Link Juice Guide:
One of the biggest, missed opportunities I see in SEO is wasted link juice. SEOs and link builders alike are in relentless pursuit of high value links and the equity and semantic relevance that those coveted links carry. However, the irony is they often overlook vast, untapped reservoirs of concentrated link juice on the very Web properties these SEO link builders control: their own or their client’s sites. So when I visit a site and see page after page of equity-rich pages that haven’t been “milked” of their juice properly, I get a little glum :(.
So if you are sitting on lagoons of link juice, how do you drain these equity reservoirs? That’s pretty easy…with internal anchor links. But you shouldn’t just haplessly go on a link dumping spree. You need to be more strategic about it than that. That’s why I’m sharing my process for draining link equity from existing content. Juice tapping should be part of your internal link strategy (which is critical for ranking, IMO, and waaaaay under-utilized), even more so after the Mayday Update. Anyway, let’s dive in.
Now, I’m a big proponent of grabbing the low hanging fruit in SEO, with some easy link building strategies, before you get all creative and adventurous with high octane inbound link building campaigns and content marketing programs. So when I first start working with a client who has an existing site I’m always looking for high task ROI. One of my first orders of business is to do some content analysis to uncover pools of link equity, which consists of:
(NOTE: there are other fantastic link analysis tools that I use regularly, including Linkscape and SEO SpyGlass (read my review), but those tools cost money and this is more of a low budget SEO post for the masses who may be on a shoestring budget)
You may also want to tally the frequency of text links for terms and note SERP activity (initial ranking and post-link rank flux, etc) and monitor changes to determine how much of an impact link frequency may or may not have in your rank flux.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that just because your target keywords aren’t cited on a particular “link rich” page doesn’t mean you can’t tactfully “insert” those terms in the content. Now, I’m not advocating you crowbar keywords in like a spammy teamster. But I am saying that, more often than not, you can find homes for all your target keywords on link rich pages and still keep the content coherent and natural sounding. But keep in mind, that the more internal text links you add to a page, the more the link equity you’re draining gets diluted.
Okay, so enough blah, blah, blahing. Let’s move away from the rhetoric and into concrete examples, ie equity tapping in action. Here’s the site of a prospective client who called me a few months back about SEO services, but decided not to hire me. Why didn’t she hire me? Well, could be my rates are too high, or it could be she’s really not that interested in dominating the SERPs after all. Probably the later. Some folks just don’t like the spotlight. 😉
Anyway, the woman’s site is beantownbride.com. She is a local Boston wedding planner, a wedding photographer and an active blogger, who wanted to rank on a bunch of keywords, one being “Boston wedding.” Because she blogs regularly, her site attracts links and link equity (a good thing for SEO). Now, when I was drafting my proposal, I conducted a site analysis to see if opportunities existed to drain equity from existing pages. A Google site search for site:beantownbride.com intext:”boston wedding” turned up 134 results.
This particular page (beantownbride.com/2010/01/capturing-the-proposal.html), for example, was intriguing because it:
So, had she hired me, one of my first orders of business would have been to establish relevance for this term with internal linking across her site and more importantly drain pools of link juice from her most linked pages.
She also has an “About Us” page (an often underused link juice resource…more on that in the next section) which has 12 inbound links and a TBPR 2. Trouble is, it’s littered with a list of contributing writers, their bios and more than 50 outbound links, all stealing valuable equity that she could be pushing to internal pages on her website. If hired, I probably would’ve created a sub page for all the writers, moved off all their bios and links and then dropped in internal links to pages I want to rank to harness the existing equity.
Anyway, these are just a few examples on one small site, but hopefully you get the picture.
Blog posts, informational articles, promotional Web copy, etc are the most obvious places to hunt for pools of untapped link equity, but there are some fantastic opportunities on almost every website that go completely unnoticed and untapped. What kind of pages am I talking about?
Administrative pages are typically a gold mine of link equity because they:
Those administrative pages can consist of:
Even more examples of places to tap for link juice:
And now for the most obvious, plain as day, right under your nose, no-duh, highest ROI page on your website to find (and drain) link juice from:
Okay, so there you have it. Heed my advice and don’t let your hard won link equity waste away. Seriously, by not draining pages that are brimming with link juice on your site and leaking it to pages you want to rank, you’re just making your job as an SEO harder. To me, this is a no brainer and something every SEO should make a priority.
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