Internal Linking 101

4 June 2017| Post by Graham

AuthorGraham

Implementing internal links is essential for your SEO strategy, and something you want to get right to avoid getting them really wrong.

What is an internal link?

Internal Link Code

Put simply, an internal link is a link on your website that points from page /A to page /B. It’s a way of navigating users to relevant pages that sit deeper within your site, and on the flip side, it also helps search engines gain a better understanding about the relationship between the pages within your site.

Things to consider

Internal Links 101

Anchor Text is the text you use for the internal link and can be taken into consideration by search engines. It also keeps the site clean and tidy by avoiding what’s called ‘noise’ such as ‘click here’ and replacing it with relevant, keyword-rich anchor text instead.

The location of the page is very important and is often where most people go wrong. If the next few sentences sound familiar, get comfy, this one is for you. Scenario: Jamming as many internal links, using keyword-stuffed anchor text within the footer of your site in order to rank better. What are you doing? It’s 2017! Google has algorithms against manipulative footer links, so if you’re wondering why you aren’t ranking well…you’re very welcome.

The link target in our first example was from page /A to page /B. You don’t want to start linking pages willy-nilly. Applying topical relevance to your internal links is the main objective.

The importance of the linking page is again, very important. If you have a page on your site that has lots of external links pointing to it, it gains more authority, meaning it will rank well. You should look to link that stronger page, to a weaker but topically relevant page on your site.

The relevance of the link, as previously mentioned, is fundamental. Search engines take notice of internal links that lack context and not in a good way. Plus, nobody wants to be reading information on weight loss, which includes an internal link to discount codes for Krispy Kreme donuts. That’s just cruel and unnecessary.

The first link on the page should also be considered, as the anchor text used for the internal link will pass the most authority. Any other internal links on the page, not so much. Very much like external links, search engines favour the links that feature higher up the page.

The type of link matters too. Keep internal links in HTML format and try and avoid doing anything complex with JavaScript. Although Google can read and follow JavaScript links they don’t treat them with the same authority or ranking influence. If you are using an image as an internal link, the alt attribute becomes the anchor text for that internal link.

The value of internal linking is hugely underestimated and SEO can be a hard topic to wrap your head around. With algorithm updates happening all the time it can be difficult to understand what needs to be done in order to stay ahead. Steer clear of the many SEO myths making the rounds! … See what I did there.

Applying the simple points above to your site can offer quick wins that will boost your SEO efforts. So what are you waiting for?!

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