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Video 17: Insurance Website. So what exactly is a link, anyway?

February 22nd, 2011Posted by akassover in Insurance Agent Websites, Links, Technology, Videos

We’ve got a little lesson in HTML today, focusing on links. In case you want to take a closer look at the HTML, here’s a copy of the sample link page I was showing in the video:

Link Structure:

Anchor Text

Note that the url can be:

  • Relative to the current page, like “/newpage.html”
  • Absolute, with the complete url like “http://www.domain.com/newpage.html”.

**Text Link With Title:**** **AgentMethods

AgentMethods

**Link Targetting New Window:**** **AgentMethods in a new window

AgentMethods in a new window

Nofollow link: Nofollow Link

Nofollow Link

Image Link (with alt text):

AgentMethods Logo

”AgentMethods

Transcript:

Hi, it’s Aaron Kassover from AgentMethods talking again about insurance agent websites.  We talk a lot about link building and anchor text and things to do with links when we’re talking about SEO and also managing websites, in general.  So I thought today, I’d just sort of take a step back, go back to the basics, and really look at what is a link, what are the components of a link, how are they structured, how are they built, and to see if you can get a good understanding of the sort of technical components of a link, so that when you’re doing link building and you are putting links on your site, you really understand exactly how they work and what you’re doing.

I created a page on my site; it’s just sort of a demo page of different types of links.  Let’s just go through this page.  The very first thing I show you is just the general link structure.  This is really just what the HTML link looks like in its most basic form.  Now HTML takes the text of your page and it wraps it in these tags that have these open and closed brackets around it.  For a link, we have a tag that begins with to tell us that the link ends.

** Anchor Text **

So this is just really the most basic form of what a link is made up of.  Just a note, the URL can be relative to the current page, so sort of think about this as direction starting from where you’re at, or it can be absolute which is the complete URL including the schema, the back slashes, the host name, , and the path and the file name.  So links can be either way.  If it’s relative to the current page, if the page moves, the link has to be changed or it will break.

Now, the next thing you can do with a link is you can add a title to the link.  So here’s an example of a text link with the title in it.  If you hover over a link with a title, like I’ll do that, you’ll see the text will appear next to your browser cursor.  So I have this title “Insurance Websites By AgentMethods” and this is a link to AgentMethods.  If you look at the HTML, you’ll just see that in the link tag, we’ve added this title = Insurance Websites By.AgentMethods, and this is what you’ll see when you hover over.

** <a title=”Insurance Websites By AgentMethods” **

There are two things that are cool about this, one is that if somebody is sort of browsing and wants to see a little bit more about what this links includes, they can hover to get that detail, but the second is that these titles are a great place for you to put some descriptive keywords about the link.  They do get read by search engines, they do get indexed, and so the chance for you to get some more keywords into your link and just really make it more of a rich optimized link to your site or to another page ‑ really cool.

The next thing you can do is you can target a new window with a link.  Here’s the same link to AgentMethods, but now when I click on it, it’s going to open in a new window.  To do this, it’s really simple.  You just add a target equals and then quotes and underscore blank and that just tells the browser to open up this page in a new window.

** target=”_blank”>AgentMethods in a new window **

Now, the third thing we’ll talk about and you’ll see are these things called nofollow links.  A nofollow link just adds this REL equals and then in quotes nofollow to the link tag.  What that tells search engines specifically is that this link on this page is something they shouldn’t follow or don’t really count this link in your index.

*** Nofollow Link ***

Now, there’s one more thing about links which is that they don’t have to be text.  You can put other things in links.  You can put files; you can put images and so here’s an example of an image that is a link.  If we click on this image it’s going to take us to the AgentMethods page.  The way that we do this is in the link just rather than wrapping the ahref around a piece of text, we just wrap it around the image tag.  You can see here, we have this image of the AgentMethods logo right here.

** ”AgentMethods **

So you can see that text links for titles, targeting a new window, and nofollow links those are three of the main things you’ll see with links, and then linking to images.  If you are building your site on AgentMethods, I’ll show you just really quickly how you can go and you can create links and you can change them.

Let’s just say we want to make a link from this page to our Mission Statement Page.  The first thing I want to do is I want to just grab the link of the URL of this Mission Statement Page, so I’m going to right-click; I’m going to copy link location.  Then I’m going to go over to AgentMethods, I’m going to open up this link demo page and I’m going to put in the text on it for the link to go to.  So we’ll say “Mission Statement Page.”  That’s the text I want to link.  And now I will go and I’m going to select this text and click on the link icon here and it opens up the Add New Link dialogue.  The first thing that it asks for is the URL — and remember URLs can be absolute or relative — we’ll go ahead and put in the absolute URL which will begin with HTTP.  Next, it asks if I want to set a target and this is where I can do things like tell it to open in a new window.  Finally, the title, which is a chance for us to get those keywords in the link, and so we’ll put “Mission Statement Page.”  Now I’ll go ahead and just click on insert.  That’s going to make this text to link.  I’ll save it.  And we’ll go back and review my page and we’ll see that link at the top.  So I’m refreshing the page.  Now, here we have the Mission Statement page.  If we hover over it, we get that title “Missions Statement Page,” and if I click through, it takes me to the page.

So you can see that’s really simple.  Took just a couple of seconds to add a link; really easy to do.  Keep in mind the titles; make sure that your links have titles where appropriate.  It’s a great chance to sneak in a couple of extra keywords.  Think about nofollow, if there are pages you don’t want to follow for some reason, you can add that.  And, of course, opening up pages in new windows; this is great if you’re linking out to other pages on your site or other pages on other sites like partners or other resources and you want to make sure your site stays open in the background.

Hope this helps you understand links a little more and that’s it for today.  We will have more tomorrow.  Talk to you soon.  Thank you.