Now that you have a working structure of your website, learned the importance of a fine navigation, built your content area, and maybe even a side bar, you have probably wanted to gain the popularity you deserve for your hard work. You have done every last bit of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and want to manipulate your PageRank even more. This is where internal linking can allow you to beef up the pages that you currently control while allowing them to stay within your website.
Ultimately we would love to all show up on Google for any search term entered, however, we try to keep it relevant now. The importance of internal linking is clearly defined as:
- Building key phrase specific anchor links
- More pages are indexed and crawled
- Internal pages increase in PageRank
Building Key Phrase Specific Anchor Links
Previously I described how amazing it would be to be ranked for every key phrase but realistically you would want to keep your pages to at least 3 to 5 key phrases. This allows for the content on the page to stay on topic. With manipulating your internal links to read specific key phrases relevant to that page it allows for more pages that a search engine can rank for.
More Pages are Indexed and Crawled
Many times there are links so deep within the website that they are not show on the main navigation. When you utilize correct internal linking techniques this can insure that many pages are crawled by search engines. This allows for many pages to no longer be hidden within the website. This is a common error found in websites that use script-based navigations.
Internal Pages Increase PageRank
When creating a website, one of the top priorities is to have the highest potential PageRank (a Google based algorithm which ranks pages.) Internal Linking is not the main focus of this algorithm but when used properly, it can pass along link juice to many other pages within your website.
Key Improvements to Start Making
1. Text Link Navigation, search engines view this first
2. Inline Text Links, keep it relevant to the content
3. Footers, don’t shove it with spam, use a sitemap and link to key pages such as Contact Us or other Action Links.
4. Sitemap, use this to display the structure of your pages.
Examples of proper Internal Linking
1. Click Here to read how Mark describes the Pre-Design Process.
2. Mark has helped us understand the importance of a Pre-Design Process.
Example one is the worst way to display a link, by doing this you are giving the internal link no contextual value. In example two, it gives a more elaborate description as well as using relevant key phrases to the internal link
Internal Linking can be a very effective improvement to your website if used properly. It can mold how search engines see your pages, allows for some of the deep pages to have a spot light too. It’s important to use relevant key phrases within the anchor text, but it’s also important to know to switch up the key phrases which will allow for more key phrases to rank for. Knowing all this, be sure to follow up to see how using External Linking can boost your PageRank as well.