It’s so easy to get caught up in the glitzy SEO tips and tricks that flood the internet.
We spend so much time focusing on audits, research, and algorithms that we’ve stopped sweating the small stuff. And in this case, the small stuff can have big benefits.
One of the most overlooked SEO fundamentals is internal linking. Something so simple, yet we discard it like yesterdays underwear.
Internal linking connects one page of a website to a different page on the same website i.e. the source domain and the target domain remain the same. (rhyme intended)
Benefits of Internal Linking:
- Navigates users through your site,
- Boosts page views and rank,
- Spreads the link juice, and
- Helps Google index your pages
Here are 5 super simple internal linking strategies to help bolster your SEO.
1. The Deeper Your Links, The Better
“I’ll just link to my homepage,” said no SEO ever!
Avoid linking to pages your audience can easily find. If someone wants to do business with you, they can find their way through your navigation. There’s really no reason to push the sale so hard in your copy.
Instead, focus on linking to high-quality content they might not have found. Link to related blog posts that you’re sure they’ll enjoy. Not only is there a higher chance of them clicking through, but you’re giving authority to those pages. Google loves this and will reward you for it.
2. Don’t Just Link For The Sake Of It
Let’s say I have blog post is about gin bars. And, I have another about knitting needles.
Should I link the two pages?
Probably not, there is no strong connection between the two posts. Needless to say, the user reading about gin probably has no interest in knitting. But, a post on gin tastings will probably be an excellent internal link for my gin bar post.
The content overlaps, therefore it is relevant. Make sure to keep this in mind when choosing your links.
3. Use Anchor Text
Your internal link is best served in your text i.e. a simple hyperlink over relevant wording.
Choosing the wording for your anchor text is another conversation altogether.
But, by rule of thumb do the following: Just use natural, unoptimized sentence fragments as your anchor text. Don’t try so hard to get your keyword in there, because you’ll butcher the sentence.
No overthinking. No cute tricks. Just highlight, hyperlink and be done. Capeesh?
4. Follow vs Nofollow Links
There are two types of links you can attribute to a page – follow or nofollow.
Initially, all followed links. Nofollow links were only introduced by search engines back in 2005. Initially, SEO’s were up in arms about this confusing move – Do all links need to be changed to nofollow? Will my site lose too much link juice?
Despite the uproar, most people now agree that it was a good move.
The idea behind the nofollow was that the link should not influence the link target’s ranking in the search engine. Kind of like telling Google, “Hey G. Here’s a link, acknowledge it, but don’t do anything about it.”
Needless to say, nofollow links have no place in your internal linking strategy. You want your link value to flow between your pages. Keep things free and fluid.
5. Magic Number Of Links Per Post
That’s a trick question. There isn’t one.
Google’s recommendation on linking can’t even help you. All they have to say about it is: “Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number.”
So, should you be aiming for 5 or 100 links per post? All I can say is this – think of your user. Do you have 50 pieces of super relevant, kick-ass content relating to the topic you’re posting on? Then go for it! Link them in. If not, those 2 links are perfectly adequate.
After reading this you might be thinking about slamming your head against the wall. Please don’t. We completely understand that making small tweaks like this to every single blog post is unrealistic on your schedule.
If SEO is something you don’t have time for? Lucky for you, it’s what we live for. Contact BEAN today for a complete SEO overhaul.