Third in a four part series on SEO Essentials.
For any website, the maintenance of an efficient and fine-tuned infrastructure of links — both internal and external — is a key factor for maximizing page rankings and overall SEO effectiveness.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some important SEO housekeeping and refinement considerations to ensure your site is generating the maximum possible link weight. It’s good practice to monitor these factors on a regular basis, while also comparing the results to those of your competitors when possible.
Research where inbound links are coming from.
The paths that inbound links take to your site have a huge influence on page rankings. If you have a zillion links from a handful of referring domains, those links won’t hold much weight. The quality of your referring domains is also a factor. For instance, links from prominent and relevant industry sites will carry more weight than sporadic links from passing references to your site on industry blogs.
Find a credible balance for anchor text.
Keyword-based anchor text has been a valuable SEO tool from the get-go. But as it is the case with general over-usage of keywords, you need to avoid over-usage of anchor text to keep Google from viewing your content as spam. Look through your backlinks, organized by anchor text. Then use common-sense judgment to determine a usage level that seems logical and natural from a messaging standpoint.
Tame your links-per-page and reduce redirects.
The over-usage of on-page links is bad for a number of reasons. For the site visitor, this often leads to a very unfocused internal structure for linking and navigation — while also increasing load times. From a pure SEO standpoint, this also dilutes a page’s ranking by spreading any link juice across too many links.
A similar thing happens with 301 redirects. While a redirect will pass link juice through to the target page, some link weight will be lost in the transfer. What you especially want to avoid are chains of sequential redirects that can decimate both link weight and page rankings in the process.
Seek out broken links and fix them.
Link juice can survive some of the linking transactions already mentioned. But a broken link will stop that dead in its tracks, along with any positive page ranking effect. Use one of the readily available tools to hunt down broken internal links, which are dead-ends for both search engines and the visitors to your site.
You’ll also want to seek out broken external links, which result in a frustrating 404 page-not-found for your valued site visitors. Many of these issues can be fixed with a simple 301 redirect to a working page. Diagnostic apps, such as Google Search Console, are also available to help you quickly find 404 error culprits, which are a fact of life today on any website.
Article One: Simple ways to boost your indexability.
Article Two: Varied content for different purposes.
Article Four: Strengthening your identity and offsite SEO.