Most savvy business owners and content marketers understand the importance of external links. They’re a crucial ranking factor (as evidenced by new studies year after year, such as this brand new Stone Temple Consulting Study) and they’re a strong trust signal from other high-quality websites.
Where a lot of businesses stumble, however, is using internal links to direct link equity to where it will have the biggest impact. Internal links don’t earn you link equity-like external links do, but they’re essential for directing traffic to pages that traditionally attract fewer links or need a much-needed boost in SERPs.
In this article, we’ll break down the dos and don’ts of a good link structure, why you need an internal link strategy, and three different strategies you can use to target keywords with varying levels of competition and search volumes.For Digital Marketing Company Check Vivid Digital
What your internal link structure looks like will vary depending on your underlying goals (as you’ll see later when we dive into the specific linking strategies), but a few elements should always be the same:
Maintain a shallow click-depth.
During a Google Webmaster Central hangout in mid-2018, John Mueller confirmed that the fewer clicks it takes to get to a page from your home page, the better. I recommend trying to keep your site structure as shallow as possible—if possible, keep each page accessible within two to three clicks from the home page, or use breadcrumbs, tag clouds, and internal search to facilitate ease of use on more complicated websites.
Include links in your pages’ main content.
There are two types of internal links: navigational and contextual. Navigational links include links in your header, footer, and navigation bars to help users find other pages within the same domain as search engines crawl your website. Contextual links—which is what we’re talking about in this article—appear in your pages’ content and they have higher SEO value.
Include keywords in your anchor text.
Most SEOs would advise against using exact-match keywords in internal link anchor text, but the better advice is to ensure that all anchor text informs readers what to expect from the linked content. Including keywords in your anchor text shouldn’t be a problem if you’re already creating highly-optimized content. Also, remember to give image links alt attributes that include keywords (these act like anchor text for text links). For more info visit SEO Company in London
Maintain a reasonable number of links on each page.
Google Webmaster Guidelines recommend limiting the number of links to a reasonable number. This both aids user readability and helps you avoid getting flagged as spam. Also, remember that if you point to the same URL multiple times on the same page, priority is given to the first anchor text and the subsequent anchors are relatively inconsequential.
Make sure every important page is linked.
Search engines can often find orphan pages—pages that aren’t linked to by any other page—but users can’t. Depending on the nature of these pages, you may choose to delete them, link out to them or block them from indexation.
Why you need an internal link strategy
According to CMI’s 2019 B2B Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report, 81% of B2B businesses believe that having a content strategy aligns their team “around common mission/goals and makes it easier to determine which types of content to develop.”
The same thing applies to internal linking strategies. The better you understand what you want your link equity to do for your business, the better you’ll be able to use an internal linking structure to achieve your goals.
Appropriately used, internal links can be a powerful tool. Creating a clean, consistent internal link structure is an amazing way to:
A. Provide additional, helpful information to your visitors.
B. Help Google and other search engines crawl your website faster.
C. Increase traffic to high-converting but low-traffic pages, such as product pages (Andrew Dennis’s 2018 article about “link building’s secret sauce” includes examples of how to do this).
D. Promote pages that are stuck on page 2 of SERPs (we call these “low-hanging fruit”).
E. Improve rankings for high, mid, or low search-volume keywords.
The very best internal link strategies pull double duty, by influencing user engagement metrics (e.g., page views per session, time spent on site, conversion rate, etc.) and impacting your ranking in SERPs for high-priority keywords. You can facilitate this by considering the customer journey on your site as you plan out which internal link strategy is right for you.
Now, let’s dive into the three strategies you can use specifically to target keywords based on search volume and competition level.