A Contextual Link is a type of clickable link usually surrounded by some content and is in ‘Context’ with the overall theme or idea about that content. Contextual Interlinking proves to be very effective for SEO if done correctly. Also, it increases trustability of links for Search engine bots. Interlinking is very important for a website. Nicely interlinked web pages and contents not only increases credibility but also improves navigation to the other pages.
- Crawling and Deep Indexing: Search engine crawlers may not index all the web pages. This can be due to poor interlinking and subsequently many of the pages become invisible to search bots. Contextual Interlinking helps crawlers to discover even the deepest links and index web pages effectively.
- Reduces Bounce: Right interlinking helps reduce the bounce rate significantly. Interlinking prompts users to navigate to other pages. Always link with relevant contents that might be helpful for your users.
- Link juice: Contextual links can pass link juice from one page to another. Therefore, linking your old posts to the new posts can significantly improve visibility and helps users to discover relevant contents that might be hidden in your site.
- On-page SEO: Effective interlinking significantly improves On-page SEO.
Types of Links
Links are like doors that open up the way for search engine crawlers deep into your web pages. This passes some authority and trust to the originating page to the target page. In SEO terminology, this is called ‘Passing Link Juice’. Links can have attributes that either allows or prevents a link from passing link juice to the destination page. The links are usually attributed as “dofollow” or “nofollow”.
- Index/noindex – This tells the engines whether to show your page in search results or not.
- Follow/nofollow – This tells the engines what to do with links on your pages: whether they should trust and “follow” your links to the next page or not.
Here are some best practices for effective Contextual Interlinking:
1. Search Pattern Analysis
Understand the search pattern of your target audience is the first step towards effective link building. Conduct a thorough keyword research to understand how people search. Use these keywords in your internal link building strategies. Never use “Click Here”, “Learn More” and other generic phrases and words as anchor text. Users going through your content gets confused on what link the page offers. This can increase the bounce rate of the page.
Using keywords signals Google bots the importance of the target link. It also helps users to know what the page links and increases the chances of clicking it. Always use anchor text within the relevant content that compliments the keyword used as anchor text.
2. <a href> Links
3. nofollow/dofollow Attributes
Never use nofollow attribute on your internal links. Instead, use dofollow attributes. This prompts the search engine bots to follow the links. Use nofollow links for external links that you are not sure about. The goal here is to tell crawlers that the link to the target page is important to the originating page.
Dofollow links pass link juice to the target page and help in ranking that page high in SERP pages. You don’t want that precious link juice to go waste by using nofollow attributes.
4. Link to Authoritative Websites
Linking to authoritative and trustable web pages increase the trustworthiness of your content for search engines. It is a good practice to link your content to related high authoritative sites in your niche. The Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) score by Moz Open Site Explorer helps to decide on which website to link. Higher Domain Authority and Page Authority score for a website indicates the high ranking of that site on SERP.
Limit the number of links used per page to 70-80. The fewer the links the more link juice the page will pass to the destination page.
5. When and Where to Link
Use links on all your contents for the benefit of both users and search engines. Keep in mind the fact that internal linking can help users to find relevant content and search engines to discover deep links. Use Related Links to move the user through your site as well as create links to your other posts and pages in the body or contextual links section.
Always interlink newer posts with the older ones. This improves overall searchability and visibility of your older posts. Use breadcrumbs for easier navigation through the web pages. This will help users to navigate through pages and helps to reduce bounce rate.
6. Maintain the Internal Links
Update and maintain your internal links regularly. Look for broken links and fix them. Broken links are those links that lead to a non-existent page or an empty page. This can affect the overall SEO of the page. Use redirects to fix broken links. You can use Redirection Plugin for WordPress sites.
Review the keywords used for linking purposes, and if necessary change it with trends and newer keywords. Chances are trends changes from time to time and these trends reflect on the search terms used by people. Therefore, reviewing your keywords is an important part of long-term link building strategy.
Contextual Linking is a long-term strategy. Search engines rank websites based on factors including links. Both internal and external links are important for your SEO. Search engines look for trustworthy contents that have a good user experience. User experience is what most search engines look for. Improving user experience and writing contents for users instead of search engines is the key to improving rankings.
Focus on user experience and Google will reward you with higher rankings. Therefore, having a good contextual linking strategy implies better user experience and leverage it for the better purpose.
In a nutshell:
- Focus on quality links (High Domain Authority sites and related pages)
- Having your links within your content is always better than links in menu, footer or sidebar.
- Use dofollow attributes for all your internal links.
- Fix broken links and maintain existing links.
- Use keywords as your anchor text.
- Avoid using stop words in interlinking text or slugs
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