Internal linking for SEO is probably the most underrated SEO strategy, but also one of the most effective.
You don’t have to ask anyone to link to you, it’s completely free, has a 100% success rate, and internal links can actually help you rank higher in Google (which always means more customers!).
So in this post, I’m going to show you you the best internal linking for SEO strategy, which will result in ranking your website higher in Google.
If you’re a complete newbie to search engine optimisation (SEO), internal links are simply links from one page of your website to another, and they’re really important for 3 main reasons:
- They help search engines like Google & Bing discover new pages on your website, so they can be added to their index.
- Internal links help pass PageRank around your site, passing on Google ‘Juice’ to other pages (if you’re unfamiliar with PageRank, it’s just a mathematical formula Google uses to determine the “page value” of each web page.
- Internal links help search engines better understand what a page is about, and they do this by looking at anchor texts and the text that surrounds the link.
Internal Linking Best Practice
So with these 3 things in mind (crawlability, authority, and relevance), let’s go through a few ways you can boost your rankings using internal links.
The first way is to create a logical hierarchy in your website structure.
Think of website structure as a mindmap. At the top, you’d have your homepage. Then you’d have main topics that branch out from your homepage (like your services, blog, and about us page.).
Then from these main topics, you’d have even more branches to other pages.
Structure helps search engines like Google and Bing understand the relationship between these pages, where
branches are created using internal links.
Internal Linking Benefits
Now a mindmap is pretty basic and doesn’t really give that much information to search engines, so let’s build onto this example using an internal linking strategy called content hubs.
Content hubs are interlinked collections of content about a similar topic. Basically, you create multiple pages on a topic and its subtopics, then interlink between the pages.
So if we had a page about link building, you might add more topic related pages like broken link building, resource page link building, guest posting, and blogger outreach.
And to create relationships between these posts, you could link to these posts from your link building page and also link from your posts to your link building page.
Not only does this help to create relevance between pages, but as each of these pages get backlinks, the PageRank will go to and from each page within the hub, helping all of your pages rank higher in Google.
How To Do Internal Linking For A Website
If content hubs sound a bit complicated to you, and if you’ve already created a bunch of pages without any kind of structure in mind, there are three easy and free ways you can find internal linking opportunities.
- Use the “site” search operator in Google. Let’s say we wanted to add internal links to our guide on How To Do Local SEO I’d do a Google search for site:plymouthseo.uk/ and then add the phrase, “local seo” wrapped in quotes. We then see all pages that mention this phrase.
- Use the Link Opportunities report in Ahrefs’ free site audit. After your audit is complete, head on over to the Link Opportunities report, which shows you internal linking opportunities based on keywords your pages rank for. It shows the page we recommend you link from, the keyword that’s mentioned on the source page, which is also the keyword that the target page ranks for and the page it recommends you link to.
- Look at your site’s ‘power’ pages. Some pages will earn more links than others, so they have more authority to pass to other pages on your website (You can also do this in the free Ahrefs Webmaster Tools account).
Whichever method you use, it’s important that don’t force internal links. Don’t bother linking from irrelevant pages.
And that also means that you don’t overdo it.
If you don’t have any pages with link authority, then check out our link building guide to help you with that.
And if you’re wondering what exactly Google ranking is all about, then check out our post: Google Ranking Factors 2021.
See you in the next blog post, which is teaching SEO Basics, and why it’s so important to get them right if you want to rank high in Google and grow your business.