Link Management for effective search engine optimization
A website may be huge in size and rich in content constituting large number of pages. But it serves no purpose if a website surfer would not be able to navigate easily to the page he desires. The designer along with the search engine optimization expert should try and formulate a link management strategy to achieve two ends.
Ensure smooth and intuitive navigation
Ensure search engine optimization with proper placement of links for, proper link management is a key to top search engine rankings
Link management forms an important basis in evolving a robust search engine optimization strategy and is a broader concept in the sense that it is not just confined to linking of pages but it encapsulates the different concepts like link popularity, click popularity, reciprocal linking which greatly aid in achieving top search engine rankings.
In the first place, study the website and evolve a site map which clearly depicts the linkage between different web pages. Checking the site map, start connecting the pages using appropriate links. The link text should give an indication of the destination topic to which the link points. In other words, the text in the link should be very much closely related to the context of the destination page as most search engines rank a page higher if the link text speaks of the subject of interest. Use keywords and key phrases as and when necessary in the link text extensively. In this way, one can attain good keyword density and keyword frequency enabling top search engine rankings. It would also be a good idea to use appropriate tool tip text for the links as some search engines do consider this factor while indexing. Do not forget to include the keywords in the tool tip text.
Let us now discuss the different types of links existing for a web page and study how each link affects the search engine optimization. Primarily we have two types of links namely internal links and external links. Internal links are links which link to pages present in the website only. On the other hand, external links are links which point or link to pages outside the website. The various external links a web page can consist are inbound links, outbound links, broken links, dead links, reciprocal links etc. An inbound link is a link from a page external to the website pointing to the web page in the website. An outbound link is a link from a page internal to the website to a page external to the website. It is quite necessary to have proper inbound and outbound links in our website as they greatly determine the website position in search engine rankings. Inbound links actually determine the number of sites pointing to our site. The more number of inbound links, the more popular the website is. The more popular a website is, the more traffic the website receives. The more traffic the site receives, the more chances of generating business, which is the ultimate objective of any website. Relating to search engine optimization, inbound links add to link popularity which is defined as the number of links outside the site pointing to the website. The more number of inbound links, the higher the link popularity is. Usage of outbound links to sites relating to similar subject and content will incredibly boost the link popularity of the site.
Utmost care should be taken while creating links and one has to ensure no broken or dead links exist in the site. Broken links are links which when clicked return an error without actually displaying the required page. Dead links are links which when clicked do not perform any action. They neither display the required page nor return an error. These two types of links are very dangerous as they lower the link popularity.
One has to take time out in formulating an error free link management system. The links in the site should be created such that the user can freely navigate the entire site from any page. The links should emulate the traffic road signs clearly directing the user to the destination of his choice.
Now at this point we can clearly come to a conclusion stating that link management of the site is an essential feature for an effective search engine optimization strategy and also a very important decision maker in achieving top search engine ranking.
The basic tenets of link management as far as search engine optimization is considered are
Have as many inbound links as possible
Have as many internal links as possible in each page.
The internal links should use keywords and key phrases
Wherever you find keywords create a link and point it to the page, which has more information about the keyword.
Name the destination page in such a way so as to include keywords and key phrases. E.g instead of naming a destination page as services.html name it as search_engine_optimization_services.html