If you haven’t heard the news, I’m a Game Changer! I’m taking a class with JaiStone.com and today we learned about linking… for experts. Now since I’ve been backlinking so long I’ve actually made the joke my tombstone will have a backlink on in, I thought I’d chime in with a post of my own on how links work and how they work for your blog.
THE WHAT THE FUGGS:
You’ve seen hyperlinking. It’s usually indicated on a blog by highlighted, underlined or bolded words sprinkled throughout the post. When you click on these words they direct you somewhere else. It usually directs you to other content that isn’t necessarily contained within the post. They can be used to cite your sources or give more in-depth explanation into a word or subject matter (like I just linked to the Wikipedia definition of “hyperlinking” at the beginning of this paragraph).
Basically, hyperlinks give information that is pertinent to your content that you don’t mind your reader finding somewhere else, giving the reader directions to where you got your information.
There are three types of linking:
Plain ol’ hyperlinks:
Love these! These are what keep people on your website. You don’t always have to link to things outside of your blog.
Let’s say you are going on vacation with your children, but you are creating a post about road travel for a sponsor. To keep the kid talk down in that post you can just link to your favorite posts about your kids, a post about the last time you traveled with them, etc.
Backlinks are basically links where you get to take people “back” into your site. This gives your regulars a chance to read their favorites again and your newbies a chance to find out more about you without going though the archives. (P.S. Take the archives section off your blog. You’d do much better using that space for tag clouds, popular posts, or almost anything else. No one wants to go through your Feb 2012 posts to find content.)
These links are links to your content that go beyond the home page. When you link in your bio for a guest blog or even use your website on emails, are you using deep links? Probably not.
Taking people further than the home page is important for two reasons. One, you can speak to them specifically through the post to which you link. If you are guest blogging about food and you have anything food related on your site like say lemons, you need to link to it.
Two, it increases the chances that that page’s (and your overall site) authority will increase. Yes, your site needs a great SEO, but doesn’t it make sense that every page would need great SEO to make that happen? Deep linking gives everyone attention which is basically drives SEO.
- Hyperlinking does something quite wonderful for your blog. They bump up your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) like nobody’s business if you do it correctly. I’ll get to how that happens in a moment.
- But there is also another “why” in the hyperlinking game. It gets your readers to read MORE than the original post that brought them to your website. How? Next section.
- One other reason you should use hyperlinking? When you attribute a quote or an article or any information via hyperlinking, it shows up at the site of origin. That means that if I reference JaiStone.com and hyperlink it in my post, she or the administrator is alerted. Now the site you hyperlink may not peruse every link, but isn’t it just groovy that they might?
Now, I mentioned how good hyperlinks are for SEO. Hyperlinking a famous name, place, website, or even a hot keyword is crucial to SEO. Your link (really their link, but your use of it) is still seen by the search engines when searching for information on that person, place, or thing.
It is also about being a good source of information to your readers. If they have to figure out everything on their own every time they read something on your site, they aren’t going to go to your site often. Hyperlinking does this work for them and if you use the next “how” you can keep them on your site.
When you hyperlink, there is an option to open the link in a new window. The default is usually to open in their current window. (I happen to be an admin to a few different blogs so noticing this is important to me, but if you are the admin of only your blog you can change the default setting.) You can change that with a plugin.
Having your hyperlink open in another window couldn’t be more important. It keeps people on your blog if only in the background. When they start going through their windows (or tabs in Firefox) later they will see your article which originally tickled their fancy and maybe read it or some of your other content again. If you let the new hyperlinked content open in the same window you lose your reader. Maybe not having the knowledge of changing that one default setting is setting some bloggers back. Hummm…
This concludes my hows, whys and what the fuggs for linking. Like I said Jai’s class is for experts, but you can definitely find my class for beginners by clicking the picture below. Don’t worry…there’s a link for that!
If you click the second picture with NO link, you go nowhere. It isn’t horrible, but it doesn’t add value to your reader (or you) in any way if they click it. So like all else … hyperlink dat b*tch!