This on-going controversy has been gumming up the SEO works for years. We had some definitive answers when Google stated that 100 per page was plenty although it's been proven that over 100 links per page or post are not penalized. Clearly, no amount of links on a page has necessarily been penalized but we also don't want a directory of links when we go to a site.
Links have to DO something. They shouldn't just be there for the sake of having a link, either internally or externally or because your Yoast Plug-in told you that you need more links. A link serves several purposes... think of the page in general, what's is it there for? To educate? To get a lead? To inform? To announce? Then the links should add to it. They should be the salt to add more flavor to the dish as a whole.
I'm going to assume you all know how to add in a link, right? Wordpress, Real Geeks, Sierra, AR, etc... they almost all allow for links in the content, I mean that's really the point, right? To get people to view as many pages as possible, lower your bounce rate and choose YOU as their provider. So how can you add just enough salt without making the page look like someone went crazy with the blue hyperlink tool?
Links have to be relevant.
Any and all links should lead the reader to more information. If it works for the post, use it, if not, leave it out. Google is pretty big on realizing what is related and what's not, which is why they cracked down on all those casino and porn links in non-related content years ago. The link has to bring something to the table. For instance, if I created a landing page for someone looking for a bankruptcy lawyer, I'd probably add in some information links that the reader could benefit from such as Protecting Bank Accounts When Filing for Bankruptcy.
Links should direct people to YOU
Links should lead a reader from one place to another and it should make sense. Have a call to action in every screenshot of the website so people don't have to scroll too far to contact you. If people are hunting for something too hard, they use too many brain calories and get fatigued quickly. Never let them be too far from a CTA.
Links should connect pages and content
Don't just drop a link to a page with no links. Keep the links flowing from one place to another and provide information for someone on each page. Let them go down that rabbit hole of information leading from one great page to another, all the while offering them a call to action in case they're ready to buy. On a page talking about Golf Homes in Florida, I'm going to link to these two pages (WITH APPROPRIATE TITLES) - Pro and Cons to Owning a Golf Home and Should We Buy a New or Used Golf Home?
Internal and external
Use internal links to keep people on your site, opening links in the same window or tab. Have external links open in new windows so your site still stays on the scene. External links and TOTALLY FINE and should be used when appropriate. Perhaps you want to link to fellow agents or business associates that have relevant content but are not in direct competition with you. Maybe you want to cite a reference or lead people to an application page. Whatever it is, you can use it if it's appropriate.
What what's the general consensus?
Use links whenever you can without bogging down the reader. IF every other sentence has 2-3 links, that's a bit much. Remember, menu links, footers, listings, images, all can be links and add to that general 100 link count so that doesn't mean you need 100 links in the content alone UNLESS you've written 10,000 words, then 100 might be appropriate.
My rule of thumb and one I've seen on many high ranking blogs is throw in a related post about every paragraph or three. Make a list of related content at the bottom, and give a few CTA's along the way depending on how long the post or page is.
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