What Is Crosslinking?

Crosslinks are a much more advanced and newer way of using a link that have become a staple for users handling more than one website at any given time. 

Crosslinking works in a similar way but also slightly different, it functions to directly link two separate websites that are focused on similar topics, making it far easier to manage multiple sites at once which are closely related and being used for the same purpose.

What Is Crosslinking?

Crosslinking can seem complicated but in fact, most websites make the feature incredibly easy to apply into the programme to make site management much easier and therefore, it can be well worth learning what it is, and how you can start using crosslinks.

How Does A Crosslink Work?

The direct function of a crosslink is to increase the number of inbound links to a page which in turn helps a site generate more traffic and rank higher for specific keyword phrases.

Crosslinks are now commonly being used to promote similar products on other managed sites that can guide huge amounts of traffic that way. 

Websites programmed with database driven crosslinks have proven to improve user status including the number of visits to a site and how long people usually stay. 

Essentially all modern websites are programmed so that the crosslinks can be applied easily with a single click, however if the page is deleted, then the crosslink is deleted along with it. 

While a crosslink can pop up as a simple alphabetical list of links, it can also be more robust and can even include an image. They will appear either in a sidebar, across the page or in a tab.

Crosslinks not only encourage much more traffic to be directed towards relevant sites, it also makes user management and keeping track of multiple websites at once far easier. 

Do keep in mind that Google will pick up and penalize users who use cross linking in a way that it shouldn’t.

This is primarily the case if you create a ‘cross linking ring’ where website A leads to website B which leads to C, and then D and so on.

Cross linking rings violate Google’s webmaster guidelines and therefore while crosslinks are useful, they are best kept to a fair minimum.

How To Use A Crosslink?

Here is the easiest way to set up and start using a crosslink to create a bridge between two different sites. 

Step 1 – Choose A Relevant Website 

First, you will need to choose a relevant website that you want to link one site towards.

It’s important that the site is at least somewhat topically related as if they are not, it can confuse visitors who may end up on a website that is informing them about something completely different.

Step 2 – Open Page Editor

Next, return to your original site and open the page editor. You can do this by hovering the mouse over the object and clicking ‘inspect’ from the context menu and the developer tools will open in the lower half of the screen. 

Step 3 – Choose Appropriate Keywords

Now you will want to choose the right keywords that can be included in the anchor text that will have the link.

You should always pick the keywords and phrases that the page has already been optimized for so that the visitor knows that they are being linked to.

Choosing the right keywords will also massively help people find the site through Google as it will pick up on the terms. 

Step 4 – Insert Crosslink 

Highlight the keywords and either right click and press ‘Insert link’ or find the insert tab within the page editing tools while the word is highlighted.

You will be asked to enter a URL and title, paste the URL of the other site into this section and make sure to click the box ‘Open link in a new window/tab’ if it pops up.

Step 5 – Save Changes

Make sure to save your edits and the words will now be crosslinked. When clicking on the phrase  it will now take you to the linked site and vice versa.

Best Ways To Use Crosslinks

Crosslinking is luckily quite easy to do, but there are a few pointers to make it as effective as can be.

First off, it is crucial to use keyword rich texts rather than simply ‘click here’ as this will appear more unappealing.

You also want to make sure that you don’t go overboard with crosslinks, while it is an extremely useful tool for bringing attention to a secondary site, its usage is usually best when used no more than 6 or 7 times for a larger website.

It can also be a great idea, rather than sprinkling crosslinks throughout the website itself, you can bunch the keywords together in a footer or sidebar with a few cross links.

This way, visitors to the site can be directed straight to the affiliated site that contains the relevant information they are looking for.

Finally, try and make sure both sites you are linking have a different IP address.

If the search engines pick up on the fact that both sites have the same IP address then you can potentially face a penalisation so it is worth changing the IP address as it will also improve the quality of your cross links within the search engines in general. 

Summary

While crosslinks are a much more hidden feature that can be used on all modern websites, it is incredibly worth using to sustain multiple websites at once and encourage traffic in different directions from the original site.

Just make sure to always stay within the Google guidelines and only use it sparingly rather than creating a long chain of crosslinks, and always pay particular attention to the keywords and ensure to crosslink between sites that are of a similar topic or relevancy otherwise this can disappoint visitors and even worse, drive them away from the sites entirely.

Justin Shaw
Latest posts by Justin Shaw (see all)