Internal linking of your website’s posts and pages is one of the most often overlooked steps in search engine optimization process, and yet it is as important as building links from external sources. You can control everything about your website’s internal links - location and anchor text, pointing both visitors and search engines to where you want, but surprisingly few people are paying much attention to them. When done properly, interlinking can significantly reduce other efforts you need to put in ranking your site, so it’s well worth looking into.
Tip of All Tips: Plan Ahead
Before you start building your website, devote some time to plan your internal link structure. Make mind maps; group the keywords you have chosen for your website by order of importance, sort the pages into groups and decide on the number of links on them. You can use online tools for that, or you can draw the maps on paper, which ever works for you. This way you will have an overview of both your structural and contextual links, which will significantly reduce further efforts for ranking your website.
5 Tips to Do Internal Linking the Smart Way for Better SEO
1. Anchor Text
Be careful when choosing your anchor text. Just because you can control it, it doesn’t mean you should stuff your main keywords where ever you see fit. Be smart, and try to find the right ratio of exact and partial matches, make the best use out of synonyms, and keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with occasional anchor texts that say “in this post” or “as described here” - they will look more naturally to the search engines, and visitors often tend to click on them.
2. Use Them Smartly
Link juice coming from other sources is distributed through your pages and posts. When you want to support one specific post or page on your website (sales page, product review page, or just a fantastic post), you will want to point to it from as many sources as you can, including the other parts of your website. For the maximum effect, use useful SEO tools like Traffic Travis Pro or Open Site Explorer to track which pages on your site are the strongest (have the most authority), and insert a contextual link to the important pages. You also want to cut short its route to the important pages (that’s why you need your planning done well).
3. Site Navigation
Besides from standard menus (pages, categories etc), you can use footer and breadcrumbs for an effective interlinking. Footer links to the external sites have been devaluated (and can even cause penalties), but they still pass value to the pages within a website. Breadcrumbs, which are much more visible to users and primarily serve as navigation aid (to locate the page they’re on in the overall website structure), they also help in distributing link juice and allow anchor texts, which sends a relevance signal to search engines (much like contextual links).
Also Check : Top 5 On-Page SEO Factors
4. Give New Life to Old Content
If you have an older website with high-quality pages that are rarely viewed, you can add some additional posts that will link to it. Neat ways for doing that are publishing a FAQ page, or a “best of” page. Besides adding more internal links to your website, these pages will also provide resources that your visitors can find useful – and of course, drive more traffic to your website.
5. Don’t Overdo
One can easily go overboard with internal links tactic. Get into the habit of doing it only when they make sense and increase usability of the website (or do your best to make it look like it). It’s easy to earn a Google penalty if you link too often to one source, and it can be confusing and annoying for your visitors.
Remember, internal links are the blood vessels of your website, and you should pay attention to the points above to maximize your efforts. After all, you can have a terrific backlink profile but what good will it do if, once the visitors and search engine bots land on your pages, they have hard time traversing it?