An article by Gerry McGovern.
Quality links from external websites will help get more of the right people to your website. Well written links within your website will ensure your readers can act in a way you want them to. Linking is about driving action. It's about getting the right people to the right content as quickly as possible.
The more external links you have, the more ways there are to get to your website. A link is like embedded word of mouth. It's a very positive thing.
The more times people see links to your website, the more likely they are to visit. The more links you have, the more likely you are to rank highly in search results.
Here are some tips when getting external links:
- Get relevant links. If you're selling content management software, there's no point in being linked to from gardening websites.
- Avoid reciprocal linking. Getting a link by giving a link is generally not a good idea. Unless the other website absolutely makes sense to link to, don't link to it.
- Get linked from websites that don't link to too many other websites. If you're just one link among a long list of links, there's not much value there.
- Get linked from websites that are also well-linked. The more other websites that are linking to the website that is linking to you, the more valuable a link from them is.
- Get links that reflect how people search. Let's say that your customers search for "content management workshops." If you can get links with that exact phrase, the chances of you being found during those type of searches are increased.
- Don't keep changing the structure of your website. If you change the structure you risk breaking incoming links.
To maximize the power of your links you should try and have as few websites as possible. If you have a single website address you can consolidate all the links you are receiving under that address. If you have multiple websites, then you need to build up a set of links for each website.
For example, Microsoft and Apple consolidate much of their activities under a single web address. Let's say you type in www.ipod.com. What happens is that you get redirected to www.apple.com/ipod. The same is true if you type in www.windows.com. You get redirected to www.microsoft.com/windows. The idea here is that each webpage shares, at least to some degree, from the links that the overall website has built up.
Writing quality links within your website is very important. Here are some tips:
- Avoid the use of "Click here", "Find out more", "Download now".
- Write your links like you are writing a heading. They should be clear and precise. They should create a call to action. Correct: "Book now for Boston content management workshop".
- Keep your links blue for unclicked and purple for clicked. Always underline your links, unless they are part of a graphic.
- Always have a HTML version of your links, as this makes your page more accessible, as well as easier for a search engine to index.
- Have a site map/index that is presented in HTML format, as this makes your website easier for a search engine to index.