A contextual link is the clickable text (usually the keywords) found within the written content of your webpage. If used effectively, contextual linking can be proven a very strong SEO linking strategy for your website. Not only that, contextual linking earns you high credibility and popularity among users as well as search engines.
Contextual linking can be done for internal as well as external resources i.e. linking your inner webpages and/or give references to other websites. Both have their own paybacks.
Benefits of Contextual Linking
As we write content for users and search engines, this is worthy to explain benefits for both the purposes explicitly.
How Contextual Linking Helps in SEO
- Contextual links are links deep from the content of your webpage and that content is the core part which decides the uniqueness of a webpage. Hence, giving links from that section transfer optimal page power to linked ones.
- They help search engines in developing relevancy factor for both the pages i.e. linking and linked ones.
- You cannot have all the information on one webpage. Moreover, this is good to divide huge information in to small chunks. Now these chunks can be linked internally with prime keywords to optimize them.
- Linking to authoritative and well recognized external resources like Wikipedia (citation) increase credibility of you content for search engines, since it means that written content is not junk instead it is researched based and resembles to the linked webpage.
- Contextual links result in lower bounce rates. It is comparatively easy for the user to navigate your website through links in content since they are reading it. User may not bother to click on links in other navigational schemes like menu, footer or sidebar links.
- Enriched reader experience is highly appreciated by Google. This results in higher rankings in the SERPs.
Contextual Linking for Users (enrich user experience)
- Contextual link building also impacts your trustworthiness. Linking to other sites/webpages means that you admit that you don’t have the answer to everything, and you care enough to guide your user to the right place.
- Links at appropriate locations in content build user interest to explore linked pages.
- All the information cannot be put in one single article at one webpage; contextual links help to join chunks of one topic scattered across the website. If your linking is optimal your content may get shared on social media by your audience.
- In-content links are a way to offer more quality information to your reader, which should always be your foremost priority.
- More recognition will bring more traffic to your site.
- An increase in traffic will result in an increase in sales.
Contextual Linking Best Practices
There is no doubt that contextual linking is one of the most important SEO strategies in your internal linking structure, but if you want to make the most out of them, make sure you have optimized them properly. Here are a few best practices you should consider to create fruit-bearing linking structure:
Use Prime Keywords as Anchor Texts
You anchor text should be composed mainly of keywords. This helps search engines understand the relevancy of the linked page, and the page can be then ranked next time when a relevant query is performed.
Use Descriptive Phrases – Long Tail Keywords
Don’t stuff your contextual links with keywords. It is a practice frowned upon by search engines. Instead, use descriptive phrases, importantly long tail phrases that contain your keywords in a natural way.
Natural is Optimal
You contextual links should not look like they are forced into the content. Keep them natural.
Link to Authoritative Sources
Link only to websites that are an authority on your topic. This increases your credibility among users as well as search engines.
Link to Relevant Pages that Provide Value to the Reader
Do not include content linking on webpage only for the sake of visitors and link juice. This will cause more harm than benefit.
From the above information, it is very clear that contextual links are beneficial from both user and search engine viewpoints. If you are not using them right now, make it part of your linking strategy. You will love it!