Do You Follow…. Google?
Regularly Google is updating how people find your content and the rules are forever changing. This is why it’s always important to have copywriting that’s Evergreen, meaning its information doesn’t really go out of date. Guides are a good example of this compared with current news and lifestyle trends.
The thing is though, you may have amazing content, but it can still become lost on search engines, particularly if you are linking to other sites.
When people search for certain content on Google, the search engine won’t always favour the best copy, but will select the one with the most references to first. Linking to a site as reference within your own content can push your website down to the bottom of the abyss if you are doing it wrong, and rather than people coming to you, they are signposted else well.
Why Can Linking Be Bad?
It’s not that linking itself is bad, but the type of linking can be bad.
Links come in two main formats when using them on your website to signpost people to other content. These types of links are known as “no-follow” and “do-follow” links. Most websites will automatically turn a link into a do-follow link, this means that Google search will favour where that link points to over your own copy. Often you have to manually put in no-follow when adding a link to an article, meaning people can choose to quick it when they read your content, but it won’t push the other websites search rank up.
To add a no-follow link rather than do-follow, on WordPress you can add rel=”nofollow” to the HTML. It may sound complicated but it’s pretty simple to do, and I’m always happy to guide my clients on how to do this.
Where Can Do-Follow Links Help?
There are two main answers I give to my copywriting clients here.
One, being if you’re doing paid affiliate links and want to get tracked for payment, as when you put in no-follow clicks through the links won’t be tracked as coming from you. Paid links need to be do-follow for this reason, and sadly it makes ecommerce affiliate marketing tougher work than we’d like.
The second reason do-follow links can be really good for your website, is when you’re trying to push another page on your website up on the web ranking and make it easier for your readers to find. This is where doing promotional content and new creative articles that relate to past posts can help. If you want to make a guide or service more know, adding some new juice into the mix that’s related can bring more awareness to it.
Here’s a good example of internal linking and do-follow links: You have a popular type of product you specialise in, adding a lifestyle post such as a review or story can then be linked to the more important customer information and how they can find the actual product. The main page you wish to promote will get a little boost from the new copy and make it stronger on Google search engine results.
What If You Need To Use Do-Follow Links?
Then you need to make sure you are doing plugin’s elsewhere, such as focusing on promoting your content via social media, getting influencers involved, and asking people to send do-follow links back your way. This may sound complicated, but when you have the organic flow of your website up and running, it will come naturally on which platforms to involve and others individuals who can help promote you. It’s a bit like “I scratch you back, you scratch mine”.
Finally, the biggest mistake is: If you’re linking to anywhere, even internal to your website, make sure the content is relevant as linking to information that doesn’t match with your client’s search is just going to lose favour with them and not just search engines.