For the first installment of our Essential Plugins for your WordPress Toolbox series, I’d like to introduce you to a plugin that will not only make your life easier, but can also bring more traffic to your site and may even help you make more money!
SEO Smart Links
The concept behind SEO Smart Links (SEOSL) is pretty simple. Every time select words or phrases appear on your site, SEOSL will automatically convert them into text links.
Why would you want to do that?
I’m glad you asked because actually there are a couple VERY good reasons to use this plugin.
One of the most profitable methods of monetizing any website is promoting products that you have an affiliate relationship.
For example, I’m an affiliate of the Thesis theme. For every new customer I send them from this site, I earn a portion of the sale. I promote a product that I believe in, and I get paid for my efforts.
Where SEO Smart Links comes into play is that I can set it up so that the word Thesis is automatically converted into a clickable link with my affiliate code in it for tracking purposes.
While that’s just one example, I can do this for as many different products or words as I’d like.
Another huge benefit of using SEO Smart Links is that it can help your pages rank higher in search engines like Google, which in turn will bring more traffic to your website.
While I don’t have time to explain all the ins & outs of search engine optimization (SEO) in this space, the basic principle is that the more links you have pointing to your web pages, the better they will rank.
For example, by linking to SEObook.com in that last paragraph with the anchor text of SEO, I’m helping that site rank higher when someone searches for that phrase.
So, if you set SEO Smart Links up to link to your home page every time you mentioned one of your site’s targeted phrases, you’ll be boosting your chances of ranking in the search engines for that term.
As with most of the great WordPress plugins, there are a couple of others out there that accomplish the same goal. The most popular plugin competitor for SEO Smart Links would have to be the premium plugin WP Affiliate Pro. While it looks like a solid plugin, it also costs $97. That’s a stark contrast to SEOSL’s price tag of free.
Another similar plugin is Link-a-Dink. While I used to use and recommend Link-a-Dink, SEOSL includes a wide range of options that make the plugin a class above Link-a-Dink.
SEO Smart Links allows you to limit the number of links it automatically generates per page (I recommend 3), the number of links to the same page (I recommend 1), set words to ignore, and more.
Since WordPress revamped the way plugins are installed in version 2.7, installation of most plugins has become incredibly easy. Simply search for SEO Smart Links by name and click the install link.
If for some reason that method doesn’t work for you, just download the plugin, and upload the files to your plugin folder. Then log in, activate the plugin, and tweak the settings as you see fit.
If In Doubt, Try It
If my glowing review of the plugin hasn’t convinced you yet (did I mention I love this plugin?) the nice thing is that it’s completely free. Go ahead and give it a try for a while & if you don’t like it, come back here & let me know.