The Secret SEO Sauce: Links
There are websites that rank extremely well in organic search, and there are websites that you’ll hardly ever find on the front page of search engine page results. What makes the difference? There are a number of important factors, and key among them is fresh, relevant, keyword-rich content. Beyond that? Links. Good solid links.
Links are the secret sauce of good — make that great — search engine optimization (SEO).
But which kind of link, and what makes a link particularly good?
Three kinds of links
There are three primary kinds of links that are critical to building great search engine rankings on a web property: inbound, outbound, and internal links.
1. Internal Links
Internal links are the ones you put into your own content that link one part of your website to another part. For example, if you click on the phrase search engine optimization above, you’ll be taken to a page within our website that shares more information about important SEO practices. That’s an internal link, and it’s good for SEO because it tells the search engines that this website is full of well-aligned, cross-referenced information — someone who arrives here looking for information about linking and SEO will find plenty of relevant content. Search engines prefer sending someone to a site like that, and rank it higher.
2. Outbound Links
Outbound links are the ones you put into your own content that link your website to another website. For example, the social icons for our Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages are outbound links: they take you from our web property to accounts on those sites.
The anchor text in a link is fairly important, by the way. Your anchor text words are the words that are highlighted when you create a link. If I simply told you to Click Here to go to our Twitter account, the anchor text is not nearly as effective and helpful as the link in the paragraph above, where my anchor text was the word Twitter.
Outbound links are good for your site’s SEO, but they aren’t the top ingredient in the secret SEO sauce.
3. Inbound Links
Inbound links are the real secret ingredient in great search engine page results sauce. Inbound links, also called backlinks, are important to SEO because most search engines rank sites with a high number of trusted inbound links as more credible and useful. For example, if SEOmoz.org (one of the top 500 websites in the world, and a highly-respected site filled with SEO expertise) were to link to this post on Calvert Creative’s site, we would get a huge boost in rank because they are so well-known and respected and have such high site quality. And also because their link would be aligned, content-wise, with this post.
Be on the lookout for a related post about links and SEO coming soon!
Want help optimizing your site for search? Need a quick evaluation or marketing strategy to help your web properties get better rankings? Contact Calvert Creative today and start seeing better results fast!