When it comes to your content strategy you always want to find references that will help you create internal linking opportunities to service pages or relevant blog posts.
It may sound simple at first, but after running many SEO audits in my career you would be surprised how many sites do not have an internal linking setup. It’s clear proper internal link building needs to be a part of your overall SEO strategy.
What Is Internal Link Building?
Internal Link Building is an on-page SEO strategy that allows you to create a link that goes to another page within your domain. Typically you see this strategy done with your website menu.
In this example, we are going to focus on links that are created within blog posts or service pages.
It helps to create a link structure as it allows:
- Users to navigate to other relevant information connected to the topic they are viewing on this page.
- You are able to establish a hierarchy for your website mapping.
- Creating link equity throughout your website provides a positive impact.
It’s not enough to write content and not try to create some type of internal link structure. No matter what your topic is you want to make sure that you build a content strategy for each article.
In another blog post, we share our content calendar as it allows users to build out their content strategy as they discuss topics from their industry.
Why Is Internal Links Important for SEO?
When it comes to internal link building you have to understand that the link juice between internal and external links can be very different.
For example, Ninja Outreach reported a 40 percent increase in organic traffic after launching an internal link building campaign.
Breaking things up with links will better guide the search engines to understand which pages are important and allow the user to know that it’s relevant to the content being read.
When users are researching and learning something you want to provide internal linking to help promote your brand and other pages with similar information to help build brand trust.
Your website structure will speak volumes about how you want users to engage with your website.
Every page on your website should help users find what they are looking for and a proper internal linking structure can help deliver a great user experience.
Internal Linking and External Linking?
As mentioned above internal linking are links that are pointing to another page within your website.
This provides link juice to other pages and tells Google that the anchor text you are using to point to the page is relevant to that page.
External linking is when you link to a third-party website that you are referencing on your website.
Internal linking provides stronger link equity than you linking to a third-party website. I’m not saying you should avoid linking to third-party sites but you should not only link to them.
Internal Linking Structure
When it comes to your internal linking structure you want to take advantage of the benefits that it provides.
You provide authority from one page to another which helps search engines like Google to see more relevance for your page.
You provide a better user experience when you continue to lead them to relevant content that they learn from.
Many users are spending their time searching for information to help them to make the ultimate decision on a product or service they want.
This type of structure allows you to create a call to action for users to convert, download a pdf, or even continue their visit by going to another page on your site.
Anchor Texts for Internal Link Building
Anchor texts are the keyword terms you use for the internal linking strategy to another page no the site. By adding internal links to different pages on your website can provide SEO advantages.
Unlike external links manipulating anchor text violates Google’s webmaster guidelines. Internal links that are within your website does not impact you negatively.
When adding anchor text you have to make sure that it works with the content.
- Do not keyword stuff
- You can use exact match
- You can use variations of the terms
- Short and Longtail keywords are options
You can link to other blog posts or service pages within your website with your target keywords to help improve the rankings of a page or if you want to direct a user to something relevant to the article you just shared.
Marketers can’t settle on an ideal number with regards to how many anchor text you should be linking to internally. But it’s best to rely on simplicity and not overstuffing every paragraph with links.
Avoid looking spammy with your content.
Visibility Growth Through Local SEO
Local SEO can truly benefit from internal links especially when you create landing pages that focus on cities you service.
By developing content that links to your service pages and to your city pages can provide you with the benefit you need to rank better.
You can have city pages link to service pages and vise versa. This helps to let search engines like Google and Bing that your anchor text is relevant to the page you are pointing to within your website.
Many local businesses do not many locations, they just have one location. If you provide services throughout many neighboring cities you want to have city pages added to your website.
By creating content that links to your city pages and service pages it can help you rank for a page that you may not appear for in the map pack or have an office location. This kind of strategy can provide next-level success for your business and brand growth.
Audit Your Site’s Existing Internal Links
When was the last time you audited your website? How often does your SEO company audit your website?
Running an SEO audit on your site provides a lot of on-page opportunities you may not know about.
By running an SEO tool that can help you identify link opportunities within your website can help you gain some quick wins.
As you review your content you need to know if you already have some link opportunities you can link to right away or if you need to add to your website.
You can add content, lists, or call to action that leads the user to a much better user engagement.
Site Audit Tools
If you are looking to run an audit a lot of the websites that provide this service are paid or freemium. Below are some of my favorite and most used audit tools.
- Screaming Frog
- And many more.
Keyword research is the start of your journey and what you want your website to rank for. This allows users who do not know your brand to search for you by a keyword term that is relevant to the service you provide.
Are you using keyword research to link to the correct pages? Are you using the correct anchor text for your linking?
These are important questions to ask yourself as you review your audit and what keywords are pointing to your pages. You want to use the right anchor text and consistency throughout your website to make sure it’s working.
We want visitors to go deeper into your website to discover more. The more activity they commit to, the better the user engagement gets.
Review Your Content
Internal links can help with all kinds of content. Creating links for the sake of it might lead to a search engine penalizing your efforts. Keyword stuffing is not a great strategy for your long term success.
When it comes to internal links you have to have implemented it with the flow of the content. If your content doesn’t get a link you will need to rework the content or not add it all. Avoid trying to force links in your content.
The link’s end destination is as important as how the anchor text is worded and where what page you are linking to.
Begin by creating a page outline; structure your content to include your target keywords and what pages you want to link to.
Don’t forget your content should support your message and what your message is.
Need content marketing help? Contact us today.
SEO Best Practices
Some links will only provide us with data. Others will take the reader to a download page.
If you want your leads to sign up for a listing, then it’s best to send them to a bright, new place.
Making the most out of your internal links requires that the intent behind them is clear and decisive.
Having purpose allows you to see where and when a link should be used.
Internal Links Provide Long Term Benefits
Search engines will better understand your content and readers will have greater ease when navigating through your site as they look at relevant information.
Every opportunity you have to better improve your website with internal links going to service pages or your blog posts provides the power to increase your user engagement and traffic to the site.
Take what you learn today and don’t overlook the importance of adding internal links. Talk with your SEO consultant or review your website to see where you can see opportunities.