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The Right Way to Serve Up Links

October 20, 2008  

Most Web sites have a page with outbound links. In theory, they serve as a resource for your customers, but Shavkat Karimov argues that, in practice, links pages rarely add value. "They just list sites," he says in a post at the Digital Marketing Blog. "That's it. It's a very long list, and the sites listed are sometimes irrelevant and useless." If this sounds like your links page, Karimov has some advice:

  • When naming the page, don't use the word "Links." It's toxic from Google's perspective. Instead, Karimov suggests adding a word like "Sites" or, if you're a marketing company, "Digital Marketing Sites."
  • Write descriptions for people, not spiders. "[T]ell a 'story' about your subject," says Karimov, "and add the external links … where expected." Natural link placement within a narrative will appeal to human visitors and Google.
  • Categorize your links. Customers won't see the maximum benefit from 50 links presented without context, and neither will your various link partners.
  • Pretend you're still in college. Karimov sometimes links from citations placed at the bottom of an article. This technique lends the credible appearance of an academic paper.

The Po!nt: Giving your links page a user-friendly makeover not only enhances the customer experience; with appropriately placed calls to action, they also can improve your bottom line.

Source: Digital Marketing Blog. Click here for the full post.

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