Internal Linking is not anymore a secret to the Bloggers in perspective of SEO. Building internal links play a crucial role in Search Engine Optimization as it depicts how stronger the content is, or, how important the post is (?) as many of the blog pages will linking towards that post. Linking to a Page/post from various different posts will emphasize Google about the importance of the post/content!
If you are hearing the term – “Internal Linking” for the first time, don’t worry ! Read the full post.
This Guide about Building internal links will help you Understanding the Internal Linking Strategy and will provide a scope to improve your Overall Website’s SEO. In this Post, I’ll Cover:
- Understanding the Term “Internal Linking“
- Why Internal Linking Is Important?
- How to Maximize Internal Linking.
- 5 ways to Improve your Website’s Internal Linking.
- Tools to improve Internal Link Building of your WordPress Blog.
What is an Internal Link?
According to Moz,
Internal Links are hyperlinks that point at (target) the same domain as the domain that the link exists on (source). In layman’s terms, an internal link is one that points to another page on the same website.
According to Wikipedia,
An internal link is a type of hyperlink on a webpage to another page or resource, such as an image or document, on the same website or domain. Hyperlinks are considered either “external” or “internal” depending on their target or destination.
Generally, a link to a page outside the same domain or website is considered external, whereas one that points at another section of the same webpage or to another page of the same website or domain is considered internal.
An excellent example of contents with mass internal linking is Wikipedia.
Why Internal Linking is Important?
One thing you should always remember that, Search Engines (mainly Google) shows only a few pages on the Search results which are the Best. Keeping that view, it is obvious that they must count the number of inbound links or the Backlinks pointing from third party websites. And those backlinks will serve as ranking factors.
Similarly, links from different posts of your website will emphasize the content importance, and the anchor text from which the link points will serve as a Keyword. Hence you will be ranked better by Google.
Internal links are valuable not just because they are a direct signal that your content is important, but also because those links themselves pass on their own link authority.
If inbound links are like other sites voting for your content and telling search engines what your content is about, internal links are like voting for yourself and also letting the search engine know about your vote.
So, What are the benefits of Internal Links Optimization?
There are several Positive effects that you can achieve via Internal Links Optimization:
- Easy Navigation for the First time visitors.
- Increase the number of Page views.
- Reduces the Bounce Rate.
- Spreading the Link juice throughout the website.
- Internal Links are much more easily controlled and optimized than external backlinks.
- Benefit from visitor responses to organic call-to-actions.
How to Maximize Internal Linking
You have to be conscious while Creating Internal Links. If you really care for a post or content that you want to get better on Google, then you must point that particular post from different other post of your website.
Start by considering how a search engine understands the value of an internal link; it’s looking at how many pages on your website link to that page, and how they link to it. If every page of your website links to something, it must be important to you — like your homepage, or your blog’s homepage.
But, if your blog is being pointed from only “Contact us” or “About us” page of your website, then you should be serious now. By doing so, you are giving a strong signal to Google that your post/contents are not great.
Maximizing internal Linking could only be possible when you have a mass number of Posts on your website. But if you have a few posts on your website, then you could add “Related post” in between the post contents. Like,
There are many ways through which you can improve the internal Linking of your website. We will now discuss some of the points that will help you to improve the internal linking structure.
5 Ways to improve Internal Linking:
1. Site Navigation:
You should spend a lot of time to enhance User-friendly Navigation on your website.
Site Navigation can be broken down into the main page navigation and a sub navigation. The main page navigation generally links to the main pages on the site. e.g. Home Page, About Us, Site Map, Contact Us
A sub navigation menu could include categories (for services, an ecommerce site or blog).
You should make navigation such that the Both “Main Page Navigation” and “Sub Page Navigation” should be included in an User-friendly manner. No internal Page should be left Unlinked from the Homepage.
2. Increase the Number of Posts:
In Order maximize the number of internal links on a post, you must have a great number of posts. Lets, take the example of Wikipedia. They have contents almost on every topic. Therefore, they could add internal links on every sentence. This could not be made possible if they had a fewer numbers of posts.
Furthermore, if you have written 20 posts and all are from different niche, you can’t interlink those posts to each other. So, to overcome this situation, you should write posts related to your previous niche. And also, Write huge number of articles on your niche topics and then internal link them to other relevant posts you have written.
3. Link the higher authority pages of your site to the less popular pages
It is always good to Pass link juice from the most popular posts or pages of your website to the less popular pages. This will act as a backlink from higher authority pages, and hence Search Engine will realize the content importance.
Link from Higher authority pages to lower authority pages will also send visitors to the less popular post, and hence will decrease the Bounce rate of your website.
To find the Higher authority or popular posts of your website, i recommend using Open Site Explorer. Here are the steps how to use the tool:
- Go to Open Site Explorer.
- Type your Website URL.
- Click on the “Top Pages” button.
- Now you will get the top pages by Page authority. You can open up these pages and link to your own pages that have weak page authority.
4. Use of Proper anchor texts:
You might have thinking “What are anchor texts?” Well! Anchor texts are the Clickable texts in hyperlinks. SEO best practices dictate that anchor text should be relevant to the page you’re linking to, rather than generic text.
Using proper anchor texts can make your internal links appear legitimate in Google’s eye. Anchor texts helps the Readers to have a rough idea about the contents they are going to get after opening up the link.
While using Proper anchor texts, one should always keep in mind that “Google hates Super Optimized anchor texts”. They consider exact match texts as spam. For example, You should not link a post titled “How to reduce belly fat ” with the anchor text “how to reduce belly fat”.
5. “Dofollow” internal links
When you link to some of your posts within that same domain you would want the bots to actually crawl them. There were some discussion in the past whether you should ‘no-follow’ or ‘dofollow your internal links; and the clear answer is that you should dofollow it.
Keeping your internal links “dofollow”, You should always “nofollow” the external links. This will avoid you getting Penalised by Google.
Tools to improve Internal Link Building of WordPress Blog
In order to improve internal linking of your WordPress Blog, there are certain tools and plugins which will help you to do your internal linking Quite effectively.
One should concentrate on building Internal Links from the beginning. But before that, you should have a decent amount of Posts.
Some of the most popular WordPress Plugins to ease or automate the internal link building Process are as follows:
#1. Internal Link Building WordPress Plugin
This interlinking plugin for WordPress will let you easily and meaningfully link to your old articles, pages or other sites to improve their rankings in search engines and generate more clicks.
You can add keywords and specific URL will be attached to them after the content. This way you can link the specific words for which you want a link to be indexed.
#2. Mentionable WordPress Plugin
Mentionable is a handy tool, created by the folks at XWP, that saves a lot of time on internal linking. The plugin adds @mentions to the visual editor with autocomplete for any content published on the site, including posts, pages, media, and custom post types.
You can also create custom template replacement on the front-end based on your needs.
#3. “Ultimate Nofollow” WordPress Plugin
Though it is not directly related to internal linking, yet it is a very handy plugin to choose whether the link should be Nofollow or dofollow.
This plugin contains several tools in one package to significantly increase your control of the rel=”nofollow” tag on every link on your blog, on both an individual and categorical basis. It is designed to give you fine-grained control of linking for SEO purposes.
#4. Internal Linking For Scheduled Posts
This WordPress Plugin will allow you to do internal linking of the Schedule posts that are scheduled for the future.
N.B. This plugin has not been updated over 2 years.
Internal linking is one of the things you can do today to your website or blog to improve your SEO and rankings. It has its own significance. Internal Linking is one of the most recommended ways to get better SERP.
Use of Proper anchor texts, maintaining ratio of external vs internal links, Good Site Navigation along with the points that we discussed here will help you to improve your Internal Linking Strategy, and hence will Boost your Website’s Overall SEO.
Please feel free to leave your comments below if you have any ideas to Share.