Now usually when bloggers do something that I’m not a fan of, I leave it up to our right to Free Speech and ignore it, because let’s face it: My pet peeves may not be your pet peeves!
But when it comes to bloggers doing things that hurt them, the people they’re linking to, their websites, AND their audience, I crinnnnnge. Now instead of keeping this knowledge all to myself, I’ll go ahead and happily share it with you all because we all need to help each other grow!
So read on for more on linking to text, images, and product images…
(Btw, these tips are SO EASY that if you’re not doing it already, you’ll probably wonder why you hadn’t!)
HERE’S WHAT NOT TO DO:
This is only an example…
(In case you didn’t get what I meant by ^the bold text above^ ::: You SHOULDN’T link to the words “via,” “source,” “one” or “1,” etc.)
HERE’S WHY NOT TO LINK LIKE THAT
Search engine optimization (or SEO) is VERY important to bloggers. If content and design are key, then I’d say SEO is like a map to find that key. Why? Put literally, SEO = how stuff gets found online.
Ever wonder why/how, when you enter a search term on your fave search engine, you get certain results?
It’s not because there’s a database somewhere that someone populated w/EVERY imaginable result that then spews out results to match your specific term. No way!
Instead, one reason results include the specific stuff you want is because other people out there have LINKED to that term on their own sites. This means that if you search for that darling statement necklace from J Crew that you saw a blogger wear, one of your results will be that necklace’s page on the J Crew website. >> Pretty convenient, no?
Another example: Let’s say one of your fave bloggers just updated her site’s design. In her seemingly mandatory “I have a new design!!” post, she’ll likely write:
I love my new design. I have labels, it’s more colorful, and it’s perfect. If you’re looking to revamp your blog, check out XYZdesigns: Here is their website.
Do you know how many “here”s (and for that matter, “via”s, “source”s, “from”s, etc) are online?!!! Dozens of billions. Therefore, do you know what your “here” (though well-intentioned!) did to that designer’s ability to get found online? Nothing. Nada. (She will appear among 8.4-9B search results, though!)
So please do the web a favor and clean up your links!
HERE’S HOW TO LINK PROPERLY
But there are THREE types of links to keep in mind…
These represent what that hypothetical blogger did above–the whole “here” deal. To do these better, simply link TO the title of what you mean to link. Tell readers what “here” stands for!
In other words, do this:
- If you’re looking to revamp your blog, check out XYZdesigns. (Link to: XYZdesigns’s website.)
- I recently rediscovered Destiny’s Child’s Survivor CD. (Link to: The CD’s Amazon page or the group’s website.)
- There was a shooting in Kenya, the XYZ Tribune reports. (Link to: the story title on that media outlet.)
- We enjoy reading the Fifty Shades series. (Link to: The books’ Amazon page or the author’s website.)
As you can tell, linking to text means you need to be as exact and brief as possible, so always link to whatever phrase you think OTHERS–not you–might look for.
Bloggers, listen up! PLEASE cite the sources of your images and do it right!
Here’s how to link to ^that gem^ in your caption: Simply state something like “via Teen.com” and then paste the actual link onto that, like this: “via Teen.com.” (You don’t really need to include the name of the post in your source, btw, unless it relates to what your post’s about.)
DJ Paris (hilarious male blogger) has admirable web manners:
^^ See how he goes all out and not only states not only where he got that image but also where that source found it? That’s like the epitome of citing things (that’s how researchers do it, anyways), but as long as you’re specific and brief as to WHERE you got yours, you’re good to go.
3. PICTURES OF PRODUCTS
Regardless of whether you get paid to post a product’s image, you STILL need to treat that product right!! For example, look at the outfit photo and the source text below that I posted earlier.
Instead of “via,” “1 | 2 | 3,” “source,” or even “from,” tell readers WHERE that stuff comes from! Some readers do this…
… and then link to those item’s product pages!
However, they’re probably 25% right, because if others are looking for “Jeans,” what are the chances others will find THOSE SAME EXACT jeans that blogger “linked” to? What are the chances that blogger’s link even helped that brand a bit? (There’s over 400M search results, so you do the math.)
So what’s the right way to do it? (Disregard these labels’ potential inaccuracy ;).)
Tommy Hilfiger Sweater
Urban Outfitters Scarf
Tory Burch Bag
^See?^ It’s as simple as giving the item a more descriptive name and adding the brand/designer name!
That’s it! Thanks for checking out this post and hope you learned/remembered to do a thing or two ;).
Now tell me: Which tip will YOU hold on to forever? Will you promise me to begin linking to things the right way if you’re not doing so already?