Internal Links are simply a MUST for SEO
Google. Bing. Baidu.Yandex. Ask.com. DuckDuckGo. Every search engine ranks your online content busily, but they all require links to navigate your site. While external links connect your content to external sources, your content’s internal links connect your content to your own site’s previously published content with similar themes. Internal links also help search engines better understand your website’s general content and its overall structure. Simply put, learning why, when, where, and how to add internal links will help you market for success by strengthening your site’s SEO and getting your site in front of your target audience.
So, just what are Internal Links anyway?
We’re glad you asked. Internal links are “any” links on your site that link directly to any other page or piece of content on your site. So, for instance, if you have a menu on your landing page that reads Contact Us or About Us, chances are, when folks click on those menu items, they will be directed to a new page on your site, giving them specific information. Those are your internal links. But the content you produce for articles or blog posts should likewise contain internal links to connect to content that focuses on related (or even exact) topics. Let’s say you are a translation company specializing in life sciences translation. You might have one article dedicated to the latest Medical Device Regulation (MDR) changes in the European Union (EU), but you might also have similar content pieces on earlier regulation changes or perhaps general content on language services for life sciences. If you feel that at any given point, something you are expressing refers to similar messaging in a previously written article, by all means, link!
However, it is also important to keep in mind that we don’t just use internal links willy-nilly in order to score search engine ranking points. That just won’t fly. Use your internal links wisely and responsibly, linking to pages and posts that are truly related in content, but also consider linking often to specific pages and/or posts that you feel are very important to your site and to your visitors. It is somewhat like a domino effect – the more internal links those important pages and/or posts receive, the more important they will appear to search engines. The more important content appears to search engines, the more the search engine bots will visit. And the more the bots visit, the greater chances of those specific pages ranking higher. Think of your internal linking strategy as a guide for search engines to follow that will help them better understand your website’s products and/or services, hierarchy, and overall structure.
Creating an Effective Strategy for Internal Links
There is a mountain of topics to cover on just internal links alone. But we’ve decided to water it down for now by sharing these three effective tips for beginners. By just implementing these three practices, you’ll be well on your way to strengthening your site’s SEO ranking.
#1: Develop a Logical Site Structure
Every website should be designed in a way that is easily navigable to your visitors. That is, anyone interested in your site’s content should be able to easily move around from page to page (or post to post). Think of your homepage, for instance, as your site’s hub. From here, your visitors should be able to navigate to any other page or piece of content that interests them, but it should be structured in a way that makes sense. Yoast looks at site structure in terms of a pyramid. Building and maintaining a sound site structure can do wonders for your SEO.
#2. Rank Your Most Important Content
Often referred to as your “cornerstone content,” your most important content should speak directly to the core of your business. This content defines and promotes your products and services and showcases how your company effectively addresses and alleviates your customers’ pain points. Your cornerstone content should be the pieces you’d like your visitors to read thoroughly, so be wise when choosing (and writing) these pieces. Remember to help search engines out by making your cornerstone content obvious. Do this by simply ensuring that each related or supporting content links back to the cornerstone piece. But also ensure that the cornerstone piece links back to the specific supporting article(s).
#3. Add Navigational Links
Another effective way to add powerful internal links to your cornerstone content is from your site’s homepage. By adding internal links from your homepage to your most important content, you’ll add “link value” to these content pieces, which only works to improve the page ranking in search engines.
Let the Internal Linking Begin!
Your site’s structure is set. Your cornerstone and supporting (related) content has been written, and you’ve even added navigational links from the homepage to your most important content. So now it’s time to build up related, actionable, engaging content and add internal links. Although there is a lot more to cover on the topic of internal linking, these tips should get you started and well on your way to strengthening your site’s SEO.
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