Are You Using the Five Types of Links Properly?

5 types of links

This is the first guest post by Ben Yoskovitz.

Not all links are created equally, and not all links serve the same purpose.

Brian Clark reminds us that using click here as anchor text is still valid. But Lisa Barone disagrees; her argument being that keywords in the anchor text are critical.

They’re both right.

The reality is that you should use links and specific styles of anchor text for different reasons. In fact, there are 5 types of links that are regularly used, each with a different purpose in mind:

  1. Sales Links: Sales links are used when driving people to buy something or go down a specific path. You’re driving people through a funnel to try something, sign-up or buy something. Those are sales links. And “click here” is a completely logical choice for those types of links. Heck, you might try CLICK HERE! Or “get your free x today!”, because “free” is generally regarded as a very strong motivator.

    Most bloggers don’t deal in “sales links” which is why they’re generally turned off by the bland but effective, “click here”.

  2. Really Helpful Resource Links: You could argue that every link is helpful in its own way, but Really Helpful Resource links are those that you use to provide your audience with additional, in-depth information. You don’t want to use too many of these in one post, because the more links, the less likely people will click through. I find they work best when summarizing someone else’s argument (and you should always link to sources) and in lists, when you want to give readers more details from other blogs.

    Here’s a good example: Warning: Do You Know Your Best Customers?

    Most of the links in that post are Really Helpful Resource Links. I’m talking about customer profiling and customer personas, but I don’t go into a ton of detail. Instead, I link to others that have covered the subject matter excellently.

    Really Helpful Resource links can benefit from the use of good anchor text. You might want to use “click here” but you could also try something like, “learn more about anchor text linking strategies to encourage people to click.

  3. Friendly Links: As much as I recommend that you break out and discover new blogs, we all exist within our own communities. And, you’ll often find people linking to one another inside their communities quite regularly. I know I link to a number of people on a regular basis: their content is great, it’s meaningful to my audience and they’re my friends. So why not?

    Too often with Friendly Links, people use their friend’s name or the name of their friend’s blog.

    Mike at Converstations has some simple reminders on how to properly format a blog post.

    Mike at Converstations has some simple reminders on how to properly format a blog post.

    Instead, the best link would be: how to properly format a blog post. Tada! A friendly link with good anchor text.

  4. Notice Me! Links: Bloggers spend a lot of time trying to get other bloggers’ attention. If you’re not, you should. These links can use great anchor text but they don’t have to. They’re just links. Very often, you’ll see them strung together in a sentence, one word after the other. Kind of like this. That’s a bad example, but you can always learn more about maximizing blog traffic from others.

    Notice Me! links are useful even if the anchor text isn’t great. They’re either used to target a specific blogger, or reach out to a slew of them and build attention.

  5. Internal Links: You should link to your own blog posts on a regular basis. Most SEO specialists will tell you that it can help raise the value of the pages you’re linking to. But should you link with great anchor text or not?

    It depends on the purpose of the link. If you’re driving people to take specific actions, then go with a Sales Link. Your entire blog post might be designed to get someone to click here. Or, you might be doing it strictly for SEO purposes to create a nice web of links between your posts.

The best way to encourage action (think: sales links) and gain SEO value (think: killer anchor text) is to combine the two. Beyond that, think about how you format links. Make sure your links have the best chance of standing out:

  • Put them on a single line of text instead of inside a longer paragraph.
  • Highlight them with bold, italics or a different font size.
  • Put them at the top and end of your blog post.
  • Repeat them within a blog post in various ways.

Bottom line: You should link to other blogs. And yours. Often. Understand the type of link and the purpose behind it, and decide at that point what the anchor text should be.

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photo by landruc.

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