Corporate Branding

Companies today need to produce content to get ahead. It’s how you’ll get new leads, grow your email list and educate your prospective customers. Publishing blog posts, posting on social media, and offering gated whitepapers is valuable, but to make your content really stand out, you need to double down on your linking strategy.

Why is Linking Important?

When you’re writing content, including relevant links is crucial. There are a number of reasons why linking is so important. For one, linking is one of the best ways to improve your company's SEO rankings. Including links in your blog posts or across your website prompts Google and other search engines to boost your page rankings, where people are most likely to click. If your content doesn’t have any links, it probably won’t get ranked at all.

Adding links also gives your content more credibility. For example, any time you cite data or research in a blog post, make sure you’re including a link to the original source. It’s ideal if you can find sources from notable organizations that already have page high rankings. With every link you include, you’re creating more opportunities to rank well and increase your organic traffic.

Including links in your website content also allows your readers to find other content that might pique their interest. For example, we work with a variety of behavioral healthcare providers. The topics of mental health and addiction can make someone want to research more on the site. Your content can help people stay on your website longer, giving them more opportunities to convert.

The Key to an Effective Linking Strategy

So, we know that including links in your content is important. But you also need to know how many links to include, and which types of links to use. While it’s true that linking can be a game-changer for your company’s SEO and page rankings, don’t be tempted to go link-crazy. Having too many links in your content can actually work against you.

I recommend that content managers look at their linking strategy like goldilocks. In the nursery rhyme, Goldilocks finds herself eating three bowls of porridge—one was too hot, one was too cold, and one was the perfect temperature. Then, she sat in three chairs—one was too big, one was too small, and one was just right.

That’s how you should think about your linking strategy. The key is to use just the right amount of links. Adding too many links could negatively impact your rankings, but the same could happen if you don’t add enough links. It’s all about finding the right balance between the two, where your rankings can be optimized.

3 Types of Links You Should be Using

If you’re new to linking, you should know that not all links are created equal. There are different types of links that contribute to your content rankings. Including a variety of different link types is also important if you want to improve SEO. Here are the three types of links you should be using in your content.

1. Internal links


Internal links are the links you include from one page on your website to another. For instance, you could include a link on your home page to a product demo request page. In a blog post, you could include a link to another blog post on a similar topic. As I mentioned before, using links in your content is a great way to keep people on your website longer.

The goal of your content should be to engage your readers and give them opportunities to convert. The more chances you give them to click another link, the more likely they are to engage with other content on your site. However, it's important that you’re only including internal links to relevant content that feels natural to your readers. Avoid including certain links just because you want them to have more visibility. Google’s algorithm knows when your links are unrelated, so using the wrong links won’t benefit you.

Side note: A link to the contact page is great in the call-to-action section.

2. External links

External links are the opposite of internal links. External links are the links you include in your content from other websites, and they are sometimes referred to as backlinks. These links give your content more credibility and increase the likelihood that other websites will include links to your content. External links are incredibly important for SEO because they reward you for citing other popular web pages.

There is an art to finding good sources for external links. For example, if you’re citing a research study, make sure to include the link to the original source, rather than a random article the study was mentioned in. Citing data from .org or .gov sites can also help improve your rankings. Essentially, cite sources from companies and organizations that you recognize and trust as being reputable. Try to avoid external links from websites that seem questionable.

3. NoFollow vs. Follow

Remember when I said that not all links are created equal? Here’s what I mean—content links are either Nofollow or Follow. There’s a difference between the two, and it’s important to understand how both types of links impact your linking strategy.

As the name states, Nofollow links don’t improve your search engine rankings, because Google doesn’t recognize them in the page ranking algorithm. For example, if you get a backlink on another company’s website, and it’s a Nofollow link, you won’t get credit for that link. A Follow link is recognized by Google and will boost your SEO. So ideally, you’ll want more Follow links than Nofollow links if improving SEO is a goal.

Optimizing Your Linking Strategy

The biggest key to an effective linking strategy is to have lots of great content. The more content you have, the more opportunities you have to create internal and external links. Improving your website’s SEO through linking doesn’t happen overnight. With consistent practice, you’ll start to see your rankings increase, which will also boost your organic traffic.