Links are an essential part of SEO for roofers but they are also the source of much controversy within the digital marketing community. This is not a new phenomenon either. Because links were the original Google ranking factor back in the late 90’s early 2000’s, they became a target for manipulation which manifested an entire community of “black-hat SEO’s” whose goal was to trick the search engine algorithm into ranking websites higher. In 2020, Google is much more sophisticated and no longer can be tricked by such elementary tactics. Despite that, links remain a ranking factor but nowadays in a more comprehensive manner.
What are Quality Links?
Quality links are those that originate from sources that are authoritative and relevant. Sites trusted by Google will transfer more link equity to your site than sites flagged as spam. But even sites that have a good reputation should use discretion when creating links to other pages. The link should also be for the user’s benefit and make sense within the context of the page and its overarching topic.
How to Earn Links
Link building is the traditional form of link acquisition for websites but earning links is a more modern and effective approach in 2020. Links that are earned carry the most equity and have the greatest influence over search ranking. They are even reflected in 3rd party link metrics such as MOZ Domain Authority. Earning links is done through creating great content for your roofing website and optimizing it for search. Pages that rank high for keyword terms get linked to naturally from other sources. When someone else is writing a blog post about roofing for example, they will research the topic. If your website shows up on the top of page one, there’s a high probability that it will be used as a reference once or more.
Create Great Content
The simplest way to earn quality links is to write perfect content for your roofing website. This content ranks well and therefore appears on search results for relevant keyword terms. The impact is seen when those researching blog topics find your website as an authoritative reference and then link to it naturally within their page. Content that has value can also be marketed through social media channels, producing even more opportunities for links.
Network With Other Companies
When you make a connection with another company who also has a website, there’s a great chance they will link to you if the opportunity presents itself. After all, if they are recommending a roofing contractor in your area, it will be you who they choose. This is fundamentally the basis of Google’s link equity algorithm. It was intended to reward natural endorsements such as the one described in this hypothetical scenario.
Write Guest Posts for Other Websites
As a roofer you probably don’t have time to write guest posts for another website but it should be mentioned because it is one of the most common ways to earn a link. It is earned because you are writing great content for another website which provides them with value and you with a natural backlik. You should only outreach to blogs that are relevant to roofing or possibly your local service area. Be careful not to outreach to irrelevant blogs.
The Death Of Link Scheming
Link manipulation was a popular practice ten years ago. It wasn’t until Google’s 2012 Penguin update that these types of tactics were majorly discouraged. Before Penguin, it was easy for a website to buy links, or to create agreements with other websites for link exchanges. The links in these cases usually existed for the sole purpose of manipulating search engines, and provided negative value to the user. In 2012, this all changed, as websites involved with link scheming suffered a major loss in rankings. Websites that were affected, participated in one or more of the following:
- Buying Links: Purchasing inbound links from other websites
- Link Networks: Claiming links on networks who produce artificial SEO
- Link Spamming: Posting irrelevant links in blog comment sections or forums
- Link Wheels: Exchanging links with other websites for the sole purpose of SEO
While link associations in a general sense, used to be a barometer for the authority and credibility of a given site, those qualities are now more dependent upon the quality of the inbound link rather than the quantity. In an effort to challenge the exploitative behavior of many websites, Google has cracked down on the manipulative tactics mentioned above. Since Google’s mission is to enhance the experience of its users, every measure they take will operate based on that premise. Roofing Webmasters can help you start earning links the right way, with our internet marketing services.