What are contextual links?
- Contextual links are deep links from your web page content. This content is the main part deciding the uniqueness and relevance of a web page. Hence, giving links from that section transfer premium URL power to linked ones.
- They help search engines in developing relevancy factor for both the pages i.e. linking & linked ones.
- You can't have all the information on one URL page. Additionally, it is (typically) good to split a lot of information into bite size pieces. Once you have done this these pieces can be linked internally with optimum key phrases to boost them.
Linking to authoritative and well known external resources like Wikipedia (citation) increase the credibility of your content for search engines, since it means that written content is not spam. Instead it is researched based and is relevant to the linked URL.
- Contextual links will typically mean lower bounce rates. It is comparatively easy for the user to navigate your website through links in content since they are reading it. Users may not bother to click on links in other navigational schemes like menus, footer or other links.
- Enriched reader experience is highly appreciated by Google. This results in higher rankings in search engine ranking positions (SERP's).
Contextual Linking for Users
- Contextual link building will impact on your trustworthiness. Linking to other URL's means that you admit that you don’t have the answer to everything, and also that you care enough to send your user to the right factual place.
- Links, at appropriate locations in content, build user interest to explore linked pages.
- The information can't be put in one single article at one URL; contextual links help to piece together one subject or topic scattered across the website. If your linking is optimal your content may is likely to be shared on social media by your audience.
- In-content links normally offer high quality information to your reader, which should always be at the top of your priority list.
- More recognition will typically deliver more traffic to your website or URL.
- An increase in traffic can mean different things to different webmaster's. It may mean more enquiries or, in the case of eCommerce, more orders. It may also mean a better Alexa Rank – a factor in Google ranking.
Contextual Linking Best Practices
There is no doubt that contextual linking is one of the most important SEO strategies in your internal linking and digital marketing strategy, but if you want to make the most out of it, make sure you have optimised your links properly. Here are a few best practices you should consider to create fruit-bearing linking structure:
Use Main Key Phrases as Anchor Texts
You anchor text should be composed mainly of key phrases. This helps search engines understand the relevancy of the linked URL, and the page can be then ranked next time when a relevant query is performed.
Typically Use Descriptive Phrases – Long Tail
Don’t stuff your contextual links with key words or phrases. It is a practice frowned upon by search engines. Instead, use descriptive phrases, importantly long tail phrases that contain your keywords in a natural way. This said, however, and because all of this activity is targeted against your competitor, you may find you have to compromise. You will need to know your competitor's spread of phrase and broad matches to be able to compete.
Natural is Optimal
You contextual links should not look like they are forced into the content. Keep them natural where possible (as above).
Link to Authoritative Sources
Link only to websites and URL's that are both factual and which are known to be a trusted authority on your topic. This increases your credibility among viewers as well as search engines.
Link to Relevant Pages Which Offer Viewers Something of Value
Do not include content linking on a URL for the sake of the benefits of visitors and 'link juice'. This will cause more harm than benefit.
Is this the future of SEO?
Of course not. However, you can see how valuable these links are and both from a search engine and viewer perspective. If you are not carrying out this kind of linking building strategy, I suggest you start now. You'll love it and your rankings will increase as a result!
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