Links are vital for any business website. They serve a range of purposes, from helping your customers navigate your site and find out more information, to showing Google that your website is an authority in it’s industry. In fact, links are one of the most important ranking factors that Google uses to judge your websites ranking position. So the better your link structure, the better your performance. This means that internal and external link building for local SEO is very influential.
Here at Pumpkin Web Design, we are Preston’s leading web design and web marketing experts. We work with a range of companies and businesses around the area, from Southport to Blackburn, to provide structured web design and marketing solutions. As a result, both internal and external linking is something we know how to succeed with. So, let’s get started.
What is internal linking?
First of all, let’s look at internal linking. What exactly is it? Well, simply put, internal linking refers to all the effort you put into the navigation of your website. Your menu bar, your sidebar links and your footer links. Using these links appropriately allow your entire website to link together and flow. It makes it easier for the user to navigate, improving the user experience, something that Google feels strongly about. As a result, the first stage to internal linking success is a clear and effective website structure.
At the same time, internal links can also be placed throughout your content, like your blog posts and articles. It is good practice to link to relevant pages, and other blog posts within this space, especially if you are producing high quality content. However, include too many links, or links that are not relevant, and your content could be seen as spam. To keep your content links effective, follow our tips…
Tips for internal linking within content:
- The anchor text- Its not good practice to whack a hyperlink in the middle of a paragraph. It looks shabby and it is distracting for the user. So instead, the link is hidden beneath anchor text. This means that there are less “click here” hyperlinks, and more subtle hyperlinks, hidden in the natural flow of the text. This is good practice.
- Relevance- Your anchor text has to be relevant to the page you are linking too. Imagine reading an article about doughnuts, with the word “doughnut” highlighted as a link, but when you followed the link, you were instead taken to an article about “fruit”. That would be a negative customer experience, and it doesn’t reflect your company in a positive way. As a result, make sure you only link to other relevant pages and articles, and that your link text is not misleading for the user.
What is external link building?
So, now that your internal linking is covered, what about your external linking. Essentially, this is the practice of working with other companies and people to gain more exposure for your website.
In general, external linking is a more complicated aspect, because of the poor practices that used to take place in the olden days of SEO. Buying links from spammy sites with irrelevant or even misleading services used to be common place for shady companies. As you can tell, this really isn’t the way to go. And, if you do resort to this, you can count on a range of consequences from Google.
Instead, local businesses should be focused on the positive external linking practices…
Tips for external linking:
- Use review sites- local businesses should be making use of review sites already, especially as it will increase your visibility and help your website to rank highly on the search engine results page. Yelp, TripAdvisor, Trust Pilot, Which and ProductHunt can be great for local businesses to list their website and generate referral traffic. However, you should be aware that people can and will leave feedback for your company on these websites, so you should keep on top of the reviews. Don’t be tempted to simply delete any negative reviews though. Instead respond professionally and offer to solve the issue privately. This will give a better impression of your company.
- Partnerships- it can be hard for local businesses to survive in this day and age. So why not partner with some other local businesses to share digital advertisements and post guest posts on each other’s blog. This works well, especially when you are not in direct competition, but still in the same field. For example, a local plumbing company could be a good match for a local electrical company. That way customers can choose both services for their home renovation. In addition, both of your companies will enjoy safe and secure external linking, boosting the authority of both your pages.
When it comes to internal and external link building for local SEO you need to stay on top of the best practices. Producing great quality content can boost your internal liking, while also adding value to your website. At the same time, sourcing positive external links can be a great way to boost your websites authority, and climb the search engine rankings. For local searches, this is important, as you don’t want to miss out to competitors who have ranked higher than you.
For more information or advice, get in touch with the professionals today, here at Pumpkin Web Design.