Linking strategies are a combination of three methods. Cross-linking, Inbound-linking, and Outbound-linking. Each is a specific method to encourage site visitors to view more pages on your site or send them to an authority on the subject.
Benefits of Cross-Linking
We recommend starting with cross-linking because it is the easiest of the 3 linking strategies. A cross-link is when you link to another page within your own site. A great example is if you have a call to action “Contact Us today to learn more”. You can hyperlink “Contact Us” to take anyone interested directly to your Contact page, go on give it a try. It is also advantageous to link to related products or services. If you are selling auto insurance it would be smart to include some cross-links to home and renters insurance as well.
Inbound Links – Why are they worth the most?
An inbound link is when another site hyperlinks from their website to a page on your site. Think of an inbound link as a parachuter falling from the sky and landing on your property. The property is your website and every time a parachuter lands on your property you get some SEO points. You get these points because it indicates the content on that “landing page” is valuable, so valuable in fact that the original website thought it would complement their own content by referencing it. This is more valuable than outbound links, which you have the ability to add as many to your content as you wish and therefore carries less weight.
The SEO points gained from links contribute towards your overall Domain Authority. DA is a health score developed by MOZ, a leading authority on SEO, ranking factors and best practices. The stronger your DA the more favourably search engines will see your site.
Outbound Links – Still not to be ignored
While not as valuable at inbound links, outbound links still have their place in any strategic plan. Instead of the parachuter falling from the sky from inbound links, think of outbound links as a stuntman in a human cannon that you control. You can aim, adjust the target and then fire off as many as you wish. Where the stuntman lands should be an appropriate destination. This means that if you have an article about WW2 tanks and you link part of the text that mentions a famous battle in France, you could find the Wikipedia page on that battle and location and then link that from your content. It is useful, it is relevant and it should complement the overall experience. However, if you link to the Baskin Robbins website from the same article that makes no sense. Because it makes no sense it will create a poor user experience and they are likely not to return to your site again for fear of landing on a spam site or something malicious.
This is the outcome that prevents responsible content creators from stuffing too many outbound links in their pages. In the early days of the web, webmasters would go crazy and add as many as they could think of. But with constant algorithm updates search engines like Google now penalizes sites for such practices. Because who wants a site blasting off 50 stuntmen in every direction hoping for one of them to land on a prime target.
If there is an influencer or site that people respect in your field then that could become a valuable resource for your website. Start by linking to their site (outbound links), they will notice when they look at their metrics and sources of traffic. This can get you into their good graces and then ask them if they could do the same for you. You will be surprised how many writers are open to the idea after all everyone needs a large amount of content these days. Linking can be reciprocal as long as there is an overlap and the relationship lends credibility.
If you wish to develop or discuss linking strategies with one of our experts feel free to Contact Us <Cross link 😉