4 Internal Linking SEO Strategy Must-Knows
Internal linking is an SEO buzzword, I know, but only a small percentage of websites actually execute a strategic internal linking structure that works. It is the act of linking to a page within your domain. Internal linking should take two forms on every website:
- Menu Navigation: This appears as your standard menu links. It needs to be clear to your visitors how to navigate to the next layer of your site. With CMS platforms like Drupal and WordPress, and their themes, this aspect of internal linking is almost always built in. Let’s focus on the next type.
- Content Navigation: This type of internal linking involves embedding links within your content to give link juice to pages within your domain and communicate page meaning to the search crawlers. These internal links are also a great way to give your visitors additional information about something they might not be as familiar with, as well as a way to get them to see more pages on your site.
Here are four valuable internal linking tips for content navigation on your site:
1. Perform keyword research for each important page on your site, including...no...especially blog posts
Knowing which keywords are well-searched and still relevant to a specific page’s content is invaluable information. Perform some quick keyword research for every page you create so you can incorporate these words throughout the page’s content. This research will help you pinpoint the best keywords to use in your internal linking efforts. For example, I’ve selected “internal linking strategy” and “seo strategy” for optimization of this post using data from the below screen shot.
2. Implement natural, compelling keyword inclusion in your content
A keyword is pointless if it doesn’t make sense within your content. The quality of your content should obviously be your first priority, so make sure the way you use keywords sounds natural and makes sense to the reader.
3. Place anchor text around the keywords you’ve selected for the page
Anchor text embeds a link within your keyword to take visitors and search crawlers to a relevant page within the domain. This appears as a clickable word within your content. It provides great SEO value.
For example, I’ve linked my keywords for this post to our search engine optimization service page, as well as a recent Volacci blog post about internal site architecture -- both of which provide insight for humans and crawlers when deciding which keywords for which to index Volacci.
4. Automate internal linking for keywords that recur frequently on your site
Various features of certain CMS platforms allow you to set up commands for internal linking. In WordPress, the SEO Smart Links Plugin and the RB Internal Links Plugin allow you to program destination URLs so you don’t have to type them in each time. In Drupal, it’s stupid-easy to automate your internal linking. See instructions below.
Automating Internal Links in Drupal with the Alinks Module
- Install the Alinks module on your Drupal site.
- Go to www.yoursite.com/settings/alinks (for Drupal 6) to set limits on the frequency of internal link use. Set at -1 if you want to place anchor text around specified keywords every time they’re used.
- Go to www.yoursite.com/admin/build/alinks (for Drupal 6) to decide which keywords will contain anchor text.
- Leave “Start Boundary” unchecked.
- Type the keyword you want to automate into the “Word/Phrase” field.
- Leave “End Boundary” unchecked.
- Check “Case Insensitivity” to capture both upper and lower case uses of the keyword.
- Type a link title into the “URL Title” field. This will appear when a visitor hovers over the link.
- Leave “External Link” unchecked, obviously.
- “Class” should read “alinks-link”.
- Weight should be “0”.
Once you follow the above steps, the keywords you've decided to automate will appear as clickable internal links based on the settings you've selected. Happy linking!