Lesson 6: Links and topic tags
When you are writing your post there are likely natural places where you could link to other articles and resources whether they are within your own site or on someone else’s. Using links is an important step in SEO because search engines will use these links to gain further insight into what you are doing.
In this lesson we are going to discuss:
An internal link is when you link to other pages or posts within your own website. They help search engines crawl your site and create a more accurate sitemap, but they also help your audience - they can discover more of your content and start to see you as a valuable source of information. It’s also helpful if somebody follows an internal link because this reduces bounce and they stay on your site longer.
Always use fluid and natural language when you are considering your anchor text (the text the link is placed on). Avoid spammy or nonsensical language, and if it links to a beginner AdWords guide, make the anchor text something like beginners AdWords guide.
PRO TIP: Don’t overdo it with the internal linking, or with the linking at all, actually. Choose only things that enhance what you are talking about, and that align with the topic you are writing about on that particular blog. It’s important that these links are natural and add value to the experience a reader has on your site.
An external link is when you link to other sites from your blog post. There are a few reasons why you would do this, but the biggest one is that it is a classy thing to do. If you are referencing someone else’s research or using them as a source, link back to them. Classy linking will pay off, because eventually people will link to you too.
Never link to spammy websites or websites designed to get you sales in a roundabout way; these will be easily flagged by Google and your site will be penalized.
This is especially true for affiliate links - make sure any affiliate links are noticeably disclosed for a better user experience.
You’ll also want external links to open in a new web-page, so that you aren’t taking users away from your site without having them finish your content, but that they are still getting the added value from the other sites you are referencing.
Topic tags are used to sort your posts under specific headings. When you create a topic tag, you also create a new page on your site where the content from that topic tag will appear. You want to be sure that you don’t have similar topic tags that you are using interchangeably.
For example if I had “SEO”, “organic search”, and “search engine optimization” as topic tags they are likely to be considered duplicate content by Google. I would also have three pages on my site, one for each topic tag, and that would be exceptionally confusing for users who want to see all my posts under that topic and would probably find some missing.
If you’re worried your blog may have too many similar tags take the time to clean them up and choose approximately 15 - 20 different topic tags that you think are important to your posts/writing and then re-tag your posts with only those keywords.
PRO TIP: Using topic tags is important because it is another signal to both your users and Google around what your page is about, but ensuring all your topic tags are unique is even more important.
You’re almost at the finish line! Well done! Now that you know all about links and topic tags, we have some general tips and thoughts to keep your blog ranking high on the SERPs.
Allow 20 minutes for this lesson.