Internal Link Building Strategy…
In this post I’m going to explain a link building strategy that is Internal link building. We will explain how you go about doing this task and what the many benefits are for doing so.
It is oftentimes observed that there are hundreds or even thousands of posts over the Internet that talk about maximizing external links for your blog, but no one pays much attention to increasing internal link building. From the term itself, “internal link” is a hyperlink that serves as a reference point or a navigation element in one web page to another (most likely as internal pages or relevant pages). Internal link building is a very powerful strategy to help you increase your page views per visitor by sending them into other pages. Internal links help you distribute the link juice equally that those external links bring in to your website or blog. In this post we will take a closer look on the benefits of internal linking and some effective internal linking strategies you may apply to your own website.
But before we go on, let us first take a closer look on what internal linking is. As mentioned in the first paragraph, internal links are links within a website. Remember that links are considered as either “external” or “internal”. Generally, a link to a page that is outside one domain is external. You probably experienced clicking a hyperlinked word in a blog post that takes you to a different website. While a link that takes you to another page within the same domain is considered internal. This is the key concept why you put tags or related keywords whenever you post a new blog post.
Internal links can also be referred to as jump links, in-page navigational links or on-site SEO. This is best utilized by many websites which caters content to its visitors like blogs and references. Wikipedia and IMDB are great examples of this as they have much information in fairly long pages and help users move through page content fairly easily.
After knowing what internal links are, the next big question is “why do we need to link our content internally?” Some may consider interlinking as very time consuming strategy and exerting of too much effort. But you know what, doing internal link building does give you and your readers a lot of benefits.
Here are some major advantages when you apply interlinking:
- Easy navigation. If there are specific keywords linked to all the related contents of your website, the user will give as much information as possible regarding a certain topic without exerting too much effort. The easier it is for the user to navigate the site, the higher the probability the user will make a purchase, order, read more and ultimately return to the website.
- Generate more traffic. If a single blog post is interlinked to your other posts, the user will spend longer on your site, giving an easy access to read all the posts related to what the user is looking for.
- Previous posts don’t get lost. If you have a very updated blog and you might just wrote a great article one day and then after a few days no one is reading it, you may link back to them to make sure that readers see it.
- Improves SEO across all pages. If you have pages with higher page rank, you might share it with other pages through internal link building. This is great since search engine spiders are crawling content based on specific search terms.
These are just the major benefits of having your own internal link building strategy for your own website or blog. You don’t need to understand these benefits in a SEO point of view when you try to decide to improve interlinking in your website. The whole process will just be very easy if you keep in mind those very useful advantages. To help you out, here is the basic steps of interlinking:
- Keyword research. The first step is to look for keywords that you might want to develop great content. You have to pick a specific keyword and some of its variations. But always remember that it must revolve around the kind of website or blog you are maintaining. For example, if your website is about athletic shoes, you might consider using the keywords “NBA athletic shoes”, “cheap athletic shoes” or “branded sneakers for sale”. You can start picking at least five keywords for your content.
- Create your first content. After picking the keywords, you will now create the first content or article that revolves around those keywords. It can be just an overview of the main topic and the keywords are just mentioned throughout the discussion. Once you have the “mother content”, you can easily link it to the other pages which have an in depth discussion of the other specific keywords.
- Develop more content for each of the other related keywords. They will serve as the inside pages or linking pages to and from the main content you created.
- Link the homepage to the inside pages. The internal link building will start in here. You may highlight all the related keywords mentioned in your first content page and do some basic HTML editing using the anchor tag. Placing the corresponding url of each linking pages to its specified keyword.
For example, you mentioned the keyword “branded athletic shoes” on your main content and you want to link it to another post which talks about “Top 10 Shoe Brands for Athletes of 2011”. You will just need to include the simple code below:
<a href=”http://www.shoes.com/top10shoebrandsof2011”>branded athletic shoes</a>
<a href=”url of the target page”>keyword/anchor text</a>
5. Link the inside pages to the homepage. This is applied using the same process as with number 4. This time, you have to make an easy way for your users to return back to your main content. Aside from the homepage, you can also link each inside page to the other pages of your website as long as the keywords or the topics are related to each other.
Those five steps are just the very basic of internal link building. However some blogs today especially those that are very busy and create fairly long content, utilizes different plug-ins that can be installed for free or purchased. Here is two of the most widely used inter-linking plug-ins for blogs powered by different platforms:
- LinkWithin (http://www.linkwithin.com/). This is a free plug-in usually referred to as a blog widget usually found at the bottom of each of your content displaying a link to other related posts within your website or blog.
LinkWithin is a free widget and easy to install. It supports almost all platforms like WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr. Every related story featured at the bottom of your each post is chosen based on several factors like title, tags and content. You just need to register you domain to their website and they will provide you a very easy instructions on how to install it on your site.
2. NRelate (http://www.nrelate.com). This is another plug-in that you may use for your internal link building strategy. Just like LinkWithin it is for free and applies on all blog platforms.
This is not much difference with LinkWithin except that you have all the control how the plug-in displays it’s related posts unlike LinkWithin which do this randomly but of course based on your content. NRelate also has the ability to bring in related posts from your other websites and monetize your related posts.
The bottom line is that whatever kind of plug-in you use; the most important aspect is to create a well written content that can be interlinked to your other pages. The secret is to create a website or a blog which talks about a specific topic or niche.
So the next time you update your website, don’t just focus on increasing your external links. You might start applying the simple concept of internal link building and enjoy its benefits.