Blogging for SEO Part 3: Build Targeted Links
In the first two posts of this Blogging for SEO series, we walked you through how to conduct basic keyword research and how to target that keyword in your blog post. You’re now just one quick step away from a beautifully optimized blog post - adding in links. Part of the beauty of consistently blogging is that you have a wealth of helpful content to link your readers to. So, your blog post is a great opportunity to build targeted links to relevant content on your own site, as well as to other outside resources.
It’s good practice to support your blog post with links to other web pages (both internal and external) that are contextual to your post. Getting links back to your post is important, too, and there are a myriad link building strategies you can employ to accumulate these. But remember that good content, if promoted well, naturally get shared and linked to. The post focuses on building a few links in to your own content, where relevant, to make that piece of content more valuable to readers and search engines.
When adding a link, it’s always good practice to link on optimized anchor text (which ideally includes your keyword.) Anchor text is one of the strongest signals search engines use in their rankings. So, you would add the link on the phrase ‘Blogging for SEO’ instead of ‘click here.’ Ideally, you should look for a few opportunities to add in all three of the following types of links:
1. Links back to old blog posts
Familiarize your audience with your posts by referring to your past content anytime it makes sense. Maybe a reader missed your blog post before, but you can gain pageviews for that content now with an internal link. Internal linking also lets search engines know you are linking to a page about a specific topic, enhancing the relationship between your page and the right keyword.
2. Links to other places on your site
You can help also help search engines learn more about your main website by linking to other pages from your blog posts - such as the services you provide or your contact form. This will also encourage blog readers to click through to the main site, and could generate qualified leads. The trick here (just like with keyword targeting) is not to overdo it.
3. External links
The web was not made for static, text-only content! Readers appreciate links, as do other bloggers, site owners and even search engines. If you reference an article, a company, a person, another blog, a social media account, be sure to link to it (on optimized anchor text!)
Now that your post has been fully optimized, it’s time to publish it on your blog! But, your work still isn’t quite finished. Although the old Field of Dreams adage “build it, and they will come” is true in some cases, you should still be actively promoting your blog posts on social media sites, social sharing communities like Reddit and StumbleUpon and in niche directories to create awareness about it. Authoritative links back to your post from around the web will let Google know it’s a valuable piece of content, which will lead to it being ranked higher for your targeted terms. In addition, sharing your own content on social networks will help position you as a thought leader in your industry. And of course, the more you promote your newly-written post, the better chance you have of it being read and shared!
(Photo © Flickr User MyTudut/ Licensed through the Creative Commons)