Website Strategies for Contractors: Why Linking to Suppliers is a Bad Idea

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I work with many contractors every week. Some have fantastic websites that really pop and show their work off well, while others are just getting started and need some help with their design and layout.

But a common theme I run into all the time regardless of the contractor’s expertise in site design is the dreaded “supplier links” page. This is the page where many contractors will proudly display their suppliers by placing the supplier logo and a link out to each supplier’s site.

Why this strategy is a bad idea

Having dozens of links out to your stable of suppliers is a bad idea for two reasons. The first, and not so dangerous, is you are giving away what’s called “link juice” to their websites.

Link juice is the PageRank you pass along from your site to the site you link to. And if you have more links away from your site than coming to it, you lose street cred with Google in the form of lower search results for your target keywords.

But it gets worse!

When you link out to your suppliers you risk losing business. You risk giving away the hard-earned prospect that just found your site because each of your suppliers has a “find a local contractor” or “locate a dealer near you”.

It would feel like a gut punch if you knew prospects found your competition from your own site, but it has probably already happened and you don’t even know it. So my suggestion to you is remove your supplier page, or at least remove the links to their sites and make the page a lot less prominent.

Even if you are receiving co-op funding you shouldn’t be willing to risk losing a prospect since the lifetime value of that prospect could be much more than whatever few pennies your supplier is paying you for the link on your site.