If you are new to search engine optimization, internal links are simply links from one page to another, within the same website. Internal linking is arguably the most underrated SEO strategy because you do not have to persuade anyone to link your website, it is completely free with a 100% success rate and internal links can actually help you rank higher in search engines. In this beginner’s guide, we will take a closer look at one of the most effective SEO tactics in the business, so you can significantly improve your ranking and generate traffic to your website.
1) Create a hierarchy in your site structure
Think of site structure as a mind map. Firstly, you have your homepage, and then some main topics that branch out of it, like the services page, your blog, and the about page. From this topic, you probably have more branches on other pages. Structure helps engines understand the relationship between these pages, while branches are created using internal links.
2) Create an internal linking strategy: content hubs
Let us build onto this structure example using an internal linking strategy called content hubs. They are interlinked collections of content about a similar topic. Basically, you create multiple pages on a topic and its subtopics, then interlink those pages together. For example, if your website includes a link-building guide, you might add more subtopics such as broken link-building, guest posting, or blogger outreach. In order to create relationships between these posts, you can link to them from your link-building guide. Not only does this help to create relevance between pages, but as each of these pages gets backlinks, PageRank will flow to and from each page within the hub, helping all of your pages rank higher in search engines.
3) Link new pages from existing pages
Every time you add a new page to your website, it can take time for the search engine to acknowledge or index that page. This is why creating new internal links as soon as that new page is published will help search engines index pages faster, which means they will appear in search results sooner as well. So whenever you post a new page, it is good practice to use a search engine to find instances where relevant keywords already exist across your website. Repeat this process every time you publish a new page and your website will be a powerhouse of internal links and indexed pages.
All of the best SEOs are using internal linking to boost their traffic and ranking. Internal links help search engines discover new pages so they can be added to their index, as well as help users navigate other parts of your website. Strategically placing relevant internal links throughout your website encourages users to spend more time on your website. Like all things SEO, internal linking needs to be implemented strategically. Get it right and you could not only climb rapidly in the rankings but also increase your traffic by up to 40%.