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The Ultimate Guide to Learning Internal Link Building Strategy

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An internal link building “strategy” may be a misnomer in this article’s instance. This guide helps you learn the right way to link up your internal pages and build a good internal linking structure so that you are more likely to rank up the Google search engine results. It is like teaching you how to drive a car; one could hardly say you have been taught a car-driving strategy. Internal links and SEO are still related, so it pays to get it right.

Does Google Still Care About Internal Links And SEO

Links (both internal and external) are still a ranking factor when it comes to climbing your way up the Google search engine results. Serviceable and usable internal links are useful for the user experience (which is a ranking factor), internal links help reduce bounces away from your domain (another good ranking factor), and cleverly placed external links show Google that you care about the user and the user experience rather than hogging the user all for yourself.

It may all sound a little wishy-washy and vague, but the Google algorithm isn’t something you can quantify anymore. Google uses big data technology to rank websites based on internal links and SEO, (among many other things). Google is using big data technology to figure out which users are having a good time and which are not, and if your website doesn’t put your user first, then your site will struggle to rank highly. The old notion that Google uses your links to figure out what your website is all about is almost redundant. Google utilises the data it draws from user interactions with your site (among other things) to figure out what your website is about.

Side Note – Using an internal link checker to check for broken internal links is a good idea, but remember that companies such as Go Daddy have banned the use of specific internal link checker plugins, so maybe avoid internal link checker plugins and/or internal link checker software that you have to install into your website.

The Difference Between A Collaborative Website And A Single-Contributor Website

As contrary to common sense as it sounds, the blogger usually knows best when it comes to which internal links are the most suitable and which internal linking structure is the best. This may seem incorrect since the blogger is usually emotionally involved with his or her blog, and bloggers often have a hard time pandering to the wants/desires of their audience because they cannot see the flaws in their own work. However, a single-contributor will often remember the posts or pages that he/she worked on and will usually know which posts to link to and from.

For example, if you wrote a series on debt management, and you are writing a post about wealth building, you can probably remember a debt management post you wrote about paying down credit card debt that will work correctly within the article on wealth building that you are writing now. Sadly, when a website is built in collaboration with numerous other contributors, knowing the best and worst internal links to place is very difficult. That is where internal links and SEO become more challenging to manage.

Automatic Internal Linking Devices Are An Afterthought

If you have an internal linking SEO program that shows users other types of products or blog posts they may be interested in, then those are a great idea, and you should go with them. They are better known as “Suggested Product” or “Suggested Post” programs. Also, if the programs directed by your user’s personal behaviour on your website, then all the better. For example, Amazon offers you products based on what you are looking at, such as up-sells and add-ons, and it provides you different varieties of the same product. On the eCheck.org blog, the suggested blog posts are dictated by which category the user is currently in, such as if the user is in a wealth building category, then other blog posts from the same type are suggested.

 

Suggested Posts from Echeck and Amazon

Having these programs doesn’t constitute an internal linking campaign, but they will help you rank up the Google search engine results so long as you are not auto-linking to any external/off-domain places.

Side Note – Do not confuse “Suggested Post” and “Suggested Product” tools for automatic linking tools. An automatic linking tool (discussed below) will add permanent internal links into your text automatically, whereas “Suggested Post” and “Suggested Product” offer different products/pages to each user.

Keyword Tools For Auto-Linking

A pox on the houses of people who claim that you can use your page keywords to feed auto-linkers. There are several things wrong with that idea, with the most obvious being that the person who picked your keywords may have selected very poor keywords. Maybe the keywords are overused on your website or have little to do with the actual meaning of your web page, or perhaps they are keywords that are being used by the external pages you are linking to.

Some automatic-linking programs link your pages up based on your use of certain words, but these are worse than the tools that use your keywords because the words you most frequently use in your text may have nothing to do with your website itself. For example, this article has used the word, “Words” enough times to choke a chicken, but this article is about internal linking and not about “Words.”

The most important reason why you shouldn’t use automatic internal linking programs is that they cause your internal links to have repetitive anchor text for a set of keywords. Your goal is to make your website as user-friendly as possible, and Google has algorithms that can identify the sorts of patterns that automatic linkers create (defined on the Google Webmaster Forums as unnatural links).

Keyword Testing Allied With Very Clever Keyword Tagging And Categorizing

Let’s say that you are hotter than the Sun and just as bright when it comes to automatic keyword tagging on your pages and internal linking SEO. You should start by searching on your website for posts/pages with the same keywords and seeing if any of them would work well within your post.

Search google for your own web pages related to your keywords

There is a chance that you will find web pages on your own website that are related to your current web page. You should also run a search based on your H-Tags for a page. For example, this article has sub-headers such as “Keyword Testing Allied With Very Clever Keyword Tagging And Categorizing,” and it may not be a bad idea to run each of your H-tags through the “site:” search on the Google search engine results to see if any pages pop up that may be useful internal links. Maybe snip it down a little to turn it into, “Keyword Tagging And Categorizing” when you run the Google site search.

Finding an internal link based on H Tags

Where Are Safe Places To Put Numerous Internal Links?

It is genuinely up to you if you want to stuff some of your pages with internal links. If anything, you should experiment with a bit of internal link padding to see how it affects your search engine ranking, user experience, bounce rates and so forth. However, most would agree that these four pages are typically safe places to put numerous internal links.

Home Pages

People bouncing from your home page to one of your other pages is usually the desired effect, ergo a high number of internal links on your homepage is expected. The website is where internal links and SEO go hand in hand.

Directory Pages

Some websites have directory pages because they are the most expedient way to get people to the right web page, and many times a higher-than-usual number of internal links are needed for these pages. For example, Careers Booster has numerous internal links in its “Services” page because it uses it as a directory page.

Review Pages

It is not uncommon for some websites to write a series of pages on a particular product (e.g. in-depth reviews of blenders) and then rank the products on a review page with links to each comprehensive review so that people can learn more about the products being listed.

Cornerstone Pages

Yoast suggests that you make your cornerstone pages very large, which means there is likely a need for more internal links, and it is not uncommon for webmasters to link to whole categories within cornerstone pages.

Conclusion

Testing Should Be A Regular Feature In Your Internal Linking Process

You can use “User Testing” and “Personal Testing” to help you figure out which pages need to link to which, and even to work out your SEO internal linking strategy if you wish. You can test your old web pages yourself by reading through them and linking to the inner pages you think are suitable, (revisiting your old pages helps you review them with a fresher perspective). User test your pages by having people point out the parts in your text that they do not understand or the parts that they want further clarification on, as this will help you link to suitable internal pages and may help you figure out what to write about next. 

As mentioned in the introduction, you do not need an SEO internal linking strategy unless you have a large team of contributors who require strict guidance. All you need to know is how to pick your internal links, and this article has given you all the information you need to make smart and search engine friendly choices.

Silvia Woolard on Twitter
Silvia Woolard
Silvia Woolard is a freelance writer and novice entrepreneur from Phoenix, AZ. She mostly writes and works in a field of popular psychology and marketing.
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