If you own a website that’s not getting much traffic, you may need to rethink your internal linking strategy. Internal linking refers to the practice of placing hyperlinks that direct users to the same domain as the domain of the initial link… in essence, a link that is pointed at a page located on the same site.
What’s The Point?
Think this sounds a little silly? You’re not alone. In fact, internal linking is one of the most commonly misunderstood SEO and site development practices. Though, when the practice is implemented properly, the benefits include improved site usability and search rankings. Call it your very own dirty little secret.
1 – Make a point to utilize text-based links alongside proper link structures.
2 – Every link should include keywords in the link text.
One aspect of the rankling algorithm includes looking at the link text and comparing it to the page being linked. Do your best to avoid using links like “home” or “Click here” as text links, as they will be disregarded.
3 – Each and every page on your site should be linked from your home page.
Smaller sites consisting of 10 pages or less can generally use their home page as an effective site map. Sites that are a bit larger will require a separate page to help users navigate. If you use a sitemap page, make sure to include content other than links.
Sitemaps are valuable for a number of reasons, including:
– Google will be able to locate and crawl various site pages faster
– Your customers will locate what they’re looking for in a more efficient manner
– Your PageRank will be distributed to other pages of importance
4 – Make certain that each page includes a link to at least one other page.
This practice will help your customers navigate your site easier and help Google crawl your site more quickly. Pages that have links to but not from them will not receive nearly as much traffic.
5 – Limit your links!
Now that you know the drill, you may feel inclined to throw a little link party. Unfortunately, this practice is frowned upon.
Most search engines adhere to a 150 link limit per page before they quit crawling other pages found linked-to from said page. While this limit is known for it’s flexibility, to be safe, it’s best to limit the links on most pages to 150 or else risk losing the crawl.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is… the little stuff still counts. By taking the time to master the basics, you can rest easy knowing you’ve got a solid foundation to build from. But hey, if this sorta thing ain’t your style, your pals at Eminent SEO are ready and eager to help!
I think we should point out that (RE: 3 – Each and every page on your site should be linked from your home page.) is ONLY recommended for 5-10 page websites. You never want to link to every page of a larger site from your home page or you will dilute the home page value…and frankly, confuse the user. Instead, you should use silioing to funnel the content through grouped segments that make sense together, in order of importance. For example: Home page links to landing page 1 about topic A, landing page 1 links to subpage about topic A.1., subpage 2 links to subpage about topic A.2, etc….