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Optimising Your Links: The Importance of Using the Correct rel Attribute for LGBTQ+ Organisations

SEO best practices

In this blog post, we will dive into the essential, yet often overlooked, aspect of web design and SEO: the correct use of the rel attribute in links. This guide is specially written for webmasters and editors of international LGBTQ organisations, helping you ensure that your website not only serves your audience better but also adheres to the best SEO practices. Let’s make your WordPress site shine with optimal link management!

Understanding the rel Attribute

When you link to external websites, specifying the relationship between your site and the link through the rel attribute is crucial. This small piece of code can significantly impact your site’s SEO and user security. Here are six rel attributes every webmaster should know:

  1. rel="nofollow": Use this to tell search engines not to follow a particular link, ideal for advertisements or when you cannot vouch for a page’s content. It helps maintain your site’s credibility without affecting your SEO.
  2. rel="noopener": This security-focused tag prevents the new page from accessing the linking page’s window object. It’s especially vital for links opened in a new tab with target="_blank", safeguarding user data and enhancing performance.
  3. rel="noreferrer": Similar to noopener, this tag also blocks the HTTP referrer header, further enhancing privacy and security for your users. It’s an excellent practice for protecting user data.
  4. rel="sponsored": Google’s way of identifying links created as part of advertisements or sponsorship agreements. Using this tag helps Google understand the nature of your links, maintaining your site’s integrity.
  5. rel="ugc": Short for User Generated Content, this attribute is perfect for links within comments or forum posts. It signals to Google that these links may not have your editorial endorsement, maintaining your site’s SEO health.
  6. rel="external": Indicates a link to a different domain. While not directly impacting SEO, it’s useful for site organization and clarity.

Why It Matters for Your Organization

For LGBTQ+ organisations, your website is a vital tool in advocating for your cause, providing resources, and connecting with your community. Using the correct rel attribute ensures that your site remains secure, credible, and SEO-friendly. It’s a small step that can make a big difference in how search engines and users perceive your site.

Implementing in WordPress

WordPress makes it easy to add rel attributes to your links. When adding a link in the Gutenberg editor, click on the link options to access ‘Link settings.’ Here, you can manually add rel values such as nofollow, noopener, or sponsored. For more advanced users, plugins like Yoast SEO can automate some of these processes, ensuring your links are always optimised.

The link options might not be available in your specific WordPress installation. If you have the most recent WordPress version installed on your website the "noopener" and "noreferrer" are automatically added to all links you add to text and images in the Gutenberg editor.

If in doubt, ask your webmaster or let us help you.

Closing Thoughts

Understanding and implementing the correct rel attributes on your website can significantly contribute to your SEO strategy and online security. It’s an essential, yet straightforward, practice that can help your organisation’s website perform better and more securely. Start reviewing your site’s links today, and make sure they’re working not just for you, but for your audience and mission.

We hope this guide has been helpful. Remember, every detail counts in creating a welcoming, secure, and accessible online space for your community. Happy linking!

This blog post aims to be your go-to resource for enhancing your website’s link strategy. If you’re new to the rel attribute or looking to brush up on best practices, keep this guide handy. Together, let’s build stronger, more connected, and SEO-friendly websites for LGBTQ+ organisations worldwide.