Using Internal Linking To Benefit Your SEO Efforts
Internal linking is an important component of SEO that is often disregarded. However, this strategy is important both for user experience and SEO ranking. To get the best rankings possible, it is important to develop a strong and effective internal linking strategy.
Why Internal Links Matter
The main reason that internal linking matters is that it is the way that you inform both users and search engines what components of your website are most important. It creates a hierarchy structure and serves three main purposes:
- Website structure
- Distribution of page authority
Additionally, it provides ways to keep your visitors on your website longer by making it easy for them to navigate to other areas in which they might be interested.
By building a strong internal link strategy, you are creating a foundation for your SEO efforts. This provides information to the search engines about the structure of your website, including which pages are the most important. This assists in instilling value to your pages, which can help certain pages rank higher.
Focus on the Anchor Text
As with any link that you include in your SEO friendly content writing services, the anchor text matters. It does two main things:
- Informs readers what to expect to see when they click
- Provides clues to the search bots about the relevant connection between pages
When you develop your anchor text, it is best to choose words that are specific. Although it is natural to wish to simply use your keywords, primary phrases and other optimized search terms, it is important that you do not end up over-doing it. Choose words that are a natural fit to the page and provide a description about the linked page to your audience. When it makes sense to use keywords or optimized text, do so.
Link Beyond the Homepage
It is not just about linking to your most important page, which for many is the homepage. More importantly, it is about finding logical ways to link pages that have something in common. By keeping the user in mind, you can create a website structure that makes sense.
By putting the value of the user above the value of the search engine results, you inevitably create a natural linking structure that will ultimately help you to achieve your SEO goals in the long run. Where would the reader most want to visit after reading what is on a particular page? Perhaps you have another blog post that further describes something discussed on the page. Working with SEO friendly content writing services will help you to build quality content that is worth linking to.
Be Generous with Links
When you develop your internal linking structure, do not feel as though each page should only have a handful. It is beneficial to be generous with your links, although there does come a point where it becomes too much. Sites that appear to just be linking for the sake of linking might end up hurt by this. However, as long as you strive to remain natural with your linking, then it is hard to go wrong. Larger sites with higher authority can get away with many more links than smaller sites.
Make It Easy to Navigate
Ultimately, internal linking is about navigation. Therefore, it is essential that you set it up in a way that makes it easy for both users and search bots to navigate your site. You should develop a clear and easy-to-understand structure. This includes an organization with a depth chart that makes it easy to get to the homepage within three clicks or less from any page. This structure includes your navigational menus and any hyperlinks in the text of your content.
Continually Clean It Up
Internal linking is not a simple project that is done once you enter the hyperlink; it is something that needs continual attention. For one, you need to ensure that you do not end up with broken links after you update your site. Additionally, you do not want to have any type of discrepancy in the indexed URL and preferred URL. This sends the search engine mixed signals, which hurts your ranking. That is why it is important to pay attention to the technical side of internal linking.
Consider Products and Services
For e-commerce sites, it is beneficial to link between products and services. This not only creates a reasonable structure to your site that benefits your SEO, but it also will help to increase the sales you receive. The same rules apply here: link products that relate to one another. Do not simply link for links sake; instead, provide value to customers by showing them similar items in which they might be interested.
Don’t Forget Quality Content
Above all, when developing an internal linking program, do not forget about quality content. You can have as many links as you want that take people all around your site, but it will not help you if you do not have content worth reading on the page. Working with SEO friendly content writing services can help you have high-quality, fresh content that builds your site and creates even more opportunities for internal linking.
When developing your content marketing SEO strategy, do not forget about the invaluable role that internal links play. By including them in your overall plan, you not only create a better experience for your visitors; you also improve your site rankings.