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Marketing Through Link Optimization

Link Optimization is a technique for giving your links higher relevancy value in search engines. This can occur on-site, and off-site, and has equal value either place as a marketing and search engine optimization technique.

Link optimization is considered a White Hat SEO tactic – that is, safe and recommended, as long as you do not go overboard, or use unrelated terms. It is a means of insuring that your hyperlinks and your site keywords are related to one another in as many places as possible online.

Onsite Link Optimization

  1. Use a full URL, not a relative URL. That means, code your links as “https://www.mysite.com/pagewhatever” instead of “/pagewhatever”. This means that each time you link within your site, the full URL is used in the link.
  2. Make sure your website is secure – and has an SSL certificate. Your URL should start with https, not http. The “s” stands for secure. Every web host these days offers a free SSL Certificate that you just need to apply for the site to be secure.
  3. Use page urls, or permalinks that actually mean something. A page permalink should relate to the primary topic of the page.
  4. Use anchor text keywords. Anchor text is the text that the hyperlink is embedded in. In the navigation menu, it is the names of the links to the other pages. They should be easy to understand what the page is about that the link will direct to.
  5. Use a simple site structure. This will give your pages and links the full power of your SEO efforts.
  6. When cross linking pages in your site, use descriptive keywords in your links.
  7. The sentences near your links should be on topic. Anchor text is considered to be the most important text, but the topic around them should be relevant.
  8. If you are using an image link, then use an Alt Tag with descriptive text in them. Same rules, keep it short and meaningful.

Onsite, you control everything. You can optimize to your heart’s content, and tweak and nudge all you want. Offsite is another story, and you may not have very much control over it.

Offsite Optimization

  1. This one is worth repeating again. Make sure your website is secure – and has an SSL certificate. Your URL should start with https, not http. The “s” stands for secure. Every web host these days offers a free SSL Certificate that you just need to apply for the site to be secure.
  2. The same rules apply for linking – use keywords in the anchor text, use descriptive text near the links, and link to full URLs.
  3. You can optimize your links in your signature line on forums and discussion boards, where allowed. That sig line will find its way around the web in a surprising number of places.
  4. When you cannot use HTML in your sig line, use a full url, with descriptive text near it. Always use this tactic when you are leaving a sig line somewhere that might get converted to plain text (anchor text links are lost then).
  5. You cannot control what other people do with your link on their site unless you are paying for the link. So don’t fret about whether other people optimize your links or not, any link is better than none.
  6. When using infographics, you can suggest usage of pre-formatted HTML code for the infographic for others to use on their site which will include a link back to your site and that will contain a preferred anchor text. The flip side of this is that you will end up with all the inbound links looking the same, and variety is actually better even if some are not optimized. Providing the HTML may get more people to place it on their site so it may produce more links.
  7. Variety counts. If you do put HTML code on your page for others to use to link to your stuff, then adding some JavaScript to swap out the anchor text randomly out of a pool of available anchor texts may help with variety.
  8. Any time you post your URL on social sites or forums, post the COMPLETE URL, including “https://”. The reason for this is that many programs online automatically convert full URLs into a hyperlinks. Clickable links get you more site traffic from both people, and search engines, so include the entire URL to have the best chance of always having a clickable link.

Link optimization is something that you do as you go along. When you create your site navigation and do your linking, the extra second it takes for you to do it right can make a difference in the end.

But it is also not a hugely critical thing. There are tons of sites that use internal catch phrases for linking instead of keywords, that nevertheless do well because of content. So do what you can, and then don’t fuss about the parts you cannot control.

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