SEO for Bloggers: Links
Building on the foundations laid by quality content filled with solid keywords and phrases, posted regularly, is the proper use of links both from other sites and within your blog itself.
One of the things that will really establish you as an expert and help boost your rankings and overall site authority is by getting quality inbound links from other sites. I say “quality” links here for two reasons.
You want links coming from other relevant sites that are talking about related topics. Even better, yet a bit harder to accomplish, is receiving quality “link love” from higher profile sites than your own. Not only will you see an increase in traffic, but that will also signal to the search engines that you are someone to watch. How do you get these quality inbound links? Well, there’s no sure-fire way of doing it, but there are a few things that you can try:
- Make contact with other bloggers in your field of interest and see if they will write about a really good post you just wrote. If they like your stuff and you develop a friendship with them, they might even add you to their blogroll.
- Contribute to the conversation. Comment on other people’s blogs and in forum threads. Always leave your URL or other quality link in you signature. Commenting also builds up your profile with other like-minded readers.
- Post quality links on Twitter and Facebook.
- Advertise. You can always offer to sponsor or advertise on someone else’s site which would then, certainly, link back to you.
- Produce great content and it will catch on. One of my first experiences with the “Kelby Bump” from being mentioned on his site for reviewing one of his books. I was blown away. I didn’t do anything special, I just wrote a review, posted it, and he found it and decided to share it with his vast readership.
The other thing I mean when I say “quality” inbound links really stems from what we now know about using keyword rich content. The last thing you want to do is say “Click here to read a post I wrote over on my blog about…” where the words “Click here” are your link. What the search engines will do is associate the words “click here” with your site instead of the keywords you want to rank well for. See the difference between:
- Click here to learn how to enter my next contest.
- and… Find out how you can enter my next monthly photo contest.
They both go to the same place, but the second one looks better, SEO-wise, and also informs your readers a little more about where they will be going once they click on that link. And you don’t always want to use your blog’s name or your name. Most people already rank pretty well for their name – go ahead and search for Jason D. Moore and you’ll see me all over the place (though I’d like to get higher up for “Jason Moore”) – so you should try and get some links that are more keyword-based.
If you notice a link back to you on someone else’s site, feel free to contact them and ask if they’d be willing to change it to something that is more beneficial to your SEO goals.
It works both ways too. Search engines like to see quality outbound links as well. If you link to other quality sites (that are more popular than your own) that are relevant to your subject matter you will gain some “SEO Juice” from that as well.
The next linking strategy that will help you out comes from the same concept of “what’s good for your readers is good for your SEO.” Many bloggers will refer to previous posts and pages as they go but it’s not always the case that they will link to them – or use a keyword-based link when they do. So build on that idea of quality links and apply it to your own posts as well.
Having quality internal links will setup a stronger web of interconnectivity within your blog that will help both your readers find their way around – and spend more time on your site, which is a huge plus – and the search engines to index you better. All of which is great for your SEO.
Something you may not have thought about is how you have things setup in your blog settings for when you create a new post. I believe, by default, most blogging platforms create new URLs for your posts based on a series of numbers identifying a given post or page. You will want to change this right now! Make sure that your post/page URLs are generated using keyword-rich text, be it the title of your post or something else you put in yourself (with words separated by hyphens, not underscores or spaces). If your URL is correlated with the page/post title the crawlers will be more likely to provide you with a favorable ranking.
That’s it for this time. Give these strategies a try and let me know if you have any questions about this stuff – it can get pretty confusing sometimes. We’ll pick up this series again on Monday with a final piece of the puzzle that will pull everything together and help you make informed decisions about your SEO.