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Beyond Basic SEO – Practical Strategies – Part 3 – Internal Linking

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In this third part of the seminar we discuss the importance of having an internal linking strategy to reinforce the meaning of the content of the page that’s being linked to and to get people linked to the products. We also discuss the use of 301 redirects to preserve link authority with the existing member’s site and to eliminate duplicate content so that Google will know what to serve when somebody is searching for a specific product.

Video Transcript

Rick: So I’m going to move on to Lanny now. Good evening, Lanny. I’ve just unmuted your microphone.

Lanny: How are you doing, Rick?

Rick: I’m doing great. So can you tell us a little bit about your site?

Lanny: Well, it’s a store. I mean, we’ve got a corporate site and some special sites for other things that we do in the company. But this is really where we sell our products and we’ve got products here for the mental game for various sport applications. And the purpose of the store is just make it easy for people to find the products and purchase them.

Rick: Yeah and you already have a site that’s doing this as well, don’t you?

Lanny: Yes I do. We already have a Druple site and we’re wanting to move to the WordPress site so we’re building this. We’ll try to get it ready to close down the other site and then you know, let our clients know about this one.

Rick: Right.

Lanny: So we haven’t really promoted it yet. We’re still trying to make sure it’s… you know, Shopp’s working and everything’s happening right. Now we’re down to trying to maximize our SEO a little bit. But we haven’t done much on it as far as SEO is concerned.

Rick: And the content, your product descriptions are essentially the same in both sites?

Lanny: Yes.

Rick: Okay so you have the same duplicate content issue then, right? You’re going to fix your duplicate content when you decommission the other site by doing 301 redirects to redirect each page and post on the existing site to a corresponding page or post on this site. So that the Archery 1st combo product on the other site has a 301 redirect pointing to this product. That does two things. One is that it preserves any link authority that you have with your existing site and you probably have plenty. So it preserves that and passes it to the new site. And it also eliminates any duplicate content so that Google’s not trying to serve a different page. If somebody is looking for you know, Archery 1st Mental Management, they’re going to know. Google’s going to know just to serve this product up.

Lanny: Right. Okay.

Rick: Okay so that resolves your duplicate content issue. And you also want to use blog posts to direct traffic to your site, right? I mean, that’s one of the big reasons why you’re changing from Druple to this. Is that right?

Lanny: Yeah. The primary reason why I’m changing is of course, WordPress is so much easier to upgrade and I’m wanting to learn one system of it. It’s just easier to use. And I’ve got you. I don’t you in Druple so…

Rick: Way to go then.

Lanny: When I’m messing up, you can fix me.

Rick: Okay.

Lanny: That’s the major reason.

Rick: So you’ve posted a few blog posts here and let’s see… actually, let’s look at your meta descriptions and meta titles.

Lanny: Oh they’re not in there yet.

Rick: Okay well, we got to fix that. These are things that are going to need to be addressed. In terms of the way the post sits, you have a good descriptive title. You have h2 tags. I presume that’s an h2 tag. h2 tags breaking up the content and those h2 tags, again, outline what’s being said in the paragraphs below them. So you’ve got that part going.

The next thing you could do and this is really what I wanted to talk to you about in this case, was your internal linking strategy. Because you have a lot of content and you have the ability to generate lots of content that will just drive generic traffic to your site. People who don’t know you don’t know they’re looking for you, just know they’re looking for what you offer, are going to be drawn to the site because of these blog posts, I think.

And so what you want to do is first, make sure that you have what people are looking for in these posts. So do you have an opinion about what people are searching for? If somebody was looking for information that you have in this post, what would they be searching for?

Lanny: Well, they don’t know how to start. They don’t know where to start in developing the mental game. You know, they know they don’t have one and they’re trying to find a start point.

Rick: So what…

Lanny: About beginning or how to you begin mental training your… beginning mental training maybe.

Rick: Okay.

Lanny: I mean, that was the purpose of the article is to try get people to… okay, this is kind of where you go first as far as getting started with the mental game.

Rick: Okay and so then your job with this is to theorize what search phrase or phrases or terms somebody might use if they are looking for “how do I start working on my mental game?” Where do I begin working on my mental game? How do I start developing my mental strategy? And so you want to think about that and make sure that those phrases show up in the content.

Lanny: Okay.

Rick: So for example, I’ve asked this question to countless champions in my career, both as an elite competitor and as a coach. You know, that might actually not be the best leading sentence. It might be better to have, as a leading sentence, something related to the question. So you know, you might be asking yourself, “How do I begin developing my own mental game?” And if it’s not in the first sentence, it might be you know, just some place in the first paragraph because Google is still using search terms to find you, right? And so the best thing to do is to have content around what you imagine somebody’s search term is going to be and make sure that that search term or variations of those search terms show up in the content.

Now it’s important, I think, that there are variations on the search term so that it’s not the same search term every time. So you don’t have… I don’t know… mental game is not the only you know, keyword set that you use throughout your posts. But you try and find variations for that and you try and find variations or combinations of that phrase with other words that get to the same concept but do it with different terms.

Lanny: Okay.

Rick: Because what you’re trying to do is make sure that this is about how to begin. It clearly is about how to begin so that should be expressed a few different times with different words in the content.

Then the next thing to do with be to highlight some of those important phrases. The important phrase does not necessarily need to be a descriptive phrase at the entire paragraph but it could be or should be like the crux thing. If somebody is scanning through this you know, most competitors do not have a defined mental system. If that was bold, as somebody is reading through that, that’s going to stand out for them – “most competitors do not have a defined mental system”. Well, “defined mental system” is probably not a bad set of keywords and you’ve just emphasized the keyword by bolding the sentence at its end or bolding a phrase at its end and this is a crux concept that’s inside of this. So it’s legitimate to highlight or to bold.

And then finally, linking important phrases in the content to your products. So you know, it might be… so how do you begin to develop a mental game? You know, you might link that off to… well, you could link it off to this category page, universally applicable. Or you could link it off to the Freedom Flight book. This is like your seminal work, the most important thing you’ve got on the site or the most… well, I won’t characterize it. But this is one of the most important things you’ve got on the site. So it could be that you know, ‘Where do I begin?’ could link directly to this. And now only could they click on it to find out that but then ‘Where do I begin to develop the mental game?’ but “Begin to develop the mental game” becomes the link to this product in this search profile.

Lanny: Okay.

Rick: And really, you know, you should have a link in here… well, at least in your blog posts. You might not want to link from your products out to something else. But from your blog posts in, you should link every couple hundred words. Let’s see, what does Scribe tell you to do? It’s every… you know, I actually don’t do this. My wife does this for us but I think it’s either 200 or 300 words. Yeah, we just have to open up a page.

Okay so let’s just review the analysis. And so it says SEO best practices and they recommend every 120 words is what they suggest. So if you got 600 words in your post then you should have 5 links out of that off to your products because that’s what you’re trying to drive to. And so you’re looking for places that are relevant in those posts and you know, a link to a specific page only counts once. So you’re not going to link twice to Freedom Flight from a given post because it only counts as one. So you’ll link once to Freedom Flight. You might link once to the universally applicable category. You know, if there’s something in there about a shooting sport reference that you might link to and appropriate product in that sport and you’re just looking for appropriate places to link to.

Does that make sense?

Lanny: Yeah.

Rick: Okay. And you know, it’s work that’s why I don’t do it. It’s work to go through… you know, it can take you… once the thing is written, you can spend an hour on a post, making sure that you’ve got reasonable you know, repetition of your keywords throughout the post or key expressions throughout the post that you’ve accentuated important text and that you’ve linked appropriately you know, throughout the page.

Lanny: Now are these… when you’re talking about how I’m using… is it going to be obvious to the reader that this is a link? This phrase is a link? It’s underline or it’s…

Rick: Yeah, I think so because in your case, it’s going to be brown like that.

Lanny: Right, right. Okay.

Rick: So yeah, it should be clear that it’s a link.

Lanny: Okay. I mean, Attend a Seminar, it’ll be obvious. I mean…

Rick: Right. And this linking strategy I’m talking about, of course, is an internal linking strategy.

Lanny: Sure.

Rick: Now of course, you could link from this to another site that you have that has seminars and Attend a Seminar, especially if you’re teaching a seminar, is obviously… you would want to do that from here. But the point I was really making about links is that they should be internal links and the purpose for the internal link is to reinforce the meaning of the content of the page that’s being linked to. So that’s the purpose for the internal link. So an itnernal link doesn’t help this page at all, right? It doesn’t help. It’s not doing anything for this page. What it’s doing something for is the pages that are being linked to.

Lanny: Okay. This is help for…

Rick: I beg your pardon?

Lanny: Is it help for a blog… for a post to get linked to another post?

Rick: Well, it does if you’re trying to optimize your SEO for your posts. But what you’re really trying to do… and I mean, it may very well make sense for you to link to a blog post as well. I mean, that’s what we do. Our linking… we’re linking off to everything possible on our site with our links, including, sometimes, we link to forum posts. And so to the extent that it you know, helps reinforce the meaning of the post, sure. But what you’re really trying to do is really get people to your product. So I think it’s more important to link to products than it is to posts. But if you are… you know, if you’re doing 3 to products and 2 to other posts, you’re probably excellent. Okay, anything else?

Lanny: No, that helps a lot.

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