What Are Cross-Links?
Cross-links are the links between posts within a blog or links between pages on a website. If you want an example of a really successful site that uses cross-linking, think Amazon. You look at one book, and they suggest others with links. Many blog themes have cross-links built in based on the category you place the post in.
Cross-linking helps the search engines decide how relevant a web page is to a particular topic. You want to stay focused on the topic or related material you are writing about when cross-linking. For instance, this post is about SEO and cross-links, so I wouldn’t want to put a cross-link to a post about Twitter. This would not benefit this post in the search engine “crawl”.
Use Anchor Text
When you want to link one article or post to another, you will want to use anchor text. Anchor text is a feature many bloggers often don’t take full advantage of when creating cross-links. What you don’t want to put is “click here” or “more” as your anchor text. Your anchor text should be the major keyword or key phrase you are using throughout your post. If you don’t have any other posts or articles with those keywords or phrases, they should at least be the same subject or topic as your post. As you will notice, this post has several anchor text cross-links that all relate to SEO. I had not written about cross-links before, but I have written about SEO.
I’ve created a short video that shows you exactly how to create an anchor text link using WordPress.
Now keep in mind, cross-links are great for websites and blogs, but you don’t want to go too deep. Search engines like the sites to be relatively shallow and wide. If your pages have too many sub-sub-sub categories or broken links the search engines won’t find your content no matter how great it is.
Be on the look-out for other sites with great examples of cross-links. Do you use cross-links? Do you use anchor text? How have you incorporated this into your social media strategy? I’d love to to know!