Commonly Overlooked On-Site Linking Techniques
A lot of emphasis in the SEO world is focused on improving external linking or backlinks. Of course, since this is one of the most effective ways of improving search engine rankings, it is definitely an important aspect of search engine optimization.
While external links are often the focus, internal or “on-site” linking can be nearly just as important. The way links are set up on your own website can have both positive and negative effects on your search engine rankings. If you link to the wrong websites, you may be flagged or penalized. If you don’t optimize the links on your website with your important keywords, you’re certainly not getting the maximum rankings possible for your website.
Here’s what you can do to make sure you’re getting the most out of your website (in no particular order):
- Use important keywords in your navigation and menu options. Without going overboard, try to use keywords that are popular and relevant to the page the link will be pointing to.
- For any links you add that point to external websites, be sure to use the “nofollow” tag to ensure you’re not showing a “vote” for that website. Of course, there will be instances where you may want to maintain that vote, so don’t use the nofollow tag on those links. Nofollow tags can also be used to block the search engines from following pages* on your own site that are of little SEO value.
- Within the body of your content, there may be opportunities to link to other pages on your website using relevant keywords as “anchor text”. If you choose to create links within your body content, be sure that you’re taking the site’s visitors into consideration – you wouldn’t want to add a link in a spot that may distract them from completing a goal (e-commerce sale, generating a lead, etc.).
- If your images contain links to other important pages, be sure to use descriptive ALT tags that include the relevant keywords for the destination page.
*This is an advanced SEO technique and we do not suggest that you utilize this procedure on your website without consulting an SEO professional first.
Keep In Mind
The most important thing you need to understand is that your website is valuable and directly influences your company’s ability to rank well in the search engines. While we’ve included some basic linking recommendations here, it’s important that you research each method and determine if it’s something that’s right for your website. We suggest that you consult with an SEO company or consultant to ensure that you’re implementing these tactics correctly.