Why text links in page content are a good idea.

8 June, 2010

best practices, seo, web content

highlighted yellow pathway through a maze - view from aboveIt’s never too outdated a topic…SEO basics like on-page text links.

And, no, everyone doesn’t know their import or that on-page links are a pretty major component on a comprehensive SEO checklist.

See, I believe there are a lot of business folks and other professionals who are creating websites and don’t just know this stuff…unless someone with very specific web copywriting, web content marketing introduces SEO (Search Engine Optimization) into a roundtable business discussion for a website and content project, it’s likely to be overlooked, even in a major corporation. And I say this primarily in response to someone who once responded to a post I made with this comment, “Seems pretty basic stuff…” Maybe to you, Dude. Congrats. Which means you’re a lousy custodian of information or one of those totally arrogant I-know-everything types.

For some, this information is not everyday knowledge. Best practice: share what you know with others. Don’t fear making recommendations when you believe they might be going down the wrong path with SEO or web content. If you are the expert in the room on a particular subject, then own it and share it.

Back to text links in your page content:

If you’re trusted with setting up some sort of external website for which you’d like to  nurture a traffic flow and create a sweet spot of usability, include some on-page text links, especially to your deeper internal content. Regardless of your side navigation. It’s a good idea and an SEO “best practice.” What’s the main purpose(s)?

  • User experience
  • Search engine crawlers are able to find and index much more of your site content by following these logical links to your “interior” pages.

Google recommends the following for on-page and internal links:

Links on your page may be internal—pointing to other pages on your site—or external—leading to content on other sites. In either of these cases, the better your anchor text is, the easier it is for users to navigate and for Google to understand what the page you’re linking to is about.

If there’s any question about what Google values in SEO basics check out G.’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.

The choice for putting external or internal links into your page content needs to be considered in the context of your site’s goals. Text links to external sites do invite your site visitors to potentially bail on you (open a new window so your site page remains visible). For a business site concerned with keeping visitors “in house” the best use of on-page text links might be limited to your internal content.

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