The technical ins and outs of linking can be a difficult topic to digest when it comes to content optimization. Here’s how you can identify the most lucrative links to support your publication’s linking strategy in a fraction of the time.
Regardless of how good your content really is, writing and publishing articles is only the first part of the process when it comes to content optimization. If you want to make sure that your stories land in front of your desired readers, as a journalist, editor, or publisher, you need to make sure you at least know the basics of powerful linking.
In this article we’ll cover exactly what link equity is, how you can harness the flow of authority between articles and what key metrics to look out for when choosing which links to use.
What exactly is link equity?
The term link equity may sound a little technical and daunting but it’s actually a relatively simple concept once you break it down. Essentially, link equity is the amount of SEO value – or “link juice” – one page passes on to another through the act of linking. So, the more authority a page has, the greater the amount of “link juice” it can pass on.
But how does this apply to newsrooms and publishers? How can you spot the best links for your articles? And does it really have a significant impact on how well your content ranks?
The short answer is yes. When harnessed strategically, as part of an overall SEO strategy, tactically spreading “link juice” from article to article has the power to help boost content up through search engine rankings.
This is why it’s a ‘good practice’ strategy that should be on every publishers’ radar to improve their website architecture.
For more advice on linking like a pro within your articles, read our 5 Powerful ways to improve your linking strategy.
Which types of links does it apply to?
Internal, external and inbound links (other websites linking back to your publication) can all pass on link equity. So, ideally you want to be looking to optimize all of these to improve the chances of your article ranking well.
While inbound links are more challenging (but not impossible) to influence, both internal and external links embedded within your articles can be chosen by you. Therefore, maximising the power of both of these within your content optimization strategy is a great place to start.
- Internal links – this is when you link from one article to another article from your own publication to provide context and further reading. These are a great way to reduce exit rates by keeping readers on your site. Google analyses this as proof that your website is indeed valuable to readers because it encourages them to read more.
As Google explains: “Google must constantly search for new pages and add them to its list of known pages. Some pages are known because Google has already crawled them before. Other pages are discovered when Google follows a link from a known page to a new page.”
- External links – this is when you link out to another website within your article. Once again, if the link is relevant, high-quality and an authoritative source of information to your piece it’s a great way to back up quotes or facts and add credibility to your work.
How to harness the flow of link equity
Okay, we now know that optimizing both internal and external links within articles can be an incredibly powerful content optimization strategy if done correctly.
But you’re probably thinking “I simply don’t have time to source the perfect links!”. There’s little time to look for lucrative links that meet the latest SEO standards when you’re constantly operating to tight deadlines.
That’s where LOYAL can help. Writing for search engines can be technical and time-consuming but LOYAL includes link ratings created by SEO software specialist Moz, enabling journalists to access and compare technical link metrics in a simple format as they write.
Try to aim for 5-10 internal links per article. Even though each article will vary, this is a good best practice number to keep in mind as you build out a piece.
Uncovering your “power” pages
Your “power” pages are those with the most backlinks and authority and will transfer the greatest amount of link equity across your website.
You can find these easily using LOYAL. All you have to do is view an article within the tool and hover over the “SEO” tab. This will open up a list of five important link metrics powered by Moz.
This is the list of metrics LOYAL provides and how each applies to you as a publisher:
These are also called backlinks and refer to an incoming link from a page on another website back to your own site. As we mentioned earlier, these can be the hardest to control but do pass on a lot of link equity.
Page Authority is a metric created by Moz that ranges from 1-100. This score predicts how well a page will rank in Google based on a machine learning algorithm of link metrics.
This is the number of unique domains linking to a page. Two links from the same website will only be counted as one linking domain. A higher linking domain score indicates a more valuable source of information and will be more beneficial to link to.
As we’ve already explained, this is a link that goes from one page on a domain to a different page on the same domain. If LOYAL reveals that one of your articles has a low number of internal links you may want to consider adding more to share more link equity across your website.
This measures the number of links from the article to other websites.
You can quickly scan these metrics to make smarter internal and external linking decisions in seconds. It’s all about making strategic linking part of your newsroom or publication’s natural workflow.
Link optimization really isn’t rocket science. Once you get the basics down, utilise the right tools and try to follow best practice strategies, you’ll be well on your way to a strong and powerful linking strategy.
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