Glossary | 3 mins
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Contextual links are links that appear within a piece of content with a focus on related topics and ideas that serve to contextualise the link.
If, for example, you’re trying to improve the rankings for a page that lists the features of a piece of sales software, and you create a link from a piece of content that has a section on the benefits of using a tool with these capabilities, this would be classified as a contextual link.
Contextual link building can be a hugely powerful SEO tactic, as it places a lot of emphasis on topical relevance, and helps to showcase the reliability and authority of the target website.
Contextual backlinks are also highly sought after because they can be a powerful source of qualified traffic by virtue of their strong topical relevance. And, even if they don’t bring in masses of traffic, building contextual links in high volumes can help to enhance your brand awareness and trustworthiness, by having mentions of your brand appear on well respected publications.
How SEOs Build Contextual Links
Like any other link building strategy, one of the most effective methods of attracting contextual links is creating high quality content that’s worth linking to. Contextual links generate the most value when they’re pointing to something designed to provide tangible value to a specific audience, and which content creators will feel confident about linking to.
Aside from improving your chances of passive link generation over time, this will also help to ensure that more of your backlinks demonstrate strong topical relevance, an increasingly important factor in the way that Google determines the authority and quality of a linked to site.
Ultimate guides, thought leadership articles, original case studies, and infographics can all be examples of highly linkable assets, and a long term generators of valuable contextual links.
Guest posting is another widely used method for building contextual backlinks, and will usually be a central pillar for a typical contextual link building strategy. Though this will require more effort than passively growing links through publishing high quality content on your own site, it offers a higher degree of control over the referring domains that link to you, and the context in which you frame your links.
Contextual Link FAQs
What are contextual backlinks?
Contextual backlinks are backlinks that appear within a piece of content where the surrounding text or assets serve to contextualise a link.
What are the benefits of contextual linking?
The main benefit of contextual linking is the strong emphasis it places on topical relevance in the relationship between links, their referring pages, and target pages. Topical relevance is an increasingly important factor in how search engines weigh up the value of links, and prioritising it can go a long way towards increasing a target site’s authority, and in turn, its rankings. Because of its emphasis on close topical relationships, contextual linking can also be a good source of high intent traffic from referring pages that appeal to the target site’s target market.
Questions to ask your link builder