Optimize Your Hyperlinks

You’ve been writing with passion, right? Do you want to provide your audience with upfront and helpful information when you provide links? Do you want to attract an audience? Forethought and strategy in the creation of hyperlinks can provide your readers with useful tools and can attract traffic to your site. Quiz: On which link would you rather click?

  1. Weather and meteorological events are predicted and reported with an entertaining spin in Kenny Blumenfeld’s blog, Weather and BS!
  2. Weather and meteorological events are predicted and reported with an entertaining spin in Kenny Blumenfield’s blog, Weather and BS!: http://www.kennyblumenfeld.com

A second comparison: On which link would you rather click?

  1. Since our readings covered the value of including a media page on a company’s website, let’s check on the latest news about Kenny Blumenfeld on his media page.
  2. Since our readings covered the value of including a media page on a company’s website, let’s check on the latest news about Kenny Blumenfeld on his media page: http://www.kennyblumenfeld.com/p/media.html

The verdict I think most would agree that links embedded in the flow of a sentence are more attractive than looking at a string of

  • colons
  • slashes
  • dubbyas and 
  • .coms or .orgs or .edus

especially if the URLs are extremely long, filled with seemingly endless strings of

  • numbers
  • ampersands
  • equal signs and 
  • question marks

In addition to the benefit that keyword links are cleaner than URL links, the keyword links in each example demonstrate the bonus of a secondary notation or Graphical User Interface (GUI) called a tooltip. Rest or “hover” your mouse over the links in the keyword links of each comparison and additional information will be displayed. Get in the mind of your audience In the first comparison, Weather and BS! includes a tooltip with the URL. Some of the readers in your audience may want to know where their click will send them before clicking on it. Would you want to know? In the second comparison, the tooltip for latest news about Kenny Blumenfeld displays the name of the website and the title of its internal page. I set it up this way to inform the reader that the linked phrase has a source, but I also wanted the tooltip to be descriptive. Since, your browser window should have a status bar at the bottom (or the option to turn it on) your readers can look there for the URL if they need to. Customize your links in any combination of keywords, phrases, URLs, and site name. The aim is to provide easy-to-read content in a way that makes sense to your audience. … And to attract an audience, right? Search engine optimization (SEO) findmeOne of the most important benefits of assigning a link to keyword phrase is its search-ability factor. Search engine algorithms are designed to recognize keyword phrases. If you want search engines to find your website and rank it high enough so that people will find it, you will want to put some thought into your links. Make the effort. Court Tuttle designed an SEO case study that showed a URL link (one that included a key phrase) ranked lower than the hyperlinked word, “here.” Ok. So how is it done? We are using WordPress for these assignments, so I will limit the instructions to the method offered through the toolbar. The following instructions will work whether you are in “visual” or “text” mode.

  • highlight the word or phrase you would like to link to another page, or website
  • click on the “Insert/edit link” icon
  • within the pop-up window, copy/paste the URL address of your link into the URL fieldWP Insert Link
  • type your tooltip phrase in the “Title” box
  • (optional) if you want the linked page to open in a new tab or window, click the checkbox to activate that command
  • click “Add Link” at the bottom of the window (or “Update” if you are editing an already established link)

The few extra keystrokes are worth it

  • Create tooltips to help your readers navigate to the information you’ve worked so carefully to provide.
  • Use keywords for your hyperlinks. Doing so will make your content easier on the eye, which means your entries are more readable, and it may improve your SEO to put you in a position to attract visitors to your site.

Let me know how it works for you!

About Bev Forsman

I am fascinated by what the world reveals, and I see life circumstances as windows of wisdom. I have held and continue to nurture a life-long interest in the human condition. In addition to introspection, curiosity, and wonder, I list the following credentials: parent, grandparent, life-partner, daughter, sister, aunt, wedding officiant, and Dharma Transmission.

2 thoughts on “Optimize Your Hyperlinks

  1. Regardless of how it looks, I actually would rather click on the URL because it tells me exactly where I’m being routed to. I don’t like the idea of clicking the words and not knowing what website I’m being directed to.

  2. Thank you for your input April!

    Do you know about the status bar at the bottom of your browser window? When you hover over any link, the status bar shows the official URL, overriding any tooltips that an author amends to the link. It also indicates whether it will open in a new page, new tab, etc. I believe that (except for Safari) all browsers display a status bar as the default. In Safari, you have to turn this feature “on” under the “VIEW” menu by choosing ‘show’ status bar. I mention this feature very briefly in the post, but it is easily overlooked, especially if you don’t know what a status bar is.

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