• Scott Herring

SEO and the Missing Links

Now that Team Renegade has published several articles, we can leverage our own resources better. I confess that I run our website Moz report to look for hints of success, our breakthroughs in the SEO world, and that's why I wanted to share a couple of insights on that subject. You see, as your content grows, you should go back over it. Regular care and feeding of your older content can pay dividends. So writing about "SEO and the missing link" is a journey through history with an eye to the future.


Domain Authority


Some of my first posts here at Renegade Blogger covered the basic building blocks of SEO], namely page authority and domain authority. I wrote these articles because those are the seeds of your garden (page authority) and the fruits of your labor (domain authority). As a reminder, authority equates with believability. The more authority you have, the more credibility the search engines think you have. And they reward credibility with higher page ranks. This is a good thing.


Time on Page


Something else that factors into ranking is the time readers spend on your posts or your site. We've talked about bounce rate -- if someone quickly hits the back button on your post, it sucks -- and one of the signals for your domain's authority is when a reader clicks to additional pages, whether it be other blog posts, your about page, or your contact page. Time on page is a good metric to keep an eye on because it reflects something about the user experience. And as I mentioned before, user experience matters.


Internal Links


You may have noticed a few links appearing in the article above. Well...that's illustrating a point here. When you write posts, it's good to build on previous ideas (e.g., be cohesive) and reference them. Think about a first time visitor. Perhaps they googled "shokunin" and landed on this blog. My post was about four different Japanese expressions, and maybe that reader finds it interesting. So they click through each of the group. Suddenly, pageviews are up by 4 and time on site increased by 7 minutes. This is a good thing.


As I write new articles, I think about tying back to older ones. But it's a two way street. I periodically review older articles to link them to the ones published later. Now traffic to any post can route forwards or backwards. Note, some blog platforms, like WordPress, make this easier using some internal taxonomy like categories and tags. The platform can show "if you like that post, you may like these posts" automatically. This is a good thing. It can increase those key metrics with little effort.


External Links


One other way that you impact credibility with search engines is via external links. If you're writing about WordPress and link to WordPress.org, you're sending a signal how you're tied into the world or market. Linking to other authorities helps establish authority. Not TOO many links, mind you, but at least one that positions your post.


Do's & Don'ts of Blog Post Links


In no particular order, here are some things I recommend when including links...


DO: Link to your previous content at least once within each post, if possible.

DO: Link to your subscribe page in every post.

DO: Link to an existing domain authority.

DO: Periodically revisit your older posts to see if you wrote about something later that ties to the subject.

DO: Open links in a new tab/window for external links. I don't care on internal links. I already got you reading :)

DO: Use the internal tools provided by your platform for cross-referencing (e.g., categories, tags, similar posts)

DO: Include your links that generate revenue. That's the point. Sponsors, books, webinars, swag - whatever makes money!


DON'T: Link to external articles that compete on the same keyword/idea. You're diluting your page authority.

DON'T: Link to too many external articles. I personally hate "57 tools you need for WordPress". Edit things down, man. I don't have all day.

DON'T: Use broken links. If you can use a "broken link checker", that's a good plan. SEO gets hurt by broken links. If the article you link to moves, move with it. If it gets taken down, remove the link and adjust.


SEO and the Missing Links


So you may have expected this post to be about Sasquatch... Sorry, it was really about not forgetting to add the right kind of links within your posts. The goal is to thread your material together, to weave a warm, cozy content quilt, that will keep readers on your site longer. And more authority means more readers. And more readers mean more authority. Keep writing. And keep linking. Keep building.


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