For quite some time, marketers have discussed the pros and cons of contextual links. But first, what are contextual links? If you’re unfamiliar with the term, we consider as a contextual link any link within a body of text to a relevant site. In most cases, contextual links can benefit your eLearning website immensely as long as you use them correctly.
One can find a contextual link within a body of content. It’s the clickable text (the more relevant the anchor text, the better) that you see within blog posts and articles. Typically, such a link has around it pieces of useful information. There are three types of contextual links: external links, internal links, and reciprocal links.
Contextual linking might be hard to execute, but when done right, it’s very valuable. Why? Well, simply put, a link within a body of useful and relevant content is more helpful SEO-wise than, say, a link located in the footer of a page.
It’s a good idea to handle all internal contextual linking yourself. But for good backlinks, you’ll probably have to rely on a reliable SEO company to get things done.
Now, you must be asking yourself: why are contextual links good? Let’s find out!
Benefits Of Contextual Linking
It’s not a secret that Google likes and values seeing other websites refer to yours, as well as your website having internal links within a similar context.
That’s true for several reasons, yet, as a marketer, you must understand the advantages and how to use contextual links correctly. It’s the quality of content and domain authority that matter the most. Relevance is also key. If your linking is associating you with poor websites or is non-relevant to your content, you’ll get the opposite effect.
One of the biggest benefits is that these links help bring awareness to your website, especially if you participate in a reciprocal link-building situation. The audience of the website you mention or quote will surely see your article through search engines or on social media.
Consequently, as your site gets more visibility, content writers will have more chances to see your website and link back to it. Most of them will do it to get that contextual, external link. If you mention a company in your content, they may want to reach out to you. Or, better yet, they might include that article on their website. The latter will earn you a backlink, which is excellent for SEO link juice.
What’s more, as you get recognition, you’re likely to see an increase in social media shares as well. You see, if your audience and the audience of the website you mentioned share the article, Google will see it as high-quality content. Major publishers like us are happy to work with guest contributors, expert columnists, etc. on a de-facto basis of mutual backscratching.
You gain more credibility by linking to other relevant websites because you’re linking out to authoritative sources. In this way, you prove to your audience (and search engines) that you’ve done your research. As a result, you become more trustworthy since you look to others to help create the best article for the specific topic.
Google likes to see websites improving the reader experience. So, your rankings and PageRank will improve. Also, more recognition will bring you more traffic, which can also increase sales!
Best Practices For Contextual Links
I cannot highlight enough the importance of contextual links for SEO. By fully optimizing contextual links, you’ll manage to make your website thrive, as we have for many years now. It’s the way to get the most of your SEO strategy. But please make sure to optimize each link.
For example, your anchor text should include your prime keywords. By doing so, these main keywords help search engines determine the relevance of the text when performing search queries. The higher the website relevance, the higher the search rankings you’ll get.
Cool if you want to show up in the first page results, right?
Another best practice you can leverage is using longer descriptive phrases for your contextual links. For instance, you can utilize relevant long-tail keywords instead of prime keywords. It’s known that search engines evaluate this type of contextual link as more natural.
Avoid packing your link with keywords; search engines will not see it as more relevant. It’s just a common myth. In fact, you might risk getting a penalty from search engines if your links appear forced. So, keep it natural. The flow should be informative and always have a purpose to help the reader.
Lastly, note that contextual links that use authoritative sources are valuable to the readers. This technique increases your page’s credibility among search engines. Mainly because it is incredibly beneficial to the user, and that’s what search engines want. Don’t try to lure visitors to your page just to increase traffic because the bounce rate will increase, which can be more harmful.
By following these best practices, you can optimize internal and external contextual links, generate higher SEO scores, and lead to higher search rankings we all desperately need.
So, what’s the key takeaway of this whole article? To rule the SERPs, you’ll need to seek authoritative, relevant websites that will be willing to link back to your articles. The above will help you create connections, but it will also notify Google that you’re associated with quality sites.
By consistently creating contextual links along with using smart internal links, you’ll improve usability for relevant audiences and help get your website on the right track.
Causing natural backlinks is not rocket science but means that other influencers, publishers, and your target demographic in general are mentioning you organically. All you have to do is give them reasons to do so.
If your website content is genuinely interesting and useful, your chances to get a link increase. Heck, you might even try to write something funny or otherwise buzzworthy. Or even discover or invent something cool, say, a new strategy! You can try to prove something critical or be controversial.
Above all, think of your content strategy carefully. Before writing even one word, think about the reason behind it, and you’ll get the recognition (and the links) you deserve! Keep in mind that the best contextual links look natural and are actually helpful to the reader.
That being said, getting links for yourself (or clients) can be difficult, especially if you’re new to SEO. For situations like this, going to SEO folks that specialize in contextual link building may be a smart move. Are you eager to learn how you can find relevant backlink opportunities?
Get your contextual link-building strategy sample.