Does your website provide links between pages?
Are you linking the right keywords?
Are you using too many links to the point where your site just looks like an index of links?
Internal linking can be an important SEO strategy for building your site’s link authority and increasing your search engine rankings.
The use of inter-page links can also provide great user experience.
Inter-Page Links within Site Navigation
There are a couple different kinds of inter-page links. Site navigation is one type. This includes the links within your navigation menus. With the design and launch of a new site, you should have a well thought out plan for how your pages are categorized and what keywords you will use to describe them. Breadcrumb navigation also helps increase your link “juice,” or link authority, so to say.
Inter-Page Links within Page Content
Anchor text links within your page content is another type of inter-page link building. You will want to first start by defining your strategy. What keyword phrases are you trying to rank for? This should not be decided until you have performed keyword research. As part of this decision, you should also consider how competitive you intend to be with your keywords. Will you try to focus on more long-tail keywords? Will you focus on local keywords?
Identify Page Focus
Depending on how many pages your website contains, adding inter-page links to your content can be a large task and is often done in phases. Part of your strategy development should be to identify which pages you would most like to rank for. These are likely your core product or service pages. You will need to decide if you want to direct visitors from other pages in your site to these pages or from these pages to deeper areas of your site navigation.
Link Different Keyword Phrases
It is important to mention that, although you want to link to these pages, it is possible to overdo it. Don’t push all of your link juice here. Variety is still important. You should also be careful to not always link the same keyword phrase. For example, if you wanted your page on running shoes to rank well, you might anchor link different phrases, such as “running shoes,” “shoes for running,” “sports running shoes,” etc. You will find some keyword phrases will be easier than others to incorporate into content.
Determine Link Density
The last part of your strategy is to decide on the density of links for each page. Depending on the amount of body content on the page, generally a good rule of thumb is to use one to three good quality, keyword focused, inter-page links. If you have to change your content slightly to find ways to incorporate links into your primary phrases, that’s ok. Just remember, you don’t want to sacrifice user experience. If a change makes the content difficult to read and understand, it might not be worth it. Ranking well in search engines is only half the battle. Once a visitor lands on your site, you need the right content to promote conversion.
Remember to Test
This strategy is not guaranteed to work for everyone. We know every site is different and will have different elements contributing to page rankings. Keep this in mind when you are implementing an internal linking strategy. Keep track of your rankings before and after implementation. Which pages and keyword phrases improved? Which decreased? It is always important to take what you learn and update your strategy in order to find the optimal “sweet spot” for your site.