Whether you write your own blog or write for you company’s blog, search engine optimization is something that will benefit your site by helping more people find your content via search engines such as Google. A best practice you should implement to help improve your SEO and the usability of your blog for your visitors is to include internal links in each post you create.
According to the Google Webmaster Blog:
“Internal links to your site are the links that reside on pages that belong to your domain. For example, if you are viewing links forÂ http://www.google.com/, all the links that originate from pages on any subdomain of google.com, such asÂ http://www.google.com/Â orÂ mobile.google.com, would appear as internal links to your site.”
As an example, let’s say the focus of my post today was online advertising. My pay-per-click marketing services page would be a great page for me to create an internal link to (as I have done in this example).Â
The idea is that each link leads searchers to additional, related and useful content which is why it is a good usability best practice. In fact, the whole point of the web was originally to link websites and therefore people, with useful and relevant content; in essence to connect.
From a search engine’s point of view (or rather a search engineer’s point of view) internal links act as a vote for a particular page. It says “hey, this page is important and worth checking out”. Links also provide search engine spidersÂ with a path to follow other pages on your website.
That’s it in a nutshell. When posting articles, look for words and phrases that you could use to link to another page on your site that is related to what you’re talking about. It’s good for users and it’s good for the search engines.
Update: after looking at the title of this post, I realized I only addressed internal linking when the title implied a much broader post.
Here are a couple more tips to consider that will help you to opitmize each post for your visitors and the search engines:
- Learn how to write magnetic headlines. Remember that the titles of your posts are what get listed in the search engines and are typically the first thing people read when they come across your post either in Google, your own website or a social news site such as Digg.com. Titles should contain keywords if possible and also be catchy enough to draw people in to read your content.
- Promote your content: Any time you write a post for the blog, I recommend promoting it via email, your social networks and to any bloggers or other website owners you have a relationship with in your industry. I would also recommend sending out an email blast once a week or every 2 weeks with a list of your latest posts or having an opt-in feature for people to subscribe to your blog (such as email or RSS). Blog posts can in time help your site to rank in the search engines and draw traffic to the site but don’t rely on this alone. You should actively promote the hard work you’ve done and the value you’ve created by compiling this information. For example, by writing this post, Â I can now use it in my email newsletter and I will be able to use it in the future to send to other clients to help them with their own blogs. The idea is to leverage your time, spread the word and thenÂ hopefullyÂ others will benefit and spread the idea around some more.Â
Please post your thoughts and additional SEO ideas and tactics to the comments section below.