Are you still struggling with your website ranking on the search engines? Ever wondered why despite applying all the SEO strategies your website isn’t ranking? It is natural after you have built up your website and content, all you would want is to drive organic traffic to it and to rank it on search engines.
However, just launching a website will not automatically rank your website on search engines. It requires meticulous effort and time to make your website rank and even get it to be visible on Google. Along with applying other ranking strategies, you might have forgotten or neglected internal link building which is one way to get your website highlighted and drive traffic. It is said, about 40% of the total organic traffic comes via internal linking. Using internal link building is a great way of telling the search engines that you find your own content important.
People always debate on the complication of internal linking. If you are working strategically, you can easily rank your website higher in the search engines.
Internal link building is complex yet simple at the same time as it requires minimal effort as compared to other ranking strategies. Let’s start with a simple definition of internal link building and how it can improve your website’s ranking in the search engines.
- What is internal linking?
- Now you might be thinking, what is the purpose of an internal link?
- Do you know the theory behind internal link building using WordPress?
- Create unique content on your website
- Write an optimised anchor text
- Interlink deeply
- Link from Cornerstone Content
- Don’t make your content look like spam
- Provide value to the reader
- Guide user experience
- Manual link building using WordPress
- Link building plugins for internal link building using WordPress
- Use DoFollow links
- Image links must-have Alt attributes
What is internal linking?
Internal linking means that one page of a website is connected/linked to another page of the same website. In simple words, your source and target domain in the internal link will be the same.
Here many people can’t differentiate between internal and external linking. External links are those that lead your visitors away from your website and land them into a new website. However, external links can also be useful for ranking, but your SEO strategy should begin with internal link building.
Now you might be thinking, what is the purpose of an internal link?
Basically, it serves 5 main purposes.
- Helps visitors explore your website.
- Helps Google understand the structure of your website.
- It distributes the page authority and ranking juice across your entire website.
- Increase your rankings in the search engines.
- It allows your visitors to identify the connection between your different contents.
Do you know the theory behind internal link building using WordPress?
The basic theory is that it strengthens the internal network of your website using WordPress. For example, if you are a blogger, you can link your different blogs/articles together, which allows your visitors to explore your thoughts on various niches.
I own a website where I regularly publish articles. To entertain my visitors and expand their knowledge, I always interlink my articles. For example, I wrote a detailed article on Managed WordPress Hostings and then in another of my articles, there is a small section where I talk about managed WordPress hostings. This is the point where I interlink these two articles.
This helps Google to know that I find this other article important for the current article you are reading. Besides, It also allows readers to go directly to the article if they want additional knowledge about Managed WordPress Hostings.
If you want to know the secrets of how to succeed with internal link building, continue reading as I will reveal 11 acts of internal linking that will help you achieve higher rankings.
1. Create unique content on your website
As mentioned earlier, internal links are created between different contents on your website. The more content you have on your website, the greater the chance you will link other pages under the same domain.
So you can say that an internal linking strategy starts with putting a lot of content on your website. It’s like building a network, similar to the spider’s web, where one thread finely links to another. However, you need to create unique content. If you just create content to be able to achieve internal link building, it doesn’t work.
This is the first killer strategy that will help you rank in various search engines. For example, if one of your website pages ranks well on Google, while other pages do not. You can link these pages to the already ranked page. All in all, with lots of happy links you create an opportunity for your other pages to rank in the search engines too.
Google doesn’t rank just any content; it crawls your website before ranking to see your internal links, starting with the home page. These links now tell Google about your strategy, via which Google determines the flow of your website and the relationship between your content.
Another thing to look out for is that your internal links must be relevant, as the search engines will entertain no irrelevant interlinks and your content won’t get ranked.
2. Write an optimised anchor text
Like I have mentioned before, your internal links must be relevant to the content. To do this, you can add anchor texts to link any two pages of your website.
“Anchor texts are those clickable words that hold the link of another page of your website”.
Besides, you can use keywords as anchor texts, but if you don’t want to use them, you can use any natural, unoptimised word to interlink the texts. The best part is that you don’t have to think much about the one word/phrase text. All you need is to highlight the word and just link to whatever you want to link to. Keep your anchor text simple, not artificial.
For example, sometimes you will witness the line “if you want to know more about our awesome services, click here or visit our website” at the end of a blog post. These two highlighted words are natural, so you don’t have to spend much time thinking about a relevant anchor text, you can use any word you want, but remember that the word should play a barrier between the two pages of your website. A single click on these natural anchor texts will directly take your visitors to the page where more information about the product in question is available. It will also help Google to determine the origin of your website.
You can also use images for linking, but remember that images are not as powerful as anchor texts. Though you can use the Alt attribute on an image to gain some.
3. Interlink deeply
The deeper you link, the better.
Basically, there are two types of linking that most people use without knowing that this linking doesn’t do much.
Homepage: Many people make the mistake of using their homepage to link to the text every time. This way, they get their visitors to land on their homepage every time. The visitors then do not have the opportunity to explore your website. It is better to strengthen your internal pages to increase your website’s overall SEO.
Contact us: Many people who do content marketing often make this mistake. They link to their contact page, which is unnecessary. Adding a call-to-action when selling your product is mandatory, but that doesn’t mean you directly link the contact page to your actual content.
As I mentioned above, your call-to-action should be simple and natural, not artificial, and it shouldn’t look like you intentionally inserted the links into the content, Google will punish you for it. Only link to the contact page if it makes sense.
All in all, avoid linking pages that are already linked to the top-level page on your website — main navigation menu.
The best and most natural links are those placed deep in the structure of your website.
4. Link from Cornerstone Content
It is obvious that your website has some cornerstone content.
“Cornerstone content is the heart of your website as it contains the most important information from your website that answers the common questions, entertains, and educates your audience”.
If you want to distribute link authority evenly and show Google the relationship between your pages, it is better to start linking your cornerstone content accordingly.
For example, you own a jewellery business. On your website, you may have a page titled “Antique Jewellery Information” and also a blog post titled “Most trending antique jewellery in 2020”. It makes sense if you link your blog to the cornerstone of your website — antique jewellery information. This will help the small blog posts gain link authority.
In return, the cornerstone content will also get a better rank in the search engines, as more links will be pointing back to it.
5. Don’t make your content look like spam
Using interlinks is useful to strengthen your content, but if you put too many internal links in one piece of content, your reader will get confused, or your content would look like spam.
So if you want a better SEO ranking, try to link only where necessary. You don’t need to add the internal link every time you use anchor text, as it would be the worst experience for visitors to land on the same page every time they click on the link.
You don’t need to stuff your content with too many similar links. Use few but relevant links. Be strategic in your selection while linking your content internally.
6. Provide value to the reader
Your readers are your priority. It is good to provide your visitors with authentic yet useful information. Adding internal links indiscriminately for ranking purposes is not good practice. If you provide helpful information, you will bind your readers more closely to your content.
As long as your internal links are engaging and visitors find them interesting, they will stay on your website longer and have a better experience on your website. If they find interesting information, they will spend a little more time to stop reading your content and click on the relevant link to get additional knowledge.
When you link your content, you also show search engines that the information you provide is relevant and important.
For example, if you have a blog about food and share cooking recipes there. In one blog post, you share a complete recipe for a sauce, while in the next blog, you use the same sauce. Here you don’t share the same recipe again but link these 2 blogs together, and the reader will go directly to the other page for the recipe.
So you can say that valuable links and references are useful for the search engines as well as for the reader. So you need to be very careful of the information you provide. However, internal linking helps your SEO, but it is also helping the readers.
7. Guide user experience
When working on the structure of your internal linking, think of your readers first. The best practice if you ask me is to browse as a visitor. Build internal links that you would prefer as a reader. Sometimes your website may have visitors who don’t know where to click for more information.
Your proper internal link structure will help your visitors understand your content. If you think of your visitor first, the interaction between your internal links will flow naturally.
Always remember that your visitors should be your priority because they are the ones who interact with your website, and if they are well guided on your website, they will keep coming back.
8. Manual link building using WordPress
WordPress offers you many link tools like internal link juicer, interlink manager and others. But, if you want to have 100% control, manual link building is the best choice for you. All you need to do is use the advanced linking option; you can now search for the post and link it to your content.
For manual linking, you don’t have to do much as you can see in the image above. All you have to do is select the anchor text, and you will be given the options of the content you can link to. Select one of them that is relevant to your content and anchor text, and you are done.
As mentioned earlier, do not link your homepage or contact page as this will distract your visitors, only link to deep and relevant content.
9. Link building plugins for internal link building using WordPress
Along with other features WordPress offers you to download SEO plugins that will help you win the internal link building game, if you don’t want to do it manually.
Above mentioned are 2 examples of plugins that work best using WordPress. These plugins are smart enough to automatically link your keywords with the specific link.
Here I am using Link Whisper for instance:
Here you can see that Link Whisper is automatically suggesting the related content with the selected keyword. While working with plugins you don’t need to do extra work. Sometimes these plugins will suggest content which you have totally forgotten about. Therefore, if you want some advanced features and help win the internal link building game, I would suggest you find a plugin that fits your needs.
10. Use DoFollow links
If you want to rank higher in the search engines, always use DoFollow links for link building, never use nofollow links as search engines won’t count them for ranking as it tells the search engines you don’t find it important.
11. Image links must-have Alt attributes
Images having the Alt tag helps the search engines explain what the image is of, which makes it easier for the search engine to rank the image. You have to ensure that you are linking the relevant alt-texts with your images.
You can use different tools such as Image SEO Optimizer if you have several images on your website. This link building plugin will help you to create relevant image names and alt-texts automatically.
Subscribe to my newsletter
I send my newsletter once a week, where I give you a simple tip to optimise your website.
If you want your website to rank higher in the search engines, you need to follow all SEO strategies along with internal linking. This will rank your content higher and help your readers get as much relevant information as possible. If you work strategically on link building with WordPress and other strategies, no one can stop you from ranking higher in the search engines. I personally use Rank Math SEO as my SEO plugin and Link Whisper for link building, these link building plugins work best for me and provide the best possible relevant suggestions.
Yoast SEO also works very well when you need to work on your internal link building as they give you great suggestions, and it also works great with Link Whisper.
If you want to read more about Rank Math SEO being the best SEO plugin in my opinion, you can read my 13 reasons why you should use Rank Math SEO, I also compare it to Yoast SEO.
Why is internal link building imperative?
If you want to successfully rank on the search engines and bind your readers with your engaging content, it is necessary to build internal links on your website.
What is broken link building?
Broken link building is when you link between pages that doesn’t exist. This affects your rankings extremely negative so make sure you have no pages linking to pages which doesn’t exist. You can assure this by using a free tool like Siteliner.com.
What are the benefits of internal link building?
– Your visitors can explore your website easily.
– It’s great for your SEO.
– Grabs your visitors on your website for a more extended period.
– Helps Google to crawl and understand the structure of your website.
– Improves your website structure.
Does internal link building affect the bounce rate on your website?
Internal link building helps in minimizing the bounce rate on your website. If you are linking engaging and relevant content together, the visitors will tend to stay longer on your page.
Should you use a link building service?
No, absolutely not, if we go a couple of years back, there was a huge benefit in using a link building service, as they manually found high quality links, and had guidelines to follow. Today the opportunity is right by your hand, use a tool for this, it’s cheaper and guarantees better results as manual handling can bring mistakes. There are a ton of tools out there with step by step guides to help you succeed and win the internal link building game for your niche.