If you haven’t had a chance to pop over to my shiny new Blogsmart site where I have centralized all my training materials and courses, you really should check it out, especially my popular Business Blogging Course that I co-produced with friend and SEO genius Brad Fallon. It’s fun and darn informative.
What’s potentially more interesting to you, dear reader, is that I now have a Blogsmart News newsletter that you can subscribe to for free, and receive helpful and informative weekly tips and ideas about blogging and online marketing. There are already hundreds of people on the list so why not join them? It’s easy:
To give you a sense of what’s in an issue of Blogsmart News, here’s the latest issue, just sent out this evening to subscribers:
Hello again. In preparation for our shift from the first half of 2006 to the second – and no, I can’t believe this year is zooming along so fast – I thought I’d talk about a basic search engine tip that’s just as relevant for bloggers as it is for anyone else on the web: link text.
THE IMPORTANCE OF LINK TEXT
This came to mind because today I was reviewing a Web site from a student of mine and noticed that her links all started with the dread “Click Here to…”. Here’s what I said to her:
You really need to lose the “Click here to” words. If you have blue underlined text (don’t use red) then people will know to click there, and you’re diluting the value of your link text with these additional words.
What’s link text, you ask? It’s a critical concept with search engines: the words that someone uses as link text when they point to your site tell the search engine what your site is about. So when you have “click here to download” or, as many bloggers unfortunately do, have “here” as a link (as in “lots of good articles online, including [here], [here], and [here]”), you miss out on some very important SEO. Instead focus on just the key word or phrase.
A great example: You have “For more information, click here” but why not have “Subscribe to our employment newsletter”? Then if someone searches for ’employment newsletter’ you should come up pretty well.
There’s a bigger concept here that’s worth highlighting: the three main ways that a search engine – and yes, I mean Google primarily – figures out what a given Web page is actually focused on are its title, its h1 tags (if any), and.. Surprise… The words that are used on other pages to link to this
page. That’s link text.
A nuance of this that you might never have thought about too is that even the links *within your own blog* can help you become more relevant for a specific keyword or phrase. Instead of “home”, for example, why not say “Employment News”? If that’s too much, at least consider the words that you use on your site to link from section to section. Do you say “gadgets” or “gadget help”? As an easy example of this, go look at the category names on my http://www.AskDaveTaylor.com/ and you’ll hopefully have an “aha!” moment in this regard.
Anyway, whether you use different links internally, at least practice what we’re preaching and make sure that your links to other sites on your blog are nice descriptive phrases. Don’t, for goodness sake, use “here” as a link (oh, how I hate that!) but why not use something more friendly. Indeed, you can practice by linking to my business blog thusly:
<a href=”http://www.intuitive.com/blog/”>Intuitive Life Business Blog</a>
Does it work? Go Google “business blog” and see where I show up, and remember, that’s out of 622 million matching pages too…
The newsletter Blogsmart News continued, but that’s enough to whet your appetite, I hope!
Please, take a few minutes and check out Blogsmart, and make sure you sign up for the Blogsmart News before you wander back into the wilderness of the World Wide Web:
subscribe to Blogsmart News today!
Yes, I know what you mean about link texts. I still have to get over the “click here” habit. It isn’t easy to kick out of my system but I think that I am getting there 🙂
I have been blogging for about a year and had to learn a lot of things through trial and error. I am currently listening to your second course and finding it to be very informative. Althought I have learned a lot of the beginning lessons on my own, I surely wish I had this tool available to me in the very beginning. The learning curve would have been much, much shorter.
I look forward to completing your course to assure that I have a good baseline of knowledge.
For anyone that is thinking of starting a blog I highly recommend Dave’s Blogsmart course. It will take you from the most basic question, “What is a blog?” and walk you through all the critical things you need to know to build a successful blog.
The course is complete with a course worksheet that takes you on internet tours as you learn from Dave and his vast experience.
If you are serious about blogging, spend a little money and let Dave Taylor bring you up to speed in a few weeks!
This is fascinating information. I had no idea that link text was so important for search engine optimization. I guess I have a few links I need to change on my page.
I only have one question: How do you know what the best keywords are to use in your link text?
What a great blog i have learnt so much Dave’s Blog is full of amazing information.