Back in 2009 Google announced the support of in-snippet links (which is officially called “Jump to Links” by Google) in their SERPs.
The support of Google’s Jumps Links (aka Anchor Links, Page Jump, etc.) in their snippets brings forth the chance of getting higher click-through rates in a multi-intent keyword.
Google shows jump to links in their snippets in case they think the query might have some other intents related to the seed keyword.
It is one of the often-overlooked and relatively untapped on-page SEO tactics that anyone can apply on their site with ease.
But before you hop into the procedure of linking to a specific part of a webpage…
Let’s begin with its definition:
What are Jump Links?
Jump links are a kind of hyperlinks that allow users to skip or jump to a particular location of a webpage. These types of links are created using the # (called hash or pound) symbol followed by numbers and letters by putting it at the end of a URL.
In a Google desktop SERP, it is shown as the following in a snippet:
In a mobile SERP it is shown as the following:
Why Should You Create Jump Links?
Jump links are created for four main purposes:
- When the target keyword is broad or an informational article consists of a step-by-step process.
- For ease of on-page navigation (because the user can jump scroll to the part of the information he/she needs).
- To lower bounce rates (as a consequence it immediately satisfies the searcher’s intent).
- To appear in search results snippets; especially for a multi-topic or multi-intent keyword (this way Google predicts the searchers’ intent).
When Should You Create Jump Links?
The link jump should only be created when a page contains multiple sub-topics to ease on-page navigation to reduce skim time. Hence it doesn’t applicable with short-form contents (narrow topic, fewer sub-headings, less scroll and skim time).
Now, the question comes in…
How to Apply Jump Links on Your Page?
You can apply jump links by making a Table of Contents (ToC) for each and every long-form article you have on your website. You can create a ToC either by using a WordPress plugin (easiest method) or by manually adding some basic HTML codes.
But before you start making Table of Contents for page jumps…
Make sure you are writing relevant and powerful headings to make them appealing in search snippets.
Optimize Headings for Jump to Links
Apart from aiding users in navigation through ToC, the keywords in the sub-headings should semantically reflect the various aspects of a topic.
So make sure you are doing in-depth keyword research and covering every possible aspect of a particular query. In simple terms, you’ve to make your content in-depth enough.
So what type of keywords should you cover in your sub-headings?
To SEO optimize your ToC or Jump Links you should include semantically related words in your sub-headings.
To find them, enter your target keyword (I’ve entered the term “Type 1 Diabetes”) into your favorite keyword research tool.
By taking the term “type 1 diabetes” as an example…
I’ve found the following relevant keywords (commonly known as LSI Keywords) in Ahrefs.
Semantics that are worth to be picked up for this seed keyword:
Genetics and so on.
Now, all you need to do is to write about these related topics in your H2s and thereafter jump link or anchor link to them.
SIDE NOTE: Covering and writing about these relevant topics is a very natural process but I’ve mentioned it here to show you how the Jump to Links SEO works.
After you finish writing your article the fun part begins…
Jump Link to a Page Using a Table of Contents WordPress Plugin
Applying jump to links on a page using a WP plugin is as easy as writing 123. This method is good if you don’t wanna mess your hands with codes to streamline the process.
To build a Table of Contents using a WordPress plugin…
Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
Go to Plugins>Add New.
Search for “easy table of contents”.
Click on “Install”, wait a few seconds and after then, click on “Activate”.
Upon activation, go to Settings>Table of Contents.
To insert ToC to each and every blog post, check the “Posts” box under “Auto Insert” of “General”. If you want this to be displayed on “Pages” then check that box also. With these, also check the box beside “Posts
and “Pages” under “Support”.
You can select the number of the minimum heading in which the ToC is to be displayed. The default is 4, if you want higher then change it under “Show when” from the dropdown menu.
Under “Advanced” settings, you can exclude such headings that you don’t want to display in your table of contents. After making necessary changes, click on “Saves Changes”.
If you don’t want to display ToC in some specific posts, then just open that in the post editor. Scroll down, find the “Table of Contents” section and uncheck the box beside “Disable the automatic insertion of the table of contents”.
Jump Link to a Page Using Custom HTML
If you have a basic understanding of HTML, creating jump links manually will be very easy-peasy.
First, you need to assign a unique ID to each and every sub-heading of your article that you want to provide page jumps.
To do this, change the mode of the editor from visual to text.
Locate the opening tags of the sub-headings that you need to give a jump to link.
Let’s say you want to find H2s, then just press CTRL+F and type <h2> and then your browser will highlight all the H2s.
Insert the “id” attribute with a value (called “Fragment Identifier”) into that opening tag. You can set a value that resonates with the title of the respective heading.
To comprehend take a look at the following example code:
<h2 id=”symptoms”>Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes</h2>
Like I said before in the example, you can name the fragment identifier as “symptoms” for the heading “Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes” or you can even set the “id” value exactly the same as the title of the sub-heading, i.e. “symptoms-of-type-2-diabetes”.
But do keep in mind that you are separating each word using a hyphen (-) or an underscore (_) sign. Also, make sure the characters are limited to alphanumerics (a to z and 0-9) and not including any special characters like %, $, @, etc.
The next step is to make anchor links for page jumps.
To link to a fragment or sub-heading of a page using an anchor tag you’ve to insert the “id” value of the respective sub-heading in the value of “href” attribute followed by the # symbol like the following.
<a href=”#symptoms”>Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms</a>
SIDE NOTE: Do not include the hash (#) symbol while you create “id” values. It is only required in “href” attribute values to point out the page fragment.
Do keep in mind that the actual format of the jump link will be like, “https://example.com/type-2-diabetes#symptoms”… But I’ve mentioned them in the relative format as the link is associated with the same page and the browsers and search engines will automatically append the fragment identifier to the end of the page URL. But still, you can mention the full address if you want… there’s no wrong with it.
SIDE NOTE: Sometimes you might notice a forward slash (/) at the end of a URL before the fragment identifier. You can ignore it as the trailing slash (forward slash) could be added by the webserver depending on the settings they are using.
The easiest way of making a simple Table of Contents without using any CSS codes is by making an ordered or unordered list of sub-headings.
Creating it is very simple…
<ul style=”list-style-type: square;”>
<li><a href=”#heading-1″>Sub-Topic 1</a></li>
<li><a href=”#heading-2″>Sub-Topic 2</a></li>
<li><a href=”#heading-3″>Sub-Topic 3</a></li>
<li><a href=”#heading-4″>Sub-Topic 4</a></li>
Just replace the text after # with your “id” values (fragment identifiers) and the text between opening and closing anchor tag (i.e. Sub-Topic 1, Sub-Topic 2…), replace them with the title of the respective sub-headings.
So… that’s it. This is how you can manually build a ToC without using any plugin.
But where to put your Table of Contents?
The optimal space to put your ToC is right after the introduction of your blog post.
SIDE NOTE: I’ve included a small CSS code to change the list item marker to the square. You can change this value as per your need or completely remove this to put this to the default list item marker.
PRO TIP: Try to write the anchor text of the jump to links or sub-headings up to 26 characters. If you go above this limit, Google might truncate the text of in-snippet jump to links (although in some scenarios it might not happen).
Bonus: Jump Link to a Different Part of an External Website
If you are referring to a webpage of a different website and the resource has the relevant information in a different part of the page then link to the page along with the “id” of the respective sub-heading (for example, https://example.com/post-title/#relevant-heading).
This way the reader will immediately jump to the relevant location right after the page finish loading. Of course, the site must be implementing ToC or “id” values for page jump. The same thing applies if you are interlinking to one of the pages of your website.
Over to You…
Which of these methods are you going to use to apply Table of Contents?
Do let me know.
Applied the plugin “Easy TOC” and facing any glitch?
Do let me know.
Applied custom HTML method and there are glitches?
Do let me know.
Do let me know. 😊