When a new client comes to me with an existing website that is updated regularly with blog content, one of the top problems I encounter is improper links in the website pages and blog posts.
[bctt tweet=”How to write better links in your blog posts – #SEOTips for Beginners”]
Write better link text (aka anchor text)
All too often, potential clients come to me with links that look like this:
To find out more about our snow removal services CLICK HERE
Now, I didn’t make “Click Here” a link on my own website, because that is an example of a terrible link. “Click Here” tells the user what to do, it’s pretty obvious, but it’s ugly… and even worse, it doesn’t give any information at all to the search engines, meaning it doesn’t give any weight or value to the page you are sending the user to visit.
A much better strategy within a blog post about snow removal would be to link link the first instance of the words snow removal service (or similar) to your website’s sales page for that service.
To DIY or not to DIY — that’s the first question to answer about snow removal. If you plan to shoulder all or some of this seasonal chore, take steps to stay healthy…
Now, with the words snow removal linked, your user know there is a link about snow removal AND the search engines see this link as being relevant to both your website and the current blog post you are writing.
So, you may be thinking, “It’s not very obvious to the reader that the ‘snow removal’ link is more about my services.” This may be true, but keep in mind, you have a whole website developed for your business and the services you offer, so (hopefully) it is obvious to the reader how to navigate your website to view your services and/or contact you via email/telephone.
As well, be comfortable in adding a final line to each of your blog posts, something to the effect of:
Contact ACME Snow Co. for all your snow removal and ice treatment needs in the Kansas City metro area
Yes, that’s a really long link, but the anchor text is very descriptive with the services offered and the area served. Assuming both links go to the same “Snow Removal” service page, search engines will give value to the first link on the page, but that’s ok. You have reinforced that the linked page is relevant to your blog post.
The SEO Value of Descriptive Links
I already touched on it a little bit above – When a link has anchor text that is descriptive and relevant to the blog post or web page, search engine give more value to your website because you have shown that your link text is relevant to your current blog post, your blog post is relevant to the destination of the link and that link is relevant to your website.
I recommend at least two links in every blog post:
- A link to a relevant page or blog post on your own website
- A link to a relevant page or post on a different website
This reinforces that your content is relevant to the overall subject of your website and that you understand what your own content is actually about. (Note: I am oversimplifying it for the Beginner in SEO, as the title suggests)
What does the HTML of a link look like?
I nearly blew right past this topic, but being a SEO for Beginners article, I should probably touch on it. If you’re on a WordPress website (or many other CMS platforms), adding a link is super-simple.
- Highlight the text you want to link
- Enter the URL (including http:/)
- Enter descriptive text as the title
- Click Add Link (or similar)
If you’re writing the HTML manually, a HTML link can be created following this format:
What about the title tag on a link?
As I mentioned above, you should add a title to your link, however the title does not have any true SEO value, as discussed by Ann Smarty in How to Use Link TITLE Attribute Correctly