The importance of links within blogs

Fairy Blog Mother

Blogs thrive on links. In fact, blogs are full of links, contained mostly in the content of the sidebars, both internal (navigation around the blog) and external (destination exits or entry from referral sites). You can tell which are links on this blog because they are coloured purple, and change to pink when you mouse over them. I’ve also made the images interactive, linking to specific posts and pages within my blog.

Both kinds of blog

Think of links as doors or portals for gaining access to elsewhere. You can see this is how search engine spiders travel through, to and from blogs and websites, and humans can too. Because links are interactive, they both allow access and attract activity to and within the blog. The power of links are such that connections with the right kind of high-ranking website or blog can boost your rankings in the search engines, tags (keywords) interact with what is up-to-date within the search engines, categories aid archiving as well as search engine optimisation, and each post’s permalink is used with subscriptions to search engine readers, and RSS feeds to social networking sites, blogs and other resources.

A blog’s links come in many guises: the blog’s domain name, the post’s headline which becomes a permalink, contextual links (keyphrases linked to relevant destinations) within posts, the tags (keywords) and categories (topics) after the post, comments (links to the commenters), the blogroll or list of links to recommended websites, and RSS feeding your new material to a subscribed audience.

• Your blog’s URL, domain name or web address is a link. People are divided whether keywords should be part of your URL or whether it should just reflect your branding, be rememberable and easy to spell. This is the main form of access to your blog.

• Each post’s headline automatically becomes a permalink, leading to the post’s individual page and URL. This is where keywords become important for search engine optimisation, as well as using marketing psychology to make the reader click on it and read the post.

• When using links within your post, creating them as ‘contextual’ is much more effective. Contextual links are when a phrase within the post is highlighted to become a link, and the relevance of the destination is paramount to increase success.

• After you’ve completed writing your post, carefully select relevant tags (keywords) and categories (topics) to boost your search engine optimisation. If you have a .org blog with the All-in-one-SEO plugin, don’t forget to fill in the extra SEO fields to aid promotion of your post.

• You should encourage comments to your blog, as they are also considered new material by the search engines as well as the links they generate. And you could increase traffic to your blog by commenting sympathetically and appropriately on other blogs within your niche.

• The blogroll is a list of links to important, relevant and recommended websites and other resources. If you can arrange a reciprocal link, then that will not only boost your search engine rankings, but increase your audience too.

• And of course, RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, works totally on links. RSS creates a subscription service to deliver new posts to email in-boxes and search engine readers as soon as they’re published. It also feeds your posts as a permalink to social networking sites, each with the post’s title and link back to your blog.

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Alice Elliott writes the award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog for beginner and post-beginner bloggers to “explain things really simply” about blogging and WordPress. She provides simple, easy to understand, highly visual courses and tutorials using ordinary, everyday words. Visit her new Beginner Bloggers blog to find her latest learning resources.