Every SEO forum, blog, article seems to talk in depth about external links, building your link popularity and diversity, yet none seem to give too much attention to the power of your internal link structure and strategy. Most webmasters are most likely under the impression that internal links don’t count, but they do, and the truth is they can be used as a powerful weapon in your search engine optimisation arsenal.
Every site should have a blog and for me the perfect place to perform your internal linking strategy is your blog. Why? Because you are constantly churning out new pages with fresh content that can be used to link back to important pages of your site.
In this post there are 3 main points I would like to touch on regarding internal linking:-
Your internal link structure has an effect on all these areas and in my experience has a profound effect on building relevancy as I will discuss later in this post.
Let’s start with the simplest and most basic element of SEO, getting all your pages spidered and ranked by the search engines. This adds 2 benefits to your SEO campaign, it allows more pages of your site to get ranked and it allows you to be ranked for more key phrases which in turn will increase the amount of traffic to your site.
Simply doing this can increase your traffic significantly. I have some popular keywords I am ranked for, the one bringing in the most traffic is “google seo“, this brings around 10 – 15 visits a day to my site. However I receive 75 – 150 visits per day from various long tail keywords for different pages of my site. This is the advantage of creating a great linking structure, more exposure = more traffic.
Yes….my favourite topic. For me this is what SEO is all about, creating an ultra relevant site. If you want high rankings in the search engines you most create lot’s of relevancy. Google needs to know what your focus is before it even accesses your page and this needs to be reinforced as the google.bot leaves your site. I have spoke many times about the power of anchor text in creating relevancy, so if your linking back to your homepage from your blog or another deep page, anchor the text with the keyword. “click here” or “home page” will be a missed opportunity at creating relevancy and will do very little for the pages popularity.
This applies to all the important pages of your site that you would like to see ranked for certain keywords. Whether your linking back in the footer, sidebar or in the actual content, make sure the anchor text is targeted and relevant.
If you didn’t know all ready pagerank is a Google term that defines the trust or authority given to a particular page. I will use PageRank as the term but the principal in this section applies to most of the major search engines.
Your homepage will most likely be awarded the most PageRank and every page that is directly linked to from your homepage will gain significant weight from this. Generally speaking the more clicks it takes to reach a page from your homepage, the less PageRank will be awarded. You need to carefully decide what your main target keywords are and link to these pages with anchored text, from the homepage. This will carry a good amount of PageRank and increase the ranking ability of the sub page.
I’m sure you will have all come across sites with hundreds of internal links in the footer, this is not something you want to do as the more links there are on a page the less PageRank can be passed. (This is also something to remember when linkbuilding in general) Try and keep the links on your main/homepage below 30 in order to maintain a good level of link flow.
Optimising your internal linking alone is not going to put your site on the top of google for a competitive niche, however it is critical to get this right for search engine optimisation purposes, in order to gain the most amount of search engine traffic.
Think I’ll add this one to my tutorials.
Author: Tim (293 Articles)
Tim Grice is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 7 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Head of Search at Branded3, an SEO agency in Leeds.