Have you ever asked yourself what is the most important thing in SEO?
I personally think that it’s not keywords, because after the Google Panda update they are slightly less important.
It is also not backlinks, because good content ranks without them.
It is internal linking, which is the most underrated yet very important factor in SEO. And it’s not that tough to learn and implement as keyword research and backlinks building are.
What Is Internal Linking?
When it comes to websites, Internal linking is a practice of adding links within your website that point to other pages in the same domain. It has many advantages and it’s considered among the most important factors in SEO.
An internal link looks something like this in HTML:
<a href=”yourdomain.com/sample-page” alt=”your keyword”>Your Anchor Text></a>
Why Is Internal Linking So Important?
Before we get into why internal linking is so important, let’s discuss why it exists in the first place.
The main problem of any website is keeping people on it. You want to keep them engaged by new content and you don’t want them to leave after they finish reading an article.
In order to do that, you need to interlink your relevant posts that will help readers to read more about the particular topic they are reading.
It does not only help readers to get easy access to relevant information to read, but it also passes the link juice that helps in gaining higher rankings on search engine result pages.
Sometimes we even forget about internal linking and we don’t provide our visitors with the information they were looking for.
For example, if I visit your site that covers information about printers, cartridges, etc. and I want to learn more about toner cartridges(for example), but I did not find any link there or no article on the same topic on your site. I will leave your site and search for the toner cartridges on Google and jump to another site.
You want to avoid situations like these by adding internal links which will connect all of the relevant pages on your site and make everything accessible. I would even say that internal linking is more important than backlinks. Why?
When it comes to websites, people want to go through a few clicks as possible to get where they want.
A good internal linking structure will help you rank better by improving your bounce rate which is very important for local businesses.
Things To Avoid When Doing Internal Linking
As I’ve already said, internal linking is very important, but some people make a lot of mistakes when they are doing it. These mistakes can damage your rankings significantly because Google isn’t stupid and if you do something without knowing why it’s very likely that you’ll be punished for it.
There are too many “don’t” when it comes to internal linking, but I’m going to mention the most important ones.
Don’t link to irrelevant pages
Again, this might seem like a good idea from your point of view, but Google doesn’t think so. Why would someone click on a link if it’s not relevant?
Let me ask you something, why would you click on the SEO article link when you are reading a cooking recipe. It doesn’t make sense at all, right?
Don’t add too many internal links
Doing anything more than its limit, lead to a negative impact. So, the Internal link also does.
If you add too many internal links just to hope that Google and visitors will love your website, you are doing a really big mistake. Adding too many internal links can make your post look spammy, visitors will quit instantly and Google might also punish you.
Don’t overoptimize your anchor texts
Anchor text plays a very important role in both, internal & external linking. But over-optimizing the anchor text for getting good results may lead you to Google Penalty.
For example, if you want to rank a page for the keyword “best WordPress page builder” and you added 100 internal links from your other posts pointing to the same page. It looks spamming to Google. And you know, Google is not going to appreciate this, NEVER!
How To Do Internal Linking In Effective Way?
Use WordPress LinkWhisper Plugin
Well, the most common problem we had in earlier days, that there was no automated way of doing internal linking.
There were no tools that can show us, our internal linking areas were linking to existing articles make sense. Because as humans, you can not identify all the opportunities by yourself.
This is where we need to take help from Google “site:” command to find the areas where we can link to our existing posts.
See how it works:
Using this “site:” command, I have searched for the pages that contain the keyword “backlink building” so I can link that to my latest post about methods of building backlinks.
But it doesn’t sound easy to beginners mostly.
But thanks to LinkWhisper, it has completely changed the game of Internal Linking by suggesting the internal linking opportunities as you write within your WordPress editor.
Also, it helps you to internal link your old posts which you have published before installing the LinkWhisper. Internal Linking just became the game of simple clicks, you don’t have to do much from your hands. LinkWhisper will take care of everything for you.
If you want to learn more about the Link Whisper, consider reading this comprehensive LinkWhisper review here.
LinkWhisper is a WordPress plugin for automating the internal linking process within a WordPress site. It also has a free version available but that comes with lots of limitations over features.
If you want to make better use of it and leverage the power of Internal Linking, then go with the LinkWhisper premium version that would cost you $77/yr for one site license.
But as Black Friday & Cyber Monday is around the corner, they are offering a huge discount on their plans. Read more about LinkWhisper Black Friday Deal here.
Impletement SILO Structure
SILO is a type of website structure that is created to pass the link juice to relevant topics under a category. It helps in improving the search engine rankings bypassing the power of link juice to all the relevant posts.
If you closely look at it, you will find it just a game of proper internal linking where you pass backlinks power from one post(which got that backlink) to all the relevant posts which cover the same or related topic.
By implementing the Silo structure, you are not keeping the power of your backlinks limited to only the page they are pointed to, rather you are transferring its power to all relevant pages.
Here is how the Silo structure looks different from the flat or traditional site structure:
So, if you implement the Silo Structure(which is all about proper internal linking relevant pages, you will see improvement in your SERPs rankings and traffic. It also helps in decreasing the bounce rate because visitors will be spending more time on your blog.
Create a Good Number Of Posts
If you really want to leverage the power of Internal Linking then you must have a sufficient number of posts published on your blog. Then you will get the chance to add internal links or implement the silo structure.
The more posts you have, the more linkable content you will have.
If you’ve just started then make sure you stick with the one topic and create at least 10 to 12 posts around the same topic, covering more information. If these are posts are around the same topic then you can link them with each other where it makes sense.
Add internal links only where it makes sense
Add internal links by keeping readers in mind, only add links where it makes sense, where it adds value for readers to read more about the same topic.
Do not add random links just to gain good rankings or traffic. For example, If you are writing about the Bluehost Black Friday deal then it is good to link other web hosting companies that are running Black Friday discounts on their products. But do not add links to other different products’(like LMS software, video editors, etc.) Black Friday sale posts.
Because the reader is interested to read about hosting because he/she wants to buy one, not LMS or a video editor.
Do not always use Keywords as Anchor text
This is the most common mistake by amateur bloggers, they put their targeted keyword as anchor text every time they add an internal link.
It is good to add a few keyword-rich anchor text for which you want to rank for, but not always. Otherwise, this practice will look spammy to Google and may bring penalties to your blog.
Internal Linking is the most underrated SEO strategy, but it has the power to boost your search ranking drastically.
When it comes to automating this process, LinkWhisper made it a piece of cake. It suggests where you can add an internal link as you write through your WordPress editor, you just have to check the box and save it.
If you properly use it, you can achieve great results with your blog.
I hope you found this post useful and going to implement these techniques on your blog.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments…
Article Contributer :- Ravi Dixit
I’m Ravi Dixit founder of StayMeOnline. I am a full-time blogger and affiliate marketer. I started my blogging journey just by frustrating from 9 to 5 freedom-less jobs. Now I am helping others to start their blog and earn their living online.