As a marketing consultant I’m always looking for new ways to make my life easier. That’s what I do every day for my clients and for myself. I’m always trying to improve my skills and habits with new ideas, technologies, and solutions, just like you are. I’m always looking for ways to hack my brain and grow my business.
An effective blog post starts with great content. This means spending time getting to know your audience. This is the only way you’ll be able to deliver a message relevant to them. And it’s not just about being relevant, it’s also about being on schedule. For example, if you have a frequent posting schedule that’s worked for you in the past, it’s best to start with that schedule. Otherwise, you’ll start running behind and miss deadlines.
Internal links are an essential part of a successful SEO strategy.
Small but powerful, simple but complex, internal links help users navigate your digital content and provide search engines with information about how your website works.
There are internal links on almost every page of the internet. Chances are you’re already using it, even if you don’t know it. (N.B. Several of these are included in this introduction).
If you want to optimize your content for SEO, you need to understand how internal links work, where to place them, and why they are important.
In this article, we dive into internal links and look at best practices.
What is internal chaining?
Internal links are links from one page to another within the same domain.
They differ from external links, which point to pages on another website.
Any website with more than one page should be internally linked.
Think about the homepage of your website. In the top navigation, you probably have a menu that links to other internal pages. These may include the pages About, Store and Contact.
This internal link structure is very important for SEO, as it creates a site architecture and improves linkability.
When multiple websites are linked to the same domain, it increases the chances of a good ranking because search engines can index more content.
Internal links are a matter of website design and architecture, and search engines expect them. All websites have a design and architecture that allows them to be structured in a logical way, for example. B. this common silo model.
Of course, the architecture and structuring of a website can be much more complex.
But as long as you have a strong internal link structure, your site will be crawled, indexed and ranked by search engines.
Internal links are also an important part of the user experience, as they allow users to discover or find related information they are looking for, improving the time spent on the website.
5 reasons why internal links are useful for SEO
Internal links are one of the most valuable weapons in SEO.
Why? Because it works.
Google’s machine learning algorithm has come a long way since the early days of SEO. Right now, it’s almost impossible to play this system.
No matter how advanced the algorithm is, there are still simple changes you can make to improve SEO immediately without upsetting the search engines.
The internal network is one of them. It’s not a trick or a ruse, and it’s not hard to do at all.
Here are some of the benefits.
1. Help Google index your website
A Google crawler traverses links on the internet to find and index websites.
If your website has strong internal links, it’s easier for Google’s crawlers to find the new content you publish.
Google bots regularly crawl the web looking for fresh content. If your content is full of internal links, crawling will be much faster.
That way, your content will be indexed faster.
Improved crawling and indexing can give your SEO a boost.
2. Increasing the potential of backlinks to make money on pages with deep content
See where most of the backlinks to your website come from. You will probably see many links leading users to your home page.
When you compare backlinks to the homepage with backlinks to deeper pages, you usually find the following
Unfortunately, too many backlinks to the homepage are bad for SEO. This is called over-optimization and should be avoided.
You want to see an inverted pie chart. Most of your external links should point to deep internal pages, not your home page. This is because the homepage usually does not contain the detailed information that users are looking for.
If a website does not publish or promote new content, its link profile looks like this
Most links on the website lead to social profiles or standard pages like About Us or Contact Us.
So the SEO value of the page is very low.
By creating a strong internal link structure, you increase the chances of getting link juice on internal pages by creating clear click and index paths throughout the site.
Why? Because you increase the priority of exploration of the entire website by better distributing your links.
3. Internal links extend the power of a website to internal pages
When your website receives a link to the homepage, part of the value of that link is passed on to the internal pages.
This is often called the reference juice.
When page 1 links to page 2, the link juice flows from page 1 to page 2, pushing page 2 higher on the search engine results page (SERP).
The denser the structure of the page (thanks to internal links), the better the whole page will perform in searches.
4. Internal links with optimized anchor text are useful for SEO
An internal link is a simple HTML line that connects one page of a website to another. It is presented as follows:
Articles about cat food
However, if you create an internal link with anchor text instead of an image or navigation text, the value of the internal link increases.
Anchor text adds value to a link by inserting keywords and content into the linking process. Google doesn’t just look at the A HREF tag. They also look at the anchor text that is part of that link.
Gone are the days when anchor texts were filled with keywords. But it makes sense to optimize the internal anchor text.
It is better to use anchor text that fits well with the overall content, rather than over-optimized anchor text.
5. Adds value to your users
This is the most important moment of all. Internal links are an SEO technique, yes. But that’s not all.
Ultimately, internal links are useful to the user.
Think of it this way: When you research a topic, do you check one source or several?
Do you like to study other documents that enhance your understanding of the subject?
Maybe you like the writing style of the article you read and want to read more by the same author.
Internal links on a website reinforce the content by substantiating claims and directing the user to related information.
While internal links may not directly contribute to conversions, they do have their place in the marketing funnel by leading people to their destination.
As an added bonus, you can help readers stay on your site longer and increase their trust in you by using internal links.
SEO is about user optimization, not just technical tricks.
Even if you don’t care about the technical value of internal links, at least do it for your users.
Best practices for internal links
Now is the time to be more specific. How to create the internal link? What is the best way to get the most value out of links?
The first thing to establish is two things:
- Written content on the website : Even if you only have one article, that’s fine. This is your starting point. If you haven’t written any content yet but want to, read our ultimate guide to writing epic content.
- Constantly writing new content for the website: For internal referrals to be effective, it is important to maintain a regular publication schedule.
OK, let’s get this straight.
Links to and from pages with more content
The best internal links are those that connect one article to another. This creates a strong internal link structure at the back of the page.
If you have a good site architecture, you will have plenty of links to the main pages of the site, for example. B. the homepage, the information page, the contact page, etc.
You do not need any other links to these pages.
If you are trying to increase conversion with a sales page or squeeze page, and there is an appropriate way to do so, link to that page, of course.
In general, I recommend placing links in and between long articles. This will automatically and naturally expand your internal links.
Create text links with anchor text
Which internal links work best?
It’s very simple: Links with descriptive anchor text.
What do we mean by descriptive anchor text?
You know the anchor text, right? Anchor text is one or more words that link to another page. They are usually shown in blue.
This is an anchor text.
Your internal links should use anchor text, but not all anchor text is appropriate. Include sentences that describe the subject of the target link.
Here are some examples of strong anchor texts:
If you want to link to an article about the 10 most important SEO techniques, you can do so as follows
Here are some important SEO techniques you should use.
If you want to link to an article about Google Hummingbird, you can do so as follows
Google’s algorithm has been updated with new machine learning features.
In each of these examples, the subject of the link is linked to relevant phrases. The first anchor text contains the 10 most important SEO techniques, which are the subject of the article you are linking to. The second anchor text contains the sentence : Google’s algorithm has been updated. The linked article provides information on Google, Hummingbird, algorithms and updates.
Here are three things you should not do with your internal links:
- Try not to align the anchor text exactly with the subject of the link. This technique, known as exact anchor text matching, has been associated with SEO penalties after the Penguin update. Modern search engines understand the regular use of exact anchor text, as it is not common in regular content. It seems unnatural because it is.
- Don’t use phrases like click here. It adds no value. The anchor text must be connected to the linked page in some way.
- Do not connect more than one sentence. A whole paragraph of hyperlinks is ugly and makes a bad impression on the user. Limit yourself to a few words or phrases when using anchor text to point to an internal link.
Add the appropriate number of links to page
When you write a new document, you should include five or more references to older articles. This is very important for your internal linking strategy and for how search engines see and rate your content.
Websites have a freshness score, which Google defines and uses as part of its ranking algorithm.
According to Cyrus Shepherd, links from recent sites [or pages] have new value.
Adding a new link to old pages increases the chances that they will be ranked in the SERPs. In the eyes of search engines, readers who click on your internal links are actually updating your old content, proving its relevance.
However, make sure you don’t overload your content with links.
According to Moz, search engines limit the number of links per page to 150. Then they stop forming cobwebs.
Overloading a page with links can have a negative effect on search engine optimization.
Provide links, but don’t overdo it. This helps both the search engine spiders and your users.
Update old articles with new internal links
You’ll get the most out of internal links if you combine them with another SEO method – updating old content.
When you update old content, Google’s crawler sees it again, re-indexes it, and can increase its ranking in the SERPs.
We always recommend that you update your old articles regularly. Here’s a good process to follow when working with old blog posts:
- Add a new paragraph at the beginning explaining your updates.
- Add a few new paragraphs in the text with additional or updated information.
- Remove or replace outdated statistics or information.
- Add new internal links to your newly created content.
- Add links where they make sense and are useful.
Remember, internal SEO is not just about linking new content to old content. It’s also about building on old content and creating internal links that connect your new work.
In this way, you achieve two objectives.
- It updates old content, which increases its ranking value.
- An internal link is created between an old, existing page of the website and a new, lesser known page.
Add links where appropriate
Now that you’ve learned a lot about internal links, you’re probably wondering where to place your internal links?
It’s tempting to be lazy and leave them at the end of the article: For more content, click here!
Please don’t do this. Or at least, don’t.
Instead, look for content areas where topics overlap. These are the logical connection points to create an internal link. For example, you can add links to define complex terms or explain a related topic.
Consider internal links as a reference point that enhances the reader’s experience.
Add only Dofollow links
Do not add a nofollow tag to your internal links. Nofollow links do not affect the ranking of the target page in search engines.
Additionally, Google does not pass on PageRank or anchor text for nofollow links. He’s not even crawling on it.
While some Ahrefs data has shown that nofollow links can be useful when used externally, there is no reason to use them in your internal linking strategy.
Link to highly convertible pages
Are there pages on your website that convert more visitors than others?
If so, please provide a link to these pages.
Some of our blog posts have very high conversion rates. The content is compelling and the CTAs are so powerful that users convert en masse.
These pages are always internally linked.
In this case, internal reference has more than just a referral value. It can also have an income-generating value. The more visitors you can attract to a page with a high conversion rate, the more conversions you will get.
Revision of website navigation and information architecture
Site navigation and internal links go hand in hand.
Internal links determine the architecture and hierarchy of the website and create funnels that guide users through your website.
Ultimately, this is an important part of your UX/UI that affects how long people stay on your websites and how often they return.
When developing your internal linking strategy, think about the most important content on your website and how you promote it.
If you have an important piece of content that you want to pay more attention to, you can direct more internal links to it.
Creating lots of content
The best way to create a healthy internal link structure is to have lots of internal pages.
If you create a lot of content, you will have a lot of content to link to. The more you link to other places, the better your internal linking strategy will be.
Remember that having a large number of web pages does not mean you have a strong internal linking strategy.
While internal links are necessary for site navigation, constantly linking back to the home page does not improve SEO performance.
Instead, consider writing a blog or creating landing pages with useful content.
Whatever your strategy, do it well and often.
Techniques to avoid for internal links
Now that you know how to use internal links correctly, let’s look at the techniques you should avoid.
Adding too many links to your content can have a negative impact on your ranking. Remember that Google cannot crawl pages that contain more than 150 links. It is also important to include header, footer and menu links when counting links on a page.
Don’t overdo it!
Keyword stuffing in the anchor text is another internal linking practice that should be avoided. This black hat tactic was very popular in the past because SEOs thought it would improve their chances of ranking.
Advanced search algorithms nowadays penalize the use of keywords in the anchor text. So don’t do it.
Also, avoid using internal links in the header. Links in titles are spam for Google’s crawlers and can have a negative impact on your SEO.
Finally, don’t forget to check all your internal links before publishing them. Non-functional links don’t provide link juice and signal to Google that your page is of poor quality.
Questions and answers on internal chain systems
How many internal links should I include in each article?
There is no set number, but 5 to 10 per 2,000 words is good practice. Remember that Google will not crawl pages with more than 150 links, so beware of proliferating content.
Should internal links be added to pages with more or less traffic?
According to Databox, internal links can spread link juice from low traffic pages to high traffic pages. However, it is also important to include as many links to your core content as possible so that it gets more traffic.
What is an example of an internal link?
Are internal links backlinks?
No, internal links stay within the domain of your website, they don’t come from an external source. Backlinks are external links that point to your domain.
Quick guide to internal redeployment
Internal links are an essential part of a solid SEO strategy. If done correctly, this will improve the user experience and can help you rank higher in the SERPs.
While internal links are part of any solid website design, it’s important to find ways to incorporate internal links into your content to ensure you get the most out of your content. Be sure to use optimized (but not overly optimized) anchor tags and include internal links that give users more information about the topic at hand.
What internal link building methods do you find particularly effective?
- SEO – unlocking a large amount of SEO traffic. To see real results.
- Content marketing – our team creates epic content that gets shared, attracting links and traffic.
- Paid media – effective paid strategies with a clear return on investment.
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