There are a number of different SEO tactics that you can use to boost your site’s rankings and internal linking is one of them.
As you might already know, content really is king and brands are more focused on creating quality content than ever before.
Content gives customers a reason to interact with your brand but even the best content won’t be much use if people aren’t able to find it. Most brands generally use social media and external linking strategies to drive more traffic to their content but internal linking is one tactic that tends to be overlooked, even though it’s capable of boosting your SEO results.
While an external linking strategy focuses on getting high authority sites to link to your content, an internal linking strategy focuses on keeping customers on your website for longer by encouraging them to view related content.
Internal links need to be used correctly in order for them to have the right effect though.
Why Internal Linking Matters
Along with enhancing your SEO efforts, an internal linking strategy can also boost your user experience. Here are a few of the key benefits of this tactic.
- Help Google crawl your website. Search engine bots use your internal links to navigate your site and understand what it’s all about, which is why a solid website structure is so important.
- Improve your user experience. When your website’s visitors can easily find what they are looking for and are being presented with content that is highly relevant to them, they automatically spend more time on your website. Along with increasing your conversions, users spending more time on your site is a good SEO signal too.
- Boost link equity. A link is deemed to be ‘juicier’ when it’s seen as trustworthy and valuable. Pages that are seen as authoritative have a better chance of appearing in Google’s search results, and if high authority pages are linked to each other, it has far-reaching effects. It’s important to not spread your link equity too thinly though or it will have the opposite effect.
- Rank for new keywords. Using anchor text in your copy that is related to a specific search term is one way to start ranking for that keyword. Just make sure that your copy is relevant to the search term you’re trying to rank for though.
- Boost older posts. If you push out a lot of new content on a monthly basis, your older posts will naturally stop generating as much traffic as they once did. Linking back to older posts that ranked really well in the past will increase user time on site as well as your page views. Check that the content in your older post is still relevant before you start promoting it again and that the two posts you will be linking are actually related.
Internal Linking Best Practices: How to Get It Right
- Relevancy is everything. If you don’t have a post or page that’s truly relevant to the content you’ve just created, don’t add any links.
- Add value. Interlinking for the sake of linking won’t get you anywhere. If the internal links are not adding value to your reader, don’t add them. To keep visitors on your site for longer, link relevant, content-heavy posts to each other.
- Don’t overdo it. You shouldn’t be adding more than three to four internal links. Overdoing it will have a negative effect on your SEO. If you do want to add more than four links, you’re going to need to increase the length of your content.
- Watch what you’re linking. While internal linking does offer SEO benefits, user experience should always be your top priority. Linking an entire paragraph does not look good and it doesn’t offer a good user experience either.
- Give all internal links a ‘dofollow’ value. Ensure that all of your internal links are tagged as ‘dofollow’ so that search engines know to follow them.
- Use anchor text correctly. Incorporating keywords into your anchor text is a good way to start ranking for those search terms but if you want the keywords to have the right effect, make sure that they look natural and flow with the rest of your text. Using random phrases such as ‘click here’ is not how you should be using anchor text. It’s also important to make sure that your anchor text is related to the page you’re linking to.
- Don’t forget about conversions. At the end of the day, you want to increase your conversions. One way to do this is to link your most informative articles to high-converting pages.
- Links in the body are more important. While every visitor should easily be able to get back to your home page or any other primary pages on your site, the internal links that you place in the body of your content carry more weight in terms of SEO.
- Don’t stop monitoring your site. If you have quite a large site, you will have broken links every now and then. If you move or delete pages, make sure that other pages aren’t linking to a broken URL.
If you are new to SEO or are currently adjusting your strategy for 2019, including an internal linking strategy will definitely enhance your SEO results and improve your user experience.