Link Building Best Practices: Interlinking
You know by now that Google ranks pages higher in search results based on a page’s authority. For search engines, links are the paths connecting pages. Links show the relationships between pages and are a virtual vote for popularity. They build a page’s authority and improve its SEO value. Though links, engines analyze the importance of a website or page based on the number and popularity of the pages that link to them. Search engines also look at metrics like trust, spam, and authority. Trusted sites link to other trustworthy sites, right? And spammy sites typically receive few links from trusted sources.
Link building can be a somewhat daunting task. The methods and best practices frequently change and Google is quick to punish questionable link building practices. Incorporating internal links to your website or web pages is an easy win and it’s a key SEO practice for publishers and content marketers.
Internal Linking Techniques
Internal links lead from one page on a domain to another page on the same domain.
External links point to a separate domain.
Why are internal links important?
Your website is full of content so make the most of the different pages and posts. Internal links are a great way to add value and are integral to link-building practices. Why are they so great? Because you control everything about them – from where they’re located on any given page to the actual anchor text. Internal links can be to the main site navigation or to related content.
According to Moz, there are three main reasons why internal links are useful.
1) They allow users to navigate the website
2) They establish information hierarchy for the website
3) They help spread ranking power
A major reason that internal linking is important is because it’s one of the few methods that a website’s owner or writer/editor can use to inform readers and Google that a page is important. Other reasons include providing your audience with more reading opportunities, improving keyword ranking, promoting paid content, and helping Google crawl your site.
How to effectively use internal links
There are CMS plugins that automatically hyperlink certain words every time they appear on your website. But, before using one, take into consideration the user experience. I suggest refraining from using such a plugin unless you’re a HUGE brand. Take the time to go through all of your published content and add links to more detailed content that you have written on the subject(s). While you’re at, fix any broken links that will hurt your SEO score.
When creating a new piece of content, keep in mind all of your past content! If you can naturally steer the conversation towards a subject that you can incorporate internal links to, do so. It bears repeating that the links need to make sense from a user’s perspective. There’s nothing worse than an article that is virtually all bait-y hyperlinks to nonsense pages that have nothing in common with the original piece. Concentrate on adding links to relevant and important landing pages. If the likelihood of a reader clicking on a particular link is high then, from an SEO perspective, it will have more value. But, the more links you add to a page, the less value each receives (everything in moderation).
Lastly consider the anchor text itself – its color, location, font, value and relevancy. Is it located above the fold? It’s always good to add an internal link within the first few sentences of a piece of content, like a blog post. Pay attention to the length and keywords used to get the most out of the text.
Internal linking is a key SEO tactic for content marketing. It helps the search engine spiders find your site and discover additional relevant pages in one visit. Internal links also help organize your site’s content and make it easily navigable.
Before inserting an internal links, ask yourself these questions: Does the link add value? Is it a part of the natural flow of the content? Is a reader likely to click on it? If the answers are yes, add the link!
We’ll be diving deeper into SEO best practices and exploring similar topics such as external link building, so keep an eye on the Dowitcher blog!