Do you want to learn how to improve your internal linking strategy? If so, you’re in the right place!
Internal links play a pivotal role in the success of your small business. Simply put, these are hyperlinks on your website that lead to other destinations within the same domain. You can include internal links on your blog posts, landing pages, and virtually any other high-traffic area on your site.
Google, the largest search engine in the world, gets around 79,456 searches every second. They use these types of links to browse websites and rank them in their search results. If your site is a bunch of standalone pages with no links to other posts on your site, the algorithm may have trouble understanding the intent of your article.
Perhaps more importantly, internal links can help you build a smooth experience for your audience. Instead of mindlessly browsing your blog, users can follow hyperlinks on your posts. As a result, it’s easier for visitors to find what they are looking for, which can improve engagement and sales.
Below, I’ll share five ways to fine-tune your SEO strategy by improving your internal links.
Let’s dive in!
Blogging is one of the best ways to build your internal linking structure. The first thing I recommend is clustering topics together, so you understand which posts will theoretically work well together.
For instance, an all-in-one marketing SaaS would have cluster topics that read like this:
Email MarketingSocial Media MarketingSEOPay-Per-Click (PPC)
If two articles are about email marketing, there’s a good chance they are suitable candidates for internal linking.
The key is to consistently create new content and expand your internal links around topic clusters in a way that makes sense for Google and your users. If you’re wondering about the impact of a high-quality blog on these two groups, consider that 77% of internet users read blog posts and blogging businesses get 524% more pages indexed by Google.
Aside from creating new blog posts, you should also go back and freshen up older content. As your blog evolves, you’ll discover more internal linking opportunities. In the example I mentioned earlier, the business may add a new feature to the email marketing aspect of their software. Now, they can include internal links to the feature showcase in existing posts.
Now that you know how to start planning your links let’s talk about keywords and anchor text. Anchor text is where you choose to attach the hyperlinks to other pages. Believe it or not, the text you use in this instance can determine the effectiveness of your internal links.
Google’s algorithm looks at the anchor text to learn a little more about the intent of the link. If the word or phrase is relevant to the hyperlinked page, Google can make connections about overarching topics and themes. Consequently, the search algorithm will have an easier time ranking your business for the right keywords.
On average, users type three or more words when they want to find something online. Use a keyword research tool to determine which long-tail words will attract visitors to your site. Now, find ways to strategically use your keywords as the anchor text for your posts. With this strategy, you can grow traffic on both pages, especially if both articles use similar or identical keywords.
Research shows that 90% of pages get 0% traffic from the search giant Google. I believe this is, in part, due to businesses using poor hyperlink and anchor text combinations.
DoFollow links are essential to your internal linking strategy. When you add a hyperlink to your website, you have two options; DoFollow and NoFollow.
NoFollow signals to Google that the link should not be tracked and included as part of the official internal linking structure. As a result, your pages won’t share link equity, which can cause problems down the road.
So, if you spend a lot of time creating an ultimate guide and include links to tons of posts on your site but accidentally choose NoFollow links, Google’s algorithm will miss a massive piece of content. This situation may reduce the effectiveness of your overall SEO strategy.
DoFollow links are the opposite. When Google sees one of these links, they track down the source and build a more accurate map of the content on your site.
Finally, I recommend reviewing your website analytics and looking for top-performing content. Specifically, you’ll want to look for posts with a high number of backlinks.
The search algorithm views backlinks as a form of social currency. If people trust you enough to link to your content on their website, you must be doing something right!
Pages with many backlinks tend to show up on Google and generally have more authority. You can use this content to boost the authority of other parts of your website.
Here’s an example:
Page 1 has 200 backlinks
Page 2 has 10 backlinks
Adding an internal link from page 1 to page 2 can pass some of the authority to the second page. Once you identify a high-profile page, start thinking about ways you can connect the post to other articles on your website.
The truth is, you can’t build a concrete internal linking strategy overnight. This aspect of your SEO strategy is something you need to work on continuously if you want to thrive. The advice offered above will help you build a framework that you can use to grow your business and improve your search position for prominent industry keywords.