Beginners Guide For Internal Linking For SEO

There’s only a handful of terms and strategies that you must understand in order to begin internal linking for SEO. Let’s take a look right now in our beginners guide for internal linking for SEO.

Relationships Between Content

Before we talk about internal linking for SEO, it’s important that you are aware of cornerstone contentCornerstone content pages are the focal point of your site, they are used to signal what the most important content of your website is, and what pages you want to rank highest in the search engine.

If you wanted to rank for a highly competitive, high search volume keyword, the best internal linking structure consists of creating a piece of cornerstone content like “Best Smartphone” and propping up that piece of cornerstone content with long tail keyword articles like “Best Smartphone Under $250” to create a healthy internal linking structure.

If you are a local business and want to rank for one of your core services that doesn’t have as much volume, internal linking is still important. For example, the search query, “landscaping companies in Columbus” generates 390 searches per month, which pales in comparison to “Best Smartphone.” The same strategy holds true that internal links on relevant topics from your blog that would link back to your core service page would help increase rank for this page. You have to take your business and the search volume into account when determining the strategy.

Homepage, Footer, and Header Links

Added importance and extra weight are given to internal links placed on the homepage, inside of the footer, and in the header of your website. Your homepage is the most powerful page on your site for several reasons, partly because every page flows back to it, so it’s essential to leverage the link juice that pours from the homepage.

Additionally, links placed in the header and footer are given extra weight, so if you have a large site it’s imperative to choose the best articles to place here as to not waste linking juice. If there are links that must be placed in the footer, that you don’t actually need to rank for, like an “About Us” page, then you can “nofollow” that link so that link juice is not wasted on that page.

Why are Internal Links Important to Google?

Internal links are not only used to connect your internal pages using relevant keywords as anchor text, but like receiving external links, it also helps to rank your pages, since the number of links pointing to a particular page determines its weight or value.

Optimizing Site Structure

Here is an example of a simple optimized site structure, this way you have a jumping off point as you begin to think about optimizing your site.

Optimal Site Structure consists of:

  • com > “Best Smartphone” Cornerstone Content > “Best Smartphone Under $250” Regular Content

That’s essentially it, except that all of the regular content needs to link back to the related cornerstone content page that it branches from.

Contextual Links

Internal links can be single words, a string of related keywords, or images. The only pitfall to avoid is with internal links, is using exact match keywords for all of your links.

So, every link to “Best Smartphone” should not use the anchor text “Best Smartphone” since this is seen as over optimization.

Anchor Text Example:

 

 

 

 

 

Make the links natural and helpful to the user while following the basic internal linking structure laid out above, and you’ll be in good shape. The anchor text chosen in your internal links helps Google understand your site, and the relationship between content, but your main goal should be helping site visitors.

Takeaways

If you’ve fully understood this guide to internal linking for SEO then you’re well on your way to fully optimizing your website. Basic internal linking strategy can be boiled down into a few bullet points:

  • Remember the importance of homepage, footer, and navigation links
  • Build cornerstone content and proper interlink it with normal content
  • Don’t use exact match anchor text excessively

Now that you’ve been refreshed, you’re ready to start internal linking!

This article for The Media Captain’s site was written by Eric Folts. Eric has been making his living doing SEO and affiliate marketing for the past 7 years. He studied English in college and naturally gravitated towards content writing after graduation. WordPress is his go-to CMS with over a dozen affiliate sites in his portfolio at the moment.