Once you’ve got content you need to tie it together to the rest of your content, and to other content out in the world.
There are two types of linking Internal and External.
Internal linking is the act of linking your content to other relevant things on your site with two intentions
To keep the viewer engaged, show them other things they might like to see and keep them on your site longer. The longer they are there the more trust you’re building and the greater chance of them contacting you and even booking. Keeping viewers engaged is also key to showing Google your site is quality – which in turn will result in higher rankings.
To boost the visibility of your other content to search engines – Search engines crawl through your site, they follow any links they find and will go off and look at that content too. The more they look at your site, the better your relationships with the search engines will be and the quicker new content will be picked up and potentially listed in the results.
– say you’re posting a wedding at Some Place and you’ve done 3 other weddings at some place, now you’ve not used the keywords ‘Some Place Wedding’ in the others to avoid Keyword Cannibalization, but you still want the viewer to take a look – because its relevant to their journey through your site and may convince them that you are the photographer for them.
By mentioning and linking to these posts – or having some kind of ‘related posts’ section, you’re likely to direct the viewer to those also – easy win!
There is also a google benefit to linking – each page passes ‘juice’ to everything it links to, think of this as a vote of confidence in the content. So linking out to your key pages, pages that you really want people to land on, is only going to benefit them.
nb. There is currently a lot of discussion in the SEO world about how links within content (ie – not the links in your navigation, or footer) actually pass more benefit onto the pages they link to.
When linking, think about the text you use to link – this is known as the anchor text.
Essentially, you want your link text to fit into your content naturally, and if possible mention a keyword pertaining to that page. But keyword inclusion isn’t always possible and can start to get spammy quickly, a link that just says ‘look at that here’ is still going to work for you.
TLDR Link to your other content, its useful to the viewer and gives SEO benefits to the pages you link to.
Throwing links out to industry chums is great, say you worked with an amazing team on a wedding – it’s natural you want to highlight how good they are – I love doing this on my posts!
I tend to include a section in my blog posts giving a shout out to the other vendors that made a wedding happen. Florists, caterers, venues, DJs whoever they are, they usually have a website and it’s awesome to send people their way.
But, there is a caveat and it’s probably going to be controversial – I believe you are judged by the company you keep – and the links you pass out to people.
Links are valuable. Be mindful of this when linking out to external sites.
Over the years I’ve had to clean up old links in blog posts to businesses that have moved their sites, no longer exist, or have changed their market niche. Lots of venues have gone out of business, lots of makeup artists, bands and DJs have either gone out of business or just given up weddings.
One example from a while back, I’d linked to another wedding business (I think around 10 years ago.) Sadly they went out of business and some unscrupulous person purchased their domain name and used it for malicious intent. Fortunately, I picked up on this within a couple of days of the ‘switch’ otherwise, by linking to their site would certainly have had a negative effect on my own.
Too many links out to low quality sites, sites that don’t work anymore (this is known as a 404) or sites in different niches can start to hurt your rankings.
You can use tools such as Screaming Frog to keep a track of your old posts, or hire someone to do an outgoing link audit – and see if any of the old links you’ve given out no longer work, then either remove or redirect them somewhere appropriate.
TLDR The quality of the sites you link to also reflects on you.
If you have access to AHREFs, you can gauge a site’s quality and authority easily. There are other tools that enable this too, MOZ, SEMRUSH for example. You can also google ‘Domain Authority Checker’ and find some tools.
But AHREFs is my favourite and uses two key metrics in assigning a quality to a website DR or Domain Rating and UR or URL Rating. These metrics essentially rate how ‘good’ a website is.
If you’re working with an amazing person, but their site is a mess/being developed/out of date – you may want to link to their facebook page or other social media – Facebook is one of the top authority sites in the world and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. That way you can still share the love with a great person, but you’re not exposing your site to anything further down the line.
Now I’m not saying don’t link to people if you don’t like their site, or their site isn’t authoritative in the eyes of google – just be mindful of it.
Promoting your content.
Slightly off topic, but I take a holistic approach to marketing and SEO.
So often I see people posting lovely long blog posts with the most incredible photos. Text that’s gushing over the other amazing vendors and linking out to them – but often they haven’t shared that post with the person.
They assume that linking to them will somehow notify the person of the post, in some cases this is true, but more often than not the person never sees it.
Email them, Send them a message on Facebook, Tag them on Instagram – whatever! Make sure they see that you’re saying nice stuff about them and sharing pictures of weddings they were involved in.
I’ve made so many amazing connections from sharing the posts with the other suppliers, often they are as excited to see the pictures as the bride and groom. I’ve ended up with heaps of referrals and have even photographed the weddings of makeup artists with whom I’ve shared images. I’ve had the chance to collaborate with bands who I’ve sent images to. I’ve been invited along to events at venues because they loved images I sent them.
Good things come from sharing.
Often the other vendors will want to share the images with their audience (everyone is looking for social content these days!)
Sometimes they want to use the images on their websites which can bring in links back to you. I’ll get onto this later, but the bottom line – links back to you are good.
Even if they don’t want to use the images or don’t link back to you – sometimes, just sharing stuff is nice! You’ve poured your heart into these set of images, let people see them!