SEO for Contractors – Basics of Backlinks

Once a contractor website has been optimized for search engines with on-site SEO, it’s time to show search engines like Google that the website is popular and relevant to lots of people on the Internet so that they will rank the website high on Page 1. This is done by off-site SEO.

How Google Ranks Contractor Websites

Search engine rankings are based on computer formulas (algorithms) which calculate the relevance of a website to a particular search term. A key factor in these formulas is the “popularity” of the website among those interested in a particular subject.

For example, how many home improvement websites think that a website called “Comfort  HVAC Contractor” is relevant to the interests of their home improvement fan base? The main way that Google figures this out is by counting the number of home improvement websites that have bothered to link to Comfort HVAC. From the viewpoint of the Comfort HVAC Contractor, each is a “backlink.” If the website has 500 backlinks, Google considers this 500 “votes” for the website. If this is more votes than other websites on the topic, the website will be ranked high when a searcher looks for an HVAC contractor.

Quality of Backlinks to Contractor Websites

Google not only counts the backlinks but also notes their “quality.” A backlink from a site called “Energy Efficient Heating” that has hundreds of visitors a day would be a high quality link for the Comfort HVAC Contractor website. A backlink from a baseball card website which  has one visitor a day would not be considered high quality by Google because the site really isn’t relevant or authoritative on the subject of HVAC contracting and isn’t very popular either. Its vote doesn’t count for much.

As a note, analyzing backlinks is the innovation that shot Google to the top among search engines. Google is able to determine the relevance of websites to searchers by learning how popular these websites are among authoritative, popular websites on the same subject. Other search engines soon adopted this innovation and are working on catching up with Google.

Increasing the number of your backlinks, particularly relevant backlinks from popular sites, is the heart of off-site SEO. The good news is that off-site SEO isn’t magic. It’s mostly a matter of knowing what to do and doing it month after month and monitoring progress up the search engine rankings. Click here for more about an SEO program which includes on-site and off-site techniques designed to boost your contractor website to the top of Page 1 of Google.