Hey, I’m Michael Culp, a business master’s student and a blog owner. Today, I’m going to teach you how to avoid mistakes in your internal linking strategy.
What is internal linking? Internal linking is linking out to other pages or blog posts on your website. The main benefits of internal linking are increasing topical relevance, it will make you get a lot more results out of your link-building efforts and it will help you rank much easier for long-tail keywords. If you don’t have a blog yet, check out my full step-by-step guide on how to start a blog.
In my experience, the major mistakes regarding internal linking come down to 4 categories, which I’ll show you now.
Lack of Internal Linking
The First step is to make sure that all your pages are internally linked. This concept is known as siloing in the SEO world. A silo is a standardized structure of your website, where certain pages will link to each other based on a thoughtful standardized pattern. Typically, this is done based on relevancy.
The basic idea is to pick your main keyword topics, break them down into sub-topics, and also break those down into sub-topics. Then, you need to structure each page of your site based on this categorization.
The goal is to allow search crawlers to go back and forth in an intentional manner. With these in mind, there are a lot of different approaches to internal linking structure.
Think of your website as a pyramid, with your homepage on top. Then, internal links cascade downwards and outwards to various categories and subcategories. To organize the structure of your website, you can group topics through siloing.
This will help Google algorithm and users to get easy access to the content they need.
Many people aren’t aware of the importance of anchor text. The anchor text is the text you attach your hyperlink to. The keyword you use as your anchor text is incredibly important for ranking factors. The more relevant your anchor text to the page it represents, the more likely your users are to navigate to it and engage with it.
Searches engines use the anchor text to understand what’s the page about. Using the target anchor text is more effective to pass link juice, but if you only use the same anchor text every time, it can be seen as spammy by Google. A good rule of thumb is to use 80%, varied target anchors and 20% miscellaneous anchors.
If you have a site about the keto diet, varied target anchors would be the keto diet, keto dieting, and other variations. Miscellaneous are anchors such as read more and click here.
In a nutshell, an orphan page is any webpage on your website that have no internal links pointing to it. Orphan pages are bad for SEO because if no internal links are pointing to a page it becomes difficult for Google to find, crawl, and index that page.
So, you need to make sure that you don’t have any page that doesn’t have links pointing to them. Building silos to your website will prevent you from letting pages without links.
Make it Natural
It’s also very important to make sure that your internal links are natural within your content. You should only place internal links in your content where they make sense. It’s really important to approach this in the most natural way possible.
If you’re putting a lot of links in the content that doesn’t make a lot of sense, your content will look cluttered and it will not be a clean and good experience for the user who is reading your blog post.
So, only add internal links where they make sense and where they are appropriate for your readers.
Today, you learned how to avoid mistakes in your internal linking strategy. The major mistakes come down to 4, to recap:
- Lack of internal linking
- Anchor text
- Orphan Pages
- Make it Natural