Although blogging has been around for around 2 decades, it is amazing to see the how inefficiently links are used on blogs. Linking correctly on blogs not only helps to improve the web user experience, but it can also improve the SEO visibility for your website and earn more organic traffic for your blog.
Digital Next, a blog management company, has been studying the art of link building and SEO with blog content for several years now. In addition to their own internal reports and studies, they’ve also released a valuable set of tips for site owners and content creators to implement into their existing online business. We’ve taken these tips and laid them out for you in this post today.
Use links to add value to your posts first, then optimise for SEO.
Optimising your blog posts for SEO is important. The more optimised the post is, the more keywords it should appear for and the more organic search traffic you should receive. One of the best ways to improve the search relevancy of the blog post is by adding keyword relevant links to the post.
However, there is a catch!
Too many irrelevant hyperlinks will reduce the quality of the blog post. Irrelevant links that are full of keyword rich hyperlinks will make the web post appear spammy and may even flag your site for an ‘overoptimisation’ penalty that would see your web content receive lower rankings or be completely removed from the organic search results.
Add credibility to your posts by linking out to relevant sources.
Some SEO experts will advise bloggers not to link out to external sites because the authority from their site will be passed onto the linking site. Many bloggers fall into this trap and fail to add credibility to their posts that would earn them more engagement and shares in order to protect their sites existing authority. If the information source adds value, don’t be afraid to link out to it as a reference. Although there isn’t any inbound SEO link value to be gained from it, there are other benefits that can be gained such as:
- The opportunity to receive social media mentions from referenced sources.
- The opportunity to receive inbound links from mentioned sources.
- The opportunity to gain more keyword exposure on search engines from the hyperlinks used for the linked sources.
- The link sending ‘pingbacks’ to mentioned websites, potentially driving more traffic and pingback links.
Always check that the links are working correctly.
One of the common mistakes that bloggers make when publishing a link is actually making an error with the link itself. Common errors include:
- Making a spelling mistake with the hyperlink text (otherwise known as ‘anchor text’)
- Making a mistake with the URL, causing the link the link to be broken and serving the web user with a 404 error page.
Before publishing your post, sense check the links to make sure they load the web content you want your readers to see.
Make sure that your links abide by Google’s Terms of Service.
If the links are a form of promotion or advertising, comply with Google’s Terms of Service. Google wants bloggers to be careful when using links in their blog posts to avoid breaching Google’s Terms of Service. Google wants bloggers to provide valuable content that will enhance users experience with their site. Some things to be aware of include:
- Using the ‘Nofollow’ attribute for links that are used to pass PageRank.
- Using natural anchor text.
- Not hiding or cloaking links.
- Not using sneaky redirects.
Bloggers can read more about link schemes on Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Boost your blog’s authority by linking to other relevant internal pages.
By using internal links within your blog posts, you can increase the amount of referral traffic from internal pages within your website as well as improving the authority of other pages on your blog. As the authority for these other pages increase, the content of the page that is being linked to should rank higher in the organic search results.
Don’t try to hide your links.
If you are going to use links in your blog posts, make sure that it is easily identifiable as a link to the reader. Avoid hiding links:
- Behind images
- By using the same formatting as the standard text.
- By using the same colour for the link and the web page’s background.
Using links effectively on your blog will help improve your blog’s web user experience, organic search traffic growth and overall SEO performance. Start implementing these tips today to start receiving the full benefits of linking on your blog today!
To learn more about content creation and link building for effective blogging, be sure to read through BloggingTips.com’s How to Start a Blog Guide.