If you are looking for ways to add extra monetization to your WordPress blog without being too intrusive, then linking certain words or phrases to affiliate links is a perfect way to achieve this. An example of this, is on my Photographic Blog, I have used the free SEO Smart Links plugin to link all the instances of "Photoshop" through my affiliate link and to the Adobe Photoshop page - this is perfect as I dont have to remember to add the link each time Photoshop is mentioned, the user gets a meaningfull link to what I'm talking about and if they should purchase it, I get paid my commission.
The SEO Smart links plugin is brilliant, you can use the free version for affiliate links as I mentioned, or you can use it to link phrases or words to posts on your own blog. This kind of internal linking on your own site is great for search engine results - you can use the plugin to create relevent deep-links to your old posts for search engine bots and humans to follow.
There is also a premium version of the plugin which has loads more extra features. In this guide, I will show you how to install and setup the free version.
Install the Plugin
The plugin is free so go and download it from WordPress, Visit “Plugins” > “Add New” > “Upload” and upload the plugin zip file.
Activate the plugin and you will see it adds a new menu to your admin area , under “Settings” called “SEO Smart Links” – this is where you will do all the configuration of the plugin.
Configure The Plugin Settings
If you click the new "SEO Smart Links" menu item you will see all the settings are together on this page. The first part of the settings is to tell the plugin to auto-link pages, posts or comments. It's not recommended to link comments as this can slow down your site performance. You can also prevent it linking heading tags ( H1, H2 etc ).
Next up, you can choose to let the plugin only work on single posts and pages ( and ignore the homepage and archives ) you can also list specific pages and posts to ignore and specific keywords to ignore.
Configure The Custom Keywords
The final part of the plugin settings is where you can define the custom keyword and choose where to link them to. This is where you would define your affiliate links ( and any internal/external links ). You enter your keywords into the box and then after put the url for them to link to. You can put as many keywords as you like and separate them with commas. Here's the example where I setup keywords to point to my Photoshop affiliate link :
You can then define limits for links in each post - ie set a maximum of 3 links per post etc. Hit save and then remember to clear your cache if you are using a cache plugin and go check some posts to make sure your keywords are linked up.
Internal linking is an essential part of SEO these days and this plugin makes that so much easier by automating the process. Add in the ability to earn extra money from unobtrusive text links and I think this plugin is a winner. I am interested to see how it does on my blog and would like to check out the premium version and see if the extra features are worth paying for.