How to Optimize Internal Links
Internal links are crucial for two important reasons: they are an important ranking factor, and they are essential for a great user experience. Internal links help direct search engine bots to important content, helping them make connections between different pieces of content, thus helping more pages rank. They also aid user navigation, helping users discover new content on your website. If implemented and optimized correctly, internal linking can provide the SEO boost your website needs. But how do you go about 0ptimizing internal links?
Use The Right Anchors
Anchor texts provide the links you need for internal linking. To make them effective, ensure you use the right anchor text. First, ensure that the text you use is related to the content the link points to. For example, you can’t use the anchor “affordable running shoes” to link to football cleats, as there will be a disconnect between the anchor text and the content linked.
Second, ensure your anchors are on text and not images. You can link from images and other content, but these links will not be obvious to users. If you do link using images, ensure you use descriptive alt tags.
Most people link to a page or two “below” the page they are linking from. However, research has shown that linking deeper can be beneficial for content discoverability. Your links should be to content that is layered deeper than your homepage. Also, do not make the mistake of linking to your homepage or the contact page. There are already enough links pointing to the homepage and linking to the contact us page unless absolutely necessary is not required.
Your links should be natural links between related pieces of content on the same level or below the level of the content in question.
Link To All Important Pages
Many people do not know about the concept of orphan pages. These are pages that do not have any links to them, meaning they cannot be found through normal navigation. However, they can still be found in your sitemap. Because such pages do not exist for users, they do not seem important to search pages and thus do not contribute to your ranking.
To avoid this, use relevant tools to find these pages and add links to them.
Use Follow Links
Link value needs to flow from high-value pages to low-value pages on your website. Follow links allow things to remain fluid and free within your website when used in your internal link structure. It is important to remember that search engines still recommend the use of no-follow links for external links to avoid being seen as if you are “selling influence” or trying to help other websites rank.
Fix Internal Linking Issues
Google does not like broken pages and when it finds them, your website is more likely to rank lower as well as have fewer ages ranked. To avoid this issue, use Google Search Console to find broken links and repair them.
Internal links are still an essential component of SEO for both discoverability and a better user experience. You can fix and optimize your internal links by following the tips outlined above.