Internal links are one of the most important link building strategies within your SEO strategy, however, this process is often neglected by a lot of marketers. We often focus on building quality backlinks to build our credibility and gain trust with Google, but what about the effects that a strong internal linking strategy can have on your website? Linking within your site pages can seem like an easy task to complete, but doing this strategically is something that hasn’t been widely talked about. Here are our 6 top tips on how to effectively do internal linking on your site.
What Is An Internal Link?
First things first, let’s get back to basics and explain internal links in more detail. An internal link will connect one page of your website to a different page within the same website. The source domain and target domain of these internal links will be the same.
Your website users will use these links to navigate through your site so they can easily find the content they are looking for. Search engines will also use these links to navigate through your site. They will not see your site’s page if there are no links directing them to it.
Strategies That Will Help You To Build An Internal Linking Strategy
Adopt Orphaned Pages
Have you ever wondered why some of your pages don’t rank in Google’s organic search results after it has been published? One of the reasons behind this could be that other pages within your website don’t link to them.
You can fix this by adopting the orphaned pages within your site and internally linking them to relevant pages as they can help to increase conversions on your site. You will be able to view the orphaned pages on Ahrefs using the site audit feature.
Develop Topic Clusters
To begin your internal linking strategy, your first step should start off by making a list of the hub pages within your site. These will help you build out topic clusters and gain a better understanding of your site’s architecture.
A topic cluster will have a target page in the middle that is surrounded by supporting pages. These pages will all link to the target page, however, these supporting pages will not link to each other.
When you are creating your internal linking strategy it is important that your message is always clear. To achieve this you must group posts together that are relative to help show Google how they interact with each other within your site.
You can also do this by linking related products together. This will help you to build a better topical cluster for your web visitors. As a result, Google’s site crawlers will be able to connect the dots about the topic of each content. Overall, this process will improve your website’s chance of ranking in organic search.
Find Your Power Pages and Link Down
To effectively complete this point, you should figure out which pages on your site receive the most traffic. These pages are known as your ‘Power pages’. They will play a key role within your internal linking strategy.
Once you have identified your power pages, you can now start to use these to link out to other pages on your website.
It is a good idea to start off by finding out the keywords that your website users have typed into search engines to find your power pages. You can then use these keywords to find related pages on your site to link to.
Choosing The Right Anchor Text
When you are building an anchor link within your site, it is a good idea to use exact match anchor text when linking to the page you are using to rank for the target keyword.
To effectively complete this step you should add a few words before and/or after the exact match anchor text to create a partial match variation. Each anchor text variation that you use should fit seamlessly to the content of the page you are using.
However, adding too many exact match anchors on your website will be a red flag to Google that will show them that you are trying to rank higher within their search engine.
Replace Broken Internal Links
Broken pages will make it more difficult for search engine’s crawlers to index your website. If your site has been published for a while, some of your page’s URLs may have changed for a number of reasons. This is normal as your website’s content will constantly need to be updated with relevant and more up to date information.
It is essential that you identify these broken URLs and replace them with the current URL that you are using or a link that leads to a related page on your site. One of the ways that you can identify these broken links is using Ahrefs by navigating to “Best by links” in the Pages menu. Then you should open the HTTP Code drop-down menu, and select 404 not found.
Limit Internal Links
On top of building your topic clusters, you can also carry out an audit of the pages on your site to ensure that your strategy is consistent throughout all pages. You can start this by uncovering the pages that have a high number of internal links. We recommend using Link Whisper to complete this step.
You should remove these links and replace them with links from relative clusters. It is important that you avoid linking to pages outside of the clusters you have created.
Just like with inbound internal links, you can organize your outbound external links from the same page to show you those with the most links pointing away from your site.
Now that you know how to effectively do internal linking on your website, it is time to start working on your strategy. If you would like to know more about internal linking and how this can play an essential role in ranking your on Google’s organic search, talk to one of our SEO consultants Belfast today.