Links-Part 3. Strategic Placement
Last Update: May 11, 2016
Summary: This is Part 3 of a series of articles I'm writing on Linking Strategy for your site. In this article, we launch full bore into strategic link types for each section of your page.
Type and placement not only in the masthead and body copy, but also navigation, sidebars, footer, cart, and product pages is fully covered. Strategic file naming, category naming, and image naming are also discussed.
In Part I, the introduction: internal linking strategy, I briefly reviewed hyperlinks for beginners, and laid out "Rules of Thumb for internal links" (gleaned from SEO masters). In Part 2, we look at the great role "Section Links" can play, adding context for visitors, and creating a higher likelihood that authority sites will link to your content.
In a future posts, I will explore variations on link text, and finally encourage a vivid discussion of tactical link building.
Link Type and Placement :
A Strategy for each Section of your Pages and Posts
Let's go section by section.
- Body copy. TEXT links in the body copy are considered the #1 best link type
• considered natural, contextual text links are given the most weight;
• links in the main page content count more than those in the sidebar;
• the closer to the homepage, the link is, the better;
• avoid repeating the same keyword in anchor text multiple times on the same page;
• your link can be to specific sections of an internal page (see "Section Links");
the section's link fragment can distinguish it from other links to the same page;
• if using image links, use the "alt" attribute of the image for your
description or keyword, since there is no anchor text;
• alternatively, if you use no alt text, the link becomes a "noText" link (more on this interesting link variation in the next post, Part 4).
- Navigation. Make navigation as flat as possible (avoid subcategories)
• use text links in navigation (not images);
• use text links in breadcrumbs (a path followed by the user);
• use text links in menus.
- Masthead. Only top keyword here
- Home page. Consistently link the home page to the domain name
• do not link to index.php, for example;
• this can be a small image icon, to save space in your navigation headers;
• if using an icon, give it an alt and title (these can be different).
- Sidebars. Links here do not get as much weight as those in the main content
• perfect for ad placement
- Footer. Do NOT stuff the footer with keywords
• good place for privacy, terms of agreement, sitemap, and contact links
- Product pages. Eliminate all extraneous links here—keep the visitor focused
• link to products themselves, and
• possibly reviews, only.
- Cart. Make all cart links nofollow.
- Category names. Use keywords for categories
- File names. Keywords for page filenames, except for "home" page
- "more...", "next", and "previous" links.
<a href="//example.com/example-page.html" title="the target keyword of that next page">next</a>
12. Downloadable Files.
• links to external (say downloadable) documents, like PDF files should be marked after the link; e.g.:
<a href="http://example.com/downloads/example.pdf">my XYZ Report</a> (PDF, 22.3MB)
• optionally add a "download" attribute to effect a "save as" filename; e.g.:
<a href="http://example.com/downloads/example.pdf" download="Jane-Does-free-xyz-report.pdf">my XYZ Report</a> (PDF, 22.3MB)
There is nothing cast in stone. This series is meant as a guide, when you are analyzing your site for ways to improve both your visitors' experience, and your ability to attract more targeted visitors through one of the most simple, basic building blocks—the anchor element and its link text.
© Copyright 2016, Fran Corpier
Si, Sean (2011) Link Placements. SEO Hacker. - placement of links
Gray, Michael (Sep 2, 2010) How to Silo Your Website: The Sidebar. Graywolf's SEO Blog. - sidebar strategies
Gray, Michael (Aug 17, 2010) How to Silo Your Website: The Breadcrumb Trail. Graywolf's SEO Blog. - breadcrumb navigation strategies
Gray, Michael (Aug 10, 2010) How to Silo Your Website: The Masthead. Graywolf's SEO Blog. - masthead strategies
See more comments