There is not a good SEO manager out there that will not tell you how important internal linking is. From developing a good SEO for your website to making it easier to navigate, internal linking is quite necessary. But, surprisingly, a lot of people still struggle with their internal linking. They either don't understand what it is and neglects it completely. Or they do use it but apply strategies that are outdated and obsolete. So, to combat this, we are going to take a better look into internal linking and how to master your internal linking strategy.
Understanding internal linking
So, what is internal linking? Well, in a nutshell, internal linking is connecting existing pages on your website to a particular page on your website. You are internally linking the pages, hence the name. So, with this in mind, why is internal linking so important and why is it necessary that you master your internal linking strategy? Is it really necessary to go through the trouble of finding appropriate pages and to link them? Well, once you take a closer look at it, you might be surprised at how important internal linking actually is.
Why is internal linking important?
In order to list all the reasons why internal linking is important, we would require a whole article, if not two. So, just to give you an idea of why it is important that you master your internal linking strategy and develop a solid internal linking plan, here a couple of ways in which internal linking affect your online presence:
- Increasing the value of content – The more natural and the more relevant your links are, the more important your content is going to be for Google. Therefore, by internally linking your website, you will make all of your pages that much more relevant.
- Likelihood of backlinks – A high number of pages with good internal linking is a great base for improving your backlink strategy. The easier it is to find your content and connect it to various subjects, the better you will stand when it comes to backlinks.
- Helping Google Crawler navigate to your website – Google Crawler is Google's engine that goes through websites and deduces what they are about. Now, the process of doing so can be arduous and difficult. That is if you do not have a good internal linking strategy. If your website is properly linked, Crawler will go through it with ease and give it an SEO boost.
Can you do without it?
So, after all, that we've mentioned, is it possible for you to go without internal linking. Well, theoretically yes. But, if you want to have a chance at decent online traffic, you need to deal with internal linking, and do so with care. Keep in mind that the things we've mentioned are only a part of the effect that internal linking has. So, if you want to do yourself a favor, make sure that your internal linking is top-notch.
Master your internal linking for SEO strategy
Now comes the questions “What is a good internal linking strategy?”. Well, while that is a good question, there is no straightforward answer. Two websites can differ wildly, which is why having a one-for-all linking strategy is impossible. But, there are certain trends and ideas that you should be aware of in order to master your internal linking strategy.
Update old links
One of the common mistakes people make with internal linking is to neglect to update old links. Some links may become useless or dead after a while. Such links do little to better your internal linking and instead only make your website only difficult to navigate. So, if you want to keep your website optimized, you need to be adjusting your broken links like a pro. Either delete obsolete ones or consider integrating new ones. Remember, the best internal linking strategies link new content with older, more visited pages.
Picking the right anchor
A big part of proper internal linking is picking the right anchor. Now, there are two ways to go about it. If you are not dealing much with SEO, you can simply pick anchors that sound the most natural. Ideally, you want your anchor to be a short summary of your webpage and the text naturally transitions to it.
On the other hand, if you are dealing with SEO, you will need to integrate your keywords with your anchors. This will require you to master your internal linking strategy and then combine it with your SEO strategy. Although this might sound difficult at first, it will become pretty straightforward after a while. But, make no mistake about it, it will require you to do bit more research about SEO management.
Avoiding page clusters
Some pages may naturally link to one another, and that is a completely normal thing to happen. But, what you want to avoid is to make clusters of linked pages. Ideally, all of your pages should be somehow connected to one another. If a person cannot reach from one page to another simply by following your links, your internal linking for SEO strategy is not good.
The final, and arguably the most important, the thing we are going to mention is that you need to have natural linking. This means that the content on the webpage needs to well connected to the links you place. Such links have much better value, both for people visiting your website and for Google engines that rank it. Therefore, if you want to have a decent internal linking, make sure that the connect your present is properly integrated with the links. Remember, there is no limitation to how many or how few links you have. But, the usual WordPress advice is to have around 3-4 links for a 1000 word page and that those links are worth visiting.