Need a boost in SEO? Try focusing on linking – 3 types of links, to be precise:
One really useful thing you can do to help with SEO is to link to other pages within your site. Whether you’re crafting a blog post or rewriting the copy on a product or service page, always be thinking of other content you’ve written that relates to the topic at hand. Whenever relevant, add a link to that other page.
Not only are you providing easy access to similar content for your site visitors to click on for more information, but you’re also letting Google know that various pages of your website relate to a similar topic – and hence (or hopefully!) that you’re an expert in this topic. When Google deems you a subject matter expert, it tends to rank you higher in keyword searches related to this topic.
Think of it this way: linking between the various pages of your website gradually builds a web of useful content that grows and grows the more you churn out new and relevant content. Without these internal links, it’s like having tens or hundreds of decidedly separate pages within one website.
Just as important as internal links, external links should also be sprinkled throughout the pages of your website whenever relevant.
An external link is a link to a website outside of your own (and by the way, best practise here is to have this link open in a new tab or window rather than in the current window). Linking to other sites is a great way to point to other similar sources and say “hey, we’re like them!” – especially if they’re of higher authority. Because if Google has crawled the other site and determine that it’s an authority on the topic you’re trying to rank for, getting your site to be in the likes of expert company is like getting in with the “in crowd”. If you’re hanging out with these well-ranked sites, Google may look favourably on your site as well and rank it higher for related keywords.
This handy article from Search Engine Journal claims that if you have any pages that are ranking on the second page of Google (positions 11-20) for a given keyword, adding 3-5 relevant external links should be enough to get these pages onto page one of Google within a few weeks. Try it and let us know how you go!
As per the article linked above, in this case you should add external links to pages where you’re optimising for ‘carbon regeneration’.
Lastly and most importantly: backlinks.
Backlinks are the hardest to obtain, but the most impactful when it comes to ranking higher in Google search listings.
You earn a backlink when another site links to your site within their page content. Ideally you want your backlinks to come from sites that are similar to yours, but of higher authority. Authority is measured in terms of Domain Authority (DA), which you can check using Moz’s Open Site Explorer tool.
The idea is that if sites that Google deems to be of high authority are linking to another site, then by extension this other site must be relevant and authoritative as well. Positive consequences to this include not only an increase in domain authority, but also an increase in search ranking for relevant keywords.
There are numerous ways to gain backlinks, but the best of all is to continue producing quality content that other sites actually want to naturally link to. You can jumpstart the process by actively seeking out backlink opportunities, whether by link exchange agreements, e-mailing other website owners and letting them know about an awesome article you wrote that they might want to link to, or writing guest posts/articles on other websites that include a link back to your own site. This article by Backlinko provides heaps more ways to accumulate backlinks.
Use Moz’s Open Site Explorer tool to keep track of your backlinks.