Internal linking for Seo is a practice that is often overlooked. Yet this is one of the easiest ways to improve your organic traffic from the search engines.
Google crawls pages by following links, both internal and external as well. It then uses this information to determine the relevancy and value of the content on your site.
Internal links pass value from page to page boosting your overall ranking authority.
When you use internal linking for SEO not only will your organic traffic grow, but bounce rates will lower, users will spend more time on your site and you will have more page views per session.
Your internal linking structure doesn’t have to be complex. You don’t have to have this complicated silo structure to see results.
Try Implementing these 7 practices for 30 days and test it for yourself.
1. Internal Links Should go Deep
Often we have content that is relevant that may not be easily visible to our users. It could be an old blog post that simply isn’t visible when someone lands on our site. This is especially true with sites that are older and have hundreds of blog posts.
There is no easy way for you user to find that content. It’s not going to show under recent posts. Even if they click on a category, you may have pages and pages of content.
They will likely hit the back button and continue their search elsewhere.
Think About Mobile Users
On a mobile phone, the sidebar is not even visible so you can’t depend on that to get you mobile visitors. They can expand the menu on mobile, but not much access to much else.
Most of us get a lot of traffic from mobile and that is only going to increase.
A good internal linking practice should be implemented for this reason alone. For the benefit of your reader to help them navigate your site.
Make your users happy and that usually makes the search engines happy as well.
Internal links to avoid.
Remember when you link to any page or post on your site you are passing along value and link juice.
The deeper the links the better therefore you may want to think twice before you link to pages that are easily visible in your menu or main navigation like the home page, contact us or about us pages.
2. Do These Two Things When You Write a New Post
When you write a new post, always add links to older content that is relevant and helpful (I will cover how many in #4 below).
This is important for internal linking strategy!
This tells Google that you older content is relevant and can help boost it’s rankings.
It’s like breathing some fresh air into an old post! Think of it as passing on value.
And Thing Two
Go back into older posts and link back to your new post. It’s a good idea to update the post while you are there. Add a paragraph or three and link back to your new post!
This is super effective for older established content that is ranked and already getting traffic. It will give your new content a boost.
3. Highly Relevant Internal Linking for SEO
When using internal linking for seo, make sure you are linking to relevant content. If I have a blog post on why my cat is fat for example, I would not link to a post about why my dog is fat.
Though you may think that both are fat animals and relevant if I am searching about my fat cat, I may not have a fat dog.
I may link to a post about how to get your cat more active or best diet for fat cats. That would be relevant.
Something else worth mentioning here.
Relevancy is a big deal here and carried a big weight in the Panda and Penguin updates that rocked the world of many a blogger.
This isn’t going to change. It’s all about the user experience.
Have you ever been on a blog post and you see the links to other pages and you almost want to stop reading and click over? I sure have and I make a mental note and do just that.
When your internal links are driving traffic to other posts, you have accomplished highly relevant internal linking!
NOTE: If your tags are used properly you can also link to a tag page for even more benefit to your readers.
4 Best Practices for Anchor Text Links
Anchor Text Links is a word or series of words in blue (blue converts better) that link to another (relevant) page or post.
The text that you use to link to another piece of content on your site should be descriptive of what you are linking to.
The words in the text should NOT be exact match to the keyword you are using to the article you are linking to. If you have good internal linking for SEO strategy, you would have several links to a post or page. If you use the same exact match anchor text every time, it is not seen as natural.
It’s like keyword stuffing.
Example, I have a post about natural and unnatural linking for inbound and outbound links. I linked in the previous sentence but did so naturally. I did not use the target keyword for that post.
Overuse of anchor text is a spam signal to Google. It’s viewed as over optimized. While we need to optimize our pages and posts, too much can hurt you.
Mixing up your anchor text phrases naturally is the best practice.
You also want to consider your options of what kind of tab to open these anchor text links.
Note that anchor text such as click more or read more offer little SEO value. Avoid these. If you must use them, add some descriptive words in front and link the entire phrase.
5. Use follow for Internal Linking
You want your internal links to be followed. You want to pass that value and link juice throughout your site.
A nofollow link will not pass on the value.
Certain external links should be nofollow as mentioned in the post I linked to above in #4.
6. How Many Internal Links on a Post
Once upon a time there was a rule of no more than 100 links on a page. You think wow, that’s a lot.
You have to consider however when you are on a page that your categories, everything in your side bar, footer and so forth is considered a link.
3 to 5 internal links going to relevant posts or tag pages is a good number.
Again I am going to tell you to consider your reader. If the link is helpful and offers more value to your reader, link to it.
7. Link to High Converting Posts (or pages)
If you are familiar with the buying funnel and how to target your audience, then you will understand some posts your write are informational and some are targeted at the buyer.
If you have an information post and another post (or page) that is buyer focused, converts and is relevant to your topic, link to it.
This post is all about interlinking and SEO and we have and extensive course on SEO that converts well, so naturally I am going to link to it here.
This interlinking is simple and effective. It offers value to your readers when done correctly and helps the bots and spider crawl your website.
If you follow these 7 laws for 30 days you will see results.