Yet the potential of internal linking to drive traffic to your other pages and maximise your “link juice” (see below) is often under estimated.
At 650hours we can assist you in building a content led marketing strategy to strengthen your site architecture and improve your SEO. It’s imperative you understand the value internal linking can bring to your website.
Internal linking refers to links from one page of a domain to another page within the same domain. We are focusing on editorial links because they are fundamental for your content marketing strategy and SEO.
Internal links via anchor texts can improve accessibility
By inserting anchor texts into your site you can link relevant data between your pages. It helps to create an efficient, user-friendly site that drives more traffic your way.
Strategically placed internal links help maximise your “link juice”
“Link juice” is the term used for Google’s currency. Placing effective internal links in your site will help to increase the flow to other pages in your site and particularly to your “money pages”. It is important to build your authority from other websites and incorporating backlinks (inbound links) to different pages in your site, spreads your “link juice” even further.
Internal linking boosts page views
If visitors can easily navigate around your website and find relevant information quickly, there is a higher chance they will view more of the content on your site. This can be achieved with the help of internal links and will enhance the conversion rate (more paying customers) through your site.
Internal linking improves your PageRank
PageRank is Google’s metric measure of how important a webpage is by the amount of backlinks it has received. A page with high PageRank can develop their ranking further by spreading the “link juice” to other pages with internal linking. These pages will help to give a boost in authority and rankings.
Internal linking can reduce the bounce rate
Bounce rate refers to a visitor that views one page of your site and immediately leaves after that. You can reduce the chances of this occurring by effectively applying internal links to content of real value.
This can significantly affect your rankings and plays a part in the usage parameters used in Panda Update. Google Panda update is a search filter introduced to prevent websites with low quality content being able to work their way into the top search results.
Be Panda proof and improve your UX (User Experience) by ensuring there is clearly linked, useful and relevant content on your site. To check your bounce rates you need to view your Google Analytics. Click on ‘Behaviour’, ‘Site Content’, ‘All pages’ and you will see the bounce rate for your content.
Internal linking helps to build a solid internal architecture
Google bots is the search software used by Google. It collects documents from the web to build a searchable index for the Google Search Engine. The information collected by the bots determines what content you have on your website. Thus, an important factor contributing to how the search engines value your website.
By building a powerful internal architecture the bots will be able to view your pages that are accessed less, as they will follow the pages and links that are easily indexed. Therefore, internal links may give a boost to these pages and increase your overall ranking.
Now we have discussed the advantages of using internal links, here are some steps to get you started.
Prioritise your top pages
It is important to understand not all your pages will be equal in value; therefore you want to devise a strategy to utilise your priority pages. E.g. Setting up a list of recommended products based on your best sellers and applying a category system to inlink your top pages.
Build semantic silos
Siloing is a way of organising data into themes, stacking keywords into a silo. You can spread your “link juice” further by tagging pages that has similar or related content, thus building semantic silos.
Mimic Wikipedia’s format in your inlinks
The anchor text and content next to your inlinks is crucial. If you look at the format Wikipedia follows, the keywords make sense in the anchors. This will assist search engines to process and utilise all the content you have provided.
Don’t neglect your deeper pages
As your website grows you may find that some pages start to become detached from your most popular pages. To ensure more traffic reaches these pages, link them back in again where possible and increase the chance of Google’s search engines finding them.
Help Google bots rack you higher in SERPs
To work your way up in Google’s search engine results pages (SERP’s) will require you to have an idea of how their bots work. You can help Google focus on your most viewed pages by setting up a no-index on your lower traffic pages. Thus, having a positive influence on how Google will rate the popularity of your index able pages.
These steps should give you an insight into how to start applying internal linking to your website. By having an understanding of how Google’s algorithm works and creating a strong internal architecture is key in improving your overall SEO performance.
Outreach Mama has an excellent guide to optimising your Anchor Text SEO linking which you can find here: https://www.outreachmama.com/anchor-text/ In it, OutreachMama talks about the changes which have occurred in Google SERPs over the last five years and the piece includes a helpful video for those who find visual guides easier to follow.
Article updated February 2018