Linking Strategies - Where Should That Link Go?

by: Steve Gillman

What are your linking strategies for your web site? Don't overlook one of the most important elements - where the link goes. There are two reasons it is important. First, you are optimizing the specific page the link points to, meaning you make it more important and more likely to be found in the search engine results pages. Second, you want your visitors to "land" on the right page.

Linking Strategies For Optimization

Why link to pages other than the homepage? Because it makes sense. on some of my web sites, I link only to the homepage, while on others I have articles out there that link to several different pages. It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

If you are starting a website, or when it is relatively undeveloped, you'll usually want to link to the homepage. It's important to get your homepage into the results-pages of those search engines, so you want as many incoming links as you can get. In addition, the other pages on your site get increased exposure and higher search engine rankings as a result of your homepage doing better.

On the other hand, if you add a new section to a web site, it can make sense to optimize the introductory page for this with incoming links. For example, when I added a section on real estate investing to my site Houses Under Fifty Thousand .com. I used the anchor text "Investing In Real Estate" in the links from many authors resource boxes on my articles - and the links went straight to the page that listed the investing pages. It was a good keyword, so I wanted to target it directly, rather than just promoting it and linking to it from the homepage.

Note: When it is a really good keyword, you may be better off starting a new website that targets it, and then linking to that new site from your existing one.

Linking Strategies For Monetization

The other reason it matters where the link goes, is that you want visitors who comes in on that link to be in the right place. Ask yourself where the readers should "land" on your site(s) for you to get the most value out of them. These might include:

- Your website that makes you the most revenue per visitor.

- A page that makes you the most revenue per visitor.

- The page most relevant to the topic of the article the link is in.

- A page with the subscription form for your newsletter.

- A page where you sell something.

- A page that lists all of your other articles they may want to read.

My own incoming links are mostly from articles that I write and distribute. In an article on how to solve riddles, written for my brainpower website, it is probably better to send the readers straight to the page that introduces all the other riddle and puzzle pages. If sent to the homepage, they might be less interested and less likely to stick around long enough to buy something or click on an advertisement.

Think carefully about where your links go. Many of them, such as those in your articles and forum posts, can't be changed once they are out there. In other words, you should try to get those web site linking strategies correct from the start.