I know there are a lot of different strategies that go into optimizing websites and I love all the little details and opportunities to optimize the content we work so hard to produce.
Optimizing website links is probably one of the simplest strategies you can implement because, there aren’t a lot of options!
I’ll bet you didn’t realize that when it comes to optimizing links on your website for search engines, you’re actually doing your website visitors a favor too.
You see, people and search engine bots move through the internet in the same way, through links. So, by optimizing links, you are creating links that are more descriptive and helpful to your visitors, and more descriptive and helpful for the search engines.
Just think of web links like roads connecting pages (destinations) all over the internet — and when you optimize the road, it’s like adding signage that tells people and search bots about the destinations and where to click to reach them.
Similarly, when you add internal links — links to other pages on your own website — you are helping search engines and people discover more of the content on your own website that you have worked hard to create.
How Link Optimization Works
Here’s an Example of a Basic Unoptimized Link: www.bourncreative.com
Here’s an Example of an Optimized Link: Bourn Creative WordPress Website Design In Sacramento
Search Engines’ Perspective On Links
- In the first example, the only thing the search engines read/scan is the website URL www.bourncreative.com. This doesn’t tell the search engines anything about what the website is about or what subject category or keywords the website should be placed in. All the search engines know is that it is a link to another website.
- In the second example, the search engines not only read/scan the website URL, but they will also read/scan the anchor text (the text “Bourn Creative Design” in place of the URL). Adding keyword rich anchor text (the text of a link) to your link creates an additional opportunity to optimize your page, and adding a title provides further description of the link.
Peoples’ Perspective On Links
- In the first example, the only thing visitors see is the website URL www.bourncreative.com. This doesn’t tell visitors anything about what the website is about. All visitors know is that it is a link to another website.
- In the second example, visitors see the text “Bourn Creative WordPress Website Design In Sacramento” as the actual link, instead of www.bourncreative.com. This link is much more descriptive, telling the visitor that the link will take them to a site about WordPress design.
What you need to know about optimizing your links:
The thing to remember about optimizing links is that it’s all about providing more value in terms of helping people and search engines understand what they will find if they click a link — what content will be on the destination page.
For example, by linking to a page on this site with the words “web design” in the link, I am telling search engines and visitors that there is a page on this website about web design. Likewise, if a different website links to the same page on my site with the words “web design” they are also telling people and search engines that the page, and this site, is about web design. Their inbound link, acts as a vote for my page to be included in search results for the key phrase “web design”.
Link Anchor Text Tips:
- Should describe the web page or the core topic of the page it is linking to
- Should include the main/focus keyword or key phrase for the page it is linking to
- Similar keywords, variations of the keyword, or the keyword used in different contexts are also helpful in anchor text
- Too many links with the exact same anchor text can be detrimental and appear spammy
What About You?
Do you already optimize all of your link anchor text? Do you have any other tips I may be missing? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below!
- What Is Organic Search Engine Optimization / SEO
- How to Optimize Website Content For Search Engines And People
- How to Optimize Images For SEO
- What Is An HTML Page Title And Meta Description?
- Writing an Effective HTML Page Title
- Writing an Effective Meta Description
- Why Keywords Still Matter In SEO
- How to Optimize Blog Posts For Maximum Results And Visibility