3 Steps to Proper Internal Linking for Your Website

Ryan Clutter

Ryan Clutter

04/03/2017

For best user experience and to help direct your readers to other related articles or pages of your site, internal linking done properly will boost your SEO.

It has to be done thoughtfully and strategically. It’s one of the most important aspects of your SEO and content strategy. You shouldn’t be linking to irrelevant pages simply for the sake of adding an internal link.

Internal linking tells readers (and crawlers) that a particular page is significant, setting up a website structure that leads to easy navigation.

The value of internal links for readers justifies the strategy:

  • Adds more context to a certain subject.
  • Provides further reading options.
  • Promotes older content or upcoming events.
  • Anchor text that improves ranking for certain keywords.
  • Aids in Google’s ability to index the page more effectively.

With anchor texts that include keyword specific phrases, you tell your readers what to expect when they click that link, while helping search engines find those pages.

How to Properly Link to Internal Pages

Internal linking can be a critical component to your search marketing campaign. There are ways you can be using internal links wrong, including a spammed footer with keyword-rich links. These aren’t relevant and your users—or the bots—won’t find any value in them.

It doesn’t matter how many internal links you have on a given page, as long as you’re continuing to provide value. With the creation of high-quality, unique content, there is a lot to link to. Here are three steps to incorporate these links into your content while providing value.

Natural Flow

You can’t mention a random keyword out of the blue and link to that page. There’s no flow. It’s like writing a post about internal linking and throwing the phrase web design company out there while providing a link. (See what I did there?). That’s just an example.

When you’re writing a post or landing page for your website, you want to keep in mind the topic of your page and how it relates to other pages/posts you have previously written.

You also have to keep your user’s intent in mind when creating content. Think about whether or not they’ll actually click on the link or if it’s just there for added SEO value. Both will work, but you still have to make sure the text flows. If the link fits naturally, it’s only natural to use it. It will boost your campaign and appeal to readers that are interested in exploring your website further.

When a link looks out of place and spammy, that doesn’t reflect well on your content. When you maintain the flow of the article, post, or page, you’ll keep your readers engaged and provide additional value.

The Right Anchor Text

Offer up a unique approach to your internal linking. Think beyond the typical “Read More” or “Click here” or even pasting the entire URL into the body. That’s not the right anchor text.

When it comes to adding value and boosting your SEO efforts, the right anchor text carries a lot of weight. When you’re discussing the services you offer, internal link to the page with more about a particular service. When you’re discussing current trends in your industry, internal link to older posts that offer more information about a certain subject matter you’re discussing.

So, let’s say I’m writing a post about SEO and SEM together. I could reference previous blogs that were written, including a post diving into the ‘Romance’ between SEO and PPC.  You’re sending a signal to Google that that other page is also relevant.

The better the anchor text to the page you’re directing users to, the more powerful the link juice. Anchor text internally plays a large role in your rankings for certain phrases. Even when you have a brand new website without any external links pointing to your site, internal links can benefit rankings due to anchor text that is pointing to other landing pages.

With the right anchor text, keep your links relevant and related to the topic on the post or page. With the right message, anchor text for your internal links can go a long way with your SEO campaign.

Make Sure Your Internal Links Stay Up to Date

As you get further into your blog, or continue to add unique landing pages to your website, some of your internal links are going to be outdated. You could adjust your URL string, and when you’re not updating your links, they will go to 404 error pages and harm the user experience.

Continue to audit your content, run your site through tools like Screaming Frog or Google Search Console to determine if you have any 404 errors. Keeping up with this ensures your website is performing efficiently.

Taking it a step further, you can go into these old posts and pages to provide more up to the date information. What you wrote about six months ago could be outdated. Look at the links you referenced and if you could add more information to provide additional value. Search Engine Journal goes into further detail about updating internal links.

Once you update the post, add a little information at the top to let your readers know exactly what was updated. This leaves the post date intact while giving you fresh material to share and drive traffic to the page. While updating the content, keep your internal links current. This will improve the value of the new and old content.

When links are updated, audited, and current, your posts and pages will carry more value for the readers and crawlers.

Provide More Value & Improve Your SEO with Internal Linking Strategies

You should already know the value of quality content and the impact it can have. When added in moderation to the rich content pages of your site, you can enhance the navigation experience and the value of your content.

The goal is to provide further information about a given topic, making your brand’s content more functional and improving your overall value. To hit your goals and grow your business, internal linking shouldn’t be overlooked.

When you optimize internal navigation, you’ll gain new traffic to other pages of your site, as well as receive more engagement and shares. When used correctly and you learn the value of internal linking, your website and your business will see many benefits.

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