Internal Linking – The Most Powerful Underutilized Form of Search Engine Optimization
Are you on the lookout for the most effective SEO technique that will take your website to the top of the organic rankings? All webmasters want to rank on the first spot for their target keywords, but achieving this feat is easier said than done. There’s no question that links still play a critical role in increasing rankings, but many build them just for the sake of getting more links.
Google doesn’t deny the fact that links are among their top three ranking factors. This has prompted online marketers to keep building links, thinking that it’s still a numbers game. But other than building a massive number of links from irrelevant websites in a short period, there’s another glaring problem that often goes unnoticed. Many make the mistake of focusing exclusively on external links instead of putting the time and effort to build a solid internal linking strategy.
The Power of Internal Links
It’s surprising how countless webmasters take internal links for granted. They show not care at all about how the pages on their website are interconnected, thinking that it doesn’t affect their rankings. But just like external links, Google considers internal links to figure out the relevancy of different web pages. In a way, they also act like votes, giving Google a clearer picture of what the web pages are all about.
Any webmaster should understand that Google’s algorithm breaks down a web page’s relevancy and authority. Everybody knows that it’s beneficial to receive a link from an authoritative and relevant website. It’s a different story if you get a link from an authoritative site, but one that belongs to a different niche than yours.
The same concept applies to internal linking. Ensuring that the most relevant pages on your site are interconnected does a lot in improving the flow of link juice around your site. When one page on your site links out to other pages, these linked-to pages get a huge boost in trust, authority, and relevancy.
Focusing on a Specific Niche
A site that contains content about different topics is more challenging to build and rank than a site that focuses on a specific niche. It’s far easier to build both internal and external links if there’s only one topic to worry about.
It’s also worth noting that creating a menu system to link out to different pages on your site will not do you any favor. It’s important to build internal links within your page’s content. In case you didn’t know, the links found in your menu system are considered boilerplate links, which are often ignored by Google bots. What’s worse is that when you have a lot of boilerplate links, your site might get penalized.
Constantly Updating Your Content
It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of updating your content regularly. You might think that you’re on the right path when you’re publishing content on your blog at least once a week, but failing to add internal links may be the reason why you’re still not ranking well. After releasing new content, you should take the time to sift through your older pages and find the most relevant ones where you can add internal links pointing to your new content. This simple tactic can go a long way helping new pages rank faster and higher in the organic rankings.
An easy trick to speed up this process is to go to Google and type site:yoursite.com “keyword.” Google will return a list of the most relevant pages on your site based on the keyword you entered. Through this, you don’t have to go through the different pages on your site.
You may also want to consider using plugins that show related pages at the end of each post. Just remember that not all of these plugins are created equal, so spend enough time doing your research and trying different plugins to see which one provides the best results. Take note that these generated links aren’t considered boilerplate links, so they should not harm your website in any way. But the use of this plugin shouldn’t replace inserting links within your content itself.
Using the Right Anchor Text
Lastly, you should understand that Google is a little less strict when it comes to the anchor text you use for your internal linking. When building external links, it’s dangerous to use exact match keywords, as this tells Google that you’re trying to game their system. But with internal links, you can get away with using the exact keyword more often. Still, you should mix it up a bit and use branded terms, partial matches, and generic text.