Your internal linking structure should be amongst the key focuses in your SEO strategy, because it can improve the user experience of your visitors, increase page views, and convert more leads. But if not done correctly, it can destroy your search engine optimization efforts.
What Are Internal Links?
Unlike external links, which point to other websites and outside sources, internal links point to pages or articles within the same website. Not to be confused with inbound links, where other websites link inwards to pages within your website. Internal links are just as important for your SEO and content strategy as external & inbound links are, if not more.
Internal Linking Is An Important Part Of Your SEO Strategy?
Internal links are helpful in building up your rankings in search engines; they help improve the link flow to other pages in your website, which increases your page rank in organic search. The anchor text in links help Google Search understand the context of a webpage in order to rank keywords better. Google and Bing bots also use internal links to help them crawl and access different parts of the website.
Without internal links, it may be difficult for search engines to index and categorize your website content to its entirety, and it would be difficult for users to explore the website.
3 Best Practices for Good Internal Link Building
1. All Pages Should Be 3 Clicks Away or Less From Your Homepage
Your homepage or index page should link to the most important pages on your website to ensure that all of those pages receive a higher ranking and get crawled more. Then, those important pages should link to supporting or relative sub pages. Since these sub pages are two clicks away from your homepage, it tells Google and Bing that they are still important, but not as much as your main pages. Call-to-actions should be placed on each of these pages and lead users to a specific landing page that is 2-3 clicks away from your homepage. These landing pages convert viewers into leads and are a little more important to your company than to search engines, but still play a huge role in organic search and content marketing.
Internal links to other webpages should be included in easy-to-find sections of your website, such as your header and footer. Navigational links like breadcrumbs should be towards the top and before your content starts. Menus at the top of your pages and sub menus in the footer can increase your SEO rankings very easily. This helps users find the pages they’re looking for faster and increase page views, which in return boosts your online rankings.
PRO TIP: Remember to keep you’re most important links to very critical pages as close to the top left of your code as possible, because spiders crawl like we read English, top to bottom and left to right.
2. Incorporate Useful Anchor Text Links to Boost SEO
Using relevant anchor text with your internal linking is very helpful for your website. These anchor text links should include relevant keywords that will help your page rank higher within SEO. There are many useful plugins for WordPress sites that will assist with your SEO by automatically linking keywords from other internal pages on your website. Here is a list of the best plugins for internally linking WordPress pages together. One thing to remember is to always make sure that your SEO content strategy also has good copy. Users are less likely to stay on a webpage with too many internal and external links, because it becomes very spammy and distracting.
PRO TIP: Never use the exact keyword you’re focusing on for that page to link out to another page. Use a relevant keyword instead or it will hurt your page’s ranking. Because what essentially is happening is that you would be splitting your rank juice in-between two pages instead of putting it all into one highly ranked page.
3. Add a Dynamic Related Posts Section to Your Webpages
Providing internal links to related posts on your website will help improve user experience and build up your page views. This section is designed to make recommendations to already interested readers to try another article or page similar to what they had just viewed. WordPress offers useful plugins to assist with showing related posts to users. Here are some of the top related post plugins for Wordpress. If you need help displaying different widgets or links depending on what the user is viewing, here is a good WordPress plugin for context selection.
PRO TIP: This is not restricted to just blog posts. Related content can become a major asset in your product or services pages by pushing the user further through their buyer’s journey and increase your conversion rate.
In The End
Following these internal linking SEO tips will help you to get on top of the search results. For more information on SEO and optimizing your website subscribe to our blog today, and checkout our FREE eBook below and getting found online.