Internal links and calls-to-action are two things that sometimes go ignored by businesses and blogs. In the below video, I go over my favorite places for including CTAs and internal links throughout the content I write.
Here are the topics we cover in this week’s video:
- To related blog posts
- To service pages
- To authors of content
- End of every piece of content
- CTA boxes in the middle of content
- Plugins like OptinMonster or Sumo
Here is the transcript for the entire video:
The first thing I want to cover is internal linking. There are quite a few places throughout your content that it’s good to have internal links. The first thing is to related blog posts. If you have a lot of good content on your blog or even a knowledge center with articles, it’s always good to think of places throughout your article, at least once or twice depending on how long the article is, that is linking to those internal resources.
You want to make sure that they’re related and that it makes sense. Don’t just create a link just to create a link. You want to make sure that it’s actually useful and giving the user more information.
One thing that you don’t want to do, and I saw this a lot when I was the editor at Search Engine Journal, is to cite yourself as proof for what you’re saying unless it’s exclusive data.
For instance, if I took the position that PPC isn’t helpful to marketers, and then I linked to an article I wrote that was an opinion column on someone else’s blog with the same stance, that’s not really a good way to do internal links. The only way that it would really be good to cite yourself is if you have exclusive data to back it up.
At Search Engine Journal, for example, we did a study on if native video on Facebook performs better than YouTube links. If I was writing an article on SEJ about that, then it would make sense to link to the data because we actually did the research.
When it comes to internal links, you want to make sure that it’s not just to cite yourself as an expert and it’s also going to give users more information. For instance, if I mentioned remarketing in an article about Facebook ads, then I would link to an article that talked about remarketing in more detail. That’s what you want to do.
You want to provide the link as a resource for the user if they want to learn more about a specific topic. You don’t want to think of it as, “Oh, I need to include two links to my blog. Here is what I’m going to include.” You want to make sure that it’s actually something they’re going to learn from. That’s my rant on internal linking to your own content.
Other good types of internal links are to service pages so of course, if I’m in my blog and I mention SEO audits, I need to link to my SEO Audit planning page. If I’m talking about live streaming, I need to link to my live streaming course. If you guys do want to take my course on live streaming, I launched that last year. It makes sense for me to link to my service pages when I mention a service that I offer in my content.
You usually just want to include it once, if that makes sense. If I mention live streaming three times during an article, I wouldn’t link to the course every time. Once is enough and it’s usually the first time it’s mentioned. That’s just kind of a best practice I’ve found in terms of online content writing.
Another place that you could do internal linking is to promote your employees that are actually writing the blogs. For instance, linking to the offer page of one of your employees that wrote that blog post. That makes sense because that’s setting him up as a thought expert.
A user could say, “Well, who wrote this?” They go to the blog and see the author page and see, “Oh, so-and-so has written five other articles on live streaming. Wow, I should really be paying attention to what they’re saying.” That’s always another good place to add internal links as well is promoting your own employees’ thought leadership or the expert that’s writing the article and advocating for them.
Another thing that I want to talk about in terms of linking is calls to action. I see this on a lot of clients’ content. They’ll have really great content but they won’t have any call to action. If you’re writing calls to action for your website and your content but you’re not really including it in every piece of content, you’re missing an opportunity there.
Every blog post you write should ideally have a call to action. This is something I know I personally need to get better at and that it’s something that I’m telling you to do and I tell my clients to do, but I know it’s easy to get out of the habit of that. Even if it’s at the end and say “Are you interested in us providing live streaming strategy for you? Contact us and link to the contact form.”
I know there are some plug-ins on Words Plus where you can embed contact forms, little ones, directly into a blog post or landing page and that’s always cool, too, if it’s not overkilled and only done sporadically. You do also want to make sure that you’re not using the same call to action on every single page.
For instance, I’m not saying, “Learn more about our free SEO audits and content marketing services. Contact us today.” I don’t have something like that on every piece of content. It always varies and it needs to apply to that content specifically. If it was about SEO audits, I wouldn’t randomly mention social media because it’s not related really. You want to make sure that your call to action is specific to the piece of content.
You also want to make sure to include call to actions to content besides blog posts. If you have case studies or pdf eBooks, those are all places where you can have call to actions. Email marketing, I’ve seen a lot of newsletters, surprisingly, that they will link to things that are happening in their company or blog posts they’ve written but they won’t have a call to action that’s service related.
The whole reason why you’re creating content is to get business so you want to make sure that you are actually driving users to get that business through a call to action. In addition to having it at the end of content, you also can have it in the middle. There are plugins on Word Plus that are just design elements where you can have call to action buttons in the middle of content to just kind of break it up.
Having a border box that draws attention to that that’s optimized for different screens automatically and dynamically is always a good idea as well. That just breaks up the content like an image does in long form content.
You can also have more CTAs on your site with plugins if you’re on a Word Plus site like Opt-in Monster or Sumo. There’s a lot of cool ones. Those ones can be just for new users coming in, maybe as they scroll to the bottom of their page, as they’re about to leave a page, have it pop up.
You just want to make sure that it’s not flagging Google’s interstitial rules so they want to make sure that any popups you have aren’t disrupting the user experience. If you have popups that make it hard for users to read your content, then that’s not useful or helpful to the user and Google looks down on that. You want to make sure that any popups you have, which are called interstitials, are actually useful, that have content and are driving the calls to action.
Yeah, those are my main tips on internal linking and calls to action today. I want to thank everyone for joining me and a recap of this post, or video, as always will be on our website at SixStories.com/marketing-blog and in the meantime, you can also follow us on social media: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook at Six Stories, LLC or I’m also on most social media at @wonderwall7. Thank you all for joining me today and until next week!