Two weeks ago, I recorded a video on how the Farmer/Panda update affected (and continues to impact) product pages and how you can improve them in order to bounce back. Today I want to add a little bit of information that correlates with my last post. Recently, there’s been some discussion at Exclusive Concepts about cross linking and internal linking. Cross linking usually involves linking separate sites together, while internal linking refers to linking one website’s pages together. Many times, store owners will concentrate on trying to find resources for external links, and often forget that they have a valuable resource – their own website – right in front of them.
Since I’m a copywriter and write a lot of content for websites, I often find opportunities for cross linking between pages. There’s so much I could touch on in regards to linking among the homepage, category pages, subcategory pages, and product pages, but since I wrote about product pages before, I’m going to concentrate on those. If you know your products well and have written the content yourself or are familiar with it, this simple exercise should be a snap. So, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Don’t overdo it. Depending on the amount of content you have on your page, choose a balanced number. I’d say for every 200-300 words, two to five links would be ideal. If you have more than that on a page, you could add a few more, but only if it’s helpful to the reader. Otherwise, it dilutes the link juice being passed among pages.
- Use keyword-relevant anchor text. Let’s say you’re linking two product pages together. One is a face wash product page and the other one is the moisturizer you’re supposed to use with it. If your content on your face wash product page goes something like this: “Our green tea face wash is extremely beneficial to the health of your skin, especially when used with our alpha hydroxy moisturizer,” and you want to link your face wash page to the moisturizer page, and you’re using “alpha hydroxy moisturizer” as the anchor text, the moisturizer page should be well-optimized for the term “alpha hydroxy moisturizer.”
- Make sure that all of your links work and none lead to incorrect pages or dead pages. There’s nothing worse than a customer looking to add on to their purchase and coming across a 404 error page.
- You obviously need to have unique content on ALL of your pages, but this is especially necessary if you’re linking several pages together. If it’s not unique, then trying to get them spidered quickly is now made pointless.
- Since the goal of this is to not only improve the SEO of your pages, but to boost usability as well, it’s essential that the links make sense to each visitor and that they improve the flow of the consumer’s purchasing process. Avoid listing products and having multiple links right next to each other.