Incoming links are undoubtedly one of the crucial components of an effective SEO strategy, but there's so much misinformation and hucksterism out there about building links to your site that it's important to have some grasp of how-to and how-not-to acquire links.
Key takeaway: spammy links can actually hurt your rankings rather than improve them.
This is particularly important in the aftermath of Google's Penguin and Panda updates, as many websites have been penalized for having what are perceived as low quality links pointing towards them. (That is, links coming from questionable websites).
So when you see advertisements like these...
... proceed with caution.
There are a lot of companies out there competing for your marketing dollars, and many of them make wild claims about getting you "to the first page of Google," etc. Some of these companies may be great, but you want to be sure that you don't wind up with a bunch of bad links pointing to your site.
What is Link Building?
For a more complete overview of link building for small local businesses, check out our article on link-building 101 for home performance. But basically, it's a concerted effort to increase the number of links pointing towards your website from other websites.
Links are often referred to as the "currency of the internet," because the more high quality links you have, the better for SEO. The key here is "quality." A few links from legitimate, authoritative sites is way better than many links from sites that are perceived as questionable or low quality.
- Not all links are created equal.
- You may actually be punished for bad (spammy) links coming to your site.
- Organic growth is best (slow link growth over time).
Why Link Building is Unique in Home Performance
The Home Performance industry is unique in many ways, particularly when compared to other local-centric industries like plumbing or locksmithing.
For one, more than other local businesses like a typical home improvement contractor or HVAC company, home performance is seen as offering a larger collection of benefits that extend beyond the person hiring the contractor to do the work: it reduces carbon emissions, increases local and national energy independence, and more. For this reason, a home performance company is more apt to get links from authoritative local organizations like community organizations, educational institutions, local press, and more. Sites that end with ".edu" and ".gov" are gold, and you as a home performance contractor have a better chance of getting these links than most other local businesses in other industries.
Another reason the home performance industry is unique is that it's relatively new, and growing. While a plumber in your area may have quite a bit of competition from other area plumbers, chances are there aren't quite as many home performance contractors in the region. This is good because it means you may only need a few links to outperform your competition -- particularly if those come from good, authoritative sites.
For more info about link-building, SEO and web marketing in the home performance industry, feel free to get a hold of us.