When marketers and brand managers work on promoting their ranking on search engine, what promptly hits their minds is external links. However, internal links are equally crucial to helping them reach the top highly coveted position. Internal links are crucial links that take you to deeper pages, images, and data on the same domain. In this post, we bring you important steps to help you develop an internal link building strategy.
Why internal link building is very important for your website
When you build links for SEO purposes, they work in two ways. One, they help search engines to discover all the pages on your website. Two, the quality and number of links are critical to search engines as a ranking signal. For example, Google indicates that the number of internal links pointing to other pages on the same domain serves as a signal to search engines about the importance of such pages.
To see a list of your entire website’s internal links, you can use the Google’s free internal link report tool. The tool indicates that if an internal page fails to appear on the list, you need to review its structure. For example, the link could be broken or poorly spelt.
If you take an SEO standpoint, internal links help with distribution of the link juice/ ranking power from one page to another. The ultimate impact of this distribution is conversion into votes that defines a webpage’s ability to rank higher in search results.
You can identify the pages with more authoritative links and wittingly distribute the link juice to other poorly performing pages. This will boost the other pages to make your site rank even higher. It is this capability to control ranking power that makes it very crucial to draw an effective internal linking strategy for your website.
The best practice in leveraging internal links for Search Engine Optimization
The first step is selecting the pages that will benefit from a boost in their search ranking. Consider using Google Search Console data as the starting point.
The search analytics report will help to identify the sweetest spot (major pages at the lowest point of analytics ranking report). These pages will benefit most since they have a high number of impressions but are getting fewer clicks because of poor ranking.
In one of the examples that we run when making this report, the key phrase had a very high number of impressions (4,241), but the clicks on the site were very low (8). This conclusion is drawn because the average position is 18 in the SERPs which mean it is on the second page somewhere in the middle.
A closer check on one of the keywords shows its clicks, impressions, and rank data. Hit the option adjacent to the keywords in order to identify the actual page on your website for that keyword.
Your next step should be establishing other important pages where placing an internal link would be beneficial in relation to the pages you anticipate to build. You can utilize the site and in-text in the Google search to replace the domain with specific site addresses as well as the right keywords.
Designing internal links from appropriate pages to the pages you want to boost
Utilize the right anchor text: This is the text in a hyperlink that leads to another page. It is prudent to ensure that the respective keyword is included in the link and matches well with the topic in the target page. Remember that keywords should never be forced into an anchor text because they can make it look like spam. The posts could also lose taste and prompt clients to move away.
Link various pages equally: This means linking every context deeper into the website as opposed to the same page. This will make it very easy for any visitor to follow various contents such as images, landing page, history section, company structure, and corporate social responsibility pages as they read through your content.
Ensure that search engines can follow all internal links: To get the link juice running from one page to another, it is important to make sure that search engines can follow them. Ensure to test the links regularly for a guarantee that users can follow them to the targeted pages.
Avoid overdoing the internal links: Only use a sensible number of links on your website pages. Google insists that your links should be to a reasonable number. A good number is maintaining 100 links though Google recommends up to 150 for every page.
Create a lot of useful content: The rule of the thumb in internal linking is that you can only link a page when it has useful content. Take time to follow what your target audience wants, their issues, and create content that delivers actionable solutions.
Additional methods of boosting a website ranking using internal links
While the outlined methods are highly effective, there are alternative strategies that are equally effective. Some paid tools like Ahrefs that provide a list of top links and more powerful pages with more link juice. Another very useful tool is the Open Site Explorer that allows webmasters to analyze even more than 10,000 links to any website using the Mozscape web index. Make sure to review the pages and establish what opportunities they hold for your website. Then, include the most useful links to the pages that you intend to boost.
Though internal linking is in many instances overlooked, it holds an immense potential to boosting your ranking. You should always ensure that the internal link building strategy has the following;
- Proper identification of the targeted pages that will benefit from the boost (moving from the second page to the first or rising higher on the first page).
- Selecting other pages that need to be linked (the pages should be relevant and give the user a logical reason to follow).
- Create the links taking a lot of care to develop high-quality anchor texts. The links should make it easy for search engines to crawl and index.
- Noting other powerful pages in the website that should also be linked to the target pages.