Internal linking: all you need to know about
Linking is as important as writing your content. If you want your content to rank then you should internally link your post and pages. It will build a systematic hierarchy and would help google crawlers to determine your site structure. In this way, google engines will give more link juice and importance to main pages rather than less valuable ones.
In case if you are wondering what are internal links and why they are important then you are in the right place. In the following article, I will tell you all about internal linking and how you should do it as the proper internal linking strategy is vital.
What Is Internal Linking?
Your website has many product pages, sales pages, homepage, blog articles, and other content that is linked together. An internal link is a link that connects your website page with other pages on the same domain and directs users and search engines from one page to another through embedded links.
This internal linking makes it easy for both users and google engines to find the content on your site by visiting pages to pages through links and if they are not interlinked then google engines would not have any idea of your site architecture. This will hinder the search engines to index your relevant pages and building connection between your website pages.
The Foundation of your website design and architecture is internal linking and proper internal linking would help your users and search engines read your content thoroughly on the entire site.
However, internal links are of many types, and in addition to links on your home page, product page, you can also add links in your content and we called them contextual links. These contextual links assist your search engines in indexing and identifying the most important pages of your site and determine their worth. It also helped your users to navigate from one content to another to lessen your bounce rate and keep your traffic maximum time to your site.
Internal links vs External links:
Every domain has internal links and external links. Internal links connect your website pages but external links connect the page of your website with another domain. External links are important for SEO and referral traffic but they are on other sites and you don’t have any control over such traffic. However, if internal links are done carefully and strategically it would help you greatly in SEO.
Benefits Of Internal Linking:
Every manoeuvred crafted strategy helps your business grow dramatically so as the correct usage of internal linking helps your site grow. Although it helps you in many ways, nonetheless major three benefits are cited below:
Internal linking increase your site visibility as it navigates your users from one content to another relevant and related content. But it all depends on how you have designed your internal links strategy. If you have linked the irrelevant pages to others then you will lose user interest. Hence meticulously designed internal linking will improve user experience UX by assisting your visitors in finding the relevant content.
Boost Page View And Conversion:
Every website owners want to have maximum page views and less bounce rate. Internal links help your readers keep to your content for more time as they will move from one relevant content to another.
This will also help your visitors to take the required call to action as the more time they spend more they will be convinced to buy. Thus it optimizes your conversions too.
Indexing And Crawling:
Search engines use their bots and crawlers to crawl the whole internet and index content. A carefully implanted internal link will help Google bots to dig deeper into your website and index important pages.
Internal linking also helps to pass the page authority from one page to another and helps in Search engine optimization SEO.
Now the question is!
Why Internal Linking Is Important For Technical SEO?
Any website owner wants his business to nourish and grow. For this purpose, his site needs to have more visibility and a high ranking. In this regard, they should invest more in the advertisement but with the increasing rate of paid advertisement, they have to now depend on organic SEO to drive traffic to their site.
Now, how you can increase your site rank?
If google search engines crawl more of your site pages then more pages will be indexed. Hence proportionally your site rank will increase. Internal links will help search engines to crawl more of your pages as links will navigate them from one page to other relevant content. It will help them understand your content and site structure.
The science behind this is authority flows through the link on the internet. Authority is a kind of credibility. When you connect one page with high authority to other pages then it increases the likeliness of indexing other linked pages too as the main page is passing its credibility to other pages. Some call it “SEO juice” but many SEO experts call it “Authority”.
Note: do keep in mind that internal links do not increase your domain authority but only page authority.
External links helped you in elevating your domain authority (DA) but it depends on many factors that we will discuss in another article.
How To Set An Internal Links Strategy?
SEO strategy is the most important step in optimizing your site. The internal linking is one of SEO strategy and links should be added in such a way that google comprehend
- The links between pages
Identify Your Site Structure:
Consider your website as a pyramid. On top of it is homepage then comes the categories page and after that product pages. Structuring your site is important for its visibility and usability. Its structure has a significant impact on UX, if users couldn’t find easily your products and sale pages then it will increase the bounce rate and it is very implausible that they will become your regular customers.
Determine Your Most Important Content:
The next step is to determine which content is most important. Such content is called cornerstone content as this content is the most vital and central part of the whole site. Cornerstone content is mostly the long-form of informative article which covers various points and topics from different pages. The idea of such content is to provide all the information on the same page rather than on different pages and to provide maximum & complete information instead of selling products. However, linking it to the products pages will eventually lead to conversion.
So make sure your cornerstone article is present in the most prominent place on your site and users reach this article when they try to find products related information. As your site grows, you will add many articles written on the same topic but in a different direction. Then you need to link them back to their respective cornerstones articles for the reason that you want Google to know your cornerstone article is the most important one and bots will rank it higher than above.
When you write articles then add links in its sentences or at the end of the article. You should also link back the article to the main blog and give links from the main blog to relevant articles. It will create a chain of articles with symmetrical site architecture which will help google bots in determining the worth of each content.
Link All Your Hierarchical Pages:
If your site has hierarchical pages then link them with each other like your parent page with siblings and hence vice versa. Also, link sibling pages too because linking pages will make a perfect site structure that would be easy to read and navigate.
Add A Related Post Section:
There are a lot of plugins that help you add a related post section to your posts. But be careful as these posts should be relevant to the content. You could also add manually related posts. You can use Yoast for this purpose. They have internal linking tools that let you add links manually at the end of articles and also suggest relevant articles.
Add Navigational Links And Keyword Anchor Text:
Add navigational links in your post. It will help your users and Google to identify the categories and sub-categories.
Also, add keywords in your anchor text that link your page to others. Do not use the same keywords in all anchor text as it would look like spam to search engines. Just add links to your article, no overthinking about it, no manoeuvre just simple link insertion.
Hire an SEO Consultant
Hire a #1 SEO Consultant living in London, who was working with companies like Zoopla, uSwitch, Mashable, Thomson Reuters and many others. Hire Lukasz Zelezny (MCIM, F IDM).
Links Should Be Natural:
Internal linking provides the best user experience to improve user engagement on your site. If a user is reading one of your articles and they see a link embedded in it that is relevant and providing related information then the user will click on it, it could be an external link as well, as long as they are relevant to the topic.
Relevancy is the most important thing in internal linking. You cannot link random superficially related pages with another for just the sake of building internal linking.
Back in the days, people used nofollow links as an internal linking strategy as it will keep most of the SEO juice to one page only and hence page authority will increase. But such type of strategy has no value in SEO so now only do-follow links are placed in the article.
Keep The Links In Limit:
Google has already said to keep the internal links in an article to a reasonable number but nobody knows that what is the exact reasonable number.
Do not bombard your pages with an insane amount of links as it will lose credibility. So how many links your site should have?
Matt Cutts said that some might have 100 links and in other cases, more than 100 links also look just fine.
But in my opinion, the number of links depends upon the length of your article. For me, four to five links in a 1000 words article are enough.
Do not add too many site-wide footer links. A couple of years ago, this was the most common practice on real agent and travel websites. They would put their most demanding keyword link near the footer. It was common to see 50 of such links near the footer. However, the main problem with this was if you have multiple pages then 50 links on one page will eventually multiply into thousands and thousands of spam links. This would result in a penalty from google search engines. Therefore, in 2013 Google hit many of such websites with algorithm penalties and penalized them.
What Is Profile Linking?
As we are talking about link building, profile creation is one of the link building techniques that is used to strengthen your website and also the best strategy for backlinks building.
With profile linking, we create backlinks for our site. So how you create a profile link?
In the profile link, you add your domain URL to your professional, business, or even personal profile, and you can create these profiles on many platforms. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and even blog sites would let you create profiles for free. Although, these profiles look worthless to you however you don’t have any idea that how much traffic you can generate from these platforms. You could add one to two links on these profiles, which are considered do-follow links.
These profile links will dramatically affect your site positioning and traffic. In fact, in a recent survey, it has been identified that profile links on Instagram have increased conversion at a radical ratio.
So a hyperlink helps your users to navigate through your sites on the internet. You can create backlinks from many sites. The more backlinks your website has, the more visibility and popularity it will get.
There are several ways to generate backlinks and some of them are listed below:
- Blog post & comments
- Directory submission
- Web 2.0
- Private blog networking PBN
- Social media profile linking and posting i.e Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
- Guest post
- Forum post
Importance Of Profile Linking In SEO:
I would stress this point by explaining how important your profile link is.
In 2013, major changes were introduced by Google in form of the GOOGLE penguin algorithm, the introduction of the hummingbird, and google announce that social signals will not be counted as a factor in the search algorithm.
So how does it show the importance of the link profile?
with rigorous testing, existing data analysis, and discussion with an industry expert, it was noticed that profile linking accounts for more than 80% of the SEO ranking factor. And Google is also giving penalties related to link profile so we should emphasize what a good profile link is?
- High authority, high-value backlinks
- There should be no spammy backlinks.
- Google wants to see a branded anchor text. Branded anchor text is in which you include the name of your brand in text. For example, if your brand name is modern cosmetics then it would be your anchor name. It could be diluted branded anchor or combination with other keywords like “modern cosmetic’ best sea salt scrub is available at a discounted rate”.
- You should also use semantically relevant anchor text.
- After the penguin update, optimized anchor text was considered bad, and diluted anchor text good.
- Your linking site should have relevancy with your domain and business. If you create a link at an irrelevant site then Google will consider it as a spam link and your site would de-rank. Let’s take an example, your business is modern cosmetics and you create a backlink in the real estate agent website then it wouldn’t do any good to your site however a backlink from Sephora would enhance your profile. It dugs deeper than that, you should create a link where the content is also relevant.
- Do not create profile links at sites that are already compromised. It means the site itself is not spam but the links linking to it are spam and bad links that are compromising its authenticity. Once you linked your domain to such a site, then its poisonous value of spam links will also be transferred to your site.
- You should refresh your site links after some time as the value of a five years old link coming from DA 90+ is less than the fresh link from DA 80.
- When you add a link to a site then it should be a do-follow link rather than a no-follow link. A no-follow link does have some value but it doesn’t contribute to your ranking. So the deeper the link is embedded in the profile the more valuable it is.
How To Get Backlinks For Your Website?
Quality backlinks are important for your site but they take a lot of time so I will tell you a few methods which you can use to get high authoritative links for your domain.
The broken link method is one of the best methods as you will report to the webmaster about the broken links on the website. Then you will recommend him to replace those broken links with other website links and obviously, you would name your site. So chances are high for getting these links.
Guest post is also a great way to get backlinks. When you publish your article on a high DA site then your content gets more exposure and audience. Guest post is more than a backlink. Sometimes guest posts are done for exposure to new readers and building your online reputation.
If you want more organic traffic then you can spy on your competitor’s site by SEMRush or AHREFS tools to find out your competitor’s backlinks and SEO techniques. You could also take backlinks from the same site and find out flaws in his strategy to outrun them in the market. You could also spy on your competitors with the following tips.
- You could subscribe to your competitor’s newsletter so you would know how your competitors are baiting their customers.
- You could also put google alerts on your competitor’s site with new content. So when he will upload it, you will get a notification.
- Keep a balance on where and when your competitors are getting backlinks. it will assist you in how your competitors are competing with you and getting their traffic. You could use the monitor backlinks tool to spy on your competitor’s backlinks. it allows you to add up to four competitors’ sites. It will give you a monthly report on how many backlinks your competitors have added. With the tool, you could also get insight into these links worth and sort them on their value basis. This tool will highlight in green all domains from where you have got links already.
If your competitor is getting links by guest post then go for guest posting and if it is getting through commenting or blog reviews. Then you should contact the same blog and ask them to write reviews about you too.
You could add value to your site by following all tips and steps discussed above. Internal linking is as important as building backlinks. You can easily find out backlinks building opportunities with the right tools.