What are links?
Links are simply hyperlinks in the body of your article which give your readers access to further information. Links can be really valuable especially if you have a blog of your own. The presence of links or not can help search engines to determine how valuable your article is. Today we are going to explore why creating links matter and why you need to consider placing links in your article, whether writing on your own blog or guest posting.
To increase SEO, creating links both in your article, or pointing to your article have great significance. For marketers, much effort goes into attracting links to a website or a particular article. For SEO purposes, search engines will look to see if you have both internal or external links. Where links come from and how highly ranked the source of the link is can help search engines to rank your website or your article.
In the context of writing articles, links are important for three simple reasons. Firstly, they are means to direct your audience to further data or facts without having to write reams of information in your actual article. If you imagine links can be a little like an appendix in a paper-based article. Secondly, search engines look to see how much value readers will get if they direct searches to your article. Finally, getting others to link to your article helps search engines determine how valuable your article is. Today we are not covering the complete subject of SEO and linking but will concentrate on links in or to your article for the best results.
There are two types of links, internal and external. Both are valuable and here’s why.
External links are those which point to a different website, or elsewhere on the web. The majority of external links give your readers further information. Here is an example of a link pointed to external research.
“The problem of equality is not one dimensional. Research in 2015 by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found “people from ethnic minority groups are often at a disadvantage in the labour market.” The aim is to make sure your article has at least one external link. Those links don’t have to be to research, they can be to any other interesting information. The key here is to be helpful.
External links pointing to your article
Getting readers or other websites to point to your article via an external link is like winning gold. The more external links which point to your article, the more likely search engines will include your article in their search results. The more authority your article has, in terms of information, the more likely it is that others will link to it for the benefit of their readers.
Internal links are those links which link to other information on the same website. Good internal links help SEO but also provide an easy way for readers to navigate to other useful topics within your website. Here is an example of a series of internal links pointing to other articles on this website.
Positive attitude and Wellb-eing
The benefits of positive psychology and a focus on well-being have become mainstream in leadership development. Martin Seligman developed a model with five core elements of psychological well-being called PERMA. It was one of the most comprehensive well-being tools. The elements of PERMA are:
- Positive emotions – Feeling good, connecting to happiness within. Adopting an optimistic outlook
- Engagement – Finding a flow, a connection with some activity or past time or task that immerses us in something we enjoy and lose ourselves in.
- Relationships – Developing authentic connections. Having levels of relationships with others which include connection, love, intimacy and strong social, emotional and physical connections.
Including internal links, both help your readers, but also tell search engines, that your site is well structured and is designed to give the reader a good experience.
Giving your readers a bonus
Think of including links as providing a good service to your reader. Not only do you want to share great information in your article, but you are also providing a bonus to them by giving them access to further information which they may find useful. The more interesting and valid the information you are linking to the better. Finding and quoting great research which underpins the points you make are the best kind of links you can make. Expanding on the subject you are talking about help. If you imagine internal links are giving readers a quick and easy way to discover more about what is available on your website, (or the website you are guest posting on), then you are providing a great service.
Spammy or low-value links
One of the hazards of linking can be making mistakes and linking to poor websites or websites which provide no value. It’s really important you link to authoritative information and not just any old website. Linking to gambling, casino or loan/credit sites can be detrimental. You really don’t want to link to websites or articles which can be negative for your reader, or which can be seen to be encouraging them to try something which might be harmful. Be very careful you are creating links to high-quality sites, with valuable information.
Links to products or services
One of the reasons many people write articles is to pull the reader into their expertise and indeed that is vital to bringing together the customer and the provider. Your audience will appreciate articles which showcase what you can offer them. However, if your article exists only to link to products or services, then this can simply turn your reader off. Being overly promotional does not either help gain readers nor does it encourage search engines. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be creating links to your products or services, but if you do, make sure they are subtle and relevant. If you are guest posting, make sure you read the website’s guidelines on pointing to products or services.
Recap and Checklist
Using links appropriately can help you when writing articles. You can either consider writing about research or popular articles before you set out to write your article, or it may occur to you to include links which reinforce the points you are making. Using internal links to navigate further information is key to your readers. Encouraging readers or other websites to point to your article is beneficial in improving the credibility of your article.
- Before you set out to write your article, consider if you want to create external links to authoritative research or information which will verify the points you are making in your article.
- Identify internal links which point to related information which will be useful for your audience.
- Write useful, unique well-researched articles which encourage others to link to your article.
- Consider what further information either external or internal will provide added value for your audience, creating links where appropriate.
- Make sure any websites you are linking to are credible and are quality sites.
- Do link to products and services in a subtle way, without trying to hard-sell to customers. If guest posting, check the rules of the host site for including links in your article.
- Read article 6: which looks at keywords and phrases!
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
I help leaders develop self- mastery, helping them to become confident in their own inner guidance.
I collaborate with leadership experts, managers and HR professionals to help them get their own message and unique services and products to a wide audience.