June 29, 2020
This year I’m participating in Blog Audit Challenge 2020 hosted by Jo Linsdell. The plan is to work on making our blogs even better and setting our goals for the coming months. Each month will have its own challenge to work through. Join us!
I hope that if you are reading this that you continue to be well and that your area is opening up for business and recreation with social distancing precautions.
June’s Challenge Focuses on Links:
Of the topics covered so far, I think I feel the best about my use of links to enhance my content and to attract visitors. At least, I feel more confidant in discussing links than I have previous topics! I can always improve, but I think I’m doing OK in this area.
There are two types of links:
1. Internal Links
- The importance of using internal links is to keep visitors engaged with your content and spend more time on your site. Part of analyzing your blog data is tracking the “bounce rate,” i.e. the time visitors spend on your site. If a visitor only reads the page which caused them to land on your site, this contributes to a high “bounce rate.” If a follower or visitor looks at another page on your site (either through a link, a menu tab, or the search bar, etc., this helps to lower your “bounce rate.” Low “bounce rates” are optimal and increase your SEO! (see what I did here?!)
- In my posts, you will usually notice internal links. When appropriate, I will link to related content (e.g. a book by the same author or a post with a similar topic) and I also include links to previous content in my ICYMI section. In my menu options, I have included pages with links to a great deal of blog content. In these monthly blog challenge posts, I am linking back to each previous month.
- TIP: I have recently learned that SEO best practices suggests not using “see here” when creating links. SEO likes it when you use specific descriptive words. So instead of “see review here,” it would be better to write “see my review of Simon the Fiddler.” In my monthly wrap up posts, I have been writing “my full review here” (which you can see in my May Wrap Up post)….starting tomorrow, I vow to do better in creating internal links with more specific descriptive wording for my wrap up post!
2. External Links
One type of external link is a link in your content that takes the reader to additional information on another website. In a review I’m writing now for The Salt Path by Raynor Winn (external link), I’ve included a Wikipedia link for the actual Salt Path.
Another type of external link is called a backlink:
A backlink is a link to your blog from someplace else. There are three primary ways to create backlinks.
- A blogger places a link to your content in her/his post. This could be because they enjoy your content or want to give you a shout out for inspiration or credit for an idea, etc. I think this is one reason you might see lots of awards and meme posts because it’s an opportunity to shout out a blogger and in the process provide the blogger with a bit of backlink gold. The title to this post is a backlink for Jo Linsdell and her blogging challenge series.
- Another way to get backlinks is to submit your blog to be on various lists. If you have a friendly relationship with a blogger who keeps a blog roll on his/her website, ask if you can be added! Sometimes bloggers will invite bloggers to add their blog to a list. It’s helpful to watch out for these opportunities.
- The third type of backlink is self-created. One idea is to leave your link along with a blog comment if appropriate (many bloggers do not appreciate link dropping in comments unless requested, so be certain your gravatar links back to your website…a huge shout out to Marianne From Let’s Read who kindly noticed my gravatar wasn’t linked and helped me troubleshoot!). One of the benefits of participating in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl is an opportunity to leave your linked post! Another example is the Modern Mrs. Darcey blog which offers a monthly Quick Lit linkup in the comments. Be on the lookout for places to drop your links! Furthermore, you can include your blog link as part of your email signature. I always include my backlink at the end of a Goodreads review. Also, I have blog links listed in my Instagram linktr.ee and I post my blog reviews on Facebook and Twitter. Take advantage of all these ways to leave backlinks!
3. Broken Links:
The downside of creating links in your content is that the links can become broken. This will negatively affect your SEO and frustrate readers. I’m in the process of updating my old posts which also includes checking all the links in that post. The links to Amazon, Wikipedia, and other large sites are usually not broken. However, I’ve discovered some links to individual blogs that are broken and I removed them. There is a program you can use for checking broken links, but I haven’t used it because I need to update my older posts any way. Once I finish updating, I will look into a program that will routinely check for broken links for me. Do you use a broken link checker that you can recommend?
Are you comfortable using internal and external links?
Are links an important part of your SEO strategy?
July’s Challenge will focus on Quality Content.
If you are a blogger, have you thought about links? Do you have any tips to share?
If you are a follower and have always wanted to make a suggestion for improvement, now’s your chance! I’d love to hear feedback about the blog content and why you continue to follow or read my reviews and other blog content. I’d like to hear about what I could improve. I am committed to the genres I review, so that’s firm for now.
Happy Reading Book Buddies!
“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes
“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text
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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.
Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.