I work with a lot of contractors every week. Some have fantastic websites that really pop and show off their work, while others are just getting started online and have websites in need of some serious love. But a common issue I regularly run into – regardless of the contractor’s expertise in website design – is the dreaded “supplier links” page. This is the page where many contractors proudly announce their suppliers by displaying the suppliers' logos with a link out to each supplier’s website.
Not Enough Juice
First, let me just say that having links out to your stable of suppliers is a terrible idea. Here’s why: You’re giving away what’s called “link juice” to these other websites.
Link juice is the page rank 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 who just found your site.
Giving It Away
Here’s how it works: Every one of your suppliers has a “find a local contractor” or “locate a dealer near you” section on their website. And guess what people do? They click that link and go to that page; plug in their ZIP code, and up comes a list of 200 competitors.
It would feel like a punch to the throat if you knew that your prospects found – from your own website – and opted to go with one of your competitors, but it has probably already happened and you didn’t even know it.
My suggestion: Remove your supplier page, or at least remove the links to their sites, and make the page a lot less prominent. Even if you don’t have a page specifically set up for vendors, remove any link on any page that takes Mrs. Jones away from your site to somewhere she can find your competition and do business with them.
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. —Darren Slaughter runs a boutique website design and marketing shop that serves only contractors in the home improvement space. darrenslaughter.com