What are jump links?
Jump links (also known as anchor links or a bookmark links and sometimes hash links) are hyperlinks on a web page, which when clicked allow the user to jump to a specific point of a page. The specified point of the target page is called a Bookmark or Internal Anchor. So basically a jump link jumps you directly to a bookmark on a webpage (rather than just opening the webpage).
How bookmarks and jump links are helpful in a wordpress blog?
Bookmarks are great for organizing the content of a really long wordpress post. Long articles are good for SEO. And because you do not want to scare away your readers your blog post should contain sub-headings or sections or topics.
But why stop here? You can go ahead and create a bookmark for all your important sections. And then you can use jump links to point directly to those sections whenever needed. This can be helpful in several ways.
- You can link directly to a section of a long article having several sections rather than linking to the whole article. In fact a link to the whole article may confuse your reader and will leave him on his own to find the section of reference.
- You can create a table of contents which not only lists all the topics covered in a long article but also takes your reader directly to any of those topics when clicked. Another jump link then takes him back to the table of contents after reading is finished. All of this without scrolling down or scrolling up relentlessly. Best example of this practice is Wikipedia.
- You can make a list of references or definitions at the bottom of the post and a jump link will take the reader directly to the particular reference or definition in no time. Another one takes him back to the point of reading (where the reference was used). Again, the best example of this practice is Wikipedia.
Are jump links and bookmarks good for SEO?
Definitely yes! Anything which enhances your reader’s experience is good for SEO. You can not always link to a full length article as its content may be too broad for the context. But, a precise subtopic of that long post can be always be linked to. Hence ability to link to just a precise subtopic can increase the number of internal links you have.
In fact, google includes jump links in its rich snippets for prominent websites just like regular sitelinks. It also treats the anchor text used for such jump links just like a regular anchor text of an internal link.
The increased ability to be linked will also attract more external backlinks. In fact a well organized post with a handy table of contents is more likely to attract social bookmarking and backlinks acting as a link bait.
How to create a jump link?
It is much more simpler than you think. You only need to know some most basic HTML (or just follow a simple format)
Firstly, you need to define an anchor (bookmark). It can be done in any of three ways. Just enter the text editing mode of your post editor and use any one of these three codes of your choice.
<h2 id="chapter1">Chapter One: Introduction</h2>
<h2><a id="chapter1">Chapter One: Introduction</a></h2>
<h2><a name="chapter1">Chapter One: Introduction</a></h2>
Remember that <h2> tag here makes your text a sub heading (second level). You can use h3, h4, h5, h6 or h7 if appropriate. You can even not use <h2> tag and just use <a> tag. An <a> tag will be more usable instead of <h2> tags when you are creating a tiny link to jump back to the top of the page.
Now you are ready to link to this bookmark/anchor. All you need to do this is a URL.
If you are linking from the same page you will need to use #nameofthebookmark as the URL. Do not worry about the fact that this does not look like a proper URL. The full code will be like
<a href="#chapter1">Go To The Introduction Section</a>
However, if you are linking from other pages or external website you will need full url or that page and add #nameofthebookmark for example full code will be like this:
<a href="http://www.abc.com/xyz.html#chapter1">Go To Introduction</a>
Thats it, you have mastered jumplinks. But the actual job will be to carefully select sections of the page to make them bookmarks, make bookmarks of them and link to them. To go back to the table of contents you need the anchor the text “Table of Contents” at the beginning of the post in a similar way and then create a link to it and copy paste it right after end of each section. Link text for these links may be “Go to top”.
Try this simple example.