Internal links: what are they, why create and 5 tips for your site to take off

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In my last article on the blog of Digital Results I talked a bit about link building and how it can help your website to get better positions in the organic rankings. Despite being a great strategy, demand considerable time and resources.

In this article I will explore the internal link building strategy, namely creating internal links.

What are internal links?

Internal links are links on your site pointing to another article or page from your own site . The internal link structures and site architecture are very important factors for optimization SEO on page , that is, that optimizes the site’s internal structure without external influence, different from that of off page from an external source to your site.

Why do you have to create internal links?

The creation of internal links is somehow a very simple practice to be applied and that brings short-term benefits in the medium very expressive . If your site you do not use this strategy, you are probably wasting a great potential for improvement in the weight of your domain to the Google algorithm.

On the other hand, as appears to be simple, it can become very complex when taking theory and in practice. To make sure you’re doing the right thing ask:

  • What are the best practices for creating these links?
  • It makes sense your blog post has a link to another post from your blog?
  • This link is directly related to the content that it is pointing?
  • a perfect anchor or a partial anchor should be used?

A well – defined internal linking strategy is a very powerful technique in favor of the SEO of your website, especially if your company works with content strategy, we work in Digital results.

This is because one of the most simple and direct strategies to pass value of most important pages to pages that do not yet have the same force. Thus, distributing the force of important pages for almost every page of a website improves and the domain as a whole.

It’s no use just having a home page as a single page of the strong field is the product of your company or explanatory blog posts do not show up well in Google search. Worth bearing in mind that the users who come directly to a product page are already in an advanced stage of the buying process, missing only find the best opportunity.

Architecture and site hierarchy

One of the key factors of a well built website is the architecture and organization of all URLs. It is interesting to analyze how the pages communicate with each other, if all the pages that must be visited are visible and easily accessible for all types of users they are less experienced or experts.

For this there is not a ready cake recipe that all sites should follow, but rather several ways to mount this type of architecture depending on the type of business. From the simplest models like blogs and institutional sites to e-commerces with thousands of pages.

There is a basic way to organize this information and use as a template for construction of the site as a whole. For this, we must adopt a structure and page indication organization up and down thinking of a pyramid structure where the home page is the highest top and the lowest content pages.

  • Home page should have links to all categories (down)
  • Category pages
    • Every category must have a link to home page (up)
    • Every category must have a link to all categories (cross)
    • Every category must have a link to your own topics (down)
  • Topics
    • Every topic should link to home page (up)
    • Every topic should link to all categories (up)
    • Every topic should link to the topics of the same category (transverse)
    • Every topic should link to their own sub-topics (down)
  • Subtopic
    • Every sub-topic should link to home page (up)
    • Every sub-topic should link to all categories (up)
    • Every sub-topic should link to all topic pages in the same category (up)
    • Every sub-topic should link all the sub-topics in the same category (transverse)
    • Every sub-topic should link to their own content pages (down)
  • Page content
    • Every content page should link to home page (up)
    • Every content page should link to all categories (up)
    • Every content page should link to all topics in its class (up)
    • Every content page have to link all the sub-topics in the same category (up)
    • Every content page should link to other content of the same sub-topic (transverse)

To illustrate some of this pyramid-type structure of idea you can analyze the following image:

With this structure the value of the home page (or page rank) is distributed to the entire site, but instead of only dilute this value down, we also “pushed” up and to the main pages.

It may seem a little confusing, but there are several ways to make that connection almost automatically.

For example, in the Digital Results site we use the same header (home, blog, products, etc.) for all pages and the blog pages also use the same sidebar (the blog categories, opposite). This is already native in our template and in almost all WordPress templates. Every time we create a new post or a new page link this structure is replicated automatically, unless the links to related content that is made part manually and part by plugin.

5 tips for creating internal links on your site

After creating all the hierarchy and structure that you want to apply on your site, we can further optimize the potential and the value of this strategy. To do this, we prepare 5 simple and effective tips for you to apply to your site as soon as possible.

1 – 3 Theory of clicks away

There are some studies and some theories that say that no content of your page should be more than 3 clicks away to a user from the home page to the content.

This theory says more about the user experience of the Google algorithm itself, but if the pages of your sites are in very deep layers is unlikely that Google bot will enhance the content of that page. By being so down the hierarchy of your site, it automatically takes on content that may not be as relevant to users.

Using the site’s Digital results as an example, if a user is interested in reading a post about SEO, it will take 3 clicks to get to the content:

  • Entry in the Home Page;
  • 1 click “Learn” button on the top menu;
  • 2nd click: “Digital Marketing Blog”;

Internal link - blog

  • 3rd click: of blog categories menu.

internal links - categories

To be clear, this is not a rule that all sites should follow, but a good practice if applicable to your business.

Maybe not serve to sites containing thousands of pages, categories, sub-categories, topics, sub-topics, various types of products from many different brands. However, some sites with these characteristics of many pages using various search criteria with advanced filters for users to find what they want as quickly and simply as possible with fewer clicks.

When it’s time to think about the structure and hierarchy of your site, consider keeping all the content accessible with fewer clicks possible. So it will be much easier to maintain a clean and organized architecture for internal use and will also be much easier for user navigation and reading Google Bot.

2 – Related Posts or Popular

A valuable tip is to use plugins, if you use WordPress to create a list of related posts at the end of each new post. Also you can use a plug in the side bar of your blog or website with the most popular posts, most commented, most shared and so on.

In addition to increasing the number of pages visited by users and time spent on the site, which is great to the eyes of Google in the category of user experience, it helps to create a much more solid internal link structure which is automatically done by plugins.

Blogging the Digital results use the Related Post By Zemanta . In addition to not mess up much in the page loading speed (scoring factor used by Google), it has several customization options and criteria for selection of related posts.

internal links - related posts

Example of internal links to related posts

3 – Text relevant anchor

As I stated in my post about link building effective , anchors has a very important role in Google ‘s eyes and it is essential to be careful with those choices. Even creating internal links, not only using an anchor text perfect for the related post.

Google will understand that you are trying to manipulate the algorithm in the same way, like link building and therefore, you may be subject to severe punishment Google (due to practice black hat ), with a chance to really hurt your revenues, visits and all parts of your online business.

Always use natural anchors, with context in the paragraph in which it is placed and the target page must always keep the same concept has been said in the content pointing at him.

Also avoid generic anchors like “click here” and “read more”. Always give preference to more descriptive anchor texts on the content present on the link.

4 – Document with key internal links

When you have a lot of content produced, you can forget having ready articles on certain subjects and end up falling into a “limbo” of internal links, where only latest articles receive these links.

For it does not, you can map the items you have on the main topics in a document (can be a spreadsheet) and before publishing new content, check that was missing some relevant link.

5 – Do not forget the external links

While internal links improve navigation of your website, reduce the bounce rate and distribute the authority of your site, external links pass authority to other relevant sites, increase referrals to your visitor and are also “well regarded” in the eyes of Google, since they indicate that you actively participate in the online community.

So, where relevant, include some external links to other references on the subject.

To learn more, check out the post ” Tip SEO: Include internal and external links for content .”

Conclusion

The use of internal links is one of the most effective tactics and simple to apply to your site that can be made at any time. This optimization on page internal links brings the medium-term outcomes and results here on Digital we call “Quick Wins”.

Since we started doing this internal link structure with more quality and discretion, our rankings have risen and the number of organic visits constantly grows every month naturally.

It’s a constant work, on a weekly basis, which should check all these links and check if any is pointing to the wrong page. Here in our blog we have several authors, so we’re always looking at what happens in each post.

Extra tip: If your blog does not use WordPress, it is important to rethink this strategy. WordPress comes with its friendly setting to 90% and SEO plugins that can automate most of his handiwork.