There are two main reasons we have links in our articles:
- First, for readers to click and discover something.
- Second, for Search Engines to follow and discover another page.
But I want us to keep the spiders aside and focus on human visitors. Spiders of course are Search Engine agents who visit your blog to find out if something is worth indexing.
Human readers is the reason we create blog posts. We don’t write for Search Engines though we really need them to bring us those folks we want. But for some overlooked reasons, these readers who finally step to our articles don’t click our links.
For both Search Engines and human visitors, there are two types of links:
- Internal links (links pointing to a resource on the same domain)
- External links (Links pointing to a page on a completely different domain)
Search Engines may further want to know if the links are Dofollow or Nofollow. For humans, that’s not important at all.
But why are human readers neglecting your links? Is it even important to care about this?
Ok here is a quick intro:
My name is Enstine Muki. I have been blogging since 2012 and have known Ryan for over 3 years. I have over 775 blog posts and more than 26,200 valid comments on my blog. If you haven’t been to my blog, click here to see what it looks like.
Did you click the link above and why?
Now, I did that intro above for a purpose. It wasn’t a way to throw in a link. But I want us to get a very crucial psychological point.
Note that we are talking about text links!
There are three main things that affect your hyperlinks Click Through Rate (CTR) and we are going to see how one of these factors has affected the number of clicks on the link above (my intro):
- The link title (a.k.a. anchor text, link label, link text): This is the visible and clickable text in a hyperlink.
- The surrounding text: These are the sentences before and after the link.
- Link relevance: How relevant is the linked page? This can be understood from the meanings in the surrounding text.
Now, analyzing these three elements, you may come to know why readers don’t care about what you link to.
1 – The Link Label
There are generally 3 types of link text:
- Keyword rich (eg: Law of attraction lessons )
- Product name (eg: SEMrush)
- Generic: (eg: Click here for more)
Which of these do you think works best? Why should someone really click any of them? Ok let’s see those other two elements:
2 – Surrounding text and link relevance
Whether your anchor text is generic, post title, keyword-rich or product name, its power to pull clicks comes from its surroundings.
If you drop a skeletal link in your document, no matter how relevant the linked page, it may never get noticed or clicked.
Here is something interesting on my blog…..
These are two different blog posts on my blog with different link anchor text: Product name and generic text. But did you notice how they both get a lot of clicks?
I use a heatmap tool that shows click concentration on those links. Now, what makes those links sticky and click-worthy is not just the link titles. Their attract comes from the relevance and surrounding sentences.
About my little intro above, if you are interested in me and in knowing more about my blog, you won’t be able to resist the click temptation.
How to give irresistible attractiveness to your hyperlinks
For internal links, increasing CTR plays a major part in your overall SEO results. When readers click more of your pages, that increases your site’s dwell time, reduces pogo-sticking, etc. These are all signals Google interprets to determine the value of your site to your readers.
As we’ve seen above, the magic lies in what you tell your readers about the linked page. A flat-out keyword link in a chunk of text may be quickly skimmed. We know that’s what many readers do these days.
But to capture the attention of readers and literally force them to click, you should develop the habit of using strong Calls To Action (CTA) in your links. I mentioned this point in this article on my blog.
Whip up your affiliate commissions with sticky links
Affiliate Marketing is one of the ways most bloggers make money with their blogs. Generally, they get to affiliate marketing platforms, pick and product and drive traffic to with the hope to generate commissions. (For a quick note, my friend Nico Prins has a post on affiliate tools you may want to read)
You can use the power of relevance and surrounding text to briefly pre-sell any product you promote. I have read some affiliate tips about making your affiliate hyperlinks bold. I agree that works to only attract eye balls to the link. But quite frankly, it doesn’t show the value of the product promoted.
Do a little bit of description to hold your skimming readers down and give them a reason to click your affiliate links.
Practice this and watch as your links begin to get more and more clicks.
Thanks for reading. Do give me a lift and share this on social media. I look forward to seeing you on my blog as well.
About the Author
Enstine Muki helps you prosper online at Enstine Muki Dot Com.