Are you thinking about building a website or a blog? Perhaps you have recently built a website for yourself or your business? Whatever the situation be, one thing that is absolutely critical to your new site’s success is Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Optimizing your website for search engines can be one of the most overwhelming tasks for new website owners. Everyone wants their website to come up at the top of Google search results. Unfortunately, most website owners don’t realize just how much work it takes in order to make that happen.
Image Courtesy: LunaMetrics
When it comes to SEO, there are many different factors that go into your website’s ranking. One of the best things that you can do to increase your search ranking is to use internal linking. As you can probably tell, this article is geared towards website newbies, and we are going to discuss what internal linking is, why it’s important for search engine optimization, tips for using internal linking, and the benefits of doing so.
What is Internal Linking?
Very simply, internal linking is the process of linking one page of your website with another page of your website. You probably see internal links all the time when visiting other websites without even realizing it. For example, say you’re on a website’s Home page and there’s a link to the About page — that’s an internal link. When internal links are set up properly, they allow your visitors to navigate through your website and learn everything they need to know about your website’s topic.
Why is Internal Linking Important for SEO?
For those of you who are familiar with the importance of Inbound Links, which are links to your website from other websites, then you know that search engines like Google and Bing look at how many inbound links your website has in order to derive how valuable your site is for a given topic. The more inbound links you have, especially those from high-ranking websites, the higher your site will rank for a given topic. The same is true, though slightly different, when it comes to internal links.
If there is a page on your website that you think is absolutely critical for your visitors to land on in order for them to understand your website’s topic then you’re going to make sure that you link to that page from as many pages as possible within your website. Search engines can see how many pages within your website link to this critical page. The more pages on your site that drive visitors to that critical page, the higher search engines will rank that page for your website’s topic.
Using the logic above, let’s review an example. Let’s say your website is about the importance of eating organic fruits and vegetables. Within your website you have a web page that shows an important study from a high-profile nutritionist in which the data shows the benefits of organic foods versus non-organic foods. If your goal is to get more people to eat organic food and this study provides real evidence of the benefits of doing so, then you’re going to want to link to that study from as many other pages within your website as possible. This way, no matter where a visitor lands within your site, he can quickly get to your “Study page”. As Google’s algorithm crawls your website it will pick up on the fact that your Study page is linked from all other pages within your site. Google will take note of that and make your Study page the main page that it serves up to people who are searching for the benefits of eating organic food.
Tips for Using Internal Linking on Your Website
Internal linking is a pretty straightforward concept. Once website owners understand the importance of using internal links, and how to properly do so, it’s a pretty easy task to start incorporating internal links on your website. With that said, here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Make sure the anchor text for your internal links are filled with keywords that make sense for the page that you’re linking to
- Keep the number of internal links on any one page to 3 or less
- Bullet lists that link to other pages within your site are a great way to utilize internal links
- Limit the number of outgoing links (links to other websites) to only a few throughout your entire site. Outbound links lowers your SEO juice as that juice flows to the site you’re linking to
Benefits of Internal Links on Your Website
Using internal links on your website is extremely important for many different reasons. Some of the top benefits of using internal links are as follows:
- Indicates to search engines what your most important pages are
- Increases your ranking for the keywords you link from
- Helps visitors navigate through your website efficiently
- Moves certain pages within your website higher in search engine results
- Attracts more visitors to your website through higher search engine ranking
- Allows you to ensure visitors to your website are seeing your most important content
Ways to Incorporate Internal Links on Your Website
There are a lot of ways to incorporate internal links on your website. Here are a few of the best ways:
- Blog articles – Writing blog articles provides you with the opportunity to focus on a key topic and link your blog readers from your blog article to other pages within your website
- Text links – Internal links can be placed from any content within your website. Be sure your anchor text are keywords that you think people will use when trying to find websites that focus on the topic that your website is focused on.
- Banner ads – Internal banner ads are a great way to utilize internal links. Do you have a sidebar on your website? If so, putting a banner ad in the sidebar that links your visitors to your top pages is another good way to utilize internal links.
With that said, be sure to think about how you can leverage internal links within your website as they will help search engines decipher which pages are most important on your website and also help push those pages up the ranks of search engine results. Strategically using internal links within your website will increase your website’s SEO juice and ultimately increase your website traffic.
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