Normally, when we discuss linking in blogging, the conversation is about building links back to your blog. But in this post, I want to talk about creating a sound internal linking structure for your blog. Internal linking almost always gets overlooked, but using it properly can create a host of powerful benefits.
First, internal linking can enhance the experience for your readers. For example, let’s suppose you’re writing a post about important steps for maintaining your computer. In one of the steps, you might mention something about keeping your virus protection up to date. Here, you could link to a more expansive previous post you had written detailing the steps for picking out virus protection software, keeping it up to date, running it regularly, etc.
For readers, having this link to a previous related post can help them learn more about topics they’re interested in, enhancing the education they receive from your blog. Additionally, having this link in your post keeps readers on your blog for a longer period of time. The longer someone sticks around on your blog, the likelier it is that they’ll subscribe to your blog and become a loyal reader.
Beyond enhancing the user experience, a sound internal linking structure is good for search engine optimization. You probably already know that keyword-rich links from other websites help the search engines more accurately classify the pages on your website, thus increasing your search rankings for relevant keywords. Well, the same concept applies to internal linking on your website. Use keyword-rich links to old posts to help give them a boost in their search engine placement.
Now, when linking internally on your blog, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
- Don’t overdo it—Okay, so internal linking in your blog can be beneficial, but you need to be careful not to overdo it. I’ve come across more than a few blogs that literally include 5-10 internal links in every single post. That’s just too much. If you have a link in every other sentence, you need to dial things down a notch. Also, don’t make the mistake of constantly linking to sales pages from your blogs. Your readers won’t enjoy the constant pitches.
- Always use keyword-rich anchor text—To maximize the SEO benefits of internal linking, you should always use keyword-rich anchor text. Make sure the keywords in the anchor text are relevant to the page you’re linking to.
- Help lower-ranking pages—If there are pages on your blog that aren’t performing well in the search engines, try to link to them whenever it makes sense to do so. Over time, internal links to low-performing pages could increase their presence in the search engines.
Do you use internal linking in your blog? How has it helped? Share your thoughts in the replies.