Internal linking is a quick and easy way to improve your website’s ranking
In the total SEO (search engine optimization) scheme of things, internal linking is one of the easiest strategies to implement. Internal linking can lead to higher placement on the search pages (SERPS) and consequently more traffic. It’s not a technical thing you need qualifications to do. All you need is to exercise some basic common sense. Then watch Google respond favorably to your efforts.
What is internal linking?
Internal linking is different that outbound linking. Outbound linking is to link to other websites. Internal linking means linking one page of a website to another through links that usually contain relevant anchor text. A website commonly has a structure to enable internal navigation. Done correctly, internal linking will improve the rate at which your pages get indexed. It simplifies things for Google’s crawler, helping the crawler find newer content more easily.
Internal linking places your pages in front of an audience that may find a deep-linked page worthy of a backlink, thus, delivering backlinks without you having to solicit them. It also improves the diversity of outbound links to your website. Usually, most links are to the homepage of a website. Deep links are valuable because they boost the profile of your inner pages, and then these pages can rank higher.
Developing an internal linking strategy
The first step is to make sure your website is structured correctly. Having your site structured properly helps Google to understand what you’re trying to convey. It allows Google’s crawlers to finds and index information quicker and easier. More importantly, it helps the user understand your content and navigate the site easier. This has a positive impact on the user experience and improves the website’s ranking.
linking to your inner pages is a proven strategy that works
Ideally, you want as many deep organic links as you can get, and internal linking can help. The goal is to pass link juice to the internal pages. The internal pages can get a real shot of health-giving link juice when the link points directly to them.
Keep this simple tenet in mind – You can rank higher on the SERPs by judicious internal linking. Choose the pages you want to rank. Link to them through the other pages, but don’t overdo it. Internal navigation should not suffer. The best kind of internal link is that which carries relevant and grammatically correct anchor text as compared to navigational terms like “go here’.
The value internal linking provides
It’s easy to appreciate what value internal linking provides to the user. It’s all about stoking interest and providing value in the copy that precedes the internal link. Then letting the reader know that there are more goodies available on the linked page.
The key concept to remember is that you want to provide value. Over-optimized anchor text keywords don’t deliver value. ‘Exact match” phrases as anchor text are not a good practice. They appear spammy and indeed, too many of such anchor texts will invite Google’s ire. Use a phrase that is relevant and fits seamlessly into the page. Ideally, it should enhance the value of the copy. Apart from delivering SEO value, internal linking acts as a funnel to direct visitors to the desired page.
Internal linking works best when one long-form article links to another. Link to a video or a podcast provides value too. Linking to the homepage or a “contact us” page provides little value and should be avoided. Newer pages linking to the older ones seem to have a more beneficial effect than older pages linking to a freshly published page. This may be due to how Google values freshness in a site. When visitors to a freshly published page click on a link to arrive on an older page, they’re refreshing the older page, thereby boosting its chances of ranking higher on the SERPs.
Adding fresh content to an old page
Updating old content for possible higher rankings on the search engine ranking pages is derived from the same concept that Google values fresh content. These updated pieces can link to fresh pages. This way you can ensure a tightly knit website connected through internal links. Add links in paragraphs where the sentences have a sensible and logical connection with the page being linked to. Internal linking should not appear contrived, it should not break the flow of reading for the visitor.