September 15, 2014
Internal linking has always been considered a great (and necessary) SEO process, but for many companies it doesn’t get any extra attention. Linking to another page within your website helps to improve navigation and keep people on your site for longer, so the more relevant links you can add the better. Simple, right?
Internal linking is simple, but on-page optimization is now more important than ever because of the Google changes that put a focus on quality websites and content over link building. Thinking about different ways you can utilize internal linking can help you get ahead. In other words, don’t just blindly link within your content—spend some time learning about all of your internal linking options and the best ways to make it happen.
The idea of spending time analyzing your internal links for type as opposed to just relevance was outlined exceptionally well here by SEO expert Ben Acheson. Below explains some of the different ways he explains how you can use internal links along with some of my own:
Always make sure that your product/ service pages are linking to one another if they are related. If you sell something in two different styles or for two different prices, make sure that your pages are making reference to the others.
You can also think of this in the same way for similar pages, such as content. If you have a blog, use a plugin to put “related articles” at the bottom of each blog page. This is technically internal linking even though it’s not the traditional kind.
Breadcrumbs, which you can learn more about here, are great for navigation. They help to link your product pages back to category pages so that people are able to go back to where they started. If you don’t want to use breadcrumbs, then simply make sure that you put a category link on every single one of your pages. According to Acheson, “this will help distribute link equity around the site and can help your category pages rank for more generic keywords.”
This is one that many companies miss. It makes sense to link to category pages to your product pages (or blog, however your site works) and vice versa, but what’s the point of linking one category page to another? For many this might seem like overkill, but it’s actually a great way to keep your site easy to navigate and improve your SEO.
Category pages will already have better SEO than your product pages because they should be easiest to find, so you should capitalize on this by including internal links with the right keywords in the anchor text. Acheson suggests focusing on higher-volume keywords. Remember, while keyword rich anchor text isn’t a good idea when you’re writing a piece of content and publishing it on a website, they are OK when it comes to category pages.
Whenever you publish a blog or content on your website, see if a product page or category is relevant and link to it within the content. Companies tend to forget about this because they focus on linking content to content (the next point), but you can’t forget about your category and product pages! After all, if you have optimized these pages then that means they will have a lot of great content included as well. Our SEO Services page is an example of a category page.
This is the type of internal linking we’re used to implementing. The more you write content the more pages you’re going to have to work with when it comes to internal linking, so you’ll start to find that you can always reference a “learn more here” to another piece of content. This is the easiest type of internal linking and one that Google appreciates.
Linking has been a touchy subject for SEOs for several months now (particularly after the Matt Cutts announcement); so many companies are shying away from too much linking. While it is important to only link to relevant pages and absolutely watch your external links, internal linking is slightly different. You can’t spam your pages with internal links, but you can put a few more than usual. Keyword rich anchor text isn’t as big of an issue here as it is when you are publishing on other platforms. In fact, it’s expected that category pages especially will be full of keyword-rich anchor text.
In the end, it’s a good idea to go through all of your pages and not only focus on the content and the internal linking you did do, but also focus on the types of internal links that you might be missing.
How else do you link internally within your website? Let us know in the comment section below.
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