In terms of SEO strategy, internal linking is one of the most important methods for development.
Building links with other sites gives added authority to your site – resulting in high rankings and a most trusted brand image. But internal linking can be just as important in the overall development of your site.
The concept of internal linking is a pretty simple one – each page of your site should include links to other pages of your site. By including the 'right' number of links, a few magic keywords and relevant destinations, you can optimise your SEO and user experience.
Unlike links to your site from external sources, these links won't pass any new authority to your pages, but that doesn't mean they have no effect on how your site is indexed and ranks.
In terms of SEO, there are several benefits from internal linking. For example, the anchor text that you consistently associate with a given page can help Google to understand its relevance in that field. Likewise, links help Google's search crawlers to understand the layout of your site to establish a page hierarchy.
Internal linking also provides non-SEO benefits; namely visitor retention, a more easily navigable site and a marked increase in conversion possibilities as links give more momentum in directing users through the buying cycle.
So, where to start? Here are three quick ideas:
Use a plugin
If your site is built in WordPress, there are a number of plugins available that will automatically include internal links as a hyperlink to certain keywords.
Avoid 'keyword stuffing'
Google has become quite clever at spotting keyword stuffing and will flag any pages it deems suspicious.
Choose which pages you want to rank highly
Identify which pages you'd like to direct people to and make sure you place internal links on the highest authority pages of your site that lead directly to those pages.
Overall, it's recommended that, on your site, no page should be more than three clicks away from another page. This level of linking will improve both your SEO and your site (and, by extension) your company's bottom line.
Although internal linking tends to be overshadowed by the more powerful effects of intelligent, external link building – it's a strategy that's well worth the small amount of effort it takes.
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