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Michelle Cook-Syphers

Why An Internal Linking Strategy Important
SEO is a multifaceted endeavor comprised of many different parts of varying levels of importance. I’m not saying internal linking is the most important part, but it is up there.

Internal linking helps lay the foundation of your SEO efforts. It allows you to indicate to search engines which pages of content are the highest priority, as well as which pages are thematically related to one another. Such signals are incredibly helpful to search engines in ascribing value and meaning to your pages, and if you don’t take the time to manage these signals via strategic internal linking, you’ll be at the mercy of the search engines’ judgment call.

In the limited time that Google spends on my site, the last thing I want is for it to be confused about where I want to be ranked and which pages are high priorities.

External links are those links that link outside of your domain to websites on the internet. Many web designers and content authors are reluctant to use them because they feel that they will harm their site in some way. Unless you are already recognized as the foremost world expert on the topic you're writing about, chances are you got your information from somewhere else. And using external links to provide more information and references is important to show that your site has credible information. And a site with credible information is one that readers will want to come back to for more analysis and information in the future.

Get Link-Happy
Because search engines use links to determine ranking order, links have always been one of the most important elements of SEO. There’s no rule on how many links will help, as each link will have a different value. For example, a link from CNN to your Etsy shop might be worth more than 10 (or 100) small blog links. But all links (big and small) help. 

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Visitors want useful information that is served up quickly in usable, scannable chunks. Don't expect them to scroll down through 3 or 4 screens to find out about your products. Instead, try to fit your entire home page on a single screen.

Be succinct: you're writing for the Web. Visitors have different expectations when they read online than they do when reading printed materials. It's also more tiring to read online, so make it easy for visitors to find the information they want:

Bulleted items: People often scan these first and ignore text in paragraph form, so include your most important points in bullet lists. You can even create custom bullets for more emphasis.

Clearly defined sections: Use color, header tags, or horizontal rules to structure your page into sections.

Columns: These are easier to scan than long lines of text that spread across the whole page.

Short paragraphs: Make your major point early in the paragraph because people often won't read the entire text.
Use these techniques to briefly describe what you're offering and explain why it's valuable. Then provide links so visitors who want more information can go deeper into the site. Your home page is the appetizer that makes visitors hungry for more.

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You only have one opportunity to make a good first impression; and when it comes to your website homepage, you have just a few seconds. When a customer finds your website, they should immediately understand what your business is, and what you can do for them. Think back to a business website you visited, where the homepage layout was disorganized, contact information was hidden, and images seemed to be misplaced. How much time were you willing to spend searching for a phone number, store hours, or product prices? If you are like many consumers, probably less than a few minutes. This all has to do with the quality of the front page of your website.

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Google Trends: Allows you to tap into Google's database of searches, to determine which keywords are most popular. View the volume of search queries over time (since 2004) worldwide or by regions and subregions, by languages, categories, and in Google properties such as news, image, or product search. Compare multiple terms, as well. Offers a list of what is trending now in Hot Searches.

You use Google. Or maybe, just maybe you use Bing. Sometimes one is better. Sometimes the other is prettier. Sometimes it's the other way around. Whatever. The most hilarious, ridiculous difference between the two though? How they auto-complete the Xbox One. Google Instant finds words like terrible, ugly, a joke and so forth. Bing? Just one. Amazing.
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