The links that flow into your site and within your website affect your SEO a great deal, but it’s one of the hardest aspects of SEO to enact. The links to your site have to be quality links from authority websites with higher ranking than your site.
The links on your own site that link to your own content, or other people’s content (authority sites), should be high quality too. Once you realize that link building is both an external and an internal exercise, you realize you have more control than you thought.
Internal Link Building
The text that you use to link to other pages within your own website, whether it is a navigation link or text within the copy of your website, is called anchor text. These words should be keywords and keyword phrases. The keywords and keyword phrases should make sense to humans and also match the content that will be on the page once clicked. Avoid using page numbers or part numbers when it comes to blog posts, or any linkable text to another page. It should be descriptive and keyword rich.
On blog posts, link with anchor text to internal pages that aren’t on the navigation – such as other relevant blog posts, product descriptions, and other information. If the content that you link to on the internal pages is just as high of quality as the pages the link came from, and consists of the topic the link implied, you’ll improve your ranking exponentially. In fact, some would argue that internal link building is more important than external and one thing we do know is that it’s something you have more control over. Here are some specific tips:
1. Link to your own content from blog posts using relevant keyword-rich anchor text. If you have links to every related post after each new blog post, you’re creating excellent inbound links.
2. Create a FAQ page that links to other pages in your site to provide answers to frequently asked questions.
3. Create a “roundup” blog post on a regular basis that links to other posts on your website that got attention or comments.
4. Create pages for keyword category tags which will link to a page that pulls all blog posts with that particular keyword tag (which is a category) to that page.
5. Create and publish a sitemap so that users and search engines can find information easily by simply looking at your sitemap.
External Link Building
The links that come to your website from other websites are known as external links. It can be harder to build external links, and there are some links to your site that you have no control over but that affect your search engine results. However, there are ways that you can obtain high-quality external links to your website. This is important because there are some people who say that external links from high-quality sites will affect your search engine ranking more than other efforts.
Think of external link building as a sort of word-of-mouth marketing effort where someone else is recommending, “liking” or voting for your website as a site that they recommend within your niche. As you can see, when thinking about it in this manner it becomes apparent how important external linking is.
However, in some ways you have less control over this than you do with internal linking. You can use social media, guest blogging, forum commenting, and more. Remember that it matters what the site’s reputation is. If they’re an authority site with a high ranking, relevant to your target audience, and not owned by you, then it can provide a boost to your search engine ranking.
Here are some external link-building tips:
1. When you comment on social media or use the “like” button on social media, you can create a link back to your site each time.
2. Creating guest blog posts that link back to your site in your author’s box is an excellent way to increase the number of inbound links to your website.
3. Comment on forums that talk about your niche or markets complementary products and services to your niche. If your niche is there, you’ll want to be commenting.
4. Commenting on relevant blog posts directed toward your niche is another way to get link love back to your website and blog.
5. Crafting articles for article marketing sites that are high ranking, authoritative and relevant to your niche market is a great way to get inbound links to your site.
Link building is a time-consuming and difficult task that every site owner dreads, but it is necessary if you want to rank higher in search engine results. It is not an overnight traffic-building plan, but rather (like all SEO) a long-term strategy that requires daily effort. It starts from the moment you start to create your site with your sitemap, navigation, and anchor text. Then it continues as you make connections with others via article marketing, guest blogging, forum commenting, and social media.