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Internal links can help improve your search results

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Your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy has several major components. One is developing great content. A second involves attracting inbound links to drive as much traffic as possible to your blog posts, landing pages, eBooks, etc. Doing these well is important, but you’re still not done. Internal linking should always be part of your SEO strategy, too. It’s what enables your new page to draw value from your other website pages.

Think of internal linking this way: Internal linking lets you more easily rank for difficult keyword phrases by sharing the authority of your content with your new pages or blog posts.

For clarity, let’s define an internal link. It’s simply as link to another page on your website. If inbound links are like favorable endorsements of your content from other people, internal links are like voting for yourself and letting search engines know about your vote. Sure it’s better to have more people than you vote for your content. But if you don’t endorse your own content, the search engines will be hard pressed to consider your page as one of the best on the web. The link authority of internal links shows search engines that your blog and other pages are valuable.

Suppose, for example, that every page on your website links to your blog or your homepage. Those pages must be important to you. On the other hand, if the only links to your blog are from your About Us page, search engines will figure your blog isn’t very important. If your blog is in your top navigation, that position alone signals to Google that it’s important.

How can you improve the internal linking on your website?

Here are three exercises to make it easy.

1

Draw a map of your website. List each page in your navigation and all the links those pages include. This will show you the lay of the land and how you’ve linked your pages together. This is a great way to find gaps and blind spots in your navigation that you can fix with an internal link.

2

Look at what you write about the most. If you’re writing about something on a regular basis, you should have a dedicated page on your website for that topic. Each of your posts should be linked to that authoritative page and be optimized for search.

3

Whenever you’re using internal links, be sure to write relevant anchor text. The anchor text should include keywords that clearly indicate what the linked content is about. So don’t write, Click here to download our eBook. That’s bad. Rather, write a more meaningful link, such as, Learn more with our Essential Step-by-step Guide to Internet Marketing. The second link tells Google what the link leads to.

I hope you’ll take some time over the weekend and go through your website. Are you missing opportunities to do internal linking? It’s never too late to fix that problem, and you’ll probably notice an improvement over time in your search rankings for specific targeted keywords

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