The way you link, both internally and externally from your site, is crucial for achieving results in today’s competitive market. Proper linking can give you the advantage you need when it comes to search engine ranking and those all-important hits on your site.
As SEO experts are bound to point out, it’s a process that needs to be carried on over time and considered whenever you make any changes to your site. As a new site you’ll need strategies to assist you in climbing the ladder to good Internet ranking placement as quickly as possible.
Here are 10 very useful tips on links and linking architecture for anyone with an interest in SEO, and if you’re involved in marketing of any kind over the Internet, then that’s you.
1. Think About Who Links to You
You’ll already know the value of reputation when it comes to marketing your product or service. If sites that are associated with good quality products are clearly seen by users and search engines to link to your own then this will reflect well on you.
Pay close attention to the number of .com and .co.uk sites that link to you, for example, and think carefully about ways in which you can encourage others to do likewise.
2. Think About Who You Link to
The same rules as before. Linking to good quality sites reflects well on your own. Keep up to date with innovations and developments and stay relevant with fresh links on your pages. Try to develop a balanced portfolio of links on your site.
3. Avoid Broken Links
As part of ongoing site maintenance for SEO you should be aware of any links that are no longer in use and remove them from your site.
4. Think About Relevance
This is very important. Link to sites with a clear relevance to your own only. Search engines pay special attention to this, as do users, and every irrelevant link on your page is detrimental.
5. Internal Links
Think about internal links and whether your site is user friendly. Make the most of internal links and get some advice from SEO experts about ways to link internally that will benefit your site’s ranking.
Think about linking back to homepage and site maps. Make your site as easily navigable as possible. This will encourage users and benefit your site as search engines see these links when they probe it. A map is a useful way to introduce internal links and make the site easier to get around.
7. Link Building
Think about the use of exact match terms for link building. Build links using exactly matching anchor text. Remember though, don’t get carried away – an excess use of keywords can be as bad as a lack. Using terms you want to rank for and that summarize the topic referred to, in moderation, can strengthen the ratings of your site by search engines.
Find a balance and use your senses. If you feel that you’ve gone overboard with repeated words or phrases in your internal links then you probably have.
8. Avoid Cloaking
Search engines are increasingly sophisticated at detecting ‘black hat’ or unscrupulous SEO techniques. While it may be tempting to improve your popularity on the net by attracting unwitting visitors to your site, be aware that techniques that accomplish this can get you into trouble.
Users and search engines are alike in their approach to cloaking – they don’t accept or tolerate it. Stay within the boundaries to avoid problems.
9. Look at Where Your Competitors Link
This is legal and it can give you an advantage or at least level the playing field somewhat when it comes to links.
Have a solid strategy for linking to, from and within your site. Think before you link and use every intelligent strategy at your disposal. Getting advice from website optimization specialists can really help.