There are approximately 200 elements to the Google algorithm, and yet, most of the focus of SEO is on external link building. To gain a consistent ranking, focusing on a broad range of factors is vital. A component that is not often discussed is internal linking. Building links between pages is essential for on-site optimisation, spreading authority around your entire website. So what’s the secret to improving your SEO with internal linking?
Analyse Your Site
Assuming your site is already active, you will probably have some pages without internal links. Analysing your website will help you establish which pages are most powerful and others that have great potential. Google Analytics will show the pages receiving the most traffic, while a rank tracker tool will show the position of pages for a host of keywords. SEO tools like Majestic can also determine the authority of a page and the number of backlinks it is receiving. Compiling this information will enable you to move forward with smart internal linking.
Add Contextual Links to Existing Content
The best types of internal links are contextual; that is, placed in the body of your content. You don’t need to worry about site navigation, which naturally includes links to the homepage, contact information, and similar pages. The research completed in the first step should have identified authoritative pages and other pages that are close to a prime position in Google. By adding links from the powerful blog posts to the next tier pages, it is possible to improve rankings quickly.
Use Relevant Anchor Text
Linking between pages should help visitors navigate your content. Rather than using generic text links, it is essential to highlight relevant text within an article and connect it to an appropriate page. This anchor text will also help search engines categorise the topical content. As search engines have become better at understanding context, though, there is less requirement for using exact match keywords as your anchor text.
Follow a Regular Posting Schedule
To get the most benefit from internal linking, follow a posting schedule. As each new article gets posted, you can add appropriate links, creating more backlinks, and therefore allowing your entire site to become more authoritative.
Run Regular Audits
The trust and authority of your site will not be stationary. As a page continues to gain backlinks, it is natural for the authority to increase. Additionally, rankings will change, so a page might gradually improve its position for some keywords. Regular audits will ensure you are aware of any movements, enabling you to adjust internal link targets to suit your current situation.
Internal linking is something that seems inconsequential, but can actually have a significant impact on ranking. A few links that direct towards a target page can quickly lead to a jump in rankings and increased authority on the page. Additionally, you can direct visitors to particular pages using contextual links within the related text. Internal linking might only be one factor among many that impact rankings, but it should become one of the most used elements in your SEO toolbox.
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