November 19, 2014
Any competitive website is constantly updating, understanding and enforcing its SEO. With billions of websites to compete with, ensuring that your website is appealing to your target audience as well as the search engines is absolutely essential. One of the most useful methods of improving content marketing SEO is using internal linking.
Why Use Internal Linking?
Internal links, unlike external links, provide instantaneous access to another page or section within the same website. External links, in contrast, point to information within external domains and other websites. Using internal links vastly improves the SEO of a website by providing clear paths to authoritative and relevant information for both Internet users and search engines. By pointing to specific pieces of interesting and useful information, internal links demonstrate the value and importance of your website, and highlight why search engines should display your website within their search results.
How do I Use and Create Internal Links?
Understanding the importance of internal links is one thing. Creating and using them effectively, is another thing entirely.
Here are some tips for structuring your internal links so that they benefit your website and improve your SEO.
Make Your Homepage Useful
With navigation tabs as a prominent feature of any website, the homepage is typically one of the easiest pages to link to. Most Internet users will visit your homepage whenever they visit your website. As a result, the homepage is often the highest ranking page of your website, and is the one with the most authority. So, use this wisely.
Optimizing your homepage to make it a source of internal links to relevant and useful information is one of the best ways to link to other webpages within your website. Linking to specific pages will highlight important information throughout your site, creating paths that are appealing to both Internet users and search engines. There are back link tools you can use, but you want to be cognizant of how they are used. Too much back link building, too quickly can backfire.
Use Appealing and Relevant Anchor Text Within Hyperlinks
Anchor text is the clickable text within a hyperlink, and allows users to move immediately to another relevant webpage. Anchor text is used as the link title – the words used within the anchor text should ideally be specific to the information you’re linking to. Accessories such as the WordPress plugin, SEO Smart Internal Links, helps you do this by automatically hyper-linking to keywords within other pages of your website.
Provide a Clear Route to Your Information
One of the most well-known tips for website design is to ensure that the Internet user does not have to visit more than three of your webpages to find their target information. The importance of this tip should not be underestimated; according to a KPMG web branding study, over 90 percent of online hotel reservation websites conform to this process. In addition, the UK government’s business advice site, Business Link, states that this tip is one of the best practices of web design.
Use Breadcrumb Navigation Features
This navigation feature typically appears at the top of any webpage and displays the precise location of the webpage within your website. This tells the reader where they are, and what section of your website they are in. While this does not provide internal links embedded within the text of each webpage, it still acts as an incredibly useful method of internal linking. Downloads such as WordPress’s SEO Plugin will help you use this feature and optimize your navigation tools within your website.
Display Useful Sidebars, Widgets and Navigational Links
Adding different widgets and navigational links to each webpage will help Internet users find relevant information on your website. Customizing and optimizing your widgets and sidebars will ensure that readers see something that will interest them. Link building tools such as the Widget Context plugin can help you do this by ensuring that specific widgets and links are displayed depending on what type of content the Internet user has selected to read. In addition, understanding which links and content will be commonly searched for will allow you to select useful links and add them to your sidebars and footers .
Consider the Positioning of Your Internal Links Within Your Text
This is a particularly useful tip: readers can stop reading your article whenever they want. Consequently, ensuring that internal links are positioned within the top section of your webpage will make these links more likely to be clicked on. As a result, search engines will rank these links more importantly. Placing keywords and links within the first few sections of text on each webpage will make them more visible, rather than leaving them right at the bottom of your article.
Internal linking is a vital method of improving your website’s SEO and rankings. When used efficiently and carefully, these links provide useful paths for Internet users and help them find the information they’ve been looking for. The more user-friendly and useful your website is, (with good use of article writing) the more likely search engines will display your website within their search results.
Katrina Manning is part of the Content Marketing team at RankExperts. Her writing and editing services have been in demand for the last six years, and she has contributed to a variety of websites and publications. She enjoys covering SEO strategies, tech, business and lifestyle.