Advanced SEO techniques can add a tremendous amount of value to your current SEO efforts all while boosting your websites performance. And a lot of these advanced techniques require thorough experience and technical abilities.
Many SEO specialists find Internal Linking an advanced SEO strategy but our team has created a full proof method that will teach you how to implement internal linking on your website, increase your site engagement, and improve your rankings.
First we will break down what internal linking is and why it is important. Then give you the top 7 ways to implement internal linking on your website for maximum effectiveness.
What is Internal Linking?
Simply put an internal link is a link that points to another page on the same website. This is created with descriptive keywords in anchor text that tell the reader the topic of the page that they are being linked to.
In the image below you will see we created an internal link to two of our blog posts that can take the customer to learn more about marketing strategies. We did this because the customer was already reading a blog post about different marketing strategies so linking to others is along the same topic and can further take the customer deeper into our website.
Why is Internal Linking Important?
There are four core reasons why internal linking is important.
- Internal links allow users to navigate your website easily and find more relevant content related to what they are looking for.
- Internal links establish an information hierarchy for your website.
- They help spread link equity (ranking power) around your website.
- Internal linking help search engines in assessing the relationship of your site’s internal pages
At the end of the day Internal linking strengthens the overall SEO value of a website by providing clear paths for spiders, prolonged sessions for users, and a tight-knit network of pages and posts. When your website has strong internal linking, the Google crawler has an easier time finding new content that you post.
How to implement internal linking for your website
1. Create a content starting point
To get started with link building you need to make sure you have multiple content pages on your site. This can be landing pages, case study pages, service pages, or blog posts. Even if you just start with 1-2 pages or posts you need to make sure you have something to link to that has a congruent topic.
Pro Tip: When trying to determine what content you should be creating use Google Search Console or other marketing tools that can tell you what your customers are searching for. Once you have a few good topics write a blog post for each of them that can educate your customer about the topic you know they want an answer for.
2. Be consistent in adding content
Once you have a few content pieces created you want to make sure content creation is a priority within your business. By consistently creating links it will allow you to always be present to Google.
This is even more important since Google updated their algorithm in 2017 to include “website freshness” as a factor into ranking websites. According to Search Engine Journal “If your content hasn’t been refreshed or updated in some time, it will be surpassed for more engaging, fresh and new competing content.” Along with bringing fresh content to your site Google also looks at the frequency of content related to a topic.
For all of these reasons being consistent when adding content to your site can be one of the most important factors of link building.
6. Update old content with Internal Links
According to Neil Patel “Every time you write an article, link to four or more old articles.”
For instance every time we write an article related to healthcare SEO we drive customers to our healthcare SEO page.
We recommend that you always use at least 2 internal links when creating content pieces like blog posts.
3. Leverage your blog posts
When determine what pages to begin the linking process with, start with your blog posts. The best internal links are from blog post to blog post. Because you are providing educational content and answers to customer questions with your blog posts it poses you as an expert for that topic and is a great place to use internal linking.
Helpful Hints: You do not want to link to your about us, contact us, or homepage. These pages don’t provide as much link equity and will not provide value to your customer. Focus on landing pages, blog posts, case study pages, or other pages that provide extensive detail on a topic or solution.
4. Use proper anchor text
When linking to a page make sure to create descriptive anchor text instead of just adding the full link into your content. A great way to create proper anchor text is to use the primary keyword the page topic is about that you are linking too. This will help Google understand what that page is about and give the customer insight into what they will be clicking on.
In the example below, we created a blog post about bounce rate optimization and in one of the steps we linked to another blog post that can dive deeper into video optimization. and used the anchor text “get your videos to rank on Google.”
5. Link page topics
When implementing internal linking you want to make sure that every page on your site is linked in some way. Make it a priority to go through your site and find the common categories to link together. In the graphic below you can see the structure of internal linking. The more posts that are related to a specific category linked together, the more Google will think you are an expert about that topic and show your posts more often in organic search results or a Featured Snippet.
7. Link to high converting pages
All the steps we listed above are important aspects of internal linking but it is also important to use this SEO technique strategically to get results. If your goal is to convert customers into purchasing a product or signing up for a demo of a software it is important to link to pages where you want to drive the customer to complete an action.
But it is also important to understand what is converting on your site. A great way to do this is complete an analysis of your website and determine what are your top 3-5 converting pages that lead to a conversion or customer action. Once you know what pages those are, start strategically linking to those pages where the topic/categories are similar.
This will not only improve your organic rankings but will also send the customer through the path you want them to take that will eventually lead to them completing an action you want.
Internal Linking: What NOT to do
Here are a few tips and tricks about what NOT to do with your internal linking strategy:
- Don’t use phrases like “Click Here”
- Don’t link more than one sentence
- Don’t use exact match anchor text
- Don’t point all your links to the same page
- Don’t force content just to get links
- Don’t use “rel=nofollow” on internal links.