Hyperlinks and SEO
I boast some decent results for some keywords in Google and I owe this mainly to hyperlinks. A simple SEO technique that keeps my web design blog near the top of Google, it’s not a breakthrough technique but do I get more visitors directly from Google then ever before.
Content is Queen
I read somewhere that “content is king” and for readers already engaged in your content that’s quite right, but for prospective readers not yet found, that’s wrong! The same article goes on to state that content isn’t king because for SEO there is a new heir to the throne and that content is actually now the queen. There’s a new king in town and he’s blue, underlined and will overthrow google if used properly.
Hyperlinks are, in this humble web designers opinion, the most important weapon in our SEO arsenal, I like to think of them as the medieval trebuchet of SEO, that is they look like a weak bit of rope and wood but when they kick in their power overwhelms. Much like hyperlinks if we use them properly for SEO, once these simple targeted hyperlinks kick in you’ll be laughing.
Jolley Rum Case Study
I think this is easiest to explain using a case study so here’s the scenario:
You are making a website for a jewelers whom specialise and are interested in marketing mostly for Pirate Gold, they are called Jolley Rum Jewelers and their domain name is jolleyrumjewelers.com. You have designed them a great website and they have hired you to do a little SEO for them to get it off the ground.
Firstly you should be honest and tell them that because it’s a new website it will take a little time for it to get indexed properly and to be able to compete with your competitors you will have to wait, but you can give them a boost for when the website is indexed.
Bad SEO Hyperlink
I used to do this and a lot of people still do, the name of the website is Jolley Rum Jewelers so obviously when I get people to link back to the website that will be the link text, so your hyperlink will look like this:
<a href="http://jolleyrumjewelers.com">Jolley Rum Jewelers</a>
This will help people find the keyword “Jolley Rum Jewelers” which is great because googly will point people in the right direction when they want to find “Jolley Rum Jewelers”. I have heard that adding the keywords to the title attribute will also help, so lets add that in there too:
<a href="http://jolleyrumjewelers.com" title="Jolley Rum Jewelers" >Jolley Rum Jewelers</a>
We have a perfectly good hyperlink with the name of the company in the link text and also their name in the title attribute to give a little boost too.
At this stage I would like to introduce a missing step that our designer should have taken and that is a simple process of contemplating what words people will input into Googly to find the Rum Jolleys Jewelers website. Do remember that googly try to find the most relevant content to your search terms, Here’s my best guess:
- Pirate Gold
Users will not be searching for the website name, nor the jewelers name, users will be entering into Googly what they want and they want a jeweler, and they want Pirate Gold. Now lets have a look at the good hyperlink:
Good SEO Hyperlink
So we have properly identified the keywords that users will use to find the website and they are words that appear in the websites content. What we want to do is have Googly point to the jeweler’s via our chosen keywords. So the link text would want to be a keyword or two:
<a href="http://jolleyrumjewelers.com" >Jeweler</a>
Actually I would suggest sticking in as many of your chosen keywords as possible but still keeping it readable:
<a href="http://jolleyrumjewelers.com" >Jeweler's specialising in Pirate Gold</a>
I am not quite sure if this is completely true but I have heard that the link text on the left is more valuable than the link text on the right, so lets not take any chances and get our most valuable keyword “Pirate Gold” on the left most part of the link text:
<a href="http://jolleyrumjewelers.com" >Pirate Gold specialist Jeweler's</a>
Now we may as well add a helpful title attribute, one that describes to a non visual user the nature of the resource it points too, we can add your keywords as well:
<a href="http://jolleyrumjewelers.com" title="Visit Rum Jolleys , a Pirate Gold Specialist jeweler's" >Pirate Gold specialist Jeweler's</a>
Now spread the word
We finally have a good SEO hyperlink that is optimized for the website now all you have to do is get it out there. I would recommend that you try searching your keywords and see what websites rank the highest. If you can get your link on these websites that’s a great start.
I would also recommend searching your keyword plus the word “forum” and reply to some threads with an answer that just happens to have/need your link within it, even if you cannot get your link in a post most forums allow a signature at the bottom of each post and this could be your optimized hyperlink.
Also do the same in blogs, these are trickier and usually moderated comments will find your hyperlinks and stop you adding them. The best option here is to truly have an opinion on the subject and suggest that you have an article that could help the topic, this article in this case could be “How to tell Pirate Gold from Fools Gold” as the link text of your hyperlink.
Also blogs usually allow you to have your name as a hyperlink, why not stick a keyword in your name for instance “Pirate Tony” or “Tony Gold”, they all add up.
Hyperlinks for SEO Conclusion
Lastly the page you should be directing these links at should be very readable but contain your keywords a handful of times, more importantly they should have your title tag and your first heading of that page should be your chosen keywords. Otherwise all this effort is wasted.