In the world of SEO, certain practices are so essential that you won’t ever see a website that doesn’t utilize them. These things become necessary, as the competition online is flourishing. You can no longer hope to break through online obscurity without them. Internal linking is undoubtedly one of those practices, and it’s quite simple on the surface — add in a link into your content that leads to another page on your website, right?
However, to correctly do internal linking is a different matter that requires some knowledge. Otherwise, it would be easy to slip into black hat SEO practices that might endanger your online presence. Let’s have a look at the do’s and don’ts of internal linking and how to keep it on the side of white hat SEO:
What to Do
When it comes to best SEO practices regarding internal linking, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is that you’ll be placing links for the benefit of the reader, without trying to focus too much on the search engines. It includes ensuring that the context surrounding the link is clear and that it fits in naturally with the content. It should warrant a click through to what you’re linking, whether it’s more information on a subject you touched upon in the material or a call-to-action type of link.
Always use relevant keywords that describe where the link is pointing people to in the anchor text. Also, keep that description short and sweet — there’s no need for redundant anchor text. Finally, when you’re adding links, you’ll want to prioritize the “deep” pages, of some useful and relevant content that’s buried deep in the blog. If it were good content that posted some time ago, it’s an excellent strategy to revive it with links.
What Not to Do
Knowing these best practices is useful, but website owners might find it difficult to implement all of them. In those cases, it’s positive to include SEO tips that would guide them on what to avoid. In the case of internal linking, it’s beneficial to remember once again the end user and what they might need out of your material. Best SEO practices aren’t glaring, they’re natural, and they make the content better.
For example, you’d want to avoid forcing links that lead to unrelated content, as well as stuffing your material with links. Other SEO tips regarding internal linking include avoiding linking to the same URL all the time, as well as minimizing navigation menu links. A “contact us” link in the call to action can be beneficial; although overdoing this will create a counter-effect.
Internal linking is among the best SEO practices for a reason — it helps build page importance hierarchy, and allows site visitors to find what they need quickly. In turn, it aids the search engines and improves your rank. However, the downside of this kind of strategy is that it can take months before you see any results.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you wish to see your efforts come to fruition more quickly. I’ll be happy to discuss your marketing strategy with you and help in any way I can.
Rob Dunford is a Marketing Consultant in the Greater Toronto Area with over 20 years of experience in implementing marketing plans for small businesses.