Optimizing internal linking helps ensure that your website’s SEO is at its best. Strategic internal linking is often considered an SEO power technique, especially for content marketing. Do you need to hire an SEO agency to optimize your internal linking? No, this article will help you understand the basics of internal linking and how to get started doing it on your own.
What is internal linking?
An internal link connects one page of a website to another within the same website. In an internal link, the source domain and target domains are one and the same. The reason that internal links are so important is because they aid in website navigation, define the architecture and hierarchy of a website, and distribute page authority and ranking power throughout your website.
What’s the theory behind internal linking?
Internal linking strengthens the search engine optimized value of a website. Internal linking helps provide a clear path for spiders from search engines making it easier for them to crawl your website. Internal links also help end users stay on your site longer because internal links help direct them to other areas of relevant content on your site. Internal links also help create a tight-knit network of pages and posts.
So, how do you perform internal linking?
1. Create large amounts of quality content.
In order to create lots of internal links, you need to have lots of internal pages. The first step to a great internal linking strategy is to have a first-class long-term content marketing strategy that includes internal links as one of the foundations of the strategy.
2. Use anchor text.
In keeping with the content theme of internal linking, your actual links should use anchor text as opposed to linked images. When writing anchor text, use naturally flowing sentences. You don’t have to use keywords, just make sure the text makes sense.
3. Link deep.
The deeper your links go, the better. There are two types of links you should avoid using in your content. Don’t link to the homepage or the contact us page. Why? Well, when it comes to the homepage, many sites have way too many links to the homepage as it is. You should focus on strengthening internal pages to boost the overall SEO of your site, rather than simply pointing to the homepage.
As for the contact us page, it seems to be an easy thing to link to. Many content writers point to the contact us page in their call to action at the end of a post. However, you should not link to that page unless it’s absolutely necessary. In general, you want to avoid links to the top pages of your website. The best links are deep within the structure of a site.
4. Use links that are natural for the reader.
Internal linking should provide a user-focused approach to adding value and information. The link value that gets distributed throughout the site is secondary. Internal linking improves engagement on your site. When a user sees an informative link that truly matches the context of the content, they are more likely to click on that link. If it’s an internal link, then the user remains on your site longer and becomes more involved in the website experience.
5. Use a reasonable number of links.
You don’t want to overdo the links. A good rule of thumb is no more than two per article. Of course, more may be necessary if they are related to the content and make sense of the user’s best experience. When optimizing your site’s internal linking make sure that it enhances the user experience. If it doesn’t, don’t link to it. You can do all of this on your own.
As you can see, it’s pretty straightforward. You shouldn’t need to hire an SEO agency to create a great internal linking structure on your website. If you have questions, stay tuned to our blog. We will definitely revisit this topic in the future.