Any SEO professional out there will tell you that a strong linking strategy is crucial to your website’s SEO/marketing success. Yet the full potential of linking is often overlooked by website owners.
In fact, majority of them fail to realize the powerful impact that links have on the strength of their pages/articles in the search engines results pages (SERPs).
Aside from on-page SEO factors, links are the most powerful tool in your SEO toolbox.
But what about other types of links: internal links and even outbound links from your site? Why are those neglected instead of being taken full advantage of?
Smarter Linking Strategy For Stronger SEO
When building your linking strategy you have to take into consideration all your linking options and opportunities. Only then will you create a strong campaign that will result in stronger SERP rankings improving your ROI.
Smart Internal Linking for Better SEO
You want visitors to find what they are seeking. That’s good, however, overzealous internal linking can lead to both SEO and usability problems. From a usability perspective too many choices will lead to decision paralysis, frustration and possibly abandonment. Smart internal linking, however, can lead to better user experience and better SEO.
An excellent example of a website that takes full advantage of the power of inner linking is Wikipedia. Their inner linking is at the core of their success with internal pages ranking extremely well in search engine result pages (and enjoying PR6 and 7 status along the way).
While implementing your internal linking strategy make sure to use anchor text that is relevant to the article being linked to gain the most out of your efforts.
Links incorporated into the content are highly valued by Google. Filling your content with relevant links to great content is a great way to increase the value of your site.
Additional tips for improved internal linking strategy.
- Use keyword-relevant anchor text
- Remove broken links
- Use a sitemap
- Use text-links for navigation
- Include the title attribute with your link
- Include related pages/article links at the end of the blog article
Improve the Quality of Outbound Links
Google’s director of spam control, Matt Cutts, has made it clear that outbound links are in fact used to determine the quality and relevancy of a page. While you should link to external websites, makes sure you link to quality sites with good rankings to get the most benefit.
On the other hand, links that point to piracy, pornography, link farm sites and other shady websites do degrade the authority of the linking website and may get you penalized. This is, in fact, the number one reason that people employ the “nofollow” attribute in their comments sections. It’s not that they don’t want you to gain any PageRank link juice. They do it to protect themselves from consequences of linking to a low quality or spammy websites.
While linking out, focus on the impact that the links will have on your readers. Provide the readers with the best and quality information available when you can. Don’t worry, they’ll return to read more of your quality articles even if they are temporarily directed somewhere else.
In addition to SEO benefits, the following may result from your outbound linking efforts:
- you may get an inbound link from the site you just linked to
- guest blogging opportunity or some other relationship may open up
- you may get an extra comment/trackback from the site’s owner
So go ahead, don’t be afraid to link to quality articles others have created. Your readers will appreciate it and you’ll improve your SEO.
Improve the Quality of Inbound Links
While most of website owners and SEO specialists understand that inbound links increase your site’s rankings, many fall short of building quality links that actually increase the site’s visibility in SERPs.
Some focus too much on little effective today methods such as link exchanges and mass directory submissions. Others just don’t employ enough diversity in their link building strategy.
Be smart about your inbound linking strategy
- Don’t use one or two types of link building tactics exclusively, even if they’re content related. Now more than ever, it’s important to have a wide range of campaigns running simultaneously, doing so helps take advantage of all the outlets being tapped and fed into the search results. Focus on creating a well-balanced link portfolio with links coming from social media platforms, directories, blogs, old sites, new sites, etc.
- If you haven’t been using social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter in your link marketing efforts, now’s the time to do it. For example, participate in Answers on LinkedIn always leaving a meaningful answer backed by a link to your relevant content.
- Not all links are created equal. When investigating potential websites, look at its overall quality & relevance to you site. Do your best to gain links with keyword-rich anchor text. And remember, Google Toolbar PageRank is not a reliable indicator of link’s quality.
- Focus your energy on content. Nine in 10 organizations use blogs, whitepapers, webinars, infographics, and other high quality content to leverage for link building and to attract natural, organic links. Not only can use your content to build links, but you can use it to build leads as well by proving the business knows their stuff when it comes to their industry. This year concentrate on content marketing.
There are many link building tools available today to help you maximize your time and effort so get busy today.
Moral of the story?
Building a strong linking strategy is crucial to website’s SEO success. Links are powerful. Inbound links, internal links and outbound links all should play a role in your overall strategy.