Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Best Practices


Links

What are links?
Links are connections between webpages. Internal links connect different pages of one website, while inbound/outbound links connect different websites to each other. Outbound links connect your website to someone else’s, while inbound links connect someone else’s website to yours. In HTML, a link looks like this:
In attribute tag, href="httq://www.linkedwebaddress.com" on page anchor text

Why are they important?
Links give webpages credibility with search engines in a number of ways. Inbound links act as “votes," telling search engines that the linked website is credible. Outbound links are useful to readers. When used effectively, outbound links demonstrate to crawlers that a site is reader-friendly. Internal links connect various pages of a website together, ensuring that each page is crawled by search engines, giving websites better SEO ratings.

How to create links
Links are created in the HTML of a webpage. The URL is inputted with an href tag, after which the anchor text is placed (the text that shows up on the webpage). The link should look like this:
In attribute tag, href="http://www.indstate.edu/speaker/" University Speakers Series

Special note: Anchor text
Anchor text is the clickable words on the webpage that take readers to the linked webpage. Because search engine spiders take links into great consideration, anchor text is important. Rather than simply providing the web address as the clickable link, the anchor text should tell the reader what the new webpage is about. For example, instead of inputting the link as “http://www.linkedwebaddress.com," the text should be helpful words such as “this site about X." If the URL is already self-explanatory, then at the very least the anchor text should exclude the “http://www."

Special note: Title attributes
Title attributes can be added to links to provide readers with more information about the link destination. The attribute is displayed when readers mouse over the link. The title attribute looks like this: in attribute tag, href="http://indstate.edu/speaker/" Title="Calendar of Speaker Events" University Speakers Series. The title attribute should not repeat the anchor text, rather it should provide more information to help the reader decide to visit the link. Title attributes have little or no bearing on SEO ratings, but should be included if they enhance the reader experience.

Special note: rel="nofollow"
Whenever one website links to another website, it counts as a sort of “vote" to search engines. If a website wants to link to an outside page (outbound link) without voting for that page, the attribute rel="nofollow" will tell the crawler not to follow or place value on that link. In HTML, a nofollow attribute looks like this: in attribute atg, href="http://cms.bsu.edu" rel="nofollow" anchor text

Do Not:

ISU Best Practice Checklist