Link building is an integral component of search engine optimization – attaining high ranking in search engines results page. But there is one aspect of linking which is most often ignored, overlooked, or neglected – and that is the power of internal links. Perhaps, not many search marketers are aware of the SEO value derived from internal links placed on important pages on the website. The SEO value may even be equal to the value derived from inbound links.
Internal linking is building links between the pages of a website. This allows the webmaster or the SEO expert to make use of strategic channeling of link juice to target landing pages. It also pulls the deep pages higher up in the site structure, improving user usability. Internal links also allow search engines crawlers to find the content easily. Internal linking may also be used to promote previous articles that a user or reader may find helpful in searching for relevant answers.
Developing and implementing an internal linking strategy should be done during the initial design or redesign of a website. This is because effective internal linking can prove to be costly if implemented on a live website. The following are some internal link building techniques:
- Distribute the Flow of Link Juice. This is done by tapping the most linked-to pages or most authoritative pages of a site. Drop links on those pages to the pages specifically targeted for organic traffic (SEO landing pages). Distributing the link juice from these pages is what is aimed with this technique.
- All Target SEO Landing Pages should be Linked. This is a good way to scale your link building efforts. Every time an inbound link is made to one SEO landing page, that link subsequently flows to your other SEO landing pages. This means one link is multiplied. The easiest way to interlink SEO landing pages is by adding a list of “Related Links” in a sidebar or at the end of the page.
- Links on the Home Page. This is the most linked to page on a website. Hence, it is a good target for tapping and distributing the link juice. Search engines will place high value on home pages which are linked to internally, as they signify a strong trust and authority indication to the search engine crawlers.
- Use Breadcrumbs. While breadcrumbs are great navigational tool for users, they are also useful for internal linking purposes. With breadcrumbs, you can also use anchor text to send a relevant signal to search engine crawlers.
- Use Blogs. It is important not to overlook the blogs when doing the internal linking. Blog contents are excellent source of link equity. You can use related post plugins, top post widgets in the sidebar, categories, breadcrumbs and better pagination.
While some SEO believe that internal links do not count as much as external links, they are still very important in search engine algorithms. Especially now that algorithm changes are frequently made, search engine spiders would find more value in a website if they can see relevancy in pages or posts. Robots can interpret it to be highly informational, thus, giving it high value and trust rating.
In the past months, internal linking has been a vital search engine optimization technique since internal linking is a tactic that have been long forgotten by many online marketing companies. Since there have been updates that may penalize a website for its unethical practices i.e., use of black hat and gray hat techniques, internal linking is one of the many ways of preventing penalty for it shows strong relevancy and friendly user navigation inside the website.