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internal linking for SEO

Follow These Rules to Get the Most SEO Benefit from Internal Links

Internal linking is the SEO practice of linking from one page on a domain to another page on that same domain. Internal links add connections between the content and various pages on your website. Creating these hyperlinks builds up organic search rankings and builds trust for your website. For instance, if you were writing a blog about your product, you could link to more information on that topic elsewhere on your site, for example, the product page itself. In its simplest form, internal linking could be a link to your contact page, a link to a previous blog post, a product page or anything else that’s relevant to that page’s content.

Benefits of Internal Linking

  • Builds credibility for your site and your site’s SEO by creating a hierarchy of information
  • Makes it easier for visitors to find the exact information they’re looking for
  • Makes it easier for search engine crawlers to navigate the site
  • Creates and spreads link equity (links passing value and authority from one to the next)
  • Creates an internal mapping structure by connecting to all pages, rather than just the Home or Contact

Breakdown of a Hyperlink

anchor text example hyperlink

The image above shows what a hyperlink looks like when looking at the source code of your site.  On the front end of the website, the user would only see the anchor text, which is the actual text that gets linked to the other page. In this case, the anchor text is “create content that matters”.  The blue portion is the URL the user would get directed to once they click on the link.

What Does Internal Linking Look Like?

In most blog posts, you’ll see an outro paragraph with an internal link to contact the company in question. It probably looks something like the outro below from our last post about Online Review Management… See what we did there?

Located in beautiful Victoria, BC, we help clients all over the world with powerful online marketing plans, web design and brandingContact our team and ask about our review management system and how to get more 5 star reviews.

You’ll notice the very first link leads to the info page about our digital marketing. The anchor texts (online marketing plans, web design and branding) fit easily into the sentence.

Each keyword in the anchor text leads to the corresponding page and this creates a network of links that eventually connects the entire website.

Next in the body of text is “Contact our team”. This is a straightforward bit of anchor text meant to lead site visitors directly to our contact page for the next step.

How to Get the Most from Internal Linksinternal linking for SEO

Create Lots of Content

The main goal for an effective SEO strategy is always to create plenty of good quality content including on product pages, category pages, blog posts, updates etc.  Whatever content you add to your site, make sure it provides a ton of value. The more content you have, the more content you have to link to and before you know it, your site will have layers of excellent content that will take your site and your brand to the next SEO level.

Use Anchor Text

As mentioned above, anchor text is more than just saying “click here to get to x,y,z”.

Just saying “click here” can get repetitive for readers and they might actively choose not to click the link.  Instead, you can mix it up a bit and just use “here” as the anchor text.

Ie: For more information about our team, click here.

Or change it up a bit with: For more information check out this post.

Other ways to use anchor text

Branding

Using your brand name as anchor text creates a more natural link profile throughout the site

Plain URLS

Plain or naked URLS (i.e. www.ideazone.ca) can be just as effective as a cleverly written anchor text because they’re honest. Branding comes into play here.

Titles

Using the title of the linked material as anchor text is an effective way to create a trustworthy link network.

In the end, anchor text should naturally follow the tone of the sentence and build onto the rest of the content.

Try these steps for creating anchor text

  • Write your sentence
  • Choose where you want the internal link to point to
  • Choose which part of the sentence makes the most sense for the anchor text
  • Link it and keep going to the next block of text

Make Sure you Deep Link

Deep linking is when you link to a “deeper” page on your site – a page other than the standard homepage and contact page (which is called “shallow linking”). The more internal pages you link to, the more robust your site’s link hierarchy becomes. This will make it easier for visitors to find the information they need and even the information they didn’t know they needed.

Let’s say you design and sell cell phone cases, and you’ve recently branched into cases for tablets. Your site visitor came looking for phone cases but while skimming your post, they saw anchor text with an internal link to the page showcasing your new line of tablet cases. They would be able to click the link and move directly to that page and potentially buy a new phone case and a new tablet case.

Use Natural and Relevant Links

Don’t link just because you need to, link because you want to direct your site visitors right to the information they’re after.

Keep your internal linking natural and your posts and pages will read naturally. If there doesn’t seem to be a natural page to link to, that’s okay. Pretend you’re building up a post about phone cases. You want to mention that you’re going to be introducing ultra-durable wallets made of the same materials, but the page on wallets doesn’t exist yet. In that case, you’re not really going to be able to create an internal link, and you don’t want to link to something else that you’re not even discussing. That could lead your customer down a rabbit hole they don’t want to be in and they might ultimately leave your site.

Don’t Overuse Internal Links

Building on the last point about using natural and relevant links:

Anchor text and links that completely take over a body of text become overwhelming, confusing and spammy. Added in the right spots and in the right circumstances, your internal links will help your customers to skim and scan your content with ease. You never want your site visitors or the search engine crawlers to view your content as spammy. It will devalue your site, hurt your SEO rankings, reduce click through rates (CTR) and decrease your website’s authority. Instead, use internal linking only when it makes sense and when it fits naturally.

Internal linking is one of those easy SEO wins….that not many people implement. Start taking advantage of the SEO benefit you get from internal linking by going back and adding them, where they make sense, to your existing pages.  With a little bit of practice, it will become second nature as you build up the content of your site. At IdeaZone, we know that your website is the face your company presents to the world, which is why it’s so important that it’s done right. We have decades of experience in branding and print design, web design and digital marketing. Contact us today to get started on a custom marketing solution.