Internal Linking for SEO: How to Create a Linking Strategy That Works

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Most SEOs have become used to listening to what a score tells them before they can take any action. And to this day, there isn’t a single tool that tells you exactly how bad your internal linking for SEO is. 

Because of that, an internal linking strategy is often neglected by webmasters despite its importance. And it might be the missing link in your SEO strategy.

That’s what we’re going to cover in this post. 

We’ll share with you the basics of internal linking and why it’s important. You’ll learn the best practices to improve your SERP rankings and user experience.

Let’s get started.

What is an Internal Link?

An internal link is a hyperlink on a website that links to another web page on the same domain. It helps visitors browse the site efficiently and with more ease.

Internal links are used in the main navigations and footers, but they’re also found within the article’s body or the content on any page.

What is Internal Linking for SEO?

An internal linking strategy is the way internal links are organized on a website and is part of your larger link building strategy. Strategies may differ in execution, but they have a common goal at the end — which is to achieve the best SEO results.

All websites have a home page — which then links to other pages such as: 

Within these pages, there are tons of other subpages that provide useful content to the user.

Why is a Good Internal Linking Strategy Important for SEO?

With an excellent internal linking strategy, you’ll be able to boost your SEO results with little to no effort. 

Internal linking is an On-Page SEO practice that takes little time and planning. However, it delivers incredible results at the end.

Here’s how a good internal linking structure can help your website grow:

1- User Experience

The hierarchy of information within your website is the most important aspect of your internal linking structure.

Good internal linking helps anyone browsing your website and use it more effectively. It saves your visitors the trouble of thinking about where to click next or wondering where they can find what they came for.

With that, the bounce rate and exit rate for your pages will be much lower. And at the same time, their rankings in the SERPs will improve.

2- Crawling and Indexing

Google crawling spiders move from one page to another each time they find a new link. Internal linking helps them crawl all existing pages on a website and index them in the SERPS.

With a well-organized site architecture, new content on your website will be found and indexed much more quickly. That saves you from having too many orphan pages with zero links coming to them. 

Having an internal linking structure also helps Google bots understand the hierarchy of pages in your domain. That allows them to rank those pages accordingly based on importance. 

Tips For Using Anchor Texts to Create Internal Links

An anchor text is a clickable word or a phrase within a page that links to another page. 

It’s essential to use the right keywords when linking to pages. Google wants those words to be relevant and related to the content on the page you’re linking to.

You must also stay away from repeating the same phrases and links on the same page. Make sure the words flow naturally within your text and avoid keyword stuffing at all costs.

Internal Linking Best Practices

Having a solid site structure is the first step to internal linking for SEO. And unless your website has millions of pages, a pyramidal structure can work wonders for you. 

Your main page comes at the top, and will then link to other secondary pages such as “blog, contact, about.” 

Under those pages come the next most important pages on your website.

Now that you understand the basic structure, let’s go over some of the practices that will help you create internal links easily.

Add a Related Posts Section

This section comes within your post pages and serves a list of related content to the article on the page. It encourages visitors to read more of your articles, thus, making them spend more time on your website.

related posts are a great tool for internal linking for SEO

We recommend that you manually link to related posts for each article you create. That allows you to generate a good amount of related internal links between posts in less time.

You can also add links to your most popular posts throughout different pages on your website. That helps you drive more visitors towards consuming your best content

Create Links Between Articles

Linking between articles is a technique that works well with any type of content online.

Following the pyramid structure, you can create in-depth content that covers everything about a topic. You must then support it with shorter posts that go over different subtopics in less detail. 

This method helps you generate lots of high-quality internal links. It establishes a hierarchy that allows Google to decide on the most important pages to favor in the SERPs. 

Make Use of Dofollow/Nofollow Links

If you link to all pages with the same number of links, Google will assume that they’re on the same level in your pyramid. But if all your pages are important, none of them really is.

Here’s what the HTML code for a normal link looks like:

<a href=”” > Blog </a>

And here’s a nofollow link:

<a href=”” rel=”nofollow” > Blog </a>

Using the nofollow tag, you can help Google better differentiate between an unimportant login page, and the most popular posts in your blog.

Update and Remove Broken Links

Broken internal links are often overlooked when it comes to internal linking for SEO. Everyone is looking to create new links to boost their rankings. 

While losing a single link may not heavily affect your SEO, the existence of broken links on your website might. 

If the link takes the bots to a page that doesn’t exist, Google will still show it in the SERPs, but as a 404 not found page. That will hurt both your SERP rankings and negatively affect user experience.

You should always look for broken links on your website and update them to link to fresher content. You must also remove links for pages that longer exist and redirect them to newer pages. 

You’ll avoid losing dozens of monthly visitors over a simple tweak.

Final Thoughts

A pyramidal site structure is a good starting point for establishing a well-defined page hierarchy.

And due to the importance of site structure, it’s something that you need to work on continuously. There are always changes and tweaks you can make to improve user experience and eventually your SEO rankings.

Need help growing your company online with SEO? Start by uncovering your SEO score for free in a few minutes. We’ll help you find solutions tailored specifically for your business.

Jeramy Gordon is the founder and Chief Content Officer at the Lorem Ipsum Company. He has been creating successful content strategies for almost two decades and believes in the power of high-quality content. He lives in Orange County, California, with his wife and two children.

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