Sometimes, you’d love to link to your home page with your keyword as the anchor text, but it just doesn’t look right in the top menu or sidebar. An easy way to make your internal anchor text links reference your content with the anchor text you want while still maintaining the sensibility of your permanent navigation is to:
- Place your header/sidebar/permanent nav into an iframe that you serve on every page (that also limits the amount of unique content the spiders have to crawl per page – a nice benefit)
- In your footer, link to your content as you see fit – it makes more sense to use anchor text here and will serve to give you the kind of internal linking you want for both engines and visitors
Obviously, you can overdo this and get penalized, but if employed properly, it’s a great way to leverage your internal link juice in a more optimized fashion.
I stumbled across a link source so unbelievable today that I had to check it a dozen times to be sure. However, it appears that certain blog sections at Amazon, though moderated, do allow for inclusion of anchor text and external links without nofollow.
Check out pages like:
Amazon is “syndicating” feeds from the authors (or in some cases affiliated parties) of the products. Thus, if you or your organization has a product on Amazon, you too can create this “feed” and get direct links from Amazon’s pages. Note that many of these not only rank highly in the search results but have high PageRank as well.
This is truly an excellent way to leverage Amazon for SEO value.
Getting an effective widget that will encourage users to link to you is a challenge – incentivizing it, doubly so. One method that we’ve seen that works is to play on your most passionate users’ egos. You’ll want to have a system that lets them show off their “accomplishments” on your site or in general – whether that’s participating heavily or receiving the most thumbs up or contributing great content. The denizens of the Internet love to display their own brilliant work, and you can benefit by giving them an attractive, easy-to-install method for showing their community spirit.
As an example, think of a site like SEOmoz where users are ranked by participation – if we were to utilize this system, we’d create a widget that shows of the user’s SEOmoz points, rank and latest comments/YOUmoz posts, thumbs up, etc. SEO bloggers could then embed this on their sites to show off their impressive SEOmoz profile.
Mindvalley labs had a couple good posts on this topic a few months back (this one and this one). Both illustrate that keywords in your ad copy (whether it’s a sponsored ad in the paid results or your title & meta description in the organic results) don’t just affect whether people click through to your site more often – they actually influence the degree to which those visitors take action.
That’s a pretty remarkable discovery, and it suggests that if you’ve been concentrating solely on CTR as the metric for your web-based ads, you might be losing out. Make sure that as you test copy, you watch not only CTR, but conversion rates as well. You never know when an ad might send you less traffic, but more conversions.
I barely need to say anything here, because between Stephan Spencer’s blog on Open API’s and the list he points to at ProgrammableWeb, there’s not much else to say. However, it is important to remember that a lot of API content is going to be duplicate unless you can add some additional value or mashup a lot of good quality text stuff that Google hasn’t seen before. The last thing you want is a great API application that’s seen as spam because it looks like how spammers mashup and re-purpose content.
Now go read those links!
One of the most overutilized tactics in the SEO world to get links and attention is the interview. They’ve gotten so over-used that many people won’t even link to them anymore. However, outside our little tech community, things are very different.
I’m always surprised to see a tiny little blog from one of our clients score an interview with a writer of a big, important best-seller. I’ve seen online sites about TV shows get interviews with actors and actresses, much to their fans’ delights. I’ve seen sites about niche industries get quotes and interviews from the bigwigs of their more general industry cousins. It’s remarkable – and you really never know until you ask.
My recommendations – seek out those folks who have “fame” in the wider, offline media that relate somehow to your site’s content and go for the gusto. You’ve got nothing to lose but an email, and everything to gain, particularly if your questions are relevant, insightful and elicit something truly new and interesting.
It’s no myth – there really is a sort of “fresh content” ranking advantage at Google. To get the most out of it, you’ll need real, spiderable, unique content (not like a weather display or updated calendar) on the page(s) you’re trying to boost. We’ve had the most success by using snippets of new content that’s created on the site (in blogs, articles, news items, etc). It’s an easy way to get both the fresh boost and get links in to your new material to ensure quick spidering.
The fresh boost can be addictive and problematic, though – we’ve seen times when rankings would fluctuate several positions when new content wasn’t added to the page, making the task an essential. Ideally, you want to be ranking without requiring new development time each day, and this can be accomplished in mid-larger sites with widgets that automatically update pages with pieces of fresh content. Don’t get lazy and start recycling old pieces or using snippets from other sections of the site. We were surprised to see how “smart” Google appeared to be with fresh content detection – apparently, they’ve seen all our tricks before
Aaron Wall uses a brilliant affiliate linking strategy for his SEOBook.com website that should be employed universally. A quick example – an affiliate link might point to http://www.seobook.com/rf/idevaffiliate.php?id=1706, but that URL re-directs to the book’s sale page URL – http://www.seobook.com/buy-now.shtml – using a 301.
Since the search engines count 301s as passing the link value, Aaron can have his cake (the affiliate tracking system) and eat it, too (by getting search engine link love). As you can see, it’s paid off to the tune of 950,000 links.
p.s. This doesn’t just apply to affiliate links, it works for any type of link that’s being pushed out but needs to be individually tracked.
UPDATE: SEOmoz reader Raffi Vartanian had the following to add:
It looks like the affiliate program that Aaron is using offers “SEO Links” as an upgrade to their regular package: http://www.idevdirect.com/module_seo.php
It states on the page, “The module also uses 301 redirects rather than traditional 302′s. This means all the “link juice” is carried from page to page.”
So it’s not really Aaron’s doing as much as it is the service he is using. Unless, of course, Aaron owns idevdirect.com, in which case, nevermind
However, on another note, there is an affiliate program called LinkConnector ( www.linkconnector.com) which allows the use of “naked links”. They put a script on the target site that checks for the referrer of incoming traffic. If the referrer is a client of theirs, it gives them credit for the sale. Kinda neat.
Thanks, Raffi – definitely appreciate your contribution.
Digg’s got you down ’cause they banned all your accounts again? Well never fear, because a better method is here (oh man, that sounds cheesy).
Here’s the strategy you want to use when emailing friends and asking for a helpful Digg bump. First off, don’t send them the Digg URL in an email. The Digg crowd is very savvy and a dead giveaway of manipulation is a bunch of people digging a story when their first visit during a session came to a particular story page.
Instead, use this strategy – email your friends with a link to the story and have the Digg link embedded at the top of the page. Ask that they click that link, then Digg the story from there. It’s much more natural to have a bunch of visits coming from the piece, back to the Digg story, bumping up the votes than anything else.
As always, watch out for patterns – don’t have everyone Digg it all at once (though email checking times should dodge that) and send it to a geographically diverse group. If everyone’s IP address is in Boise, ID, the Digg editors are going to be suspicious. Don’t send it to too many folks (more than 5) who’ve never Dugg something before. You want nice, natural profiles of regular users contributing to your votes.
You really only need a bump of 10-20 folks before you stand out from the crowd enough to be considered by the wider Digg audience.