Google relies on links to determine the value of webpage content. When crawling a website, Google follows both internal and external links. Link following allows Google to determine the relationship between a website’s pages and assign value to blog posts and other relevant content. Following links is a way of determining the pages that share similar subject matter.
What Are Internal Links?
Internal links are webpage links that bring users to another page on the same website. They connect one page to another one. When used in a strategic manner, they can boost a website’s performance significantly.
How to Optimize Internal Links
Homepages will usually receive the highest link value. This is because home pages usually receive the most backlinks. If your website owns a blog, try linking to it from your homepage. This way Google can find and index your new posts a lot quicker. Blogs will then get more views with external links of their own. In general, those blog pages with links will receive a higher page ranking.
Effective Internal Link Building Strategies
Internal linking has a purpose with respect to SEO. It can offer support for website navigation, help define a site’s architecture, and aid in the distribution of website authority. The following information can help you spread authority over your website.
1. Always link to fresh, quality content.
You will hear time and again how important it is to constantly create good content that people are willing to link to and share. Using an internal link to guide users to your content is a pretty straightforward process. Simply use anchor text that will lead your visitors to additional, relevant information on other pages.
2. The deeper your links go into your website, the better.
Many websites choose to send most of their internal links to the homepage. The goal should be to strengthen internal pages. Marketers also have a tendency to link too often to the “Contact Us” page.
3. Readers should always have the freedom and choice to click on natural links.
Internal linking can lead to greater engagement. Readers favor links that match the context of the content they read. If they like what they find, they tend to remain on the page or website longer.
4. Use internal links to highlight your most important pages.
Search engine crawlers use links to understand your website. Crawlers will determine your most important pages by how many valid links point to it. Use keywords and phrases to create links that are associated with a destination page. Internal links can also help search engine crawlers distinguish the most important page when more than one page covers a similar topic.
5. Internal links help visitors find their way around websites.
When using a website, there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to find the information you need. Unhappy visitors bounce and are inspired not to return. However, people do not stop searching. They know they will find what they want on the web with persistence. Your internal links can help people get to pages that convert.
Always keep the user experience in mind when you optimize internal links. In so many words, be good to all of your visitors. Users want easy navigation and content that meets a need. Avoid showing too many ads. It can take away from a website’s validity. Also, keep in mind that your value proposition means little to visitors if they cannot discover what it is. You have to know who your users are and if and why your website provides a solution to their needs.
You do not always have to organize your content around a “hierarchy”. Site owners can organize content around specific topics so that visitors can go several clicks deep. This keeps them on the website longer while providing additional information.
Unique Content Remains a Top Priority
Marketers and site owners will hear over and over how important it is to write unique content for their websites. This is the top solution for building a strong, recognizable brand. Search engines are adept at filtering out duplicate content. Your content must be unique in that it presents a different perspective from content offered anywhere else. It is the only way to become a niche expert.
Master an Internal Link SEO Approach
An internal link SEO approach is just as important as external links SEO. Best practices will always change over time because user behavior will change. While it is good to anticipate what might occur in the future, the key to success is to remain focused on what matters in the present. Linking internally delivers benefits.
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