essential for attracting more website visitors and improving lead generation for your business.
What Is an External Link and What Is a Backlink?
An external link brings a site visitor to another web page on a different domain (website). For example, you may create a link from your site to a resource page on another site if your content includes official statistics requiring citation. You may also provide links to your social media profiles and other off-site resource pages about your business.
One of the most critical types of external linking is backlinking, which brings visitors from another website onto yours. For example, other websites may link to content on your own site as a resource or service recommendation.
Search engines like Google and Bing like to see a healthy amount of backlinks to contractors’ websites. Backlinks can help your website:
- Attract more organic traffic by directly sending visitors to your site.
- Rank higher on Google, Bing, etc.
If Google sees that several high-authority sites have links to yours, it will consider your website a trustworthy resource and rank your web pages higher than competitor sites.
What Is an Internal Link?
An internal link brings website visitors to another web page within the same domain. For example, you may link a button or piece of text on a service page or blog post to your contact page as a call to action or link to other articles on your site.
Internal links provide several benefits, including the following:
- Google more easily finds and indexes new content on your site.
- Relevant internal links improve page authority.
- You can direct more visitors to the pages on your site that convert the best.
Google finds new content on your site (updated info, recent blog posts, etc.) by crawling existing pages, so a successful growth strategy includes internal links to new content. If a search engine can’t find your new web pages, searchers can’t either.
Google aims to offer searchers the most relevant results, so it prioritizes site pages it considers most important. You can guide Google to your most essential pages by creating several links to them throughout your website.
Both backlinks and internal links improve your business’s online authority, which means you’ll get more website traffic, more leads, and more clients for your local service business.
How to Execute an Internal Linking Strategy in Three Steps
Internal linking provides a relatively low-risk strategy for increasing organic search rankings and driving more traffic to your local business’s website. By adding more links between the pages on your website, you can improve rankings and performance for specific pages and guide visitors through the site to the most relevant content. Follow these steps to create a successful internal linking strategy:
1. Identify Essential Web Pages and Target Keywords
Begin your internal link-building strategies by determining which pages on your website provide the most SEO value. These pages likely present your primary services and have been optimized for one of your primary keywords.
For example, your plumbing company may have pages for bathroom plumbing repair, septic repair, and emergency plumbing that all perform well. An HVAC company may have separate service pages for furnace installation, air conditioner installation, and HVAC repair.
One internal link-building tactic consists of adding links from these powerful pages to weaker pages on your site to improve their performance. For example, if you’re introducing a new service with a new service page, you can help that page perform better by linking to it from other strong service pages.
2. Choose Relevant Anchor Text
When adding links, you must carefully consider the anchor text, the underlined text that becomes clickable once you add the link. Google wants to see relevant anchor text that relates directly to the page being linked to. For example, if you wish to link from an emergency plumbing page to a blog post called “What to Do if a Pipe Bursts in Your Home,” your link may read, “We can provide fast emergency service if a pipe bursts in your home.”
Some SEO tools and services add internal links to a website using an automated system, but these links may not take advantage of the best anchor text opportunities. We suggest manually adding your internal links using relevant, keyword-focused anchor text for the best results.
3. Don’t Overdo It
Successful internal linking strategies use several high-quality links, but more links do not always mean more success. All internal links should provide intuitive navigation for the website visitor without complicating the user experience. Random or irrelevant links won’t necessarily help you grow your presence online.
Internal Link Building Dos and Don’ts
Every digital marketing strategy has developed best and worst practices over the decades. Digital marketing experts and site moderators must carefully choose their internal link-building tactics for optimal results.
Keep the following internal linking best practices in mind when crafting your link-building strategy:
- Use relevant anchor text.
- Consider your target keywords.
- Direct visitors to your most vital pages.
- Link strong pages to weak ones.
- Use intuitive navigation.
- Link with purpose, not at random.
Your internal linking efforts may end up hurting your website performance rather than helping it if you don’t avoid these internal linking strategies:
- Use random or irrelevant anchor text.
- Add too many internal links to a single page.
- Ignore broken links (also called lost links).
Broken link building refers to having links on the website that no longer work, that bring the visitor to the wrong page, or that bring the visitor to a broken page or error page. These types of links may hurt your online authority rather than improve it.
How to Execute a Backlinking Strategy in Six Steps
A successful backlinking strategy brings more search traffic to your website. Follow these steps to land links and get the most out of your backlinking SEO strategy:
1. Identify and Understand Your Target Audience
As a local contractor, your target audience likely consists of home and business owners within a particular age group or income bracket. Consider the types of clients you’ve done work for in the past. Do they represent a large and varied enough customer base for your business to keep growing, or are there other audiences in your area you want to target?
You can learn more about the people your business currently reaches online by looking at relevant data from search engines and social media platforms. Many tools offer audience data, including Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, Twitter Analytics, and others.
2. Find Relevant Sites Your Audience May Visit
Quality backlinks come from sites with high domain authority and valuable content relevant to your business. As a contractor, many backlinking opportunities may come from online business directories like Google My Business, Apple Maps, LinkedIn, Yelp, and Yellowbook. These sites and other online directories can provide visitors with your business information and a link to your website.
Other backlinking opportunities may come from association websites. If your business is part of local associations, make sure their websites offer links to yours. If they do not, reach out to the association requesting a backlink using your own content.
3. Create High-Quality Content
Another popular backlink option comes from guest blogging, where you create content for guest posts on another website’s blog. For example, a service review site may be willing to publish a review of your business that links to your website.
When you create guest blogging content for a page on another website, you want to appeal to your target audience by:
- Presenting and solving an industry-relevant question or problem.
- Including your unique selling propositions. For example, do you offer free quotes or special discounts?
- Creating content that is well-written, well-structured, factual, and optimized.
Guest posting on spammy or irrelevant websites won’t help your website attract more traffic or rank higher. The key to successful backlinking strategies lies in creating relevant links between high-authority websites, so keep your guest blogging on sites Google ranks highly.
4. Ask Relevant Sites to Link to Your Content
Once you complete your guest post, contact the relevant site or blog owner, and ask if they will post your content. Remember, your content must be appropriate, well-written, and optimized for SEO.
If you have more than one page of content to share, don’t send it all to the same website. They are not likely to publish every guest post at once and may decide not to read any because they don’t have time. Send the most relevant content to each site on your list for the best chance of having it published.
One excellent method for suggesting backlinks to your site includes finding broken links on relevant authority websites. Contact the site owner or moderator, and suggest a link to your content to replace the broken link. This method helps you establish a quick backlink while also helping the other site owner, who may not have realized they had broken links on their website.
5. Request Image Attribution for Quality Photographs
You can send more than just blog posts to relevant websites to obtain links to your site. If you have someone on your team who knows how to take high-quality photos, you can offer websites the use of your photography.
Most site owners are always on the hunt for relevant, high-quality images. Ask for your photo to be attributed to your business with a link to your website.
6. Promote Your New Content
The top link-building strategies don’t only rely on the approval of an external site owner to get a backlink to a relevant page. You can also create your own backlinks by promoting new content on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. For example, you might make a Facebook post announcing your latest blog post with a link to the article.
Backlink Building Dos and Don’ts
Improper backlinking may significantly harm your website’s performance, especially if your backlinks come from untrustworthy or spammy websites.
Keep these backlinking best practices in mind when developing your backlinking strategy:
- Get backlinks from relevant authority sites.
- Add new backlinks to your site every month.
- Address broken backlinks.
- Consider your target audience.
When Google was relatively new, websites used what are now considered “black hat” techniques for backlinking. These included linking in blog comments on another site, buying links from spammy websites, and other harmful practices that can tank your performance today.
Keep these backlinking don’ts in mind when creating your strategy and don’t:
- Buy links (you should never have to pay money to get a link).
- Backlink to spammy, irrelevant, or poor-quality websites.
- Backlink to blogs on private blog networks (feeder sites).
- Use identical anchor text for several links.
To avoid irrelevant sites linking to yours and other link-building pitfalls, trust your link-building strategies to a professional marketing company like Relentless Digital. We’re an SEO company for plumbers, electricians, and other local service contractors that will help you maximize traffic and avoid detrimental link schemes.
Let Relentless Digital Handle Your Link-Building Strategy
Now that you know how to execute a successful link-building strategy for your local service business, consider if you’ll tackle this project solo or invest in some help from our professional marketing team. The content marketing experts at Relentless Digital want to help you achieve success through your link-building strategies and our other services.
We can handle your website design, paid ad management, reputation management, email marketing, and more. The Relentless Digital team’s mission is to get great results for our clients through various digital marketing tools and services.
Visit this link to learn about setting up Google Local Service Ads, another effective tool for growing your local service business. We’ll teach you about this paid search option and show you how it can help you immediately boost your lead generation.
Contact the Relentless Digital team to learn more about our digital marketing services and how we can help you reach more potential clients online. You can get in touch with us through our website contact form or by calling 262-393-4241.