Contextual links are clickable text (usually targeted keywords) that are within the written content of your webpage – meaning that the link is within a “context” or paragraph that tells a topic relevant to that keyword. If used effectively, contextual linking can prove to be a very powerful SEO linking strategy for your website. Not only that, contextual linking gives you high credibility and popularity among users and search engines. This link can be natural or artificial. Contextual linking can be an internal and external resource such as linking your inner web pages and/or providing references to other websites. Both have their respective advantages.
Benefits of Contextual Linking for Website Owners
How Contextual Linking Helps SEO
- Contextual links are links from the content of your webpage and that content is the main part that gives the website uniqueness. So, giving a link from that section means sending optimal page power to the linked section.
- They help search engines develop relevance factors for both pages (linked and linked). Google recognizes the relevance of the NLP (Natural Linguistic Programming) algorithm which is sometimes called LSI (Latent Semantic Index).
- You cannot load all the information on one webpage. Plus, it’s a great way to break up big information into smaller chunks. Now those small parts can be linked internally with prime keywords to optimize them.
- Google considers it good if our articles (which contain contextual links) have authoritative and known external links such as Wikipedia (citation), links like this can increase the credibility of your content on search engines, because it means the content written is not junk, but based on research and take the source from the linked web page (Wikipedia).
- Contextual links result in lower bounce rates, as well as time on page (dwell time) – meaning users will stay on the page longer. It’s easier for users to navigate on your website through links in the content as they read it. Users may not want to bother clicking on links in other navigation sections such as menus, footers or sidebar links.
- Good content can enrich the reader experience and is highly appreciated by Google. This results in a higher ranking in the SERPs.
An example of a contextual link that I put in viral content (originally this was a regular fundraising press release, but because I know the history of the founder, it went viral)
Benefits of Contextual Linking for Users (Enriching User Experience)
- Building contextual links that are in good content also has an impact on your trust level. Having links to other sites/webpages means you acknowledge you don’t have the answers to everything, and you care enough to guide your users to the right place. This trust can take many forms, for example, the social signal you get or the number of blog comments.
- Links at the right location in the content build interest in the user to explore the linked page.
- All information cannot be included in one article on one webpage; contextual links help connect pieces of a topic that are scattered on the website. If your linking is optimal, your content is very likely to be shared on social media by your audience.
- In-content links are one way of offering your readers more quality information, which should always be your priority.
- More recognition will bring more traffic to your site.
- Increased traffic will result in increased sales.
Best Contextual Linking
No doubt contextual linking is one of the most important SEO strategies in your internal linking structure, but if you want to make the most of them, make sure you optimize them properly. The following are some things you should consider to create a successful linking structure.
Use Prime Keywords as Anchor Texts
The majority of your anchor text should consist of keywords. This helps search engines understand the relevance of the page being linked to, and that page can be ranked the next time a relevant search is performed. (Don’t forget the anchor text you use must of course vary)
Also Use Descriptive Phrases – Long Tail Keywords
Don’t fill contextual links with money keywords. That’s not liked by search engines. Instead, use descriptive words too, especially long-tail phrases that naturally contain your keywords.
Natural is Optimal
Your contextual links should not look forced within the content. Make them natural.
Links to Trusted Sources
Only link to trusted websites in your topic. This increases your credibility among users and search engines. An example is a link to Wikipedia.
Links to Relevant Pages That Give Value to Readers
Don’t include content linking on web pages just for the sake of visitors and link juice. This does more harm than good, but you should also emphasize relevance.
From the information above, it is clear that contextual links are beneficial from the point of view of users and search engines. If you’re not using them at the moment, make contextual links part of your linking strategy. This activity will give good results in the long term.