As I mentioned in the post How to understand inbound, outbound, and internal website links, internal links are links from one page or post to another page or post on your website. Internal links direct users from blog posts to website pages, pages to posts, new posts to old posts, etc. on the same website URL.
Internal links are important to the success and integrity of your website or blog because they give your visitors and the search engines more ways to move (click) through your website and access the content they are looking for. But the value of internal links goes beyond ease of website navigation. They can help the search engines and users attribute specific keywords with specific pages, increasing the chances of it being ranked well in the search engines results page (SERP) listings.
Once you understand the importance links have, you need to understand the different ways you can leverage good internal links to enhance your visitors’ browsing experience and potentially boost your site search engine page rank or the number of pages indexed on your site.
Here are 6 simple strategies for successful and effective internal link building:
1. Duplicate Navigation Menu Links In Your Website Content
Both users and search engines use links to travel through websites and across the internet, so help them out and make it easier for them to access the valuable content on your website. Give them more than one way to reach a page.
Don’t just rely on the links in your navigation menu. Instead, be sure to include a keyword-rich, anchor text link to each top level page of your website navigation menu somewhere else on your home page too. This could be in the main content area, widgets, sidebar, footer, etc.
Then, if it makes sense and there is room to add a few more links without overcrowding the page with them, add some deep links to useful pages within your site that may not appear in your main, top-level navigation menu.
2. Put Your Footer to Work
Your website footer is a very useful and important piece of website real estate that can have a big effect on the organic search ranking of your website. Why? Because most website owners simply don’t know any better and believe it’s just for your copyright notice.
Your website footer is a universal space throughout your entire website that can used to enhance your visitors’ experience and help the access information quickly, as well as help the search engines attribute specific keywords with specific pages. If you have 20 pages on your website and 80 blog posts, and you add a keyword-rich, anchor text link to an optimized sales page in your footer, you just created 100 internal links to that page — and each of those links are using the main keyword you want the page to be found for. If that page is optimized correctly for the same keyword or long-tail key phrase, you’ll increase the likelihood that the page will be indexed with the search engines for that keyword.
3. Put Your Sidebar to Work
Your website sidebar is also an important component of creating a successful website. Think about what you should include in your website sidebar. Do you have social media icons, the Facebook, Twitter widget, and affiliate ads — all which send people away from your website?
I urge your to give your website sidebar strategy some serious thought. Instead of using it as a place to send people away from your site, consider using it as a place to help visitors access other useful content and build your brand. While your navigation menu contains links to the most important pages of your sales funnel, your sidebar is the perfect place to include links to pages deeper in your site. For example you can:
- Display the logo of a product, program, service, or event and link to the associated sales page
- Display a list of resources you have available and link to them
- Display a call to action to a conversion page — for a teleseminar, webinar, free strategy session, etc.
- Position yourself as a leader with media or “as seen on” logos
Remember to think about your sidebar NOT as an afterthought to fill with widgets and social media filler, but as an important conversion tool to guide visitors through your website to the information they need to make a buying decision.
4. Leverage New Blog Posts to Boost Old Blog Posts
One big problem all bloggers face is how to handle old but still relevant and awesome blog posts. Blogs are typically ordered newest to oldest, so as you post new content, the older content get buried deep in your blog archive pages. But what happens to the awesome, high-value posts that are still just as relevant and useful as they were the day they were published?
Don’t let your old posts fade into blogger oblivion! Instead keep your old blog posts visible and top of mind by making sure you link to at least one old blog post in each new post that you publish. This will keep your best old posts easily accessible with just one click and continue to drive traffic to those posts. For the best results, make sure the link is optimized to match the SEO title tag on the destination post.
5. Elevate Your Status With The Author Bio Box
If you’re the spokesperson or the expert for your brand, often people who know your name will search for you by your name and not your business name. Enable the author bio box at the end of each of your blog posts to not only give some added SEO “juice” to your name, but to also take advantage of the opportunity to add a short, descriptive bio with a keyword-rich, optimized link to an important page on your website, like your about page, or even a conversion page.
6. Give Readers More of What They Like
If a visitor has clicked through an inbound link to check out one of your blog posts — from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, or another referring site — your headline grabbed their attention and their click shows they are interested in the topic you’re writing about!
Your job at this point is to get them more of what they like, more of what they are interested in. At the end of each blog post, always provide additional keyword-rich, anchor text links to similar posts or related posts to give your visitors more content on the same topic they are interested in and encourage them to stay on your site longer — because the longer they stay, the more likely it is that they will sign up, click, contact, register, subscribe, or buy.
Something To Remember:
There is no guarantee that adding optimized internal links will get your web page ranked on page one or in one of the coveted top spots of the search engines results page listings. To achieve that, you may also need to implement other organic search engine optimization strategies like building inbound links to that page, etc. on an ongoing, consistent basis. But what internal links will do is help make your content more accessible to your visitors, make your site easier to move through, and help users find what they need faster.
What are your thoughts?
Can you find new ways to leverage internal links to help visitors AND search engines discover new content on your site?
- The Real Story About Inbound, Outbound, and Internal Website Links
- 10 Ideas To Build Quality Inbound Links and Increase Website Traffic
- Learning The Difference Between a Good Link and Bad Link
- The Secret to Building More Inbound Links
- Why Broken Links Are Bad For Business
- What Are NoFollow Links and DoFollow Links? Do I Need Them?