7 Best Practices for Internal Linking


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7 Best Practices for Internal Linking

Internal linking is one of the most common SEO strategies you can use in your webpage content or blogs. Internal linking helps your audience find other content that might be relevant to them. It also helps Google understand, organize, and rank your webpages. More internal links can help to add authority to your webpages.

Like most SEO strategies, of course, it all comes down to using internal linking in the right way. Is there a way to mess up internal linking? Or any practices that could help you stand out? Let’s cover it all in today’s blog.

#1 – Use Keywords as Anchor Text

Using keywords as anchor text is a great way to get Google’s attention, as well as your audience’s. In fact, Google itself suggests that you use keywords for your anchor text — in a natural way. You still want to avoid keyword stuffing or using needlessly long anchor text full of three or four keywords. But if you can use keywords such as the name of your service, local SEO keywords, or the focus keyword of your text, it will make your internal links stand out.

#2 – Avoid Long Anchor Text

A full sentence as anchor text can look clunky and unnatural. It’s also not necessary for your internal linking. Most of the time a few words will do. Look at the most relevant words or keywords within your sentence and use those to create your internal link. 3-5 words are fine if you need them, but your anchor text can be as short as 1-2 words. Use your best judgment from link to link, as long as it doesn’t get too lengthy.

#3 – Fill Your Authoritative Pages With Internal Links

Rather than creating a new post that links to an older, highly ranked webpage, consider reversing the process. Add links to new pages to your highly ranked webpages. The reason is that users are more likely to find those more authoritative pages first. When they click on the internal links therein, they can then branch out to your newer content. This gives those pages a chance to grow in authority and increase their ranking.

#4 – Add Contextual Links

Let’s say you’re writing a post about different types of trees, and one of the trees you mention — for instance, sycamore — is a tree you’ve written about in more depth in the past. Adding a contextual link to sycamore will allow users to engage in further reading. Since this link will go to another page within your website, it will still show your knowledge and authority. It will also increase the amount of time they spend on your website, familiarizing themselves with your brand.

#5 – Add Links To Your Homepage

“Page crawl” is the amount of click it takes to get from the homepage of a website to the desired destination. The deeper the page crawl, the less relevant Google considers the page. Pages that can be reached within 1-3 clicks of the homepage are seen as more relevant and therefore given more attention by Google’s algorithm. When you add internal links to your home page, it reduces page crawl and makes the pages being linked to seem much more relevant.

#6 – Keep Your Links Up-to-Date

There are few things that are a worse look for your website than a user clicking on a broken link. This is someone who had an interest in your brand, might have even planned on becoming a customer, and that interest was rewarded with a dead end. It might be an easy fix, but it shouldn’t be the user’s fix. It should be yours. Every now and then, go through your internal links to make sure that they all still go to the correct page. If someone mentions that there’s a broken link on your webpage, fix it as soon as possible.

#7 – Use Pillar Pages

We’ve talked about content pillars multiple times on our blog. These pillar pages are long, deeply informative and authoritative pages that are designed to rank highly on Google’s algorithm. Whenever you create new content, you can link back to that content pillar, which then grows in authority. The content pillar can also connect users to shorter or more recent pieces of content relevant to that subject.

Content pillar pages should focus on a key product, service, or value of your brand. This should be something you expect to come back to frequently, something that your customer base finds especially relevant. When you know what that is, work that into your internal linking strategy.

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