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How to Build your Link Structure

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A refresher on SEO link structure,

There are those who say that SEO is a dying art but I would rather follow my own instincts instead of following the crowd.

Your link structure is in all likelihood the most visible, but for sure one of the most overlooked aspects of SEO.  This will help to make certain that search engine bots can actually find (crawl) all of your site’s pages.  But if they can’t find them, then they won’t get spidered, and this means that they won’t get indexed.  In point of fact, no amount of search engine optimization you try will help.

Below are some points that should be taken note of in respect of link structure for your web site.

Spiders can’t see links which are generated by JavaScript.  This is because, as far as search engines are concerned, they don’t exist.  So if you want spiders to follow the links on your site, don’t use JavaScript.  As a matter of fact, you’ll find that Google won’t spider any URL if it appears as if it has a session ID in it.  So any URL’s that have a long number or strange characters (such as a question mark) in them should be avoided, these are frequently referred to as dynamic URL’s.

It’s important that you make certain that all pages link to at least one other page.  Pages which don’t link out are called “dangling links”.  It’s also crucial that you structure the internal links so that targeted search terms are strengthened.  So make certain that you coordinate your links so that your topic’s sub topic pages are linked to it (ensuring that you use the correct link text that is specific to the page being linked to) and vice versa.  See below for the different types or methods to use.

Link Text ( <a href=”url”>some link text</a> )

This is one of the two most significant elements to ensure good rankings for a site.  It can either be on pages inside the site, or on other sites’ pages.  But whichever way you do it, it’s important that it’s included.  It’s vital that you include the target page’s primary search term in the link text.  In addition, whenever possible, don’t use identical text for every link that links to a page. Include the target page’s principal search term in the link text instead.

In point of fact, links will bear a lot more weight with search engines if the text around them is related with the target page’s topic and search term(s).

Title Tag ( <title>some title words</title> )

This is in all likelihood the 2nd most significant element in order to acquire good rankings for a site.  It’s important that you make certain the page’s search term is contained within this tag.  So place it as near to the front as possible while checking that the title reads well.  In fact, there’s nothing wrong with placing the search term up front on its own then follow it with a period such as “WordPress. WordPress Blogging and how do I make the most of it?”  As you can see, the target search term here is of course “WordPress”.  But what you should do is make sure that each page’s title tag is different from the title tags on your site’s other pages.

Description Tag ( <meta name=”description” content=”a search engine friendly description”> )

You’ll find that a few search engines, such as Google no longer display the description like they use to.  But regardless of this you should include it on each page for those search engines that do.  There’s even the odd occasion when Google does actually display them.  So it’s vital that you write a description that is appealing and integrates the page’s search term into it at least once but preferably twice.  So if you are able to, place one at the start or as near to the start of the description as possible.

Keywords Tag ( <meta=”keywords” content=”I love WordPress”> )

It is important to remember that the keywords tag is never actually treated by search engines as keywords.  They’ll be treated as text on a page.  Although this tag isn’t effective as it used to be, there’s no reason to leave it out.  Rather, be sure that you put in plenty of relevant keywords and include the search term once at the front of the tag. Also, you don’t need to separate keywords or key phrases with commas (as is often done) since search engines ignore this.

H Tag ( <Hn>some heading words</Hn> )

The “n” in this tag represents a number from 1 to 6.  The biggest heading is represented by 1.  You’ll find that H tags are given more weight than ordinary text in a page, so the bigger the H size, the more weight it will have.  So it’s important that you include your target search term in the H tags at least once on the page, but if possible two or three times is better.  In addition place your first H Tag as near to the top of the site page as possible.

Bold Text

This gives more weight to a page than ordinary text, but not as much as the H Tag does.  So wherever possible, enclose the search term in bold tags occasionally where it appears on the page.

Normal Text

Whenever possible, use the search term as often as you are able to on the pages of your site.  But ensure that they don’t detract from how the page actually reads.  Ensure that you use the term once or twice in the very early pages of the body text, then as often as possible throughout.  If you need to, re-word small parts and add sentences to ensure that the search term is well represented in the text for good search engine optimization.

Alt Text ( <img src=”url” alt=”alt text which is displayed for mouseover”> )

Include your search term in the alt text of all images on your pages.  It’s important to remember that some systems, such as those used by Braille readers and speech synthesizers, use the alt text.  So it may be advisable to make them useable while including the search term.

So in summary what you need to implement basic link structure….

  • Select the main search terms you wish to use.
  • Allocate these search terms to a suitable existing page, and if you need to, split pages.
  • Organize your internal links, and then link text, to suit the target search terms and their pages.
  • If you can, organize those links from other pages to suit the target search terms and their pages also.
  • Now organize all the on page elements in order that they suit each page’s target search term.

Of course if you’re using WordPress then you can utilize some excellent SEO plugins like HeadSpace or all in one SEO.

Any Thoughts? Leave a comment then

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  • Web Search Engine Ranking: How To Get To The Top (marketersdaily.com)
  • Search Engine Strategies New York - Search on a Dime (searchengineguide.com)
  • A Good Alt is Better Than a Bad Anchor (wiep.net)
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