By now you know that internal link building is an important part of your SEO strategy. But are you familiar with the current best practices for link building? Or are you still following old, outdated practices that could get you penalized?
In this post, we’ll cover the basics on internal link building and the best practices you should be following. Chances are, your strategy could use some improvements!
Why Internal Linking Matters
The purpose of link building is to improve navigation for visitors, define the architecture and hierarchy of your site and distribute page authority and ranking power. In other words, a well-defined internal linking strategy creates a clear path for spiders, longer sessions for users and a close-knit network of pages and posts.
In theory, link building is not a difficult concept to master. Write content, add links and enjoy increased traffic. In reality, things are not quite this easy. Link building is both simple and complex, and the rules are always changing. As Neil Patel and Brian Dean write in their Advanced Guide to Linked Building, we are in “a new era of link building.”
Since the details can get confusing, we’ve taken the time to break things down and present you with the latest and most important information regarding internal link building.
Tips for Creating a Better Internal Linking Strategy
Let’s dive into the various steps you can take to improve your internal linking strategy.
- Create Lots of Content. If you want to have a lot of internal links, you need a lot of content. Content and links work in tandem. The more content you create, the more pages you have to link to. The links should point readers to other helpful information on your site.
- Use Anchor Text. There are new guidelines for the type of anchor text you should be using. Optimized anchors are no longer ideal. Use natural, unoptimized sentence fragments as your anchor text.
- Link to Deep Pages. Another thing you should be doing is linking to “deep” pages within your site (i.e., blog posts, infographics, case studies). Avoid linking to your homepage and contact us page – you don’t need a bunch of links pointing here.
- Use Natural Links. Internal links should provide value to the reader, so always choose natural links that make sense. The goal is to get the reader to stay longer on your site and find more information that is helpful to them.
- Be Relevant. As natural as link building is, it’s still an intentional practice. Don’t just link for the heck of it. Choose links that are relevant and make sense to the reader.
- Be Reasonable. Google says that you should include a “reasonable” number of links. Not too many, not too few. As long as your links are natural and valuable to the reader, you should do just fine.
Conducting a Link Audit
When looking to improve your internal linking strategy, it’s always a smart idea to run an audit on your existing content. The purpose for doing this is to better understand the internal linking that you already have on your site. QuickSprout offers step-by-step instructions for conducting a content audit that should only take you one to two hours. If you have spammy links that could trigger the filters, wouldn’t you want to know?
In the end, internal linking doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. If you follow the suggestions above and always think from the viewpoint of the reader (is the link helpful?), you will build a stronger link profile and better SEO.
If you’re looking for additional information regarding internal link building strategies, we suggest reading The Seven Commandments of Internal Linking and The Advanced Guide to Link Building. As always, feel free to contact Yovia Social with any questions or feedback. We love helping our clients be more social, and proper link building is an excellent communication tool!